“I see memories from different times in my life that I think of when I look at those pictures. They are a reminder that I’m not just the mom and the wife, but somebody else that kind of got lost along the way.”

We did two different looks for Ariane—the first with broader lighting and lighter makeup. For the second look, we went for a dark, moody look. We chose heavier eye makeup and more dramatic lighting for those images.

Prior to the reveal, I told Ariane that some women cry. That morning, she told me she was in a great mood and wouldn’t cry. That changed when she saw her images. Like many women, she was surprised at how many sides of her I was able to capture. It reminded her of different versions of herself from different times in her life.

Ariane was particularly drawn to the darker, moodier images. They reminded her of who she used to be before she became a mom. She doesn’t show that side to many people and it was a part of her she thought she’d left behind. Seeing her images reminded her that person was still in there. It was the person who represented her true self, beyond the mom, and seeing that was an emotional experience.

Ariane hopes to show these pictures to her sons one day. She knows as young boys, they don’t get what the pictures are about but as adults some day, she hopes they’ll see her beyond her role as a mom.