Bold Beautiful Perfect

 


“Don’t determine your value/self-worth by comparing yourself to others. God didn’t create us to all be the same; that would be boring.” – Shanna


Tell us a little about yourself, Shanna!

I am not a native Coastie, but I’ve been in the area for quite a while now. I was the oldest of three children; that changed almost three years ago when my baby sister was born. Professionally, I am the head of employee education and training for almost 3,000 employees at a federal healthcare organization.  Outside of my 9-5, I own a home-based custom handmade wreath and clothing business, MommyGyrl.

Personally, I have been married to my college sweetheart for almost two decades; we are the parents of two daughters, a college senior and an eighth grader.  I have also been an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.  In my spare time, I love to travel (the pandemic has severely lessened this), exercise, help others, and spend time with my family.

 

How did you come to understand your inner beauty?

Honestly, that has been a continuing process for me.  I endured mental and emotional abuse from a couple of family members during my childhood and adolescence.  I didn’t realize the toll that took on me until well into my adulthood.  Interestingly enough, I usually have been able to see inner beauty in everyone else. I have always ensured that my daughters know that they are enough just as they are.  Regarding myself, however, I manage the constant inner struggle of not just knowing but believing that I, too, exude inner beauty because of my humor, my intelligence, my empathy, and my genuine concern for others.

 

Shanna and her lovely friend who joined her at the end of her shoot!

What parts of your story can you share to help women to understand their own beauty?

One part of my story is that I refuse to say that I “suffer” from anything.  For example, two years ago, I was diagnosed with major depression, moderate.  I don’t say I “suffer” from it; instead, I say I work to manage it.

Another part of my story is just what I tell my babies and remind myself:  You are enough.  Don’t compare yourself or determine your value/self-worth by comparing yourself to others.  God didn’t create us to all be the same; that would be boring.

A final part of my story I can share is to stop being so critical of yourself.  We as women sometimes tend to put ourselves down for no reason because of our perceived physical “flaws” or taking time for self-care.  We MUST stop doing that.  If we don’t love and take care of ourselves, we can’t even begin to tend to others’ needs.

What was your experience with the photo shoot?

I am extremely grateful to have been selected and to have taken part in this project.  I wish that all women could have the amazing experience that I had and could have their voices heard like I will have!

The past nine years of my life have been very trying, but the last two years have been absolutely brutal.  I also unexpectedly gained 30 pounds and steadily lost my faith.  Over the last six months, I’ve worked to readjust my focus, regain my faith, lean more on God, and take better care of myself.

Being selected for the photoshoot meant the world to me.  Those who are closest to me know that I’m an introvert.  Yes, I’m friendly, but I have to expend a lot of energy to engage with big groups of people and then take time away from everything to regroup.  I don’t prefer to be the center of attention.  So, doing the photoshoot and being selected for such a worthy project made me feel so special.

I truly felt like a celebrity during my photoshoot.  Despite having a vehicle hiccup that made me a few minutes late, I never felt penalized.  Kasper was at the door to greet me as soon as I arrived and offered to assist me with my belongings.  Brandi was very warm and welcoming when she arrived.  I loved my makeup.  I felt glam but without overkill.  Brandi gave amazing directions during the photoshoot.  It was an unexpected workout though, lol.  Brandi and Kasper cared about how I wanted to look and to be portrayed.  I felt so pretty and pampered while I was there; an experience like I’ve never had.  And, please know that I’m not just saying this; I’m not an insincere person.  I truly recommend the Brandi Stage Portraiture experience!

 


 

White woman curly hair portrait and headshot photographer standing confidently arm on hip wearing black top and earrings

 

Are you ready to feel like a celebrity and have the photos to prove it?

To book your own Portrait Session, contact us through the inquiry form below.

 

Much love,

Brandi

International Award-Winning Portrait Photographer