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Kelsey's Empowerment Session at Conestoga House & Gardens in Lancaster, PA

This session is so special and I still pinch myself that I got to be a part of it.

Kelsey contacted me back in July with the idea of getting some photos of herself. Kelsey has muscular dystrophy and recently began using a cane to help her mobility. She has also been through numerous challenges in her life that have shaped the person she is today (I'll let her elaborate on those if she chooses). She said, "I value representation in society and I'm also pretty open about my journey. I've been thinking about doing a session of just me and representing just where I am in life. Why not stand and say, this is something to capture in a beautiful way?!"

Wow. That statement is exactly what I hope to do with my photography. I want to give people the chance to freeze time and appreciate just who and what they are right now. So often as adults, we find ourselves embarrassed of how we look or say harsh words to ourselves - I'm definitely guilty of this. I think it's important to sometimes look back at the bigger picture and see the obstacles that we've overcome and how great we really are right now.

We planned in secret so that Kelsey could surprise her friends and family with the final images. We initially planned for a casual session beside the water but then Kelsey decided to really go for it. She bought a beautiful dress at a local second hand shop, splurged on the sparkle cane, and decided to go to Conestoga House & Gardens. If you've never been there before, you have to check it out! This location is like a hidden gem in Lancaster and it's beautiful pretty much year round, they even host weddings and parties there.

This session was such a breath of fresh air. This reignites my passion for photography. And honestly, I hope that more of us can be like Kelsey. Let's be proud of who we are and all of our accomplishments and celebrate our lives, no matter what our weight is or social status or whatever holds you back! Let's just show up and say, this is me.

Tasha Skye Creative is a family and lifestyle photographer and graphic designer based in Lancaster County, PA. We welcome all bright, bold, and authentic people.

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