Danielle contacted me more than once about doing a photoshoot.
Life happened and we couldn't make it work . . . until a few weeks ago. When we talked, Danielle was all in. She was ready to be photographed, ready to be in front of a camera she was always behind.
"I always take the pictures," Danielle told me as we talked. "I take the pictures of my kids, I even take pictures of other peoples kids at sporting events. I'm always behind the camera and I don't mind it. It would just be nice to see some pictures of me . . . and maybe have something for my girls."
How often do we find ourselves always behind the camera?
How often are we always giving even when we don't have enough for outselves?
How often are we forgotten because others and their lives are 'more important'?
Danielle's day job is at a local hospital where she organizes events that raise money for families in crisis. This money is used to pay their hospital bills, rent, groceries, car bills, lodging. These events that Danielle helps create and run directly influence our community and the people we encounter on the day to day. Her entire job is based on service to and for others.
Now, you know that Danielle is also a mom so the service aspect of who she is doesn't just turn off when she goes home. Charity and giving and caring are apart of who Danielle is. It's in her genetic makeup.
Danielle said, "I've always taken time for others. It's hard to take time for me."
In fact, while I was video chatting with Danielle her daughter asked her if she could come to her photoshoot. "No," Danielle said as she laughed and smile. "I don't do things just for me and this is just for me." I smiled so wide my cheeks hurt.
What an amazing example to share with our daughters and young women. It is important to do things just for ourselves.
It's not about being selfish or vain.
It's about filling your soul so you have more to give. It's about knowing yourself so you don't get lost in the ever-fluctuating waves of an oppressively opinionated world.
It's about showing up and showing others by example that you can love yourself, flaws and all . . . and others can too . . .
We're supposed to.
Danielle has a story and it's one of strength and courage and perserverance.
Photographing this woman has brought me insight and understanding that I needed.
Danielle, thank you for letting me photograph you. It's an honor to share your story, your pictures, and your goodness. You have a divine beauty that burns bright because you live a life that is full of all the goodness you generously give to others. You are all the good and beautiful things, my friend.
It's been an honor.