gIRL series: Arabella

gIRL / photography

Emma Hoareau

Emma Hoareau
May 20, 2019


gIRL series: Arabella

Bella is one of my closest friends and I’m so glad this series means I got to shoot her like this since, oddly enough, I’ve never shot her before even though we lived together for years when we first moved to London. It was a time after university when none of us really knew what we were doing with our lives and were trying to figure out where we stood and what we wanted to be. Of course, we don’t have everything figured out yet but it seems to have fallen at the perfect time now as we are both in a sense where we always hoped we would end up. I finally feel comfortable in the kind of work I want to create and put out there, and Bella has just made the leap to going freelance and I am so proud of her for doing so, and she is also getting married to one of my best friends from school in six weeks times.
Here we shot her in her flat in London alongside her dog, Sonny Bill.


Since starting the series I’ve really enjoyed not only creating the images and reading the answers to the questions below, but also spending the time with the women I am shooting and talking more about life and our bodies as we do so. It’s made me realise how our relationships with our bodies is very much a part of us – whether we want it to define us or not. And this isn’t a negative comment, but rather to questions the idea that ‘we are more than our bodies’. Of course we are, but our relationship with our bodies, especially as women, is something that will always be there – through the ups and the downs of acceptance.
I’m so glad me doing this series made us give the time to me shooting her, and I love creating images of people that allow them to see how the world may see them, too.


What makes you feel beautiful?


I think when I’m truly having fun and just letting go, not worrying about what people are thinking or doing and just when I am really living in the moment. Of course, there’s nothing better than when you’re by the sea all sun-kissed, that’s probably when I feel at my most natural and don’t feel the pressure to dress up or put makeup on, I literally feel good in a pair of bikini bottoms and a tee.


What does beauty to you?


I think beauty can be and mean so many different things – to me it’s more about a character. If someone is funny, kind, generous. I know it’s an oldie but I really do believe in the phrase beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


What is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?


Scenery wise, I loved Vietnam – there are so many incredible beaches with white sands and blue seas and I love traveling through a place and seeing all of its different elements. It’s also pretty beautiful to watch your friends achieve something huge, whether it be starting a business, getting married or just them being their fabulous selves!


See more of the gIRL series here.