Summer Glow Photoshoot Entries! Vote Now!

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on August 10, 2009

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Now it’s time to vote for the winner of the Summer Glow Photoshoot!

We had over 100 fabulous entries and have narrowed it down to 6 lucky nominees. Dave and Charlotte wish that they could give all of you a photoshoot!

Without further ado, here they are:


Here is why I deserve the photo shoot- actually, I don’t think I do. But I know someone who does, and she too has been doing the boot camp.

My sister was diagnosed with celiac disease less than a year ago. In the few years that preceded the diagnosis she struggled with her diet. Everything made her feel sick, she was always bloated, and she didn’t have the energy she thought she should. Not only that, but she had what she called a "budda belly", which isn’t uncommon in undiagnosed celiacs. She tried a lot of things to help her feel better- she even went vegan for awhile, hoping it would help. No matter how hard she tried she couldn’t lose any weight, couldn’t get rid of her belly, and couldn’t get through a meal without feeling sick.

I know that while she was struggling with the health aspects of the undiagnosed celiac disease, she was also struggling with how she felt about herself. Nothing got rid of the belly, nothing made her feel right. It is hard to look in the mirror and like what you see when nothing you do seems to be working. We both started running and completed our first race together, a great accomplishment for both of us, but she still wasn’t feeling right.

Finally with the celiac diagnosis things started to make sense, she cut out gluten and she began to feel better. In the past year, she has completed her second half-marathon and her first two triathlons. She is strong, she is healthy, and she is much happier. She looks great, she feels great, and I can’t think of a better way to top off her year of new health than to end it with a photo shoot to celebrate her fabulousness.


I worked for a modeling agency (that also ran a national pageant) for 2 years and was constantly booking photo shoots, working shoots and dealing with models.  Behind the scenes work was great but I’m ready for my time in the spotlight!

I was always seeing these skinny 17-year-old girls struggle to keep their hips under 35" so they would be considered for international work.  My body was far from that size, but I had trouble keeping myself from wishing I was in their position and not behind the scenes.  A few years older, more comfortable in my own skin and discovering the joys of running, I now realize that I would love to show off what my body has made me capable of!  There is no way that those 25" hips and 34" waists at the photo shoots could have kept up with me in my half-marathon!

As my 2011 graduation from optometry nears and I continue to sign up for races, I would love a photo shoot to celebrate all that I have achieved, both physically and education-wise.  My mind is strong and my body is now catching up with it! :)


A professional photoshoot would be the perfect way to celebrate the end my very long journey.  There’s no way to explain it all in 300 words or less so here’s the long and short of it: 6 years ago I looked in the mirror and had no idea who was looking back at me.  Physically, I went from a size 0/2 to a size 12.  My hair was lifeless and grey.  My eyes were dull and dark from too much crying.  I was in a situation that, over the course of 8 years, caused me to die inside a little each day and it had manifested itself in my appearance.  The pain, emptiness and loneliness I was feeling was evident on the outside; I could no longer hide it from anyone; not even myself.

So I removed myself from that awful situation (5 years ago; the hardest thing I’ve ever done!) and began a journey to bring myself back to life.   And what a journey it has been!  I moved from the wasteland where I was living back to my hometown of Buffalo, NY.  Suddenly, my empty life was overflowing with friends, family, culture, travel, dancing, love and LIFE!  There were growing pains, for sure, but little by little pieces of me returned, breathing new life with joy and vigor.

Finding joy, loving myself and my life, helped me to heal inside.  Loving myself encouraged me to take good care of myself: that is reflected in my size (a size 2 again!), my attitude and my glow.  I’m back.

Seeing the call for this contest gave me goosebumps; it was only yesterday that I looked in the mirror and saw myself, my real self, looking back at me again. 

4) Amanda

March 29, 2009 was supposed to be a magical day…our wedding day.  At dawn I was up excitedly running on the beach and imagining our beautiful ceremony and pictures!   Unfortunately the weather turned and our coordinator had no backup plan…so our wedding took place the condo parking garage at 9PM.

The situation was comical in retrospect, but the pictures tell the true story and I feel take away from the true enduring love that we have for each other. I could have married him anywhere and would do it all over again if that parking garage was the only option.  However, I would love to have some new photos of the two of us that reflect our joy and love, rather than a chaotic situation. 

I’ve seen your beautiful pictures and love that you capture fun and whimsy in a great professional photo. It would be both a great trip and experience to work with you.


Dear Dave and Charlotte,

As a Toronto native, I was immediately struck by the beauty you capture in local settings before noticing people! I attribute this to the Landscape Architecture graduate program I’m currently completing. I was never content with Toronto. We take many field trips there year-round. Visit new sites such as the Brickworks and Tommy Thompson park continually shows its its magic! There’s no ocean or mountains – but I’m finally seeing a metropolis humbly boasting 1st place for multi-culturalism in Canada! In your Toronto pictures, I proudly recognize parks and locations. Wow, what vision! You seamlessly use lighting to create moods from dreamy to hot&steamy to vibrant to dreamy.

I am Indian+African by heritage. Growing up in Toronto (I’m 23!) I was the odd one out because of my culture/celebrations and skin tone. I’m beginning to embrace my distinct, strong, unique heritage and celebrate it from within, to glow outside. I’m appreciating my distinct features and feel prettier everyday based on my own honest opinions, not what others think. I’m petite but have enviable tanned skin, full lips, large and dark fawn eyes and thick straight black hair and eyelashes! Soon my inner glow will never be dimmed, but spread to show as my outer confident aura. D&C, you are so talented in depicting the cultural vibrancy and quirks of Indian celebrations. Everyone looks beautiful. Your pictures speak to the viewer. Capturing in film my features and Indian heritage as a backdrop  in my native city will allow me to celebrate myself and my culture, and announce that I AM beautiful and proud of my ‘differences.’ The photos will be like bottling the moment of change toward self appreciation, to announce my future holds nothing but a positive, confident outlook.

6) CD

As a child, I was chubby. It was not unusual for my mother to comfort me by telling me I would eventually lose my baby fat, not exactly what I wanted to hear when I was 15. I was the subject of much mockery by my peers, and fell victim to many years of abusing my body with a lack of nutrients. I hated food – it was my enemy and I rationed what I gave my body.  Not surprisingly, my body decided to fight back. I’ve suffered with stomach problems for a number of years, only to learn that I have IBS. To date, no amount of diet restrictions have solved my pains.

The last year and a half has been, without a doubt, the most challenging of my life. After a car accident, I was left unable to do any exercise, including yoga, which I teach.  After many months of rehabilitation, I began to practice yoga and slowly built up my strength, although to this day I still feel discomfort and strain with certain activities. Along with this, I went about finishing a very difficult Master’s degree, whilst working full-time.  As if all that was not enough, my parents began a long process of separation which to date, nearly a year later is not settled. The fact that they are still living “together” has created a nightmare beyond belief.

Angela, your blog and the SGBC changed my outlook on life. A supportive community of like-minded women, with fears, inhibitions, dreams, and goals much in line with my own – I now know that a little exercise a day goes a long way, and that my body responds positively and lovingly to food. I don’t fear food; it’s not my enemy.


The polls will be open until Sunday August 16th, 2009 at 8pm EST! GOODLUCK!


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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Maureen August 10, 2009 at 12:18 pm

How do we vote?


Angela (Oh She Glows) August 10, 2009 at 12:33 pm

There is a poll at the bottom of the post


Maureen August 10, 2009 at 12:53 pm

ok I must be blind because I do not see it. There is a line that says when the poll is open until but you cannot click on it.


Lainie August 10, 2009 at 3:48 pm

I absolutely loved reading everyone’s stories. It’s a hard decision – can’t decide who I should vote for!


Alex August 10, 2009 at 4:28 pm

Whoa! This is a tough vote!

No wonder you want our help with this!

Too bad the prize is limited, eh?

Too bad chocolate should be eaten in moderation, too.


Pam August 10, 2009 at 8:25 pm

All were great stories, so good luck to all!



Mumtaz August 12, 2009 at 3:19 pm

they are all very inspiring stories
I vote for #5
Good luck to all


Kathy August 13, 2009 at 11:30 am

I was on here before and there was a place to vote for the entrants, but now he voting spot is no longer visible. It just shows the poll results.


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