As I sit here and type this, I’m completely ready for my double mastectomy that’s scheduled for Monday, June 5, 2023. This year has delivered some blows that I wasn’t ready for with the biggest one being that I have the BRCA2 gene mutation. I feel like a time bomb just waiting to go off at any moment. In truth, I’ve had to fight feelings of not deserving great things because clearly if I were worth it, I wouldn’t have this mutation, right? Wrong.

And doing this photoshoot confirmed my beauty and that I deserve all the great things in the world.

I wanted a photo shoot to honor my breasts

Even as I type that, it sounds weird. A photoshoot that honors breasts? Titties will be EVERYWHERE!!!! But not at all. I wanted to do a photo shoot that honored what they did. I breastfed 3 children for a total of almost 6 years. I sustained life with them. They have been pillows to my children, my husband, and other people’s children. We have a great history together and that’s worth doing something special for.

Having to get this double mastectomy is a little scary. I’m slightly nervous going into it but not enough for me to be like, “FULL STOP!”. I want to live… to grow old with my sexy and loving husband. My children deserve a mom that is around and living. People have said it was brave but I don’t feel brave. I feel like I need more life and I just can’t sit around waiting. And instead of being angry like I was when I first got the news, I decided to celebrate and love my body for everything it’s already done.

I asked my friend if she would do the photo shoot for me

I do have friends that normally take my photos but I needed someone specific for a photoshoot so intimate. I needed someone not afraid to think out of the box and I knew just who to ask. I met Bryttany in 2017 when she emailed me about Mommycon coming to Atlanta. Over the years we’ve seen each other at various events and then I don’t know how, but we started talking more, and then I became her coach for her business (which is incredible). Now, she’s one of my favorite people in the world but I don’t get enough time with her.

But Bryttany has an innate skillset that made her who I needed to shoot this. She doesn’t even see the box to think out of and she makes people feel special when they’re with her. I needed to feel special. I needed to feel the weight of what I was doing because up until the photoshoot, I was going through the motions because I knew I didn’t want to battle breast cancer. It’s already stolen the lives of some of my favorite people in the world and I just can’t let it rob my kids and my husband and my friends who’ve become family. Bryttany coordinated everything. She told me to be at her house clean, with a dress and nude panties. And so I did.

This photoshoot was everything I didn’t know I needed

Before I continue, I just want to make a point that we should stop apologizing to others for our lived-in homes. We live there. There will be a mess. It’s ok. I arrived on time (yay me!) and was greeted with Bojangles biscuits, coffee, and one of the kindest makeup artists and aestheticians I’ve ever met. I was nervous because I’ve seen horror stories on social media of a white makeup artist doing a Black woman’s makeup but Megan was AMAZING. She was so professional and funny and just a breath of fresh air. The entire makeup look was her idea. She did all of the makeup on my chest that looked like stitches.

We all chatted and laughed and had a great time like we were friends. I felt so comfortable and strong and supported. I went into the photo shoot with no expectations. I didn’t have specific shots that I knew I wanted. We didn’t really talk about makeup or accessories or any of that. Choosing Bryttany was truly the best.

But let’s go ahead and get into these absolutely incredible photos.

I am so so so grateful for those who donated their services to make this day and photoshoot as truly beautiful as it was. Here is the information so they can be contacted to utilize their services:

Photographer & Creative Director
Bryttany Hyde
Moments With B

Makeup Artist
Megan Harper
Atl Beauty & Skincare

Wings + Crown
Jennifer Griffin
Jennifer Griffin Studios