The Liberty Lounge: An online girl gang supporting and celebrating women

Jennifer Sanchez runs Liberty Photography and online community The Liberty Lounge, celebrating and supporting women.

The Liberty lounge

In her twenties, Jennifer felt lost in her life. She was in a job she didn’t enjoy, she had just had her first/second child and she felt like she didn’t have a path. 

In April 2013, her now ex-husband bought her a camera. She took pictures of her children and of her friends and realised that not only was it something she really enjoyed doing, but it was something that she was good at. 

Starting a business

It was just two months after that that her first business, Dimples and Daisies Photography, was born and she felt like things in her life were beginning to align. 

The business, which has now been running for seven years, is based around capturing babies from birth upwards, celebrating parenthood and making memories of childhood. 

Celebrating women

Then, a year later, Jennifer launched her second company, Liberty Photography. Similar to Dimples and Daisies, Liberty is based around celebrating things through pictures, but, instead of babies and children, it celebrates women. It also celebrates the seasons and the beauty of nature, with many of the shoots taking place in the British countryside and locations that are seasonal-dependent. 

From sunflower fields, cornfields and to lavender fields, to rivers, to country hills, to the studio in Grove Road, Southsea, women gather to have their natural beauty captured by the Liberty team who make it a priority to make everyone feel as comfortable and confident in their own skin as possible. 

Authentic photography

The team makes sure they never photoshop out flaws and encourage the women in the photos to celebrate and embrace them for all they are. Each shoot is more than just pointing a camera in someone’s face – it’s a full experience, which some have said has changed the way they look at themselves completely.

Jennifer said: “We want to celebrate people and celebrate them for their beautiful, natural selves.

“We want the people who come to us to leave feeling brave and accomplished and like they have grown a little bit as a person. 

“They tell us their stories and their darkest secrets and we never judge, their secrets become our secrets. 

“We hold their hands through all of the stuff life throws at them and we make them feel like they have a tribe around them.”

The Liberty Lounge

In February, Jennifer launched her most recent business, The Liberty Lounge, which is a social enterprise, aiming to bring together a community of women – and men – and allow them to experiment with their identity, explore their creativity and find their ‘path’.

The business is a collaboration between numerous experts throughout Portsmouth who all have different specialities to offer and hold workshops to give members a taste of their field of expertise. 

But, with the coronavirus pandemic hitting just over a month after launching the lounge and the majority of workshops being physical, in-person, Jennifer had to rethink the concept. 

Going digital

Now, The Liberty Lounge is being relaunched to online-only, allowing people from across the UK – and even further afield – to get involved in the workshops and find their creative path. 

Her businesses are just a supplement to Jennifer’s desire to help people – for her, it isn’t about money, it’s about changing lives. 

Jennifer said: “Liberty isn’t just about taking pictures and frolicking around in fields and rivers and drawing pictures of our boobs, it’s about sisterhood.

“We offer the tools for women to reconnect with their voice, strengthen their sense of identity, unpick the uncertainty, understand their patterns and triggers, eliminate anxiety, and hold their hand until their hearts are strong and brave.

“We plan to keep pushing the boundaries for women, to keep raising the debate, keep the creative growth going – it’s the most important thing to us.”

To find out more, visit: thelibertylounge.com