'BE YOUR OWN KIND OF BEAUTIFUL' Photo Series by Pam Headridge 

My goal is to capture everyone’s “own kind of beautiful” in pictures.  This means being the person that simply follows her heart. Being yourself is finding the joy within and loving who you are. Everywhere we turn, we hear about what is wrong with society. It is time to value the beauty in each one of us. We need to appreciate our own individualism. Everyone has her own story. So go out there and tell your story in your own way…. writing, playing, loving, creating, caring, …LIVING!  And hopefully I can capture and share that story through the lens of my camera. As Coco Chanel so eloquently phrased it, " Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself ".  


Pam Sada has riden motorcycles most of her life.  She say when she has a bad day, she hops on her bike and everything is good again. To her, "Life is an unrepeatable adventure. You will never have a second chance to do what you want. Live your life. Be who you want to be. Climb aboard your day and ride it like the wind, as today's passions for adventure are tomorrow's greatest memories!" That about sums it up.

CONFIDENCE MISSIONHigh school students need to own who they are and appreciate their individualism.  Often teenagers do not understand that their personality, traits and values are what make them unique and important. Believing in one's self will inspire each person to take action and tap into their strengths.  I sat down with a group of Oak Harbor High School cheerleaders and asked them to write down on a sheet of paper some positive characteristics about themselves and what they liked. Next, the coach read out load each paper and their teammates guessed who each was. After that, each person's paper was passed around so their fellow cheerleaders could write what they admired about each one. At the end, each cheerleader wrote on a chalkboard , "I am ____________ and I like___________" statements.  They proudly displayed their characteristics and I photographed them. Here are the results. In the end, I think the group found a new sense of confidence in who they are. Be brave, be confident, be YOU!

 THE POWER OF A SMILE - What makes this lady beautiful?  The power of her smile!   Norman Vincent Peale wrote, " Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry. Live simply, expect little, give much. Scatter sunshine, forget self, think of others."  That sums up Sylvia Arnold. I met Sylvia many years ago while we were both coaching high school cheerleading. The girls and boys at Coupeville High School were so blessed to have her as their coach.  She has a gift of igniting their passion to work hard, be better, kinder people and be proud of who they are.  Mac Anderson says, "Attitude is contagious. Is yours worth catching?"  Sylvia's certainly is. She always has a smile on her face and a loving, caring, nurturing attitude. Her faith is her foundation. She loves working with youth from the timid, little 4 year old who is not sure what to do, to a high schooler who is trying to discover who he is. When you meet Sylvia for the first time or see her on a daily bases, her face always lights up with a big smile and she greets you with a warm, comforting hug. She makes you feel very special.  I followed her around on a sunny Wednesday morning as she supervised vacation bible school at Living Hope Foursquare Church in Coupeville WA. I believe the pictures speak for themselves. They show her as she moves through the church she so loves: directing a group of characters rehearsing a play that shares the message to accept each of us for who we are despite our differences, to helping a little girl with a craft project, to throwing water balloons outside during fun and games time, to proofing a church flyer, to celebrating the amount of food in the youth can food drive, to stopping, talking, listening, and hugging everyone she sees.  Albert Schweitzer wrote, "Sometimes our light goes out but is blown again into flames by an encounter with another human being. Each of us owes the deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light".  Sylvia is that type of person who rekindles that inner light in people. A big thank you, Sylvia Arnold! 


YOUNG, STRONG, DETERMINED - With the Olympics just around the corner, these young gymnasts show their kind of beautiful. It is all about being strong and determined. They train at Northshore Gymnastics and put in hours to perfect their skills. They are Mya, Sharleez, Soraya, Cheyenne, and Kina. Through their practices, they learn perseverance, commitment, dedication and many life lessons that they can take into adulthood. Each one knows what it takes to succeed and with guidance from their coaches, they learn the the glory and satisfaction of victory.  


I started this series off with SARAH REINSTRA.  She is a woman that I have admired for years.  Sarah is a lady with a full plate: 2 jobs, 3 children, a husband, a farm full of animals, and, like most of us, faces a whole slew of challenges each day. Yet with all this, she manages to always stay upbeat and positive. Her love of animals shows all over her face as she is out in the field feeding the goats, collecting the eggs from the chickens, grooming her horse, and driving the tractor full of feed and hay. "I love it when work is play!", she says with a big smile on her face.  While photographing her as she attends to her daily chores, Sarah said " I could talk about my animals all day. They are just so much fun!"  Yes, this little bit of heaven is her family, her farm, her animals and her love of the great outdoors. Loving and knowing how precious these things are, is what makes Sarah so beautiful!