When I opened the door to the studio at 4:45 am, I was greeted by a beautiful, smiling face, sitting before me. Having also just arrived, Sherhara was makeup free, but despite the early morning hours, already radiant. “Hi!” She said, with cheerful energy.
“Good morning.” I replied back. “It’s so nice to finally meet you!”
I’d been hearing about Sherhara for months after she showed up to support a friend during her boudoir session. I was out of town at the time at the time, but Laurie and Kelly raved all about her great energy. Still, I was a little nervous coming in to this shoot. I was meeting her for the first time while also venturing into new territory with an outdoor fine art nude photo shoot. Boudoir is already a vulnerable feat for many, and this was taking it two steps further-baring it all out in the open.
My concerns dissipated within minutes. Sherhara was the perfect person to collaborate on this experience. We wanted the shoot to be a celebration of the female form through tasteful, artful imagery. As a professional who specializes in coaching confidence, Sherhara really connected with the message.
While taking her picture, I felt a strong feminine energy radiate from her as she shifted gracefully through different movements. At one point, while the sun crested the horizon, Sherhara stretched her arms out toward the water in a maternal-like posture that touched me deeply, as my own son-to-be grew in my womb.
In our next series of images from the shoot, Sherhara answers questions about the experience, what inspired her to bare all, and more about her personal journey to loving herself.
Known as “Aunt Sandy” to many, A Silver Lining Foundation Founder Dr. Sandy Goldberg is dedicated to providing free mammograms to women who can’t afford them.
In 2000, Dr. Sandy was told she had breast cancer and would need surgery immediately. As a contributor on nutrition for NBC Chicago, she had the unique opportunity to share her experience with thousands of viewers in what became an intimate documentation of her 14-month journey treating and–ultimately– surviving breast cancer.
During that time, she received countless calls from strangers going through a similar experience, only without the financial means to receive the same level of care. Dr. Sandy became the point person to many, offering advice and a compassionate ear to those who couldn’t afford top-of-the-line care. After one day full of these calls, she returned home and burst into tears at the disparity between others’ treatment and her own. Her husband (a straight-talker!) said “what are you going to do about it?”
Her answer: “start a foundation.” And that’s how A Silver Lining Foundation (ASLF) was born.
Dr. Sandy’s mother was an immigrant to America from Russia and each month, when it came time to pay the bills, set aside a portion for others. She always heard her mom say in Yiddish, “we’re all family. We have to help each other through the tough times.” This way of thinking stuck with Dr. Sandy and eventually became the philosophy behind ASLF.
With Mother’s Day fast approaching, we are honored to feature Dr. Sandy as a Real Woman of Revealed. Like many of our own mothers, she’s an example of someone with a fountain of beauty streaming from her heart that nourishes those around her.
This Mother’s Day, we’re celebrating Dr. Sandy and A Silver Lining Foundation by partnering with The Hue Studio to raise money for ASLF’s Buy a Mom a Mammogram® Program. Revealed will be donating 25% of all proceeds from any Mother’s Day photo shoot to this important cause. We hope this gives you another reason to pamper your mother this year with a makeover and photoshoot. You can even jump in the pictures with your mom to capture the moment together. Know your gift will help a great cause, because like Dr. Sandy believes, we’re all family.
A Silver Lining Foundation Founder Dr. Sandy Goldberg feature is part of our on-going series, Real Women of Revealed -a collection of photos and stories of inspirational women we feel exemplify beauty beyond appearance. Click here to see more from this series.
I’m Maggie Rife Ponce, owner and photographer at Revealed Studios
I was first introduced to photography as a teenager in the age of film (before it was retro) and darkrooms. I spent countless hours in high school in my basement darkroom, transfixed by the images appearing like magic before me.
After highschool, I studied photojournalism at the University of Missouri then spent a short time after pursuring my “dream” of being a world traveling documentary photographer. This experienece helped me realize my heart bleed way too much for that line of work.
Finding myself back in Chicago in 2008, I began photographing weddings and eventually boudoir. I quickly fell head over heels. While it was a big departure from my “dream,” I couldn’t deny how right it felt.
When I’m not taking pictures, you can find me in the kitchen cooking, working on a handstand, swooning over nature, reading, or hosting a get together with friends.
A lot of people ask us, “do you ever photograph men?” While our main focus at Revealed Studios is making women feel beautiful, working with men is a fun change of pace. With women, we tend to use soft lighting that flatters the figure and smoothes the texture of the skin. With men, we embrace shadows, using them to create definition and add intensity. The technical elements may be different, but the mission remains the same: to leave our client with a boost of confidence.
Chris C. called us after seeing photos from a session we did with his classmate and fellow muay thai fighter, Ida Dolce. He wanted something similar, asking for images of his self-proclaimed “geeky” side, and ones with more intensity, showing some of the actual moves he uses in training. Chris was a great sport, taking direction well and even coating himself with coconut oil and a soaking of water for some “sweaty” inspired photos. So…yes. We like working with men too. After all, doesn’t the world need a little more “dude”-oir? 😉
This type of shoot is perfect for men out there who’ve undergone a recent body transformation, completed training for a race or event, or just want to feel like a GQ model for the day. For more information about our editorial portrait sessions, contact us at email@example.com or call 773-263-9073.
We’re thrilled to feature the lovely Alicia Roman, meteorologist for NBC Chicago today on our blog. Besides being gorgeous and talented, Alicia is kind, funny, and a giver. She doesn’t take life too seriously and manages to stay grounded in an industry where that can be tough to maintain.
What inspired you to pursue meteorology?
I’ve always been fascinated with weather. When I was little (4 years old) – my dad was working construction and depended on the weather to “cooperate” or his job would be canceled. I would wake up early in the morning with him at 5 am to watch the weather channel (which was in its infancy then).
Also, he loved watching thunderstorms on our front porch. We would watch together – he would explain things to me and then we would run inside, turn on the weather channel and watch the radar for our area. After that, I had a meteorologist come to my school when I was in fourth grade and I was sold by then!
You were on the host committee for Tickled Pink, can you tell us a little about the organization and why you choose to support the cause?
My mother is a two-time cancer survivor – breast and colon cancer. She is amazing, such a strong woman. I am so motivated by her strength and perseverance during that time. Its very important to me to help and be an advocate for these organizations such as Tickled Pink.
What’s a day off like for you?
Hah! Well now a days – my days off are consumed with wedding planning ( getting married at the end of the year). But really, other than that, I like to wake up, watch the news, do a little work on the internet (emails and such), go to the gym, then come home to make a wonderful dinner followed by either binge watching netflix or tv with my fiancé! That is a perfect day off for me!
What makes you feel confident?
Knowing myself and what I stand for and believe in. Over the years it has been very hard to find that confidence. For me, I think it came later in life. Once I was confident in myself – my confidence at work came next, then with friends and etc.
What makes you feel beautiful?
Knowing that I am loved and I am happy with myself and what I am doing in this life, makes me feel beautiful. I have a wonderful family, network of friends and an AMAZING fiancé, all of whom would do anything to help me & I to help them.
Who are some women who have inspired you throughout your life and why?
My mother of course for her courage and strength.
Work related: Ever since the Weather Channel first aired – I LOVED Vivian Brown, and still do. She is still working at the station today. She has such elegance and grace when she gives her forecast, I’ve always tried to model myself after her.
In an industry where there’s so much focus on appearance, how do you stay grounded?
For me, I grew up in a humble household. I was taught to be grateful for everything you have, even if that includes beauty.
I’ve never been really comfortable being in the spotlight, so I have no problems staying grounded in that way, however, I work in a business that allows me to teach people about weather and protect them in times when the weather can be dangerous.
Do you have any words of advice for younger women struggling with their confidence?
In this day in age with, social media, magazines, photoshop etc… it is extremely hard for us to focus on what really matters, which is looking inward and realizing that we are so much more than what we see in the mirror. Be yourself and be happy – that is the real beauty in life!
Meet the most recent addition to the team, Kelly Feldmiller, studio manager extraordinaire. Kelly joined the staff this past summer while Laurie was on maternity leave. A people person with an irresistibly positive attitude, Kelly fits right in! She’s organized and efficient, keeping things running smoothly behind the scenes. On top of that, with experience working in jewelry and clothing sales, and a background in Theater, she has a keen eye for styling and impeccable taste.
Outside of the studio, Kelly can be found walking her adorable dog Hektor in Andersonville, covered in flour after creating delectable pastries, dancing late night at Carols, or devouring a Dave Eggers novel, one of which inspired the tattoo, “YES” on her left wrist.
Nothing tickles us more than when clients turn into friends, which is exactly what happened with Zurina Ketola. She came through our doors two year ago when we were still in our early stages. During the “getting ready” process, we learned that Zurina was an incredibly talented jewelry designer. A few weeks after her session, we reached out to her, inviting her to collaborate with us on a stylized photo shoot. The only catch, the start time was 4 am! Zurina jumped at the opportunity, arriving bright eyed and bushy tailed, with a collection of unique, handmade pieces that accented our shooting style perfectly.
She’s been our go-to jewelry guru ever since. We have an amazing set of accessories on consignment for studio use, designed specifically with boudoir in mind. We love her work so much, we’re often can’t part from shoots without taking a pair of earrings or new necklace home with us.
Zurina has been creating chic handcrafted jewelry for over a decade. With a design philosophy rooted in quality and timeless versatility, her inspiration is often drawn from her interest in historical art and cultures, as well as global travel. Her jewelry designs can be found online at www.zurinaketoladesigns.etsy.com, or right here in Chicago at her fabulous new spot in the Andersonville Galleria. In her free time, you can find Zurina working on her tumbling and acrobatics skills training in the circus arts or singing and playing guitar.
Introducing the uber talented Makeup Artist Anjelica Bannos
Before Makeup Artist Anjelica Bannos began working with us, she got her start brightening up the tired morning anchors and weather people at NBC Chicago. Maggie’s husband Anthony was one of the lucky ones she touched up in the morning. He sang her praises for months, dropping hints that she’d be a great addition to the Revealed Studios team.
We’re so glad we took his advice! Anjelica has a down-to-earth nature and a knack for knowing just how to bring a client’s look to the next level. A genuine spirit, it’s not uncommon for clients to feel like they’ve known her for years by the time they leave her chair.
When she’s not busy doing makeup, she enjoys anything food related (did we mention her family is in the restaurant business? Be sure to visit the Purple Pig!), catching a live concert, seeing new places and returning to old. A couple of her favorites include sunsets in San Diego and the hustle and bustle of New York City. But nothing compares to the feeling of home in Chicago. She loves traveling near and far and cultivating creative spirit. See more of her work at her Chicago makeup artist website.