#MEFIRST SERIES FEATURED POWERHOUSE
Brianna Peña wears many hats in her day to day life, but her favorite vacillates between artist, photographer, mother, and human! As the founder and creative director behind Bee.Serene Photography, Brianna "captures fleeting moments and love stories" through the art of photography. She's an authentic and genuine soul and shares her journey through life, motherhood, and everything in between on her Instagram @bee.serene. In addition to selling beautiful prints, Brianna has recently launched #wakeupandloveyourself, a brand of self-love and empowerment. When she's not behind the lens, you can find Brianna with her adorable son or tending to her plant babies at home!
What does a week in the life of Brianna look like? In what ways do you manage to put yourself first even through a busy schedule?
Brianna: My life feels extremely hectic these days and I am constantly having to take a step in and check-in with myself to really try and understand where my emotions and feelings are coming from. It is essential that every day I give myself the opportunity to step away from my family by stepping into the bathroom for my shower, which always seems to heal and allow me the space to breathe and be with myself.
Please tell us about your self-love journey! What did you learn about yourself in the process?
Brianna: My self-love journey is a never-ending love story. I'm 24 years old and the older I get the less I feel like I know. Yes, sure I'm learning about myself through my experiences, but the thought of how many more experiences I have in front of me and how many things I still have left to learn by the grace of God I am blessed with many more years on this earth — I love myself, but I feel like I don't fully know myself yet. I don't ever really get asked these questions so you're getting all of me right now, but I've experienced a lot of obstacles and I think if there's anything I want anyone to take from these answers is that we're all going to continue experiencing obstacles, but I wholeheartedly believe that we are never handed anything we can't handle and those obstacles do not define us.
It is often those journeys of self-love that lead us to come into our own. Does your journey inspire your creative pursuits?
Brianna: My journey is so sacred to me. It's the thing I'm constantly reflecting on and it reminds me of how much I want to remember my life when I'm older. Both the light and the heavy. A huge part of the documentation for me is photography. It's one of the loves of my lives and these days specifically during these times, my creative juices are flowing solely because of my family and the home we've created together. My boys make me laugh so hard and make me want to document this time of my life every moment I get and I am so grateful for them for allowing me to do what I love, especially surrounded by the people I love.
You're an amazing mother to a brilliant little boy, can you tell us he role motherhood plays in your journey to self-love?
Brianna: We are in quarantine and right now I am just trying my best to keep my family (myself included) happy and sane. Some days are heavier and other days feel so incredible, but one thing I'm constantly trying to remind myself is how blessed I am. My week consists of a large LACK of putting myself first if I'm being honest. My son is three and is the best human in the world, but he is also with me all day, every day! Being his mother is my favorite thing in the world, but the sacrifice that comes with motherhood especially when it comes to showing up for myself can a lot of the time feel like it's nonexistent. I also have to admit that I'm still learning how to put myself first in this time of my life.
In what ways do you nurture your self-awareness? What role does it play in your self-love?
Brianna: I'm grateful to have a partner that checks me just as much as I check myself. My life feels extremely hectic these days and I am constantly having to take a step in and check in with myself to really try and understand where my emotions and feelings are going from. It is essential that everyday I give myself the opportunity to step away from my family and into the bathroom for my shower that always seems to heal and allow me the space to breathe and be with myself.
What advice would you give your younger self about self-love?
Brianna: Your thick thighs, your curvy figure, and your curly hair is beautiful and is nothing to be ashamed of! You are not, your body – you are your heart, follow it and be kind to yourself!
Learn more about Brianna by keeping up with her on Instagram @bee.serene! Also, feel free to check out her amazing photography and prints available on her website bee-serene.com. Be sure to keep her in mind for your post-quarantine glow up photo shoot. Thank you, Brianna!