Machaela is by far one of the kindest, beautiful souls I have ever met. We met a few months ago while both working at Anthropologie, and the first day I met her, I wanted to photograph her. I told her about a project I’ve been working on that I fondly call my, “Natural Beauty Project,” and she so sweetly agreed. This project of mine is about capturing women in their natural beautiful state; hair air dried, minimal to no make-up, nothing overly posed or harsh lights, just them. And it’s enough. It’s always been enough. But, with social media these days, fashion magazines, etc… portraying the “ideal image,” what is enough, and purely beautiful gets looked over. So I created a mission for myself to capture these beautiful women. All women. Different ages, looks, ethnicities, talents, lifestyles, and so on as they perfectly naturally are. Beautiful.

Machaela and I ventured out to the winding roads of Percy Warner park here in Nashville. We pulled off where the tree canopies were letting through the perfect amount of sunlight, the birds were wildly chirping and there were no outside world distractions. We had a few good laughs anytime Machaela tried to look directly into the camera (she eventually got the hang of it), and she told me that her favorite facial feature are her freckles. Her favorite clothing accessory is her hat, which may be my favorite accessory of hers as well, that she admitted makes her feel like a young female version of Clint Eastwood.

If there was anything about this beautiful old soul I thought you should know (other than how kind she is), it’s that she is an insanely talented musician. Her voice is one of the purest I’ve heard, and her song writing draws you in to her world and forces you to feel every word. You can hear Machaela’s music at machaelanesler.bandcamp.com …

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