The Real Women Project… Sarah’s story

November 20, 2013 | personal

“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” ~ Marilyn Monroe

Real Women is our project…A project about love… love through friendship and learning to love yourself.

We asked Sarah for some words for this post….what she wrote from the heart brought hot wet tears and she yet again…just blew me away


“I will not go into detail here, my heart was broken. A blackness that I had never felt before descended upon me and decided he was quite at home, blackness moved in and my broken heart welcomed him with open arms…meanwhile my head decided to skip town for a while..

 I felt totally alone and filled with self doubt, how had I managed to f**k up another relationship? Why was I so hideously un loveable…and in the pit of my despair {really it was not pretty} through tears and sobs a question I think not many women ask themselves came to me

“what do you want?!”

And I knew then that I wanted to feel comfortable with me,

who I am…

I can be loving and gentle.. sweet even…but I am also hard, unforgiving and insecure..

I have had amazing experiences photographing women..I love it so much! They come to me and reel off their bad points..what they hate about themselves {this seems to be acceptable to think this way about ourselves I think} while I am too busy looking at their amazing smile..beautiful eyes..gorgeous hair, I don’t see what they see and I always say to them now let me show you what I see!

And so with this, my beautiful friends and Photographers Claire Penn and Andrea Ellison…and my angel the amazingly talented Mandy Rigby Makeup artist stepped in….let us show you what we see they said…

I saw a massive failure, I saw crooked teeth, lines on my forehead and a sure sign my 40’s were approaching faster than I had planned {surely by now I would have my issues worked out…it would seem not} That despite the broken heart diet…highly affective but not recommended…I had lost 9lbs and was just 7 stone 10lbs…I still had belly rolls when I sat down…we all have them!!

We decided to show both sides to “Sarah” the soft sweet side, shot by Claire and you can see that here  (Sweet & Pure ) …maybe that was the side the men in my life had fallen in love with.Then hard broken side shot by Andrea…the side that maybe they could not handle…

and with this in mind I decided I no longer wanted to be edited, not in life and not these images..I have rolls, I have crooked teeth..I smoke and swear…but I also love completely, I give over everything I have and who I am..I want to give love and to be loved.

This experience gave me strength, this is me …Sarah…in my old undies…and you know what… she isn’t that bad.

I cannot thank Claire, Andrea and Mandy enough, love comes in many ways..I am lucky and blessed to have so much around me from friends and family to my amazing job…now I see what they see its helped the blackness disperse..I just needed showing”





you can see  Sarah’s own incredible Real Women “Red Shoe” shoots right here on her blog

all of it featuring the incredible makeover work of Mandy Rigby 


  1. Pat Kelman

    This work is absolutely magnificent. This shows the power that comes from being open, being vulnerable, to feeling into the pain rather than trying to block it out.

    Thank you so much for sharing this, and for the courage and integrity that lies within every single frame.

  2. Lucy W

    SO BEAUTIFUL! oh my…. stunning photography and beautiful model. She’s all the more beautiful for the things she sees as ‘imperfections’… they aren’t. This is what ‘boudoir’ should be.. about confidence and real sexiness… not about airbrushing, black lace and grandeur. I LOVE it… well done girls. Awesome collaboration x

  3. Amanda Hayler

    Wow! These are absolutely stunning…beautiful lady and beautiful natural images

  4. Sarah

    Wellllll if that heartbreaker could see these pics I am sure as hell they’d be kicking themselves!! just beautiful x

  5. Jay Mountford

    HOLY SWEET BABY JESUS. I just…I don’t even…

    Woah. Like, …WOAH.

  6. Jane P

    Wow what a complete contrast to Claire’s. I love these. You is hawt Sarah 😉

  7. Sue Daly

    Wow! These are stunning. I love them all xx

  8. tia pinnington

    she is gorgeous, and beautiful work ! its amazing and she is amazing ! xxxx

  9. Karen Hall

    Just gorgeous. Love your hair and make up and what a fun shoot. Come back to Cyprus Sarah!! K x

  10. Cathanne

    Amaze balls and inspirational as always xxxx

  11. Sue

    Sexy as hell!! So very sensual Sarah….excellent photos! xo

  12. Kay Maguire

    Where do I start – Sarah you look so sexy, wow wow wow! As you for Ms Ellison, out of this world!! xx

  13. Tracy Morter


    I love the editing too, fantastic.

  14. Paul Marbrook

    Absolutely incredible images. So so good.

  15. Catherine Kerr

    Oh my..that Sarah is sizzling HOT, hot, hot!
    Beautiful charismatic photographs.



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