a woman is most beautiful when she is vulnerable

This blog starts with two disclaimers.

(a) This is a double blog post (so it’s quite long). Part 1 is what I learnt from this shoot. Part 2 is a love story.

(b) The images are in ‘reverse’ order. Usually when I post a photographic love story, the images at the beginning of the story go first. In this story … it’s in reverse. The images at the ‘end’ of the story are posted first. It’ll make more sense when I actually tell the story – I promise!

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Part 1: A woman is most beautiful and powerful when she is vulnerable.

Is this true? I’m not 100% sure to be honest. But I’ve been pondering on for some time.

Let me explain where this came from …
A couple of years ago, I was going through a highly stressful time when the recession hit the UK. My role at the time was GM and no matter how hard I worked and tried, I couldn’t turn the company around. I was at breaking point. I was working with my good friend Ryan at the time and I remember calling him at 10pm on a Friday. He was still in the office and I was still working at home.

It was an ‘S.O.S.’ call. I was on the edge of breaking. He came over, we went for a long walk and we ended up at a pub in Fulham. I remember sitting in the pub on the verge of tears. I felt embarrassed and I hated being vulnerable and weak (seriously hated it).

And that’s when he hold me ‘a woman is most beautiful and powerful when she’s vulnerable’ …(and no he wasn’t trying to hit on me). I remember at the time thinking that a) he was a bit weird b) he was just saying it to be nice and c) this concept is so bizarre I better remember it … because, what if it’s true?

I’m starting to see thing differently
Well … I can honestly say 2 years later, I finally get what he means. It took Mina and Thai’s shoot (and Mina specifically) for me to see the beautiful feminine glow or aura a woman projects when she looks and feels vulnerable. It’s exquisitely beautiful and totally alluring.

I look at the images and I don’t even know why she’s upset. As a woman she is strong willed and patient. And I just know it’s taken her a lot to get to the point of … breaking down. She’s not angry. But she does feel helpless in this moment. And what I have perceived in the past to be weak and embarrassing … today I believe it to be sensitive, beautiful and captivating.

Beauty comes from being authentic
I’ve really come 360 on this and really wanted to share that with you because as women, we often think (or maybe I think) we need to always be happy and smiley and confident to be beautiful. And yet beauty comes from being authentic and sometimes that means showing how you really feel. Even if it means feeling weak and vulnerable.

Thanks Ryan for trying to teach me something I wasn’t yet able to see … and thanks Mina for coming along and taking me by surprise!

ps. My fav photo is the first one you see of Mina – I really love it!

pps. We were showing Mina and Thai these sad photos on the shoot and I think they were both surprised we were able to capture these emotions. Thai loved seeing Mina in this sensitive way and I think Mina saw another side to her beauty – it was really special and I hope you like it

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Part 2: The love story …

(note: you will definitely need to read this story to make sense of the images)

Why is the photographic story in reverse?
Because I believe stories are meant to be retold and relived. What do I mean by this? I wanted you as the viewer to go ‘back in time’ with the couple. On a journey to rediscover and be reminded of why they fell in love with each other in the first place.

The sequence of the images start at ‘now’ … Mina and Thai come across ‘older’ and mature. She’s clearly not happy (we don’t know why). He’s trying to be there for her. There is a sensitivity and vulnerability in the images. It’s clear the honey moon period is over and life has gotten in the way.

When life gets hard it’s really easy to forget the good times. When you scroll down into the ‘past’… you are reminded of what once was. There is a sudden shift in energy (or memory). The black and white images start of sensitive and serious and then it switches to this really playful quirky side of them both on stage. It’s how they once were.

When you scroll down even further and reach the poppy fields … it feels like this is how they were when they first fell in love. Fun, playful and full of laughter. Without any fears or cares in the world!

And it’s a strange feeling because when you look back into the past and see their progression, what once was and now is, you get to see what they’ve been through and somehow you just know they’re going to be ok. No matter what challenges life throws at them.

I know it’s quite a strange way to tell a story. Especially for an engagement shoot. But I see lots of beauty in this story.

The narrative runs parallel to why I do engagement shoots (I’m not even sure that sentence makes sense). But I believe capturing the engagement phase of the relationship is just SO valuable because when times get tough, it’s nice to be reminded of how you were when you were ‘fresh’ in love. To be reminded of who you were back then and why you married this person in the first place. If you don’t capture it, can be too easily forgotten.

I hope you enjoy this reversed loved story. XXXX

ps. If you missed out on seeing Mina & Thai’s other shoot titled ‘vintage coastal love’ you can check it out here >>

Please read Part 2 (above) before scrolling through the images – it will make much more sense : )

Photographer: Darren Wong
Art Director: Thasoksi
Location: Kent

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Comments
8 Responses to “a woman is most beautiful when she is vulnerable”
  1. kemi says:

    that’s beautiful. i love the last images especially of how they were before life got in the way…. beautiful memories to capture.

  2. Ryan says:

    I love this post Thaoski. Your beauty and vulnerability shown through powerfully.

    Much love x

  3. Marianne says:

    Dear Thao

    I love this post, your writing and the beautiful shots really resonate with me. Completely agree that we are most beautiful when we’re authentic. And that goes for men too 😉
    Love and hugs
    M xxx

  4. Xanthe says:

    First time commenter, love your blog. This story is so touching, embracing our vulnerability is a step closer to acknowledging who we are. Powerful images, (love that poppyfield) x.

    • thaoski says:

      Awww first time commenter – thank you Xanthe for taking the time to comment and yes … vulnerability is something worth embracing!! X

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  1. […] In the above picture Mina is actually wearing tights and leather boots underneath her dress to protect her as she’s walking through the poppy fields. Although you can’t see the boots in makes a big difference! To see more of this shoot, click here. […]



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