Oneal Downer | Noir Collection

My name is ONeal, I am a mother to my three beautiful kids, I have an angel baby, a bonus daughter and two big ol fur babies. I work a full-time job and we are currently homeschooling —  I literally feel as if I’m one the busiest human beings in existence. To say the least, I have no time for myself. I totally went out of my norm and did a Noir shoot at Kent Smith Photography! I cannot put into words how happy I am that I did. Quarantine has really put a damper on my everyday routine life, working in Corporate America I was very used to my hair, makeup and business attire on a daily basis. Then boom we are sent to work from home and bring on the sweatpants and messy buns. At first it was almost relieving, but after the sixth month I really felt “me” slipping away. I needed something and just didn’t know what it was. I honestly feel like Kent Smith gave me what I was longing for.

I arrived to the studio literally shaking, I couldn’t believe my nerves actually. Sherri greeted me at the door and walked me to my very own dressing room, assured me to not be nervous but it was absolutely normal to be and then brought me mimosas! I got settled in and sooner than later I was sitting in a chair getting a glammed face. Jenni was my makeup artist and hair stylist. She was so real and so good at what she did I almost forgot I was ever nervous. She asked questions about how I wanted to look, how I wanted my hair, we had nice casual adult conversation, which I’m sure she had no idea how much I needed. I felt so comfortable and confident and I hadn’t even made it out of the makeup chair yet. The level of professionalism was A1, but the feeling of being in a real environment and being uplifted by beautiful people really was the win for me.

After seeing the result of hair makeup I began to feel excited for the pictures! I went back to my dressing room, with more mimosas and selfie taking of course because I was absolutely feeling myself! I finally met Amanda who was going to be my photographer. We went through outfits and began rather quickly. I was trying to not be nervous as I saw her with the camera in hand, I had no clue what to do or how to pose and feel comfortable in what were, in my opinion, some risky outfits! To my complete surprise as Amanda spoke and took pictures and I followed her lead I forgot where I was or what I was doing. I truly felt treasured. Amanda literally boosted my morale to another level. I cannot in my life remember a time feeling so confident and beautiful being half naked in front of a complete stranger, yet here I stood booty out, cleavage showing, and felt like a million dollars. I cannot thank her enough for the empowerment she gave me in this experience. Once we were finished and I was leaving I felt brand new. I bopped to music the entire way home and loved the “omg mommy you look so pretty” when I walked through the door to my kids.

As days passed and the day to view my photos came I was getting nervous all over again. I do not like looking at myself in pictures at all! I arrive again greeted by Sherri who just radiates such a powerful aura of genuine kindness. As we begin viewing photos I’m feeling gross, I didn’t like them, not that anything was wrong I just didn’t like ME. Sherri was so uplifting assuring the beauty she saw in the pictures. I finally relaxed and before we knew it I was totally in love with so many of the images. I was worried about pricing but I was more worried about how to get these pictures home to forever cherish the feeling I felt while getting them done. Sherri made my dreams come true, she truly worked with me in every way and got me exactly what I wanted and needed. The experience all around was so amazing. I absolutely feel like this shoot with these wonderful ladies at Kent Smith is an experience that every woman should have at least once in their life! I love women powering women and everything about this opened my eyes and empowered me!

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