The idea of stepping in front of a camera for a personal portrait session can be intimidating.  It can also be uplifting and empowering. Then seeing your printed images can be an awe-inspiring moment that you would never be prepared for.

After DeAdrell’s portrait session, then seeing her printed images, which is something seeing them on a computer screen can never replicate, she wrote about her experience for me to share with you.

All of her images are below.

I’d like to share how I know that 2018 has now been dubbed 20greateen for me. And it has come from the portrait session that I had with Ben Marcum.

About a year ago I needed new headshots and in my search for the perfect photographer, I stumbled upon Ben. I studied his site, legit looked at every image and read everything he’d written from his bio to the instructions on how to prepare for the shoot and I knew I wanted to get work him and Pam with The Beauty Patrol & it was such a lovely experience. Not only that, with those bomb headshots, I was able to get signed with the agency that I had been eyeing, which led to all types of work that I am proud to have done.

Fast forwarding to a few weeks ago, Ben made a post on Facebook looking for a few people to do a portrait session as he is expanding his business and I made sure to put my bid in because any reason to work with Ben again is good enough reason for me! Clearly, everyone else felt as enthusiastic as I did, because hundreds of people responded to his post! Somehow a couple of weeks later I received a call from Ben asking if I would be willing to take part in a portrait shoot and I’m sure you can guess that my answer with no hesitation, was HECK. YES.

In preparation for the shoot, I shopped for pieces that I loved and studied poses of professionals. I showed up on my shoot day with loads of clothes, a duffel bag full of shoes and my mother in tow. Ben graciously allowed me to share this day with my mother, which literally, was so special to me. As an actor, I’ve never been able to include my mama in some of the great experiences I’ve had on sets or photo shoots and I’ve always wanted to. Ben and Pam welcomed my mother with their warm energy and made both of us feel more than comfortable. I’m so grateful to have this memory with her, its something I’ll hold dear, always.

After having Pam work her magic on my face, I stepped in front the camera, a bit nervous but trusting and the time just slipped away. I changed into several different outfits, Pam upped the ante with my make up with every look and Ben gave his warm infectious energy from the start of the shoot to the very last shot a few hours later. The shoot in its entirety was really freeing for me. I had a ball!

A few weeks later I received the email from Ben asking if I wanted to see my pictures. The day of the reveal arrived and I could barely contain my excitement!! I showed up to the studio and all of the pictures were hidden behind a blackboard. I wanted to jump up and down, but I kept my composure…until Ben moved the board.

As soon as I saw all of the images of me, I was speechless. Completely speechless. I could manage a few “oh my goodnesses” but not much else before I started to cry. I was overwhelmed with seeing the girl I thought I had lost in the last year. And here she sat, staring back at me in 27 images all over Ben’s studio wall. I stood in awe for so long, stunned. It had been a rough couple of months from being stressed at a job I didn’t enjoy, losing my best friend and baby, my black cat Lincoln, struggling to accept the cancer diagnosis of my father and feeling like life took the wind out of my sail, I could’ve never imagined that this portrait session could re-ignite the fire within me. I felt like I saw myself again. Like, I looked at the girl that was looking back at me on that wall and I KNEW I had more within myself and that I may have felt down, but I was not out!

I felt beautiful, powerful and more than anything grateful! Grateful to Ben for giving me something that I didn’t even know I needed. It’s such a gift. I literally was mesmerized and stood in his studio looking (and also crying lol) at these pictures for at least 2 hours, I won’t lie. I just couldn’t believe that Ben captured me…I CAN because the man is an absolute beast with the camera but he captured something deeper than just me. He captured the essence of my energy, the burning passion that lies behind my eyes to be great, to persevere and there aren’t enough words to thank him and Pam for what they’ve given me.

THIS is why 2018 is 20greateen for me. I looked in the eyes of that girl on Ben’s studio wall and I have my fire back, I’m inspired and even more confident. My gift will make room for me and I’m so ready to go to new heights, challenge myself and share my art with the world. I thank you, Ben and Pam, for your talent, skill and time, you all are truly amazing.