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The Body Beautiful: Jade Beall

Background: Originally grew up in a coastal village in Mexico and currently resides in Tucson, Ariz. Gifted a Minolta camera for my 16th birthday from my mother, I've been crazy for making photographs, primarily of women, since.

Has your perspective and point of view changed since becoming a mom? And if so, how? My whole world broke open the day I gave birth to my son. I have never been so low and depressed and so utterly filled with the most unconditional love ever in my life. My son was a catalyst for my current passion: photographing mothers and celebrating them just the way they are right now!

What do you find most rewarding about motherhood? I am grateful every night my son goes to sleep (and man, do I love looking at him sleep after a day of much screaming), that I was able to give him another safe and nurturing environment to be himself and grow!

What do you find the most challenging or surprising? I am so surprised at how deeply I love my son. I once thought I knew what it meant to love someone, but I was wrong. I finally know what it means to LOVE someone, and love them absolutely unconditionally.

How do you store/organize/display/showcase your photographs? I made a book through crowd-funding called, "The Bodies Of Mothers" which is a part of my "A Beautiful Body Project" media platform and it is so beautiful! I also print big prints in my studio which everyone always stops to look at, even if they are just walking down the street. I also blog and share new photos I take of mothers and all women every week.

Any recommendations for moms trying to capture those beautiful moments? I call my style of photography "Therapeutic Photography" because it's more about showering the woman with love and praise than taking a specific photograph. Of course, lighting and composition are beyond important, but the woman feeling at ease and confident is the most important part of making a beautiful photograph of an often vulnerable situation and that takes compassion, good listening skills and trust building.

Any situation (good or bad) when you wish you had your camera? I wish I had had my camera when I gave birth! I have zero images from that and it would have been cool to do self-portraits!

What makes you feel beautiful as a mother? I feel beautiful when I fully love myself and feel filled with self-love and self appreciation. It is SO easy to feel unworthy, less than and like we need to be someone else in our culture in order to feel beautiful, inside and out.

What advice can you give other mothers who might not feel beautiful in their bodies? Begin a practice, right now, of self-love. If you don't believe you are beautiful, pretend that you do believe it, especially in front of your children! Remember that you are irreplaceable and not one other human exists like you on this planet! Remember that we do not need to compare ourselves to one another — we have all known joy and we have all known pain, and last, remember that the imagery we see of a single body type in media has most often been heavily photoshopped. Not even the models look like the models!

Where you can find Jade:

Website: Jade Beall

Personal Project: A Beautiful Body Project

Pinterest/Facebook/Twitter

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