A Lesson in Confidence, Being Bold and Peeling the Layers

Have you ever had a first impression of someone and gotten it completely wrong? Yeah, me too. I first met Sarah over email a few years ago. We had been trying to set up an extended family photo session and due to weather and other issues it didn't end up happening. I thought for sure that I had let her down. And here's the thing… when we first met I could sense this bold quality about her. She was self-assured, forward in her requests, and brazen which intimidated me a bit. Well, I want to admit to you all and to Sarah that I was wrong. Let me explain... It's hard for me to write this, and I think that's because it is coming from a place of embarrassment. I realized that I hadn't really taken the time to get to know Sarah. I misunderstood her, and I was probably judging this beautiful woman who seemed to have it all. I am sharing this because I think (as women) we feel threatened by someone's confidence quite often. And what I have learned through the years, is that there is more to that confidence than meets the eye. There is more to that hard outer shell (of us human beings) and if we simply took the time to peel away at our outer layers, we would find so much truth, beauty and vulnerability at our cores. We might find a real connection and build truly meaningful relationships. And for me, this extends into my work because it is so very personal.

So, what I'd like to do is tell you about the Sarah that I've gotten to know, and the woman who is so very BOLD and for reasons that you may not know. When her daughter was 1 1/2 years old, Sarah was diagnosed with cancer (after a few months of suspicions that something wasn’t right). She had to undergo a radical hysterectomy and the recovery was tough. Sarah told me that, "while it was very emotional and painful to go through the diagnosis, procedure and recovery, I knew I had to be brave and fearless for myself and my family."

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Motherhood was something that Sarah longed for and she was not going to let cancer take that away from her. Learning about this part of Sarah's journey made me realize one thing. The boldness I had sensed in her, it was really her bravery shining through.

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Thankfully, Sarah gave me a second chance as you can see. :-) I've learned so much about the amazing and sentimental woman that she is, and how she loves family snuggles in her bed. I've witnessed her emotional side especially when it comes to her supportive husband, their spirited daughter, and fur baby, Murphy. I've been touched by the gratitude she shares for this life and for her health. Sarah prays for a child to come into her family through adoption. If you are the praying type, I know she'd appreciate yours as well.

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The more I work with courageous, resilient and gutsy women (like Sarah), the more I want to show the world that there is so much more to them than meets the eye. I hope you'll see that there is a softer side too. There is a playful, romantic, affectionate and optimistic part of her. A side that believes in living out her dreams. A side that believes in fighting for what matters. A side that is tender and wants to keep her loved ones close. A side that is nurturing in so many ways.

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Sarah, I hope you'll know how much I have appreciated you letting me in. Not just into your home or your family life. Letting me in and peeling the layers so I could truly get to know you. Sharing some of your deepest and darkest moments. We are women who (through our struggles) have had to be our most daring selves possible. This kind of daring can sometimes be misunderstood as too confident or bold. People have misunderstood mine. I misunderstood yours and for that I am deeply sorry. And thank you for proving me wrong! I now see you as the… VIVID, BRAVE and UNSTOPPABLE woman that you are!

PS - If any of you are drooling over Sarah's navy nails up top, you can visit her store to get them yourself!

Sarah Lehberger

Easton, CT

Sarah Lehberger is a photographer based on the shoreline of Connecticut, just 90 mins from New York City, in the small town of Easton. She specializes in photography that celebrates working Moms and their families. She is also a Co-Founder of She Will Thrive, providing business coaching, retreats and workshops to women entrepreneurs, creatives and small business owners.

Sarah's career started in the news and entertainment industry. A storyteller at heart, she began photographing weddings in 2003 while also working full time at Getty Images, NY in their editorial department. Sarah enjoyed the fast-paced and glamorous events she would collaborate on, yet deep down she was craving more purpose driven work. In 2005 she decided to leave the corporate world to launch her full time wedding business, which received numerous awards and features throughout the industry.

In 2013 Sarah rebranded her business so she could continue her mission to celebrate women, with a new focus on mothers. She feels strongly about empowering women and creatives to succeed, and has been a speaker at conferences such as ShootDotEdit's Unlimited Happiness Tour, Inspire Photo Retreats, as well as a past coach and mentor for Team X Academy.