Smitten Magazine is geared toward the young, vibrant bride with fresh ideas and the courage to be different on her wedding day. It is a gorgeous publication and I’ve been seeing it everywhere! I was so excited when Chancey Charm‘s local Charleston event designer/planner Samantha Wiley approached me with a concept for a shoot for this exciting magazine a few months back, and I simply couldn’t refuse when I heard what she had planned. I mean, it was perfect. Flawless even…until we hit a little snag. Our model cancelled on semi-short notice and put everyone in a frenzy, but the sweetest, prettiest girl (who coincidentally photographed my sister’s wedding) said she’d be happy to travel from out of state to model for us. We hit the jackpot! Then another little snag. Ashley (the gorgeous girl in the feature) mentioned that she had psoriasis and asked if we wanted to reconsider using her because of it. “You can always photoshop it out, but I thought you should know.” My heart broke a little for her right then and there, but I knew I had to tell Samantha to get approval. Samantha surprised me in the best way by saying “actually, I think we should definitely still use her and leave the psoriasis if she’s ok with it.” The thought behind that was to show people how beautiful they could be and feel on their wedding day just as they are.
That concept was so refreshing, I almost cried thinking about it. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve listened to stunningly beautiful brides worry about their arms, back fat, or even simply a blemish and ask me to photoshop it out of every photo in their wedding. I understand. I have body insecurities for sure. But when people ask me to fix them in photoshop, I reply with a simple “you are not broken”. You, brides-to-be who are reading this, are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are beautiful and desirable. Flawless even. Just. As. You. Are.
It is an honor to be the photographer to show off the stunning Ashley Friend. Thank you, Samantha, for trusting me with this. And a huge thank you to Smitten Magazine for being cool enough to publish our un-retouched images!