I had the photo session scheduled for about a month and I kept telling myself I would just wear a hat or wear my wig over my hair. I wasn't happy with how my hair looked under a hat anymore. I also wasn't happy with how my wig looked. It was so much hair and I wasn't used to it. I needed to cut a side bang into it and also thin and face frame the front. Before the session I would for sure cut the wig.
The night before the photo shoot I decided to shave my head. It was the right choice. Not only was I ready for it emotionally I was happy that I could capture some "wig off" photos. I knew in my heart how powerful those pictures would be. I didnt know if I would be able to bring myself to look at the pictures for days or weeks.. but I wanted them. I wanted them for my girls. I feel like they will cherish them in the future.
That morning I put my wig on Ryan and cut it. It was super funny! He looked awful with long hair. He is always such a good sport though. I put it on myself and did a little more cutting and styled it. I actually liked it when it was staying exactly in place. I bobby pinned it and headed in to my non stress test. All the nurses liked it and it made me feel really good. After my test I went to my salon to get my makeup done. Tamika did a beautiful job on my make up. It was the first public place I felt comfortable enough taking my wig off. All the girls there are like family and I knew I wasn't being judged. Before I left to drive home I put it back on.
On the way to the shoot I started getting nervous and I had terrible heartburn. I was afraid of how remote the location would be and if there would be a lot of people looking at me. I was also nervous that the synthetic wig wouldn't picture well. I noticed that it was very shiny in the sun.. unnaturally shiny. We were late due to traffic but I was excited to see a big field and no one around. We walked on this trail and started shooting. I can honestly say that the wig on pictures were more uncomfortable than the wig off pictures. The wig hair didn't want to stay in place and didn't swoop or move like my hair used to. Olivia was being a typical toddler and wanted nothing to do with the special positions or poses. We tried to feed her but all she wanted to do was run in the field.
We went up the road a little to another field to get the wig off pictures. It was so nice to take it off. I had it on all day and it was starting to feel tight. It felt like a head band that had been on too long. Kathleen worked her magic and captured every emotion we were feeling. A few times walking on the trail I started to get a little emotional. Sometimes the weight of my situation likes to creep up on me. I felt very comfortable and natural with Kathleen taking the pictures. It was very peaceful. We all laughed a lot and had a fun time with it.
When we were walking back to our cars I was telling Kathleen how thankful I was and I had already slipped her money into her prop box. We were about to say goodbye and she found the money.. She insisted that this was a gift for me and that this was something she wanted to do for me and my family. It was hard for me to not pay her because she is so talented and she took the time to take the photos. I put my wig back on in the car and we went to dinner.
After dinner it was dark and I was comfortable taking my wig off. It was a relief. Kathleen had already come up with a sneak peek and I was SUPER excited!! I was nervous I wasn't going to like the way I looked. I knew the pictures themselves would be breathtaking but its hard to not be insecure with a new hair do and a wig I never wore up until that day. I looked at the pictures and my eyes filled with tears. I LOVED them. They were beyond powerful. More powerful and emotional than I ever could have imagined. Here are some of the pictures..
These pictures will forever be in my family. The are absolutely breath taking and I cannot wait to get the rest of them. I am looking forward to sitting with my girls when they are older and looking at them. I need to come up with a creative way to display them in my house. Its very hard to pick favorites but as my friends and family know.. I have a TON of wall space.
Thank you Kathleen Galloway for the PRICELESS (literally) pictures. Your talent is absolutely unbelievable. You are such a sweet and generous person for doing this for my family. Your photos will be a forever treasure in our home. Last but not least.. thank you for giving me the confidence I needed to accept my new haircut. Since the photo session I have gone everywhere I needed to go without my wig and I feel confident and strong!