SACRIFICE by Elsie Barnes

Aryana and I met when both of our husbands were stationed in Alabama circa 2012 at a baby shower for a fellow soldier. We hit it off so well, that I became not only her photographer, but her mother’s and her sisters’. I have seen her body do some pretty amazing things throughout this time. When she became pregnant with twins, we ran out to the lake on post to capture her maternity session. As soon as they were born, we captured her beautiful babies. And shortly after that, we experimented with a boudoir session. So when I tell you she and I have done it all together, it may be an understatement.

Sweat at the Cove

She texted me early on a Saturday inviting me to join her for “leg day.” (Lets all laugh at this one!) Who jumps out of a perfectly good airplane? Crazy people. Who does leg day on their one day off? Crazy people. I am not one of those people. But when she asked if I could photograph her workout, welp, that’s definitely my type of crazy. So off to Sweat at Cove we went, camera in tow.

Watching her work was nothing short of inspirational. The grit, the strength, the sweat, it all showed that she was not just working out, but that she had something to prove. Later that evening, when I delivered her proof gallery, she wrote something that has awakened the fierce woman in me in reference to the image below. And since, I could never say what she can, I’ll let you read it for yourself.

Fort Hood Post Partum

“I get pretty emotional about this picture. This image doesn’t make me feel shame or embarrassment. I don’t feel the need to hide this from the world. This image make me incredibly proud. I’ve always felt that my fitness journey has been purely selfish. This is for ME and to make ME feel better about myself. This is for me to keep MY mental health in check. I’ve always thought of my gym time as my escape for a few hours out of the day. I saw this photo and it really put everything into perspective for me. Living a long and healthy life for my kids is what is most important for me. Being an example for my kids is important. Making sure my girls see that it’s ok to be more than what society dictates that they are “supposed” be to be is important to me. This body brought three amazing little lives into the world and I want to be around long enough to see what they are able to make of it. Embrace your scars and your stretch marks. You’ve given the world your little miracles. Be proud of what they’ve given you in return.” - Aryana Jordan

So whether you’re a mother or a father, just starting your fitness journey, or are in your prime, I want to capture this for you. I want you to look back and realize that you have always been a badass, but now you have photographic proof. Let’s capture your journey so your grandkids can remember you in your glory and not covered in a snap chat filter.