One of the first things that pulled me back into photography and was really the beginning of the end of my hiatus was the opportunity to do some product shooting for a friend of mine. She makes hats. Big beautiful derby style hats and she needed images for her etsy shop, Amy Jo Original Hats.
I’m not going to lie, that first session was a little stressful for me. I had never done that kind of work before and rarely did indoor shooting so I was worried that the lighting would be off or my white balance would skewer the colors.
But everything went fine. Better than fine actually. It reignited my love for photography and gave me the confidence boost needed to approach my work as an actual business and not just a cute little mom with a camera side hustle.
Since then we have done several more shoots. Her hats are always stunning and we genuinely have the most fun working together. We had such an amazing time collaborating with dress designers Camilyn Beth Studio and Bespoke Southerly.
A few weeks ago she texted me about a shoot but this time she was doing something just a little different. I am always up for a shoot with AJ’s gorgeous hats but this time she was going to be in front of my lens modeling her headwear and that made me so happy!
You see, I have daughters. Four to be exact and daily they are bombarded with society’s version of beauty and success and I want them to see women who exemplify beauty and success differently. I want them to see the women who work with willing hands, that make their arms strong and perceive the value of what they offer. The ones who start a business in their forties and clothe themselves with strength and dignity and laugh easily as they move into the season of life that the world by and large says we should fight against with all the diet and beauty aids at our disposal no matter the cost.
I’m really hard pressed to choose a hat from that day as a favorite because they are all so great and create such varied looks. Having just recently begun to eat it again after years of swearing off because of the texture I find myself having a bit of an obsession with all things watermelon this year so I do find myself rather partial to this cute little number though.
The thing I am learning by working with AJ is that hats really class up an ensemble or just add a fun touch to the casual outfit and that a little veil gives things an ultra feminine touch.
My grandmother used to love wearing hats every Easter. Great big floppy ones with brims so wide they could provide shade for half of the state. She would love these Amy Jo Originals!
Someone once said that saying you don’t look good in a hat is like saying you don’t look good in shoes so the next time you have the opportunity try a hat on. I bet you’ll like it!