How I Became Haulted by Beauty

One of the many struggles of being a photographer is approaching people. For me it becomes nerve-wrecking because it’s almost like asking someone on a date. What do you say? What if they say no? Will they think I’m a creep? However my husband made a good point and said if you don’t ask and you don’t try, you’ll never know. Which is how I met an amazing young woman named Nicole Rjeili.

Nicole Rjeili is a Yoga Instructor who was born with a skin deficiency that caused her to have a permanent scar on her face. Normally for many young women, having anything on your skin that is “different” (whatever that means) can bring down self esteem. I see it all the time with cosmetic commercials, beauty products and acne brands. However when I first met Nicole, she just exuded happiness, confidence and beauty:

When I asked her about her scar and if she ever felt insecure about her appearance, her response was sublime:

“Many of my friends tell me that I look more beautiful with it. And in a way it helps me weed out people who just stare at me and think that I’m not beautiful verses people who are genuine and see me for myself. I’m proud of who I am.”

To Nicole, I salute you! Thank you for such an amazing shoot and an amazing experience. If there is anything that you can take from this – it’s to shine on and embrace your differences. At least that is what I learned.

Til next time,

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