Portland, Maine Portrait Photographer :: Eliza & Anti-bullying :: Linda Barry Photography

This has been my third time working with Eliza, and I love each time more than the last! This one was particularly special, because Eliza came to me a few months ago with this session in mind – a session where the focus is on anti-bullying, and the fact that you don’t need makeup to be beautiful. We had to reschedule several times due to the weather, and I’m so happy that it finally worked out! It was a gorgeous day, and the Sandy river in Farmington was the perfect spot.

Here is Eliza’s story, and the photos we captured from that day:

“Starting something like this is hard so I’m going to start typing and see where my mind takes me.

Since I could remember I have had a huge imagination. From fairy houses to unicorns and everything in between. I can’t say why I was bullied about having a passion for “fairy tale things” but I think that this is where it began. There were mean comments thrown back and forth like in most children’s lives but I was too young to really let them bother me. As I got older and older more comments about “unicorn girl” came up and it began to bother me. I would try to joke about it but each blow hurt more and more. In 8th grade was when some of the worst set in. One of my first memories was having a boy at the first dance of 8th grade tell me that I had thunder thighs and that I wouldn’t get a boyfriend. There were many names thrown at me including thunder thighs but the one that hurt the most was unicorn girl. How could something so harmless like the favorite animal of a little girl turn into a painful retort from my peers? That was the earliest I remember starting to care about my weight and looks. My clothes were never cool enough to fit in with the popular girls and I wasn’t pretty enough for the boys to want to hang out with me. I put myself in with a crowd who I felt I would not be judged by. Quickly that turned. Before cyber bulling there were hate notes. I would get written notes from my “friends” saying things like “you’re too much of a goody goody to fit in with us” or “I don’t want you to hang out with us anymore.” Even after getting those notes we always made up which meant they told me they wanted to hang out again and that went in cycles. Throughout this I found my way with singing and dance.

Entering high school I was very nervous and didn’t really have a best friend to lean on. I had learned to become more independent which throughout high school I became familiar with. Although I always had people to hang out with there were very few I would have called my close friends. I began to express myself with style and began finding my way. My first boyfriend in high school was a junior and was on the ski team with me. I remember being tormented by his friends at lunch with them making fun of my food or body. Yes, that was painful but the girls in high school were even more brutal. Being hazed on sports teams as the freshmen was rough at times.

Fast forward to now. I am a junior at the University of New England. I am the title holder of Miss Maine Sweetheart and am a contestant in the Maine Academic Scholarship pageant. I still am bullied from time to time but I have learned to let it roll off my shoulder and be my own person. I have many people to thank for how far I have come in my recovery as well as all other aspects in life. Of course my family has played a huge part and I am forever grateful for their support. My friends who have stuck by my side though all of the ups and downs. And finally to the love of my life, Michael, who has been my anchor and best friend since we met. You have made an enormous impact on my life and I will be forever changed for the better by knowing you.

To the many others who have been through the same struggles remember that pain is temporary and you are the only you there is. You could be at such a low point when you think there is no way of getting out but I can assure you it is not the end. Don’t forget that the rain will soon stop and the sunshine will begin <3 xoxo -E ”



Eliza is one of the most beautiful people I know, and it’s so sad to think she was ever bullied. Unfortunately, it’s very common. I hope that if you ever see someone being bullied, you will help put a stop to it. She truly is Miss. Maine’s Sweetheart!

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You can usually find me adding books to my never-ending “to read” list; challenging myself to do things like not shop for a year; sneaking crispy m+ms from my secret hiding spot so I don’t have to share them with my daughter; and melting over seeing my children smiling at each other.

Oh and I guess I should mention - I’m a seasoned Portland wedding photographer who provides not only kick-ass wedding photos, but also a meaningful and laid-back experience from the time you book to the delivery of your final images. 

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