This North Wales Woman’s Empowerment Photo Session with Niki inspires every woman to continue out of the shadows and into the light.

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A moment of introspection as one small light shines down. The vulnerability in nakedness.

From an early age Niki experienced body shaming. 

She came by it honestly. The projections of those around her, that felt most insecure about themselves, were rested on her shoulders. The crushing weight of body image is a burden no five year-old should have to bear. She carried that yoke into her adulthood and it grew with her.  

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Confronting the light.

Yet, there was also a light in the darkness in the form of aunt Tammy.  Niki idolized this force for good in her life. Not because she was a blonde bombshell who looked like she walked out of an 80’s music video (though she did), but because Tammy loved her inside out and for who she was. Some of Niki’s best memories as a child were of Tammy (who called her Cha Cha) preparing to go out for a night on the town. She would call out, “Cha Cha, come pick out some colors with me.”.  Niki was enchanted by the endless pallets of color. There were shadows and blushes, lipsticks and mascara. She says she can still smell the Maybelline lipsticks. In that space of safety and unconditional love, she was accepted and adored for who she was.

Now, Niki is a thriving hair and makeup artist whose work centers around the heart and soul of every woman that sits in her chair.  

She takes the essence of everything she lived and learned from Tammy and carries it forward. Of her clients she says, “I want them to be seen, validated and loved just as they are.”  She prefers to work from the inside out, loving each person who finds themselves in her presence. She chooses to accentuate beauty that already exists rather than cover up self-perceived flaws.  “Makeup is about pride[…], but it doesn’t define who you are.”, she says.

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Gratitude in the light. Basking in the glow.

“Makeup is about pride[…], but it doesn’t define who you are.”

– Niki Brennan
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Finding direction. Seeing hope.

Of her clients Niki says, “I want them to be seen, validated and loved just as they are.” 

Niki herself continues to journey the long road of self-acceptance, love and self-compassion. She says that sharing her journey with others isn’t brave, it’s necessary. There is a sense of urgency to relieve the burden of the inner critic.  This is a voice loud and unrelenting. A voice based on the stories we told ourselves, mostly based on the stories others told themselves. Often, the others that love us most and that we love most.  Yet, we can always choose differently.  We can always write a new story.  

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Lost in joy and the authentic self.

Yet, we can always choose differently.  We can always write a new story.  

In her photographic experience we conceptualized an abstract use of light to tell her story.  I am always amazed by what organically shows up within a session that I never planned or conceived. Each aspect of her session was coordinated with great intention. Yet, I  didn’t realize that progressively through the session she was literally coming out of darkness and into the light. It wasn’t until she created her album from start to finish in her design consult that the metaphor became clear. She stopped, surveyed her body of work, placed her hand over her heart and exclaimed that this was her story – moving from darkness to light.  

Kristen Kidd Photography is an individual & family portrait photography studio in the North Wales suburb of Philadelphia, Pa. We specializes in helping individuals and two-legged and four-legged families stop and reconnect with the love in their lives through fun and unique photo experiences and custom designed wall art collections.