I had the pleasure

of working with Hayden's older sister, Harper, last year. This time around, I asked mom to bring Hayden "as she is," as I do all children. Both girls are natural beauties.

I aim to capture the messy imperfect true beauty in people, especially children. The undone hair. The bumps and bruises. The blemishes temporary and eternal.

At its core, all photography is fantasy. It is our attempt to self-objectify and carefully curate our lives almost perfectly lived.

I spent many years editing out the imperfect. Anything that the ego does not wish to see. Scars. Flyaway hairs. Distractions. All my OCD dreams come true. I remember my husband asking me when I knew to stop editing. The answer was you could really go on forever, but that you just "know."

I know now that the details I thought used to detract from the story are now just as much a part of it. Just as our scars are an indelible part of us, stories and evidence we carry through life. It is freeing to let go of the outer idea of perfect, to see ourselves as we truly are, and to love ourselves as entire whole.