Inspiration, Photography

The Hidden Potential

Yuliya Rae Seattle Photographer Outdoors Bloom Flower Portraits

While out shopping with a friend at a local thrift store, I stumbled upon a dress. Now, this is not a story of me falling in love with it at first sight or realizing it’s the one thing my life has been missing. This is a story of hidden potential.

When I looked at that dress, my first through was – the size is too large, I can’t use it for anything. I was ready to pass it and move on. It was true: the dress was size 22 and I would have a hard time finding a way to use it. However, it had a beautiful flowing skirt with tulle covering and a beautiful sparkling lace overlay on the top that made me stop and look twice.

What if I make a skirt out of it?”, I mused out loud to my friend. “I could cut off the top and work on the skirt to make it fit many sizes and still make it look really nice.” For the first time, I really started examining the exquisite details before me. In searching for potential, I noticed the detailing on the flowers that covered the top portion of it. I noticed the cool pockets it came with. I noticed the stitching and how well put together this gown was. It was sewn with care and attention and finally I was taking in the full image before me. This dress was gorgeous and it deserved to be seen, whether in its original form or a re-purposed one.

And then something else occurred to me – don’t we do the same with people and especially ourselves? We are all guilty of taking out an imaginary microscope every time we look at ourselves and zooming in on the flaws: blemishes, wrinkles, cheek bone structure, chin shape. We look down on these ‘flaws’ and completely fail to see the full picture’. But when we stop and look without analyzing specific parts, when we pay attention, when we look at the person in the mirror, inevitably we find something amazing.

You may notice how luminous your smile is that day and how you seem to glow from the inside. Or you’ll feel really good about a project you just completed and it will reflect back to you in the mirror. All of a sudden, we see what is hidden. What we typically choose not to see. The hidden potential, the true self, the inner light. Isn’t that worth stopping to take a second look?

I purchased the dress and worked on it the same night. I made a beautiful skirt that had a flow that put a smile on my face. And when I photographed it a day later, my heart was filled with joy for finding a hidden treasure and showing it to the world in a new light.

Enjoy the before and after photo of what the dress looked like when I purchased it and what it ended up being when I photographed it.

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