Why every woman should have a Goddess experience | Cypress Photographer

I grew up very insecure. I was a rule follower. I remember at age 6 being told by a grown up that I was beautiful and that as long as I didn’t get fat I could model.  Then I remember looking at my belly and taking note of it’s roundness or lack of it. These moments in which adults discussed my body have been burned into my memory, and they came more often as I grew up.

By age 9 I had put on weight due to too much tv in the summer and no outdoor playtime. That year was the first year I was put on a diet, and from then on I began my struggle with eating, with accepting myself and hating what I looked like. It never occur to me that I was beautiful. From then on, it was always a goal that some day I would be pretty, and I would have the perfect body.  By the time I reached Highschool I was almost 200 lbs.

It is something I still continue to live with. Something I think about every day of my life. Worse, something I hear from every woman I photograph.  Out of all the women I photographed only one woman told me with conviction how happy and accepting she was about being herself. She is amazing, and she didn’t get there by accident, it took a lot of work, and a whole lot of self reflection and to me she is #goals.

I was brought up to be humble, to never “brag” or say nice things about myself. I was told your face is pretty but… I still struggle with compliments, and with acknowledging my achievements.

It’s hard ya’ll. But, thru this experience. Thru Goddess, I have found a strength and a desire to take care of myself. To not judge the women I meet by their appearance or the perfectly constructed and curated social media profile. Comparison is the thief of joy. I am focus on my wellbeing. To think about my health. To cut out the people who hurt me and to embrace and uplift others. I am grateful for finding the inspiration to create Goddess. Because it has given more to me in five months than I have ever received from any other pursue I have made.

I share these women’s stories with you, I get to be raw and vulnerable and I get to meet them.

It is ok to want to be healthier, stronger and even thinner. But, it doesn't mean that you shouldn't love the body you have right now.  That body is keeping you alive. You are breathing; it literally loves you so much that it keeps going every single day.

I am at an incredible juncture of life. I am turning 37 years old on Saturday.  If you had asked me how I felt about that 5 years ago, I would have had a panic attack.  Now, at my heaviest and possibly my most unhealthy point, I have found my true self. Not the exterior; the warrior, the mother, the leader.  I am more confident today in the woman I have become than I have ever been. I am grateful every day that I am still breathing and that I am here, alive and able to care for my family.

maria arellano professional photographer


I still get on the scale, I still feel anxiety and I still struggle to look at myself in the mirror. But, who I have become is someone I am proud to be.  The rolls and gray hairs do not defined me.


Through my work as a portrait photographer I get to meet the most fascinating people. I have the honor of capturing their stories and their authentic self’s.

I hope that in my own little space I create a place where they feel safe to be themselves.  


My name is Maria Micaela Arellano, and I'm a woman, I am a daughter, sister, mother of two amazing girls, teacher, friend, and portrait artist.


I care about others, and I hope that the women I meet feel that as I pursue my goals with tenacity, I will continue to work on myself and to help others.  I stumble, I fall, I get up, I make mistakes. I also have hurt people, I am not perfect nor do I aspire to be.


So, tell me your story, your journey… I want to know you, I want to photograph you.

maria arellano