Eileen is my Throwback Thursday with a twist.

Also – there’s still plenty of nice days for beach portrait sessions left in the season.

Before I get into Eileen’s inspirational story I want to take a moment to point out that there’s still time to book a outdoor portrait session. As I write this, the forecast for the day is calling for highs in the upper 80’s with the next seven days in the lower 80’s. So, if you are thinking about a portrait session outside like at the beach, contact me today.

Ok, so a little backstory about this series. Eileen and I teamed up for a beach sunrise session back in the summer of 2014. She was, and still is, a fitness enthusiast and wanted images done to document her hard work and effort. We met up one morning and created what I thought were amazing images.

I always edit the images and send them to the client before they get posted anywhere. It’s part of my “The client is in control at all times” clause. In this case, they get the final call on what, if anything, gets published.

The response from Eileen was, to be honest, underwhelming. She approved just a scant few images for publication here. I was bound by her decision and didn’t question it as it’s none of my business.

Time went by. Eileen got married, moved, and recently had a baby. We were chatting recently about a certain app that allows people to post comments about you anonymously. She received one that said she should take her pics down from our session and others she did with other photographers. This bully said those images were too racy and “disrespectful” to her husband.

Well, that comment alone boils my blood and is worthy of a whole separate blog entry but not now.

So, understandably, she was feeling down. I had an idea. I took a moment to look up the viewing history of those images on my page. Come to find out they are some of the most popular images on my site and still get views to this day. I took a snapshot of the stats with my cellphone to prove to her that I wasn’t lying.

She was stunned and couldn’t believe it. This opened up the conversational door about the session. I resent her the images from that session re-edited to incorporate my editing skills I’ve adopted since then. Here is where I’ll let her take over for a minute.

I sat on the fence so long about doing the session because I didn’t like how I looked. I’m very hard on myself and even when I first saw the pictures all I could think was ‘how fat and ugly’ I was. However now after having a child, I looked back at those photos and about cried. In retrospect, I’m beyond happy I did the photo session with you! I felt so beautiful during and after our session and now seeing them again, the whole experience truly comes into focus. I didn’t realize how good I looked until my body had changed even more after childbirth.”

People just don’t know just how beautiful they are. They get caught up in this unobtainable ideal that never existed. How many times have I heard “Let me get back to the gym and lose another five to ten pounds.” Or they latch onto a mental image of how they looked “back in the day.” In reality we need to embrace who we are now, in all it’s glory, and let go of what was or what will never be.

eileen-virginia-beach-sunrise-fitness-session 13

What you are seeing here are new versions of the old images that were previously posted plus new images from that session that were never posted. So, In a way, these “throwback images” are really brand new. Hence the “twist.”

I’ll let Eileen wrap up this entry.

“What I would say to other women who are on the fence about doing a photo shoot? DO IT! Your body is beautiful no matter the stage it is in. I would go into the next session with no hesitation even with how my body looks now.”

Mark Knopp is a Virginia Beach-based photographer covering the Hampton Roads community and beyond. Contact him at mknopp1(at)cox.net with any questions you might have or to book your session today.

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