I’ve recently started photographing the courageous women that signed up to be part of my new campaign called DISCOVER YOU. It’s a limited series that celebrates you, what has shaped you and who you are NOW.
It’s the most important work I have ever done if I’m honest.
I have to say, I was absolutely blown away by two things. The amount of women that opened up and applied to be part of the campaign and the depths they went to in the questionnaire.
To everyone that applied I am so grateful.
She is fierce and strong and full of fire
Lisa was the first woman I photographed for this series. She had a lot of stuff that she has worked through in her life, but it was her openness and enthusiasm that got me excited about her shoot. And then I got to know more of this strong and couragious woman on the day of her portrait session. She is quite SOMETHING!
I’ve been married for 28 years with 2 amazing children. Brought up by a strong independent single mum, which has made me a strong woman, to the world outside. I’ve suffered with anxiety and depression over recent years and now have alopecia areata, which I have tackled head on…
I’m the photographer when on holiday or days out, so there are very few of me. Next year, my husband and I will renew our vows, acknowledging the ups and downs we’ve been through as a couple. My weight has fluctuated, as has most ladies I’m sure. I lost 2 st a few years ago and felt amazing, but when anxiety and depression hit, I started to put it back on. So currently trying to lose it all again. I’m also the primary carer for my mother, who has a life limiting lung disease.
Few years ago I had a suspected heart attack at work and ended up in hospital, then 6 months off work. I’d had 2 years of absolute hell with a previous manager, which have contributed to the ‘attack’. At the start of 2019, I decided to finally start doing things for ME.
I do quite a bit of meditation. I take time to think about myself, even if it’s 3 – 5 minutes of the day. Just something to stop and listen to myself and to the world. When the first lockdown started, I used to go on walks around my estate and it was just so lovely to stand and listen to the birds and it was great to just do nothing and listen to nature.
And that’s how I try to live now…
To try to stop sometimes and think about what’s good for YOU.
Even if you just sit and enjoy a cup of tea, this is your moment. It’s hard because it feels a bit selfish, but you’ve got to be a bit selfish sometimes.
Otherwise your head just implodes.
What do you want most from life?
Just for my family and friends to be happy.
Every year I will be setting myself a challenge that is outside of my comfort zone.
I did a 25k walk in London for the Mind Charity and raised over a £1000 last September 2019.
I did a couple of virtual challenges during the 1st lockdown like walking 100 miles in a month. This was just something for me to keep me active.
I’m planning to climb mount Snowdon for Marie Curie in June this year.
What is your definition of beauty?
Natural, confident, comfortable in your skin and know who you are.
If any woman struggles to see her own beauty, I’d say: Just believe in yourself.
The portraits are important to remind me that I am beautiful, even on my down days.
What advice would you give to your 20 year old self?
If things don’t go to plan, just go with it. Things will happen at some point in your life.
Nothing went to plan in my 20s. It was supposed to be career first but instead, I got married and had my children, the career went on hold!. This came later in my life, during my 30’s. My kids are adults now and I’m glad I get to enjoy them I’m still young enough to do things with them.
What was your main goal of doing the session?
To do something for myself. To see myself at 50 (within a month of the shoot) and although I might be losing my hair, I can still be a feminine beautiful woman. I want to look at myself and feel proud of what I see. I want to feel sassy and confident …
I want to capture my inner strength. I want to see the confident woman people tell me I am. I have a fun and crazy side, it would be good to see some of that. I’m a determined person, once I commit to something.
Photo & Retouch Renata Clarke
Makeup & Hair Styling: Aleksandra Guz
Renata specialises in magazine style portrait and boudoir photography. Her main focus is to empower women through the tailored experience and beautiful fine art portraits that will last a lifetime. Get in touch to reserve your complimentary consultation and talk about your dream portraits.