NON-TRADITIONAL WEDDING AND ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER ✶ CO, IL, FL, INFINITY & BEYOND
HENNESSEY PHOTO CO
Here’s the deal. This is an extremely personal, and deeply important aspect of my brand, and the service I provide to my clients as a Denver Boudoir Photographer and Colorado Elopement and Wedding Photographer. Before I tell you how I apply the trauma-informed principals in my business, I’d love to tell you a bit about my background, and why this is so important to me.
TW: SUBSTANCE ABUSE, DISORDERED EATING, BODY IMAGE
In a short-hand version, I grew up in a home with a severely alcoholic father, and a domestically-violent household. My mom, baby sister, and I finally left him when I was 7, and then battled being a single-parent household; myself losing all sense of childhood while continuing to take care of my sibling and my mother (her then abusing alcohol as well in an effort to cope, while working midnight shifts to support us), and then grieving the loss of my dad from an alcohol-related death at 13. There’s so much more to my story than three sentences. But it resulted in life-long anxiety, depression, and a mental health stay my freshman year during a suicidal episode, and later in life, a continuous battle with disordered eating and body image, and you better believe, a whole hell of a lot of therapy. And it has been really hard to navigate my entire life. My instagram, prior to and now being moved to a business setting, has been filled with posts that talk about my mental health and food-relationship journey, and writing about it has always helped me process as these periods of overall grief appear for me (fun fact–before I was a property manager or VISUAL storyteller, my dream job has always been to be a fantasy author).
I’m unfortunately an over-sharer because of this, too. But this is both in an effort to help me work through how I’m feeling and feeling that I’ve built a container (of community) safe enough to share it with you, as well as emphasis on the container I’ve built being an inclusive community that fosters the ability for you to share, and be vulnerable with me, too. Because this is about YOU, not me.
This brief, vulnerable window into my life allows me to say firmly, I’m in the trenches with you. I also want to make very clear: I am not a therapist, I am not a mental-health professional, I am still healing myself, I cannot guarantee safety, and I am not qualified or attempting to help you navigate your mental health struggles or past life experience. However, as a service-provider that specifically photographs intimate moments between couples and individuals, and in the case of boudoir, especially vulnerable from a physical and emotional aspect, it has been important for me to ensure I am taking the proper level of care when working with each human that puts their trust in me. I do this by purposefully and actively using trauma-informed care practices as a Denver boudoir photographer and wedding photographer to avoid any instances of re-traumatization to the best of my ability, during the inquiry, booking, and service periods, from beginning to end.
At it’s basis, it’s an understanding that as a service-provider, a trauma-informed business owner has taken an active approach to implement the principals trauma-informed care, and is committed to using these principals to use a care approach that sees each individual as a whole, and aims to avoid re-traumatization for the individual. This also means that anyone can become trauma informed, and there isn’t a specific baseline for this outside of training to apply the principals to ensure a trauma-informed care approach. If you’re interested in learning more about taking a trauma-informed care approach in your business or in life, I highly recommend The Institute for Trauma and Phycological Safety as a great starting point. I’ve personally taken the Trauma Informed Entrepreneur Course and have taken coaching from Dr. Lee directly in order to put these principals into training and action.
So how do I implement these practices in my brand? The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration outlines six principals, and I’ll provide examples on how I am incorporating these practices into my business. However, keep in mind that this isn’t an all-encompassing or comprehensive list.
I’ve worked very hard to create a “container” space that is inviting to all humans, while acknowledging each person’s individualism and reality. As a Colorado Elopement Photographer and Denver Boudoir Photographer that focuses on offbeat and nerdy couples, a lot of my clientele initially feels “unheard” in many daily life situations. I see you, and you are wanted here.
COLORADO-BASED, DESTINATION ELOPEMENT AND WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER SPECIALIZING IN NON-TRADITIONAL, DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY FOR THE OFFBEAT AND NERDY COUPLE. BASES IN COLORADO, THE MIDWEST AND FLORIDA. AVAILABLE WORLDWIDE.
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