Recently I was getting photos taken so I would have an official author photo to submit to my book team. My dad was my photographer of choice. Photography has always been one of his great hobbies and he took classes in the field when he was younger. He’s just as good as or better (I’m biased) than a professional. I had my heart set on a indoor photo and envisioned all of the props I would have in place – a chair, print in the background, etc. I was sadly mistaken as those selects didn’t turn out as imagined. My vision was clearly off. Natural light was what we needed and as soon as we were shooting outside, we – my Mom, Dad and me – all loved the results. Throughout the shoot I was primping my hair and trying different poses focused on how my arm should lay on my body. A stream of consciousness went through my head: “Maybe I should bend my arm so it looks thinner,” “I’ll turn my head to the right so the blemish on my chin won’t be visible. How do I even have a blemish at this age?” “On no, the wind is blowing and my hair is getting messed up.”

After reviewing all of the contenders, I knew right away which photo was the winner of the bunch. I was drawn to one particular photo and didn’t see any flaws off the bat. Looking closer I noticed the creases around my eyes when I smiled. I thought about who I could contact to photoshop the image and then I looked at it again. After further contemplation, I’m pleased that I smile and laugh so often and that I’m truly happy in life right now. I’m human and of course it will cause the area around my eyes to wrinkle when I smile. Whose wouldn’t? I make it a point to feel good inside and out. There are many ways I do this on a regular basis – I have my daytime and nighttime skincare rituals from working in the beauty industry for over fifteen years. I love primping with makeup and hair care. I curated a new wardrobe for myself over the past six months. Each and every outfit I put together from head to toe makes me excited for the day ahead. And laughter – I have to say laughter is the best medicine.

I decided not to airbrush my author photo which will be printed in books internationally. I like my face just the way it is. I don’t want to erase years of my treasured moments.