A warmness emanates from Jill. She’s such a grounded, sweet person. Over the course of a year and a half, our paths crossed here and there while she was in yoga teacher training at the K10 Yoga CoOp that's located inside of Jasper & Fern. She was always smiling or in this quiet, reflective space. No matter where she was personally though, she always greeted me with a kind smile, occasionally exchanging hiking stories, body acceptance journeys and, every once in a while she'd say "I need to talk with you about pictures." The more I got to know her and the more she shared about her journey, the more I wanted to photograph her and looked forward to her reaching out.
Then she told me, "I'm turning 50. I need to do this."
The day was cold and bitter. I didn't much feel like doing anything besides curling up in a cozy blanket and sleeping. Yet, Jill came in with her warmth glowing and an excited but nervous smile. We sat on the couch beginning to chat and she extended her heart.
"I don't want to be something that I'm not," she said as we discussed the vision for her portrait session. She shared about her body acceptance journey - going from 300 pounds to fluctuating as she let go of the weight. She shared about her love for herself overall, not just with weight but with appreciating who she is and everything she brought to the table. Plus, she was coming up on her birthday and knew this would be the perfect way to celebrate her tremendous personal growth and her love of her strong body.
You see, she's a natural beauty, Jill. She has this way about her that reveals her confidence and tenderness as if she were letting you in on a secret. She has the kindest of souls and the warmest of smiles. We wanted to capture the free-flowing nature she had been working so hard to achieve, the fun bounce in her curls, the depth of her eyes and - of course - the warmth of her smile. And so, we sat in the space as friends, making space for her unfold in front of the camera.