Lin’s experience with Woman in Nature

In Lin Murphy’s words…

I had been enjoying Deborah Nearys’ photographs for years.


When she started doing the Women in Nature project, I was mesmerized.   I saw many of my friends looking just fabulous!

Deborah’s photography brought out their true inner nature, each one unique in their favorite place outdoors. I wanted to do it too!

It took me a long while to make an appointment.   I had fears and reservations about doing a photo shoot of me.  Am I being egotistical?  What if I looked ridiculous?

I worried about my weight, what to wear and will I look phony or forced.  I did not want to be naked, like some women chose.  Where should I do it?  What about the weather?  Would I be cold outside?  Inhibited?  Would there be people passing by watching?

I wanted to do it in the summertime when the gorgeous green in the Northeast where we live is in its full glory.

When we finally made the appointment one day in early summer, it was a foggy day verging on rain.  My heart was set on a sunny day.  Deborah suggested we meet in the park anyway and deal with some of my concerns.  It was all part of the process.

I brought a few pieces of clothing from my closet; a white T-shirt, a white gauzy skirt, and a colorful scarf to show to Deborah for her opinion. She held up the t-shirt and said “really? Is this is what you want to wear? Is it tight?”

She gently suggested I maybe want to wear something more interesting.  She asked if I had any dresses.  Well yes, but not anything I could see myself wearing out in the woods.

She suggested we go over to the “New 2 You” consignment shop on Route 50 because they have a lot of dresses.

It sounded good and was starting  to rain, so off we went.  We each pulled a couple of dresses off the racks for me to try on.  I would have stopped with one.   Deborah’s insistence that I try on more was pushing my conservative, penny pinching buttons. “Let’s look at a lot!” she said.   After a few, I started feeling like a little girl playing dress up and having fun. Yes, fun!

Deborah handed me some things I would not have chosen in a million years, but she seemed to have something in mind, so I went with her hunches and played along.

I assumed she had an eye for what might look good on me and what might look fabulous in the woods.  We found some crazy, vintage dresses.

When Deborah handed me a sleeveless, low cut, short, tight dress made completely of silver sparkling sequins, I balked.

You have to be kidding….sequins?  Me?   No way!
“Just try it on”, she said.

I’ve gone this far; with a flowing green and brown dress with ferns all over it and a sexy, tight leopard-like dress that showed my cleavage.   I’m already going to hell, so why not go all the way.  I slipped on the silver sequenced dress and by god, it not only fit me like a glove, but it looked awesome!  I couldn’t believe it was me looking back in the mirror. Must be someone else.

The store clerks and everyone else in the shop were all like “that looks great on you”.
“I want to photograph you in that dress” Deborah said.

There just happened to be a pair of glittery spike- high heeled shoes that went perfectly with the dress and Deborah encouraged me to try them on.

What?  Me, a Birkenstock sandal hippy; no way am I going to wear these high heels.  They’re politically incorrect!  They’re against my religion!   Just try them!

Dam, they made my legs look good!

So I bought 4 dresses and a pair of spiked high heels for a pittance being a second hand shop and already I was seeing myself in a different light.  I was feeling sensual and feminine…

If I can put on these flowing, sparkly dresses…. and look and feel great, what next?  What else can I try that’s new and exciting?  Maybe I’ve been limiting myself. Maybe my body image and in fact my self-image has been way off.

I’d been feeling kind of old and dowdy.  I just didn’t see myself as someone who could wear anything like this in this lifetime.

Deborah was having me push the envelope.  If you got it, why not flaunt it?  Why not feel beautiful, and maybe even glamorous?

The morning we chose to head out for the shoot was a warm early summer day.  We traipsed off, dresses and camera in hand to the Skidmore woods.

The early sunlight coming through the new green leaves was magical.  I had on the leopard spot dress that emphasized my boobs and was feeling really self -conscious.  Deborah had me jump around like a child, which loosened me up some.

We casually walked along in the woods and kept our eyes open for interesting sites in the environment.  A hollowed out tree, fallen leaves, a hillside strewn with ferns and moss-covered rocks and streams with wooden bridges crossing over them.

After a while, I lost my inhibitions and got into it.

When we got together to view the photos, I was stunned.

I never saw myself like that!  The dresses brought out my feminine curves and quite beautiful, fit body that I was used to hiding behind T-shirts and baggy clothes. I am no young chick at 62 but I saw myself in these photos as vibrant, soft, and the earthy, sensual woman that I am.  This is the real me. These photos were not photo shopped!

I can no longer think of myself as unattractive or obsolete.

I have the photos to remind me of what is true.
Now I have a sequin dress and shoes that I wore out to a fancy French restaurant with my honey.  He was very happy and it spiced up our marriage.

I facilitate women’s wisdom circles and I am going to suggest to every women I know to give herself a gift and do a photo shoot with Deborah out in Nature.  I am so glad I did.


  1. monica alberico says:

    Met you a few years back at the Gideon Spa. A friend of mine is interested in photography; I was telling her of your exhibit at the Spa and now I have discovered your lovely website. I’m going to send my friend, Maria your website information…she may be in touch. Just wanted to give you
    a heads up and also wish you well. Thank you, Monica

    • Thank you Monica for your comment.If you are on Face book I have a “Woman in Nature” page which has many more of my photographs. I hope to meet you again and look forward to hearing from your friend, Maria.

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