Jenni + Leah + Tami + Tracey // Renewal Session in the Blue Ridge Mountains

August 18, 2016

When Jenni emailed me about this idea she had I was excited and nervous. She wanted to gift a Renewal Session to a group of women who, in her eyes, deserved + needed it – “I want them to remember they are worthy,” she said. She said she wanted to take them on adventure, the kind that only Renewal could offer.

I was blown away by that idea.

Blown away doesn’t actually cover it. I mean, I was moved to tears during our FaceTime meeting. I could imagine this group of women, mothers, who had no idea what they were going to do but were willing to embrace the spirit of adventure and renewal. A judgement free space that encourages you to embrace WHO you are RIGHT NOW.

They showed up in their white dresses with home made flower crowns – flowers from Leah’s garden. Jenni wrote everyone a letter telling them that she loved them, why she wanted to gift them this session, and that they are worthy. The letters were all read aloud. We all cried, I think even Andrew did a little. When she handed me a letter, I started laughing and said, “HELL NO!” and handed it to Andrew. Let’s get real, I couldn’t have read that shit out loud without losing it. It was powerful, emotional, and hilarious. It’s one of my favorite moments in our career.

The letters explained a little bit about Renewal and why we were there. With the words being read these women said, “yes”. Yes to adventure. Yes to Mother Nature. Yes to rekindling their inner feminine fire. Yes to releasing judgement. Yes to sisterhood.

They laid in the ferns, did a mediation, and became attuned to Mother Earth. We tromped through the woods like wild people, hugged trees, appreciated moss, put hands on rocks, and leaned back, hearts laid bare, in a waterfall.

These are images from that day; I hope you enjoy them and I hope they touch your heart like they touch ours.

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  1. Hannah

    August 18th, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    These photos brought tears to my eyes! Thank you for doing the wonderful work you do and man, are those women inspiring!

  2. shorton

    August 23rd, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    Thank you, Hannah, for sharing your kind words. They are wildly inspiring, no? We had such an incredible time with them!

  3. Kathryn Ray

    August 18th, 2016 at 11:39 pm

    Shannon and Andrew,

    I took the time to really sit and look at each one of these images, to appreciate each one fully. I truly mean it when I say I really felt something deep, and powerful when looking at these photos of these women reconnecting with each other and mother nature, finding pure peace and joy in the moments in the ferns and the water. Keep doing this – It’s worthy and purposeful!

  4. shorton

    August 23rd, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    Thank you so much for spending some time pouring over the images in this post, Kathryn. With busy schedules and many distractions in life it means a lot that you’d take the time. I’m so glad these resonated with you! Thank you for the encouraging words; we agree, this is a worthy type of shoot! xoxo

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