I’ve known Sarah for a few years now, and never realized that she is incredibly shy around the camera.
She gives the impression that nothing ever phases her, and has the ability to maintain a level head in some of the most frightening circumstances (…she used to work for me, trust me, frightening!) When she arrived with her sister Meg to be photographed for the project she seemed a little nervous and when the camera came out, she looked like she wanted to vanish- “form of: INVISIBLE!” but alas… this project is about being seen not about disappearing. Because part of the agreement is to have your photographs published on face book I’ve heard lots of feedback that Sarah’s photo’s were inspring for many women who saw them. I found her interview answers just as inspiring so I’ve pasted them below in addition to some of her photos ( for those who missed them.)
Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Ever since I was very young, I’ve had four goals: get married, have children, own a house and have my own business. At 34 I now have all of those things, but the last one, my interior and event design company and blog, Chateau & Bungalow, is still in its very early stages and I’m trying to figure out how to make it what I want it to be while working several other jobs, taking care of my two kids and getting the bills paid.
What is the biggest challenge that’s ever faced you as a woman?
I would probably have to say body image. I’ve never let anyone tell me that I couldn’t do something because I am a woman, but I’ve always struggled with being happy with the way I looked. In high school I remember thinking I was so fat even though I was a varsity athlete and was 30 lbs lighter than I am now. Now it’s my goal to look like that again!
Are you a mom?
Yes, I have an almost 5 year old son, Teddy and a 2 year old daughter, Carolina.
What are some of the issues that you think are important to explore as it relates to our gender?
I think most importantly, we need to look at how much woman really do in this day and age. It’s no joke that we should all be running around with super hero capes on. While there has been a shift over the past several decades of men becoming more involved in child rearing and even becoming stay at home dads, most of the women I know are doing all of the scheduling for their families, arranging for childcare, paying the bills, cleaning the house, grocery shopping and much more, all while working part or full time jobs and trying to squeeze in some quality time with their husbands, children and friends. It’s no wonder that we take care of ourselves last.
What’s your idea of a great “girls night?”
Hanging at someone’s house with a lot of wine, a lot of laughs, no place to go and no kids interrupting.
Is there anything in particular that made you feel like being part of the Revelation Project was a good idea right now?
I know I have the talent to do what I want to do, but after mostly being a stay at home mom for the past 2 years, I’ve really struggled with projecting the image I want when I rarely wear make-up, am living in the same pair of jeans each day, and am not really happy with the way I look.
About the shoot: What did you think about the approach of the upcoming photo shoot (before you got there) and what were the results you were expecting?
I always love the idea of having great photos taken, typically with my family, but in the end I’m not usually happy with the way I look in them (back to that body image issue). But, I really needed some new head shots for work so I was just hoping I’d get one decent shot and I’d be happy.
How did you feel during the shoot and was there anything in particular that made you feel more or less relaxed or open to the process?
I wasn’t really nervous during the shoot, but I hate posing for pictures so it took me a while to find my comfortable spot. It helped that I knew Monica so well and my sister was there so there were a lot of laughs. And by the time I left, I felt like I’d known Robyn forever even though we’d only met a handful of time. It was the closest thing I’d had to a girl’s night in a while.
Can you describe in three words the way you felt before we shot?
Anxious. Excited. Tense.
Three words for after ?
Anxious. Excited. Relaxed.
Three words for when you saw the results ?
Happy. Excited. Surprised.
After you left but before you saw the results – did you have any thoughts about the experience? What were some of the things you thought about on the drive home?
We had such a fun afternoon that the session itself had put me in a good mood. I felt good and confident that there were going to be some good pictures, but there was still that little voice in the back of my head warning me not to get over-confident.
When you saw the results can you tell me your first impression?
I was really excited because I finally had photos that projected the image I wanted for my business.
Can you talk about the feedback you received from those who saw your photographs?
I’ve had such an outpouring of compliments from people. It’s been overwhelming, but it feels great.
I realized I had crow’s feet! But there is a reason this is called The Revelation Project. I was thrilled that there were some great pictures, and it wasn’t that I was really upset that I had crow’s feet, but it was the first time that I really saw myself as an adult, which probably sounds crazy considering that I’m married, have two kids, and a lot of years of working behind me. It made me realize that I’m in the part of my life that I always looked forward to, and I need to start paying more attention to it and soak it all in before it passes me by.
Did you feel empowered? Why? Why not?
Yes, it made me feel like I now I had proof that I am a beautiful person with style and that I could now put these images out there for people to see the person behind my business. I think it’s hard to be in a business that’s about style if you don’t walk the part too.
Since the shoot happened more than four weeks (yikes) ago now can you talk about the lasting impact of the experience? Has it altered the way you view yourself or your surroundings?
Well, the revelations about the time of my life that I’m in certainly will have a lasting effect, and one that I’m so happy I realized now before it was too late. But in addition to that, I never liked being the center of attention. I wouldn’t say that I do now, but I’m not as nervous about it anymore. Two weeks after this shoot, I had the chance to go to NYC for a photo shoot with my kids for my job as a writer for TLC’s new parenting blog, Parentables. Normally, I would have been a nervous wreck, but because I knew that it was possible for great photos to be shot, it just seemed easy. I couldn’t believe how relaxed I was about it, even being on video. I think that it has given me a new confidence that will lead to great things.
Do you think this was an important/valuable experience for yourself? Why?
Most definitely! I think it should be something we all do once a year just like going to the doctor for a physical. No matter how confident or beautiful we feel or don’t feel, it’s always good to take a step back and really look at who we are and where we want to go next. I think it helps us move forward.
Do you think it’s relevant for other women? Why?
I think it’s invaluable to all women. When Monica first posted the images that she and Robyn shot of each other, I picked up the phone and called her and told her I thought they should be doing it for every girl out there. Young girls and women too are bombarded with images of impossibly thin models and movie stars who endure hours of hair and make-up before they are photographed that it is crazy that we expect them to have a healthy body image. I’m sure that’s part of the reason that I never did. For years, I’ve thought that girls should have a chance to do a photo shoot like the models in magazines so that they could have beautiful pictures of themselves too. This is a much more affordable way to achieve that, and it’s better because Monica and Robyn make sure that the results really look like the person and show people’s beautiful personalities too.
How would you use the photos moving forward? Professionally? Personally? As gifts?
I will definitely be using them professionally, and my husband, who didn’t really understand the whole idea when I first explained it to him, now wants to have a bunch of them printed and framed for around the house too.
What is your favorite song and why?
That’s a really hard question! There are so many. I guess I would say the one that makes me happy every time I hear it is “Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison. It brings back all the happy memories of the summers I spent growing up in Newport (because it was on every mix tape we ever made in the 90s!) and it was the song my husband and I danced to at our wedding.
If you could sum up the experience what would you say?