Powerful portraits

“I felt so good and I wanted someone to feel like that as well"

The Bulletin News
Zelda Bezuidenhout

Gold Leaf Studios introduced a series called Powerful Portraits in June this year. After a night of binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy, studio photographer Zelda Bezuidenhout awoke to an empowering idea.
With a little extra time to herself, Zelda embarked on a session of self-portraiture that made her attentive to the needs of women. “I felt so good and I wanted someone to feel like that as well; I had to let someone else experience this feeling,” Zelda said.
“I created a package titled powerful portraits, and it’s for women. Although it’s not just for mothers, when I thought of it, I was speaking from the perspective of a mother,” she said. “When I spoke to my husband about it, I was nervous about getting the right idea across because people have a lot of opinions. I was worried that because I’m a mom, the naked shoulders wouldn’t attract the right kind of attention”.
Her worries were quickly dispelled, however, because “the ladies’ responses were amazing. The women who got their photos taken freaked out. They often came in anxious and nervous but when they left, the confidence was so visible,” Zelda said.
When asked if she thought that people feel empowered when they left, she said “absolutely”. According to Zelda, women all have this need to feel appreciated and beautiful again. So this series is about feeling like “a million bucks”.
Initially, Powerful Portraits was an initiative for the month of June, but as Zelda got more and more enquiries about it, it became clear that an extension was in order. Gleaming with excitement, Zelda told the Bulletin that she had not expected Powerful Portraits to go as far as they have. The series has even drawn the attention of clients outside of Secunda.
The preoccupied nature of motherhood means that sometimes, women forget about their beauty. Between taking the kids to school and preparing meals for the family, feeling beautiful can often get thrown out the window! And even for women who aren’t mothers, the business of everyday life can so quickly overshadow one’s confidence. That’s why Powerful Portraits, which portrays women as both beautiful and strong, is an essential project.


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