you are beautiful...

I like to people-watch. It's just what I do. I can sit somewhere, serenely sip my coffee, and make up stories about the people that pass me by.  (sidenote: it helps to wear dark sunglasses while doing this, so you don't get caught staring...) I like to watch how people carry themselves; see how they interact with others; see if they seem comfortable in their skin. And most of all, I enjoy the moment when I discover what I refer to as their "hidden beauty."

Let's face it... we're not all supermodels. We come in all shapes & sizes, and most of them aren't a size 0 and don't include washboard abs. (sigh.) But everyone seems to have something about them that just makes them beautiful. And I'm not just talking about INNER beauty, here... but something that radiates to the exterior and can be witnessed and enjoyed. Sometimes it's a laugh that bubbles up to the surface. Sometimes it's the way that someone grooves (ever so slightly) to the music that plays while they're waiting in a long line at the store. Sometimes it's the funny face a stranger makes at a kid to interact with them, or the way a grown man's face lights up like a child's as they spot a puppy.

These are all just random faces in the crowd... little moments that would pass most people by, and yet they are ones that I feel privileged to witness. Because in that one little moment, there is such beauty that radiates from each person...  that I can SEE that person as their loved ones do. Not just a stranger made up of lines and shapes and colors, but a beautiful person looked upon with love.

Because, as I always say... it's real life; it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful.

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I participated in a photography workshop over the weekend (lots more images of this to come soon). The shoot was "Rockabilly Glamour" themed, with plenty of props, makeup & hair artists and... of course... models. We had 5 models for the day, and most of them actually were professional models.  Not only were they super-skinny, but they knew how to work the angles of their bodies to achieve their best looks.

But there was this other girl...  Shyan. A hair & makeup artist by trade, she had offered her services to us to actually be a model for the day since her look fit what we were after. But this was her first time modeling like this.

And let me tell you... of all the beautiful girls that were there to model for us that day... Shyan was by far my favorite to work with! Why? Because she was genuine. She had confidence and poise and knew how to rock her curves. She wasn't striking all these model-y "poses," but instead, once she was able to relax in front of the camera, her body began to relax and find its natural groove, and her own style and personality shone through.

And it was awesome!

Let me show you why...