Through Her Lens: The Sweetie Pie

Hi. I am a quirky composition of a woman. A self-declared “Jesus-loving old soul”, with a fun-loving spirit, open heart, and listening ear. Pair that with a mean talent for baking yummy pastries and desserts and you’ve got me...Gabrielle.

Baking is my passion. It’s been a lifelong dream to own my own bakery. Now, as an Executive Pastry Chef in the midst of making that dream come true, I have new dreams for myself and my furbabies. I want to open my own “rolling/traveling” bakery so I can travel and share delicious treats with the world.

Today, I am a testament to my younger self, to chase your dreams and follow your heart, but like many of us, it took me some time to get here. I never felt sexy or beautiful in
my own skin in my 20s. I have always been a member of the itty, bitty, titty committee it took me a while to embrace that. Being a woman it’s easy to be in constant comparison, allowing the negative images and self-talk to get into your mind and cause you to question if your looks, weight, and personality, are “good” enough. I did.

If I could sit down with myself, just a decade ago, as I stepped into the “real” world experiencing so many changes, I would have so much to say. I would warn her that comparison is the thief of joy, and watching others’ lives through filters will keep you from focusing on yourself and getting what you want out of your own journey. I would show her how beautiful she is inside and out and teach her to never allow anyone to take away that certainty. I would demonstrate the power of confidence and how good it looks when you are your own person.

I always wanted to do a boudoir shoot, but I allowed negative thoughts to make me self-conscious physically and I struggled with “looking sexy”. I would go back and forth about the shot and what it meant as a Christian woman, and it delayed me for years. Finally, at 30, I had enough, and I went on a hunt. Searching for the best of the best in my area I found Jenn and Mirrored Images. Her work spoke for itself, so it was a no-brainer to book my session. I realized that this would be an act of self-love, something I failed to experience my entire life. I was going to celebrate my life.

On the day of my shoot, I had come full circle. Remembering why I was drawn to the Mirrored Images of empowered women, looking and feeling their best. I found myself having an out-of-body experience becoming one of them. I felt like a giddy schoolgirl and I surprised myself with what my body could do under the team’s guidance. I wanted to remain in that moment and
experience it fully. Jenn delivered everything I was hoping for and so much more. I felt beautiful, but more importantly, I felt more confident and comfortable than I had all my life. As if I could take on the world. it changed my entire view of myself. I felt stronger in who I am and what I have to offer. It made me start to work on loving myself wholly. It started to heal me in ways I’d never imagined. Now, I have these photos to provide a little boost when I need to remind myself that I can do anything in this world if I let my light shine for the world to see.

I believe learning who you are at your core and loving HER for all that she is may be one of the most powerful things a woman can do for herself. Finding your confidence and realizing your worth outside of others’ opinions is a hard lesson in self-love, but it’s an eye-opening one. Now that I love myself, I can love others, and it is one of my favorite things about myself. I’ve learned from my past hurt and protect myself by choosing the company I keep. I am loyal to my friends and truly want them to share in the treasure of feeling wanted, seen, valued, loved, and happy in their lives.

Through Her Lens: The Rambler

Hi, I’m Heather F and I will be having my hot girl summer this year! As a mother of two, I reflect on my journey to 40 and am amazed at the growth.
Considering my eldest is 20 years old, he reminds me of my first milestone in life. At his age, I had been in a relationship for over three years when I got pregnant. We decided to get married, but it was short-lived and after a series of unfortunate events, I found myself a single mother. Though I did not receive support from my ex, I did receive support from a
village comprised of his family and my own. This foundation helped get me through those first years until I remarried, and we welcomed our daughter in 2008. My second husband was an old high school classmate. I initially met him when I was 14/15, that time in life when we were young and made repeated dumb mistakes. Mistakes can also teach lessons if you don’t allow yourself to get stuck in that pattern. Deciding to break the pattern, I decided to divorce my second husband in 2019, after years of dishonesty.

As a young mother, my identity was tied to the title “MOM”. I spent 100% of my time taking care of my son and then matched that energy with the birth of my daughter. I saw myself as a mother before I saw myself as a woman and for a while, I allowed myself to remain in that head space. I knew I needed to grow and change my view of myself and the choices I made in life (and in men) before I was ready to venture out. I hated the bars and the dating scene and found myself remembering the adage “Boys are Gross”. So, I gave myself a time-out.

I was 35 with equal kids to failed marriages, but rather than feel sorry for myself I opted to build my faith and dig into my relationship with Jesus. My faith, church community, and therapist were added to my village to create the salve my soul needed to get me back on my feet and ready to pursue other goals.

In 2019, I became an esthetician. For most of my life, I was bullied for being pale and I spent too much time trying to get my skin to produce melanin that just wasn’t there. As a result, I endured cancerous and pre-cancerous spots and other skin issues. Now, I get to combine my experience with my love of service and people (though they can be exhausting at times). I have a great career educating people of all ages on the importance of proper skincare and helping them reach their skin care goals with treatments.

Over the years, I began to see myself as more than just a mother and I wanted others to see that too. I am a loving, honest, loyal, patient (I try to be), funny, humble, playful, strong, and intelligent woman, who can be shy at times. With this realization, I stepped out of my comfort zone and onto a dating app. I found my boyfriend of over three years on Bumble after a few swipes and years of searching, but all good things come in their time. Andrew makes me feel sexy and pushes me to find new ways of exploring my empowerment and confidence. That is how I found Mirrored Images. After a few hours of wondering what my butt looked like and wondering what to do with my hands, I was one of the Glam Gang. A group of bold, courageous, feisty, and slightly mischievous women from all walks of life. I am proud to include myself among them.

I love being a woman and how I no longer must be defined in one way. I can be independent with a “can do it myself” attitude and come home and wrap myself in my man whenever I feel insecure. I can raise a young man to be God-fearing and a daughter that will reach for the stars. I can now love the person in the mirror and her micro-bladed eyebrows, tucked tummy, and fillers (thanks Jenn!). I am blessed beyond measure and am closer than ever to living my dreams. I may have rambled along the path to get here, but I am here. I proudly say SCREW THE HATERS. I have enough friends; I have a GANG.

Through Her Lens: Good girl turned bad @$$

Hi, I’m Jen and since joining the Glam Gang I seem to be among a select number of remarkable Jens (or Jenns) including our badass photographer, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

I never saw myself as the type to put it all out there. As a young girl, I was timid. I met my husband, the love of my life, at the age of eighteen. He was six years older than me. My mother thought I lost my mind after our first date when I told her that would be the man I would marry, so to cushion the blow I told her he was only 22, lol. Guess I was a bit crazy, crazy genius because by 2003 we were married. I was 23 and we quickly made a life for ourselves by buying a home in South Florida with a REALLY
nice pool.

Life Lesson #1. Condoms and chlorine don’t play well together. I know this because, by August of the following year I was pregnant and a mother by age 25.

I spent the first 5 years of my daughter’s life at home with her doing all the normal toddler things and it was great, but good GOD I hate playdates! My husband and I loved being parents, but we thought we were done, so I went back to work. I started slowly at first, just part-time, but by 2011 I was back at work full-time when I got a sinus infection.

Life Lesson #2: Birth control pills and antibiotics are also not friendly. Keep them apart.

Fast forward I am a mother of two children, separated by 7 years of age. My youngest was born with health problems that kept our family in a loop of hospitalizations and discharges. During this time, I continued to work, but I truly neglected myself and before I knew it, I was 40.

Professionally, I was happy. I am a bit of a Yenta, and I found my calling as a receptionist in a busy doctor’s office where I spend my days chatting with people and learning about their lives. Yet, I was bored with myself. With a capital B. I wanted something new and different and had no idea how to get it. I had tabled a lot of the normal “to-dos” of your youth for most of my twenties and thirties if I am being honest. I never wanted to rock the boat, so I opted to blend in, and I never did anything out of the ordinary. I wore the same shade of highlights for twenty-five years. I wore the same makeup and applied it in the same manner, every day. It got so bad, people thought I’d tattooed my eyeliner. Then I met Jenn.

It was a brief encounter, and we didn’t speak, but a few weeks later I was given a second chance when we randomly met at a hair salon. I didn’t know what she did at the time, but she knew me by my eyes, oddly enough. The same eyes I’d been “tattooing” for the past twenty years. She filled me in on Mirrored Images and got me thinking about doing a boudoir session.
Within a few days, I had scheduled my session.

The entire time I’m posing I was so far in my head thinking “Where am I?” followed by “What the heck am I doing? but Jenn made it easy to drop my guard and the shoot flew by. As I left for the day, I already knew I was hooked. I wanted to do more. Since then, something has awakened in me. I am still a mother of two (healthy) daughters, living in Cumming, GA, and loving
my job, but I have more confidence in who I am. The blond highlights are gone, swapped for a few feet of deep red extensions, I even threw in a new nail shade to match.

Now as a Mirrored Image Woman and a proud member of the Glam Gang, I am amongst some awesome women. It takes a lot of chutzpah to take off all your clothes and run around half-naked in front of a camera. Especially if you’ve got a little more to show off, like me. Being a woman has its peaks and valleys, in more ways than one, but I tell you…it’s AMAZING.

Through Her Lens: The Survivor

Let’s start with the standard “boring” information. My name is Jennifer,  I am a mother of 4 and a wife of 10 years.  These details may seem like basic information, but to me, being a mother is my biggest accomplishment and I believe one of the greatest things about being a woman. I’ve been blessed with that title 4x over. I was able to grow three human beings in my body and help bring them forward into life. The feeling never got old, from the time I found out I was pregnant with my oldest (now 24) to my youngest (14), and then I was blessed with a 4th bonus child. I’m now entering the phase of my life when the children are grown and leaving the house. My role in their life has changed and I am both nervous about the future and excited to see what it holds.

Being a mother was always a dream of mine, but I had others. I wanted to travel and see the world, I wanted to get my nursing degree, and I wanted to finish college. The reality was a bit different. Reflecting on my 18-year-old self after finishing high school I quickly enrolled in community college and almost as quickly began to burn out. It felt like the 13th grade, and I needed a break. Looking at it now, I regret giving in to the opinions of those seeking to destroy my self-confidence and contributing to my choices.

Despite a small stumble at the start, I found my career path and realized that as much as I enjoy making lives, I enjoy saving them. For the past 20 years, that’s what I have been doing, working full-time as a paramedic. I’ve always wanted to work in emergency medicine, I love the work, and it’s what led me to Mirrored Images.  I met Jenn in 2020 when she was an ER nurse at a hospital I transported frequently. We were all addressing the emergence of COVID, and we became friends.  Dealing with the trauma on the work front was further compounded by those personally. My home needed repairs that I wasn’t prepared for, and my body began to fail me. I was diagnosed with Stage 3 metastatic Melanoma and that realization was quickly followed by the realities of surgery, surgical complications, ports, and treatments.


Having survived.


I think that deserves a moment.


YES! I am a survivor and as a survivor, I felt I deserved something for myself.    I reached out to my friend, Jenn. We sat down to discuss the shoot and which poses I wanted and what I was comfortable with showing. After our meeting, I thought was ready.

Until the day of the shot.

I had just had a series of scans earlier that week and I kept staring at the bruise  on my hand from the IV. Since having my children I’ve felt my body was far from “perfect”, but cancer and  the resulting scars had formed a sort of armor around me, one which I found hard to let go. I was literally holding my breath as I lay down on the couch. Jenn had to keep reminding me to breathe. Once I did, I noticed other things, like how incredible my hair and makeup looked, my smile, and how thankful I was for the opportunity of life and the chance to do the shoot. I realized sexy doesn’t have a size and Jenn is truly a testament to reminding women of this.

If anyone is debating whether to book the shoot. BOOK THE SHOOT! Don’t delay because life is beautiful, and time is precious. Don’t waste another minute and treat yourself as the incredible woman that you are.

Through Her Lens: The Butterfly

My name is Catherine and at 48 years old I am in my second act. My initial path allowed me to become a mother to my 3 amazing children (and 4 even more amazing grandchildren). During this time, I found fulfillment in the role of mother, my passions were put on hold. As women, we often get wrapped up in others needs and goals and differ our own. However, despite things being a mess, I’d mastered the ability to show to make it look easy. When my marriage ended, the web I spun to hold it all together dissolved, and I was faced with the reality. My children were grown, and my marriage was over. So, who was Catherine?

The journey of finding out led me back into the dating pool, and wow, for a while there I was swimming in the shallow end. I found Mirrored Images, while searching for a birthday present for a man I was dating, that I mistakenly thought would be part of my future. Thankfully God knew better and had other plans for me. That relationship didn’t pan out, but I had a new one with Jenn and the Mirrored Images team. I wish all women were able to view themselves through Jenn’s camera lens, because she makes us look beautiful and feel powerful. Despite your insecurities, and trust me, I had my own. My first shoot, I spent the entire time thinking:
“God, I hope I don’t look as fat as I feel.”
“Man, how in the world am I going to do this without falling on my ass.”
“How does she [Jenn] make it look so easy; where does she get the energy?’
“Why can’t I ever get my makeup and hair to look this amazing?”
“Please don’t’ get my ass in these photos.” *
*This was a major concern for me because I hate my ass, lol.

Since then, I’ve been back to Mirrored Images at various stages of my journey towards finding myself and my self-worth. The first may have been for someone else, but the second was for me (after I split from him). Each time I take away a little of the woman that Jenn sees on her side of the lens, the woman she helps us all see when we get our final images.
Now as a woman in her 40s, I am beginning to take the world on my own terms. I am returning to my passion work in the veterinary field after five years helping others reach their goals. I’ve allowed myself to be open to the possibility of love again, and the universe has blessed me with a wonderful partner and husband (of 2 years and counting). I am having such an incredible experience with him that I scheduled my THIRD session with Jenn shortly after we got engaged. I couldn’t wait to show off my newfound happiness. It was a world wind romance and
we married quickly, but when you know, you know, right? Life is truly an adventure if you allow it to be and I am excited for what the future holds.

I discount nothing from my journey and its experiences, but if I had the opportunity to lend my younger self some advice it would be to tell her to “worry less”. Life is messy, and you can’t control all things. Take the bad, the good, and the in-between. It will work out to what it’s meant to be. Sometimes you must go through different versions of yourself to find your identity. Not the titles given, or the roles played. Who you are, for you. I am beginning to get to know this version of myself, and I like her A LOT. Messy and all.

Through Her Lens: April

March is Womens History Month... join us for our new series "Through her Lens," a blog series focused on the women behind the images we produce at Mirrored Images Boudoir.  First up, April Richards.

My name is April and can’t believe I am almost 42 years old! Where has the time gone? Among the many hats I wear, I am a wife, mother of 3, business owner of Salon AF & Beauty Co, friend, and teacher (we homeschool our son). We live a very busy life but with the abundant love and support I get from an amazing husband; we can tackle it all!

I had been following Mirrored Images page for some time and swooned over all the amazing images. I would always tell myself, “I’ll do a session when I lose a few pounds, or tone up, etc.”. A few years ago, Jenn, became a hair client of mine and we instantly hit it off. Since our meeting, she’s become one of my closest friends and an invaluable business mentor. So naturally, it was a no-brainer that I trusted my friend to make me look like a sex kitten in my photos. I knew I would be in the best hands between her eye and Jamie’s makeup skills.

Ps. I never did lose those pounds before my session, but I went anyway. The day of the shot, I was in my head a bit. Thoughts were running through my head presenting every possible negative outtake.

“I’m out of shape.”

“I’m going to be sore tomorrow.”

I hope these open-mouth pics don’t look as stupid as I feel”. 

Please don’t get my double chin.”

“How come she (Jenn) looks sexy demonstrating these poses and I feel like a troll?” 

“I trust her vision, but good God I hope she helps me up from this ridiculous pose.” 

But I CHOSE to push those thoughts away and I put my trust in my friends, the women who supported me through every pose and click of the       shoot. No, I didn’t lose the weight, but as it turns out, I didn’t need to. I still looked SEXY AF.

That’s what this image is for me. A reminder.

Because sometimes you need to be reminded who you are, through the eyes of others, since your inner monologue, can get the best of you. We must rewrite these scripts of our childhood.

Younger April didn’t know how to trust her gut and that natural ability to read through people’s dishonesty. I would love to tell her “If someone doesn’t make you feel good or special, and your gut is calling you out on it, you better listen up! I don’t care whether it’s a boyfriend, girlfriend, friend, coworker, etc. You deserve the utmost respect, honesty, and absolute best from all relationships that you encounter”. Present-day April now knows that if your gut keeps getting in the way, it’s for a good reason.

Many of us get so caught up in our dysmorphia that we forget to love ourselves. We shy from our husband’s kind loving words when they tell us how beautiful we are, or how sexy we are to them. We shy from their sensual touch because we feel undesirable. We are disbelieving. We think they are blind. These pictures made me see myself the way my husband has seen me for the past 13 years. Sexy, fierce, and unapologetic for my flaws.

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The Price of Beauty: Skincare

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The adage ‘youth is wasted on the young’ is one we are all too familiar with, but perhaps the saying should be ‘youth is sometimes taken for granted when we are young’. As it should, as we progress through life, our focuses and needs change. If we knew what the cost of “looking young” would be as we grew older, would we take better care to preserve ourselves? Probably not. 

When we are teenagers, we believe we will always be young. Our focuses are more on eliminating that emerging pimple threatening to ruin our social plans, than developing an actual skin care regimen. If we do have products, they are focused on topically addressing our issues and our methods are more responsive. The better method would be to EDUCATE ourselves on the roles our lives and habits play in our appearance from the neck up. In our youth, learning proper hygiene (frequency, routine, and technique) can build or break the foundation we need as we enter the next skin stages. In our 20s,  as we start as adults, our professional and personal lives take priority. While hormonal breakouts continue, we try to mask our issues with makeup. If we don’t take care to learn those initial steps in our teens, we fall prey to bad habits like falling asleep with a full face of makeup and blocked pores. Add-on, the beginning of legal drinking and limited water intake and our 20s is one big lesson taught by Professor Zit.  

As we near our 30s, we begin to acknowledge our mortality a bit more. Our ‘dirty 30’ finds us less influenced by social media influencers and quick-fix facials and beginning to invest more in self-care.  Our income increases and skin goals become more PREVENTIVE than responsive. Prevention of further damage and aging requires developing a regimen that is a balance of products and applications. Introducing treatments such as chemical peels and Dermaplaning, a cosmetic procedure in which the “peach fuzz” on your face is removed with a surgical scalpel which eliminates some skin irregularities and allows products to penetrate the skin deeper, can have a lasting impact.  

Product choices can also promote our overall skin health and medical-grade skincare is a far cry from the drugstore brands of our teens. They contain higher concentrations of active prescription-strength ingredients than what you can buy over the counter. While these products are an investment in ourselves, they don’t have to bankrupt us.  New product lines are emerging to meet the increasing demand in skin care, it can be overwhelming. Should you need some help navigating the product choices available, contact a local esthetician for a customized approach to your skin care needs.  If you're in the North Atlanta area check out Shameless Aesthetics & tell them we sent you (you'll get a discount).

Preventive skin care is all about preserving what is already great about your skin. As we age, our bodies' abilities to make certain natural occurrences such as collagen, decrease. To defend against all the world throws at us, we need to pair the education foundation gained early on with preventative methods and ANTI-AGING treatments. Treatments and procedures span the range of superficial like peptide infusions to the more invasive, such as PRP therapy, all with the focus on reducing the appearance of fine lines/wrinkles, improving skin elasticity, and improving your overall appearance.

Wherever you are in your skincare journey, it’s important to remember, as, in fitness journeys, you are what you eat. What we fuel our bodies with influences our body’s systems. The skin is our largest organ, and though it’s worn on the outside, it is primarily affected by what’s going on inside.  Learning and maintaining healthy eating and drinking habits will go a long way in setting you forward in your pursuit of healthy skin.

Regardless of where we are in life, we are always searching, striving for something else, something different, something more. In our pursuits, it’s easy to miss out on where we are now.  Don’t forget to love and appreciate yourself in all forms, stages, and ages of your life.

Price of Beauty: Eyes

For those who are blessed with long luscious lashes and finely tuned eyebrows, this blog isn’t for you. You should probably keep scrolling. However, for most of us, we could use a little help, after all if what they say is correct and the eyes are the windows to the soul, which means our lashes and brows are the shutters, and they need to be in their best shape.


The world of lash extensions has greatly grown since the time of basic strip lashes and individuals. Now there are options expanding from single use to long term wear, DIY to pro-applied.  What’s best for you is solely based on your needs and lifestyle but it’s best you know the basics first.

A Lift/Tint is a good option for those who may have the length but lack the curl or volume they desire.  A lift is a semi-permanent solution completed with a specialized curling rod and a chemical solution. Consider it a perm for your eyelashes. Tinting your lashes, much like you coloring your hair, will darken and intensify your lashes and provide the added illusion of volume. Combining these two services can yield a glamorous result lasting you about 4-6 weeks.

The DIY Lash is a quickly growing industry, among these are Lashify, a widely known brand.  Their website offers an introductory Control Kit which includes their A, B and C gossamers and all the required materials to apply, remove and store your lashes.   Once received, you can choose to try it yourself following their how-to guide or schedule a 1:1 consultation with a Lashify expert if you need some added assistance.  If you love their lashes, you can opt to enroll in their LUXE membership plan to restock your lashes every 30-60 days.  

If you’re looking for lovely DIY lashes at a lower cost, Jenn recommends Lilac Street.  She has tried several different companies and loves the lashes, long lasting glue and price point of Lilac Street.

Not the DIY type, no worries, sometimes things just require you to seek a professional. Eyelash extensions are one of those times. Trained technicians specialize in styles ranging from Classic to Russian or Mega Volume depending on the desired look of the client. Unlike other lash methods, lash technicians such as the gals at Salon AF & Beauty Co., are trained to “lash map” designing the best style for your eye type. Every eye is unique and so are the results and your technician may require a consultation before applying your lashes. Lash extensions with the proper care will result in a noticeable effect, either subtle or dramatic, but they are not for the commitment-phobic, as they require a fill-in every 2-3 weeks.  Please be cautious of who you use for this service, every state has regulations on who can apply lash extensions.  In the State of Georgia you must be a licensed cosmetologist, esthetician or medical professional + receive proper training.  Jenn cautions everyone, as she received an injury to her cornea while getting lash extensions several years ago.


Brow waxing & threading remain tried-and-true methods of manicuring the hair above our lids, but now there is a shift in focus from simple shaping to landscaping our brows into works of art.  If your brows are two thin, we’ve got you covered.

Microshading is a semi-permanent option. Essentially a tattoo, color is implanted beneath the skin of your eyebrows.  It can be done on nearly skin types and the resulting effect is a fuller looking brow that lasts up to 24 months.

Microblading uses a fine blade composed of several needles that creates small scratches resembling your natural hairs and are then filled with pigment. The result is more natural than micro shading, however its longevity can be affected by oil production in the skin, which will cause the hair strokes to fade over time.  The amount of touch ups that you can get are limited, due to the scarring this blading causes and many artists are moving away from this particular technique.

Hybrid or Ombre brows are a mixture of the two techniques and allow those of us with slightly oiler skin to benefit from the best of both worlds. 

Whichever you choose, after care for your brows is very important and touch-ups are strongly encouraged. This is NOT a DIY beauty regimen so leave this one to the pros.  Do your research and schedule a consultation with your technician to discuss the best options for you.  

Remember, beauty treatments are an investment, both of time and money. Be prepared to invest in yourself and your aftercare. Please consult with your technician and follow the required steps to ensure your results.


xoxo, Marissa

Human Trafficking



The United Nations defines human trafficking as the induction by force, fraud, or coercion of a person to engage in the sex trade, or the harboring transportation or obtaining of a person for labor service (or organ removal).  However, for many of us our knowledge of human trafficking is limited to fictional accounts that start and end with Liam Neeson and his ‘‘particular set of skills’.

Though we may be captivated by the obstacles Liam would overcome to save his daughter, we expect a happy ending after Liam confronts the attackers and gets justice. However, the reality is this is a modern-day slave trade and the fight to end this global epidemic isn’t going to be won by the time the credits run. So how can we fight back?

Our first step is letting go of the myths and misconceptions we may have that blind us and prevent us from recognizing potential victims and influencing change. The first of which is the belief that human trafficking is a thing of the past when it is very much alive and growing into a multi-million-dollar industry.

Many Americans view human trafficking as an “over there” issue, originating and operating in other countries, a problem for another nation, unless it crosses our borders. The truth is, anyone can be a victim of trafficking, anywhere. In fact, the United States is one of the largest avenues for victims with an annual average of 20,000-50,000 people trafficked, many of which never leave the country.

We also make the incorrect assumption that those who fall victim to this exploitation are exclusively poor, uneducated, or living in areas of heightened crime (i.e., cities and urban areas).  This thinking can lead to a false sense of safety among the affluent or those living in suburban and rural areas.  Traffickers do not discriminate and will target any age, race, gender, or nationality. Traffickers target their victims using a variety of tools focusing on populace groups like women, children, the undocumented and the indebted.  Each group offering its own set of vulnerabilities to groom their victims.  With the addition of social media and the Internet, there is no “safe” area from these individuals. Even those with a stable home life can be defrauded by those who make promises of love, marriage, or money to lull people into their traps and away from the friends/families.

Another misconception is that human trafficking is for the exclusive purpose of the sex trade.   Trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation is the prevalent form of traffic, but it’s only one.  Forced labor is nearly as widespread. People are “recruited” via methods of deception and promises for gainful employment, only to spend their days in servitude in labor intensive jobs without end. Theft, drugs, and counterfeiting are among the other illegal acts these victims are forced to take part. Some are even subject to impossible quotas and sever punishment should they fail to meet these ever-changing standards. This debt only furthers their time indebted and enslaved by those benefiting from their victimization.

Perhaps one of the worst myths is the belief that human trafficking does not involve you. As a global citizen you are affected. Those who are trafficked suffer many physical and emotional wounds. Left alone, the influx of unpaid and child labor affects the economy, criminal activity affects safety and property value, and sex workers (who do not receive treatment) affect the health of their surrounding communities.   The hard truth is no one is unaffected.

To learn more about human trafficking, visit The Blue Campaign. If you report suspected human trafficking, please call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text “help to BeFree (233733).

While I cannot provide you with details, Mirrored Images Boudoir has been asked to participate in the fight to end human trafficking.  We're honored to be part of this mission.

Bullies Aren't Just In Childhood


“Time for bed Hun” Bethany lightly coaxed her daughter from downstairs. She could see the bedroom light on, and it was already past her bedtime. “Taylor? Are you on your phone again? I told you…” her voice trailed as she entered the room. Over her daughter’s shoulder, she saw the comment section of a of the recent social media post. She knew her daughter had experienced bullying at school, but she thought the efforts she and the school administration had made were making a difference, so she was stunned. Comments stacked up “what is she wearing? She knows she is too big to wear that?” The viperous statements went on, but she stopped herself from reading worried she would invade her daughter’s privacy. “Taylor, are you ok? Do we need to talk about the bullies at your school again? Her daughter was slow to respond, but eventually turned her chair around with tears in her eyes she sobbed…” Mom.”  Taylor ran into her arms. “Does it ever stop?” Taylor muffled through tears, “The bullying MOM! Does it ever stop? First, it was me at school, and now you?” Bethany stepped back from her daughter’s embrace. Confused she turned back to the laptop and recognized her social feed as Taylor explained, “I went to your page today and I saw these comments. Aren’t these some of our neighbors? Mom, I’ve been talking to my guidance counselor at school, and she warned me bullies can get older, but they don’t have to grow up?”  

Bethany’s situation is all too true in our world today. We regulate bullying in the hallways of our schools, but it doesn’t end when the bell rings. While adults can more likely defend themselves from the physical bullying of yesteryear, there is no graduation from the emotional and psychological effects bullying can cause in every avenue of our lives.

With the emergence of social media, the world has gotten an invitation to participate in the good and bad of our daily lives and has limited our ability to succeed or fail in private. It has made us susceptible to the opinions of people both around the corner and across the globe. This makes social media a perfect platform for a Narcissistic bully. You know the type – those self-centered people who only feel good about themselves when making others feel bad. They do this without remorse or concern about consequences. They can say whatever without regard because they believe they will never see you in the real world. Their confidence exists in the b/w of text, and they realize the power and lingering effects words have.

As do Verbal bullies. Their comments are made face to face and normally by those you know personally or professionally. These types can come in the form of the oft-overlooked comments from the ‘perfect’ PTA mom who makes off-handed comments about your contribution to the last bake sale flanked by the Secondary bully, who stands by idly permitting the damage in hopes of preventing themselves from being the next target. These are real-life versions of The Heathers and Mean Girls. Or the bullying can be more insidious spreading rumors and gossip among your professional and social circles in hopes of tearing apart your reputation, career, and consequently your self-worth. The results of which can have a long-reaching effect on you and those you care for.

In the Workplace, bullying can range from the disruptive colleague who refuses to assist with projects and then demands credit for the work once completed to the overbearing supervisor who openly criticizes their team members and creates a hostile work environment.

At home, our family can succumb to the pressures of their own lives and become Impulsive bullies, lashing out at those closest to them. The danger with this type is this is often the bullying we easily overlook and quickly forgive because we aren’t the intended recipients of the anger we receive. The bully’s actions may not be premeditated, but they are no less hurtful. We all have things in our lives that trigger us but lashing out isn’t excusable.

“Adulting” can be difficult enough without the added pratfalls of others using their words, power, and influence to our detriment. When this happens, it can often feel like we do not have a way to make it stop or a method to fight. This isn’t true.

Find your voice. Speak up for yourself. Ignoring your bully can sometimes make it worse. While you do not need to engage them in the comments of your socials, you can report your attackers to the authorities (a work supervisor or HR or take legal action where possible).

Find your support system. Bullies thrive on making you feel you are alone, and no one cares. Use your friends and family to fill your time and energies with positive reinforcement.

Find a therapist (or other resources): Websites such as BetterHelp can connect with a licensed therapist that can help you navigate the resulting feelings of bullying and help build/re-build your self-confidence.