The real women project... Sarah's story

“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

A project about love... love through friendship and learning to love yourself. We asked Sarah for some words and what she wrote... so raw, honest and from the heart made us all cry.  It was such a wonderful day spent with the best women, knowing what it meant to Sarah and seeing her confidence grow as the day went on and she saw some of the shots.  Magic.  Love you girls.


“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 unloveable… 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've 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 {it seems to be acceptable to think this way about ourselves} while I am 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 Make-up Artist stepped in… "Let us show you what we see" they said…

I saw a massive failure, I saw crooked teeth and lines on my forehead - 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… maybe that was the side the men in my life had fallen in love with.  Then the hard, broken side shot by Andrea (HERE)... the side that maybe they couldn't 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.

It's helped the blackness disperse... I just needed showing”

Love Sarah xxx


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