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Houston Glamor Photography | Goddess Photoshoot with Maribella Portraits | Maria Micaela Arellano


Houston Fashion Photographer Maribella Portraits


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 High school I was almost 200 lbs.

My obsession with my body and looks continue to grow and continue to be unhealthy. I went to The University of Texas, I auditioned to get into the Fine Arts program and I was accepted. I was never a trained dancer so I spent the next four year playing catch up and never developing the perfect technique…or The right body. This, even after losing weight. I was doing Yoga, going to the gym, dancing 10 hours a week and swimming. But I was never lean or long.  My senior year I became a pro wrestler and in my pursue of an entertainment career my body obsession grew worse.

The thing was I got down to an unhealthy 13% body fat, I had no period for 6 months and when I was surrounded by these gorgeous models, I never once felt like I fit in. I couldn’t see what others saw in me. I felt like an imposter.  I just wasn’t as pretty, my breast weren’t as large, my waist wasn’t as small, my skin wasn’t as tone. And, yes I was told “you just need to lose 15 more pounds and you’ll be perfect, you’ll be signed.”

I could blame the industry, I could say it was just that career choice. But no, it’s not. I see women posting about their bodies on social media every day. Even the ones we think are perfect, and beautiful and whom we would kill to look like.  Yes, that girl has body dysmorphia too.  

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.

My biggest battle, the most important of my life  is to not pass the obsession on to my daughters. It is hard because they have my genetics. They have thick legs, broad shoulders.  They will never be tiny.  I struggle because I want them to chose healthy foods, and I don’t’ use the word diet ever. I talk to my oldest who understands about eating a variety of foods, and having colors on her plate. I talk about healthy energy so she can un and be strong. Mostly I have to fight to Not speak out loud about my own body  and insecurities. Not screaming at her doctor because she says in front of her that she is overweight and I need to fix it because she might be diabetic by the time she’s 10. “My KID IS NOT FAT, OR UNHEALTHY!!”

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.

Goddess Photoshoot, Houston Head shots

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.


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.

Today, I decided that it's time for my own Goddess Portrait Session. I too deserve to have a day all to myself, and that day will be my 37th Birthday. 

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


Houston photographer