Time to celebrate
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October 30, 2012
By Iman
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It's time. I've put this off for so long, for a million reasons. Honestly because the last thing I want to do after a long day of work is try to photograph myself.

It's been an insane year. It is difficult to write this and know it will be out in the world... I've tried to keep this secret, function and look normal for so long. Early this year I was diagnosed with Lyme disease. It's possible I've had it for decades. It certainly makes a lot of things make sense. But treatment is ROUGH and leveled me. (Probably because I pushed for big results too fast.) For the first few months just coming downstairs would leave me exhausted on the couch for two hours.

Somehow (by the grace of God) I created, managed and edited the first issue of Stark Beauty Magazine from bed. I'm not whining. Just explaining. My expensive treatment may or may not be covered by insurance which doesn't matter because we lost insurance anyways. Like I said, we've had a hell of a year.

Losing the ability to walk up or down stairs, pick up my son, run with him... that all took a great toll on my self-esteem. As I pushed for a magazine that would lift women up, I was the most needy. Working on it helped me cope with not being able to do photo shoots.

Little by little I've fought my way back to a new kind of normal. A normal where I am not able to To Do It All. Where I fail my friends countless times because I can't visit or go out. By 4pm I need to lie down. I've missed so many birthdays, dinner dates, parties. If someone is sick I have to forgo seeing them because getting sick would level me again for a month or more. Thank God for my husband, son, wonderful nanny, Nikki (who made every shoot possible) and the amaze-sauce friends who put together a care calendar and shared their strength with me. I love you all dearly.

That brings me to the idea of doing my own photo shoot. I certainly need to update the pictures since I don't look the same. But it's easy peasy to put my photos on the back burner.

Even though I've lost over 80 pounds. Even though I feel more comfortable in my skin at times than I've ever felt. Even though I preach night and day about the power of loving ourselves... I still have the same negative voices in my mind that you do. My stomach is too soft after weight gain/loss, pregnancy, child birth. My energy level is low. My hair is falling out from the meds.  I'm weak. My skin is breaking out like crazy. I'm still about 15-20 pounds away from my ideal. And LOTS of toning away from it as well.

But I'm going to shut those voices up! And I need your help. After planning shoots for others for so many years, I have trouble imagining my own photo shoot. I want to show off my hard work, the fact that I can walk around now, and show of my new smokin' bod. I want to feel strong and beautiful.

I need themes and ideas! Please help me celebrate.

Xoxo,

Iman

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15 Comments
Destiny - Nikki does a lot to promote your photography & I've loved every bit of it. My heart goes out to your bravery explaining your condition & will pray to the Goddess for your recovery.
Iman - Jude, I would so love that. Please and thank you. And back at ya, lovely!
Iman - AnneMarie you're inspiring me and making me blush all at once. Wouldn't it be incredible if beauty were defined by love of ourselves?
Iman - Kelly, thank you! If I stop and think about how far I've come, I feel better about not quite being at my goal. A snow shoot would be awesome! Timing it may be an issue... But you've got me thinking!
AnneMarie - Whatever shoot you choose, I hear that you want it to be a deliberate exercise of love for yourself. As you are. "Naked" - so, whatever that looks like to you will serve that purpose. Beautiful. The shoot would not be a celebration of looks, but a celebration of love. That is insane to the world. Looks are fleeting. Love is forever. So, regardless of what you choose - OF COURSE I WOULD CHAMPION YOU - IN EVERY WAY! ps - you are the most striking BOMBSHELL :-)
Marlo Schimpf - I think something along the lines of new an improved
Or larger that life.
Stepping through the wall of negative energy and stepping into the live and light that has gotten you to where you are now
You have been brave and a voice for so many
And all because you rose above the negative
I hope you continue to stay strong and focus on the light within..
Peace
Iman - AnneMarie, my darling... I do not have YOUR smokin' hot bod. That idea terrifies me. Even in the hands of a photographer who could photograph a plus-ish sized gal. But I guess if it terrifies me I might need to do it. Not sure those would go online! Will you come cheer me on??
Jude - Iman, you poor thing! My neighbor had Lymes for a few years and boy did she take a knocking! BUT she came out the other end stronger and happier than before. I can get details of the meds, docs etc that she was on if you want? It might help to talk to someone who has been through it all. Drop me a note if you are interested.

You ARE strong and beautiful, just BE it.
AnneMarie - I thought of that b'cause you are reconciling with you - not a persona. Thought minimal, b&w. tasteful. artful. you-ful.
Kelly - ooh, what a beautiful season for photography! why not a big burning stone fireplace, soft plush rugs, and a very beautiful you! If you're brave enough, the snow would be beautiful as well.

Congrats on the weight loss, it. takes great determination to lose that much.
Iman - Oh I adore that idea!!! I often call my office my Bat Cave and my Spyder Holster my Bat/Wonder tool belt. :) I'm actually glad you didn't notice! I came home from each of those shoots and crashed for a couple days.
Iman - Thank you, Destiny. I appreciate that.
iman - Marlo, that's poetry! Made me tear up to think of myself in an image like that.
Nina - This might just be my brain-on-Halloween responding here, but I think a Superwoman or Wonderwoman shoot would be awesome! I had no idea you were dealing with all of this, as you always seem so strong, confident and high-energy every time I've seen you, so I think you should do a shoot that lets you show off that strength:)
AnneMarie - Hi precious!
Would a nude shoot be inappropriate? You could cover your lovelies discreetly. Just a thought.