Happy Self Love Day GIVEAWAY!

So, Valentines Day. Some people love it. Some people hate it. Can you guess which camp my single ass is in?

Self Love Sessions Trish Barker Photography

I freaking LOVE this day. Last year I renamed it “Self Love Day” and ever since then, it’s become one of my favorite days of the year, mainly, because I started some new traditions:

  1. TREAT YO SELF! - definitely stole this one from Donna and Tom, but it’s a good one to steal. I am super good to myself on Self Love Day. If there’s a dress I’ve been wanting? I buy it. If there’s a place I’ve wanted to go, I go there. Self Love Day is about loving myself. It’s about saying yes to myself. Treating myself. Because I’m worth it and I don’t need to hear that from anyone but me to know it’s true.

  2. TREAT OTHERS - another tradition I started was buying bunches of roses and giving them out to strangers. I don’t need to know them. They don’t need to know me. But everyone deserves a little love, and I’ve been given so much love over the past year and a half that I am overflowing with love to pay forward. It is so awkward at first. But as the awkwardness subsides, and the smiles flow out of strangers… it gets addictive.

Self Love Sessions Trish Barker Photography

So I definitely treated myself this year. I went ahead and booked myself a boudoir shoot. I’m scared AF, but I also know that I need to celebrate my post cancer body and so I’m doing it. Out of my comfort zone I go!

And then I was wondering, how can I treat others this year? I’ll likely do flowers again, because the experience genuinely brings me so much joy. But I wanted to up the ante… so I’m going to help someone else to TREAT YO SELF by giving away one of my favorite types of sessions… a SELF LOVE SESSION!


So this isn’t a gimmick where I’m trying to gain followers or likes. This is a genuine show of love in the hopes that it will inspire others to love themselves. All you have to do to enter is to type FIVE NICE THINGS about yourself in the comments below, or on my instagram post. (FIVE NICE THINGS is another of my favorite traditions… if you’re unfamiliar with it… read this) That will automatically enter you to win a SELF LOVE SESSION with me.

A SELF LOVE session can be anything you want. It can be boudoir if you want, or it can be you chilling at your favorite spot, or it can be you with your fur baby…. you name it… Self Love is all about doing something you’ve wanted to do but haven’t allowed yourself yet. 30 minutes, 6 rolls of film, and photos of you that you love, doing something that you love, or just being in love with yourself and with life.

Disclaimers: It’s got to be five NICE things about you. So like, “I’m smart”, or “I’m a good friend”. And you’ve got to be on Maui to cash this offer in. And I can’t do Hana (cause I’m too scared to drive that road)

So go ahead. Say FIVE NICE THINGS about yourself in the comments below. (If you need help getting started, around here we usually start with “I’m good at saying good things about myself” to get things rolling… see… now you only need to come up with 4… what’s stopping you?)

Learning is Fun!

Hahahahaha... not really.  Not the real learning.  The situations that teach us what we really need to know about ourselves are usually pretty freaking un-fun.   But this lesson, that this beautiful lady brought into my life.. ya... it was fun... and MAN was that a welcomed break from the "I'm gonna shove this lesson down your throat covered in sand paper" type of learning that's been happening over in my neck of the palm trees lately.

You see, we're all creating our own experience.  And I've always wondered how I manage to connect with the best people as clients.  It's too often to be a fluke.  But I've always just nudged it away as a string of luck that will one day probably end.  But you know why I really connect with the best people as clients?  


There.  I said it.  Time to own that shiz.  And that's what this girl taught me.  Cause she was nervous as all hell when we started (which makes perfect sense.  She's an amazing photographer, check her out here, and photographers typically HATE being on the other side of the camera).  But as soon as she let her guard down and just had fun and let herself really be herself... BOOM.  DAMN.  The beauty.  

So quit overthinking everything.  Set things up as best you can and then let them fall apart into exactly what they're supposed to be.  And trust that things will be at their best... YOU will be at your best... in those moments of trust and letting go.  Cheers to this beauty for reminding me that easy, fun lessons, still exist!  And for rocking her session.  Like fire baby...



Gift? Or Curse?

It's all about self realization lately.  And there is one thing that has become absolutely clear to me.  I can see the beauty and good in almost anyone.  I can see your beauty, even when you can't.  I can see your core, below the surface of any facade you may be putting up or story you may be telling yourself.  I immediately see and connect with who you really are underneath.  Your best you.  And it is beautiful.  I've always considered this a gift, especially in my line of work.


Lately though, I've been looking at that part of myself and wondering two things.  1.  Why the hell is it that I can see the goodness in everyone else but when I look at myself I see only flaws?  and 2.  Is it really a gift if seeing only the good in someone lands you in a world of hurt?  Because I stayed in a relationship for 20 years holding on to that persons core of goodness, trying desperately to get them to see it and to help them to act from that place.  Even when it was slowly being overtaken by something else.  Is it a gift?  Or is it really my curse?

I can't say that I've come up with any concrete answers to either of those questions.  But I have determined that in both of these cases, whatever the answers are... they are... get this... MY DECISION.


I decide whether or not I see my own beauty.  I decide if the rhetoric in my head is kind to me, or unkind.  I'll be totally honest.  One of my biggest challenges with this breakup is being on a small island.  A place where it's hard to not run into someone you know, or know when someone starts dating someone else.  And I dread the day that I run into my ex and see him with another woman.  Like, I literally spend hours thinking about him being happy with another woman and it destroys me inside.  And as I do this, I'm telling myself that I'm just preparing myself for when it happens so it doesn't catch me off guard.  But the truth of the matter is that there is NO preparing for that.  It is going to hurt like a mother no matter what.  And the fact that I'm thinking about that is just me being unkind to me.  And that shit has to stop.  So it is my decision, that every time those awful and painful thoughts enter my mind, I will instead visualize myself finding someone who makes me happy.  Or even just me being happy by myself.  It is my decision, and at this point it's really my job, to make sure that my thoughts are positive and supportive of ME.  I can not avoid hurt by trying to prepare for it.  I can avoid hurt by NOT HURTING MYSELF WITH MY OWN THOUGHTS.  You probably all already know this.  And it's not like I didn't know it... I just didn't realize how sneaky my mind was in finding ways to allow me to bash myself internally.  I'm deciding to focus on seeing my own beauty instead of having thoughts that make  me cry.


So, then, is seeing the beauty in others really my gift or my curse?  Because I ended up in a "real pickle" as a result of this trait.  And by "real pickle" I of course mean, "completely fucked". 

It seems it is a gift that was meant to be refined.  And I do think I'm coming to terms with the fact that even though this situation has looked and felt like a great diarrhea fest raining from the sky, it is actually the universe conspiring to teach me about this gift.  And how to maybe turn it around on myself for a while.  To see my own beauty.  To give myself credit for being a decent human and a pretty damn good mom.  To remind myself of my core.  And how to not only appreciate it, but cherish it.  

So why am I writing about this, at length, on my business photography blog?  First, since I can't afford therapy right now, y'all are it (thanks in advance, I'll try to wrap it up in the 50 minute allotted time frame).  And second, I know I'm not alone in this.  Struggle is what unites most of us and there are so many amazing, beautiful, strong, funny women that I know that do NOT give themselves credit enough, or feel beautiful, or recognize their strength.  And since I'm super good at seeing the true beauty in others, and transferring that onto film so that others can finally see it themselves, I've got a new offering.  


The idea here is it can be whatever you want.  Wanna do boudoir?  Bring it.  Wanna just do simple and conservative but super pretty? I'm in.  Wanna have fun and giggle and be stupid and play and not give a shit what anyone else thinks?  YES.  Wanna rock that bikini and play in the water?  Or wear those new jeans that make your butt look amazing and finally have an excuse to wear those heels that have been sitting in your closet for years?  Hell to the yes!  Wanna go super dark and moody?  Girl, I can relate.  We decide the what and the where, I run 5 rolls of film and then blow your mind showing you how beautiful you are.

The whole point of this is to encourage you to do something for you.  Something for fun, that will feed your soul and make you feel better.  And don't underestimate the power of having a photo of you that you love.  It really can change your perspective on yourself and that can have great impact in other areas of your life.  I'm moving into a space of empowering myself, and I want to use this time and my gift to help empower others.  Who's with me?  Click here to find out more...