Introspection

Slowly, she shrank into the person others had expected to her be.

Uncertainty is the most certain occurrence in life. Am I on the right path? Is this journey going to lead me where I want to be? Our story today is based on two iconic characters, Diana Ross in the film “Mahogany” and Audrey Hepburn in the film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. We collaborated with HysisDesigns for this photoshoot and clothing used for our story has been custom made by HysisDesigns.

Model, Joy Casey. Photo taken by Milaya C Photography. Clothing and styling by HysisDesigns.

She felt uneasy. She had plans for her future once, but as with most plans, life got in the way. Now she simply didn’t know who she was supposed to be. Had she made the right choices? This thought loomed in her mind like an echo down empty halls. It was easier to distance herself from who she had once aspired to become then to face the reality that she was farther away now then she had ever been. She began to create space from the people around her instead of connecting authentically. It was easier to pretend, requiring less energy. Slowly, she shrank into the person others had expected to her be.

Model, Joy Casey. Photo taken by Milaya C Photography. Clothing and styling by HysisDesigns.
Model, Joy Casey. Photo taken by Milaya C Photography.

Clothing and styling by HysisDesigns.

As she shrank smaller, self-doubt grew louder in her mind like the sound of an oncoming train. How had she ended up here so far from where she thought she would be? So far from the person that she thought she was? At night she dreamed of running through the forest, restlessly searching but for what, she did not know. In her dreams, glaring strangers stood around each corner with their unspoken expectations. She woke each morning questioning herself, unable to remember the details of her dreams, only left with the lingering feeling of doubt.

Model, Joy Casey. Photo taken by Milaya C Photography.
Clothing and styling by HysisDesigns.
Model, Joy Casey. Photo taken by Milaya C Photography. Clothing and styling by HysisDesigns.

Suddenly she finds herself at a crossroads. Her past haunts her like a long shadow in the evening light but she knows that those ghosts hold no power outside her mind. As she stairs down the path of uncertainty, she realizes that she is the one who determines her fate. Knowing that she must leave her past behind, she takes the first step into her future.

Model, Joy Casey. Photo taken by Milaya C Photography. Clothing and styling by HysisDesigns.

Self-actualization does not occur quickly, this is a long road filled with potholes and roadblocks that can cause pain and prolong the journey. As the sun finally shines on her, she realizes she has become the person she has longed to be. No longer held back by the expectations of others, she fully embraces her identity. Meaningful relationships blossom under the rays of authenticity. She is growing.

Model, Joy Casey. Photo taken by Milaya C Photography.
Clothing and styling by HysisDesigns.
Model, Joy Casey. Photo taken by Milaya C Photography. Clothing and styling by HysisDesigns.

When thoughts of self-doubt and regret come creeping in her mind she addresses them fully with the confidence of knowing who she is. Eventually, fitful nights have turned into a restful sleep. Her future has always been hers to control but now she knows that nothing can hold her back. As she continues her journey into the unknown, one thing is certain, she will always be in control of her future. She gets to decide who she is.

Model, Joy Casey. Photo taken by Milaya C Photography. Clothing and styling by HysisDesigns.
Model, Joy Casey. Photo taken by Milaya C Photography.
Clothing and styling by HysisDesigns.

Both evening gown and cocktail dress are custom-made by HysisDesigns for Elements of the Beautiful. We would like to thank Toni and Duana for creating such beautiful pieces for us. To read our original interview with HysisDesigns and to get an inside look into their brand and creative process, click here. To follow them on Instagram, click here.

Styling of gowns is done by HysisDesigns. Makeup and Photography performed by Milaya C Photography. Hair executed by Kaitlin Ford. Locations of winery shoot was sponsored by Weingut Gehring. The concept of story, hair, and makeup is done in collaboration between Elements of the Beautiful and HysisDesigns.

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