Conceptual Portrait Session // From Darkness into Light – Pt. 1

In late 2018, I received an intriguing message over Instagram from a follower, Sam. She presented an idea for a conceptual portrait session and asked if I would create a set of images that would be particularly meaningful for her.

For Sam, 2018 was a dark year of oppression and emotional pain; however, the ongoing healing process brought a wealth of personal growth and transformation. Sam felt compelled to document her story of hardship and healing as this two-part portrait series, “From Darkness into Light.”

Part One: Darkness

conceptual portrait session by Elizabeth A. Images

There are no rules when it comes to the grieving process. In grief, and one can lurch from cool denial to searing rage in a moment. Grief is a prolonged, grisly battle until eventually, it is mercifully over.

conceptual portrait session by Elizabeth A. Images

Grief is a monster; it compels us to flee for survival’s sake.

Tomorrow will be the day to sort through this dense swarm of emotions …I’ll be ready tomorrow.

conceptual portrait session by Elizabeth A. Images

In grief, anger simmers in the chest as familiar heat with infinite depth. The ever-present embers threaten to expand into rage and overwhelm with bright, blinding pain.

conceptual portrait session by Elizabeth A. Images CLT

Sam screamed her rage into the stillness of the morning.

When the anger finally burns away, weighty loss remains. Depression rolls in suffocating waves, threatening to overwhelm and smother its victims indiscriminately.

We ended the conceptual portrait session with these triumphant images. Sam, hatchet in hand, is a symbol of grit and strength as she faces her future.

conceptual portrait session by Elizabeth A. Images

Difficult seasons don’t have to make a us bitter; we are only victims of our circumstances if we choose to be. We must grieve, but then we can choose to move forward bravely into our new reality. Painful challenges present opportunities to transform us into better beings.

conceptual portrait session by Elizabeth A. Images
conceptual portrait session by Elizabeth A. Images CLT photographer

Part two of this conceptual portrait session, “From Darkness into Light,” will be on the blog next week!

If you would like to have your personal journey documented with a conceptual portrait session, I would love to plan one with you! Click here:

-Elizabeth A.


  1. This is uniquely personal yet you make it relatable, Liz. I understand grief as I experienced it at a very young age at a time I comprehend now as the most personal and lonely time in my life. Thank you Sam for allowing Liz to share your vulnerable state in an effort to display these emotions. Just as always…. beautiful and REAL. These emotions look very differently for each person. I look forward to next week 🙂


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