Is your Facebook profile picture of you on your wedding day and that was so long ago you have to work out what number anniversary it is this year?  Or perhaps, like me, faced with this reality you had no choice but to change the image to one of your feet.  Hey they are good looking feet enjoying tropical sand!  Ok, so yours is not of your feet, but I bet it’s of your children or you hiding behind them.  The truth is, for most of us, when someone pulls out a camera we cringe or hide.

When I asked the Nourish team to give me a profile picture of themselves for our website, I got every excuse there was.  A year on our website still lacked smiling images of the wonderful women behind Nourish, so I decided to do something about it.

Enter Jade Thorby.  I had seen a few posts on Facebook of glowing, happy women Jade had captured, so I gave her a call and discovered the answer to our prayers.  We met for coffee, and I explained the teams’ reluctance to step in front of the camera.  Seeing first hand women’s unwillingness to be photographed, Jade says, “The first problem is that we spend all our time seeing ourselves in mirrors.  Then when we see a photograph, that mental mirror image is flipped.  Though some women might feel confident in how they look, when they see a picture that is not a mirror image, they get that feeling of “that doesn’t look like me!” and believe they are not photogenic.”

In addition to this, Jade says, “The biggest reason why women feel reluctant to have their photograph taken is because of their own inner critic that affects our overall self-esteem and how we see ourselves.  We all have an ‘inner voice’, regardless of who we are.  Though we might not consciously be aware of our inner critic, it is always there giving us a running commentary of our everyday actions.  This voice can be kind and compassionate, but mostly it is extremely critical and judgemental.”  This is where Jade steps in.  “My goal,” Jade says, “is to help celebrate and empower women to feel beautiful and confident in their own skin at any stage of life.”

An avid photographer from a young age, Jade says she took photos of everything: friends, family, gardens, cars, all to hone her skills.  She then started helping wedding photographers gleaning all the skills and knowledge she could.  Then, during a spur of the moment trip to Rotorua in 2011, she chanced upon the NZIPP Iris Awards for Professional Photographers and saw portraits by Sue Bryce.

“There was something incredibly alluring to these portraits,” Jade remembers. “I could see the skill and creativity that went into creating these portraits. They had been styled in a way to give a deep impactful feeling that drew me in.”  Jade started following Sue, a professional portrait photographer and educator, and eventually took her comprehensive online course.

Still working full time, Jade began working on her business.  She got talking to Olivia Down of Dash Beauty & Make-up Studio (originally Glenview Beauty Studio) and the two began collaborating.  Olivia is still Jade’s go to make-up artist. She loves working with Jade and enjoys the great atmosphere on shoot days.  The final results are also a thrill, says Olivia.


Hair and make-up are just part of the package, which starts with a comprehensive consultation with Jade before the day of the photo shoot.  Here she gets you to think about wardrobe for the day as well as hairstyle and make-up. She also gives you some tips to ensure you get the most out of the day.

So after introducing the team to Jade and her going over the day and showing us some of her work, we were nervous and excited about our shoot.  Much discussion ensued about outfits, make-up and accessories, and then the day arrived.  Champagne and nibbles at the ready, we took turns getting our hair and make-up done and generally being pampered before Jade took over and we faced the camera.

Here we were in the professional hands of the always smiling Jade as she directed and contorted us into flattering poses.  After many wardrobe changes and even more laughs our day was at an end and all there was to do was to wait to see the results.

A few weeks later we were back in Jade’s studio and presented with a video of our day and the finished images.  In a word, WOW.  A few tears were shed as we saw smiling and sometimes sexy faces presented as we had never seen before.

This was an amazing experience and one we will all treasure along with the gorgeous images we will have forever.


I believe all women are beautiful, and they deserve to feel beautiful and to love and embrace who they are at any stage of life.

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