The focus of my business and the reason I have started photographing women was always to empower. I grew up feeling powerless and at the mercy of others opinions of me. But the older I got the more I realized I was not alone in that feeling.
I kept meeting women who were ridiculed growing up, criticized by family members as teens or simply let years of negative opinions and comments about their bodies fester in their minds. The voice in their heads, much like my own, kept saying “Not good enough. Not skinny enough. Not pretty enough.” At first it hurt to hear but after years of this reel playing on repeat you learn to live with it. Even worse, you start to believe it.
The thoughts compound into a wall we build up around us, impenetrable to positive comments or compliments.
“Your haircut looks so lovely!“, a friend may tell you. “Oh, it’s nothing, the hair stylist did a good job,” you reply.
Deflect, reject, push away any notion that may defy that voice in your head. The voice that repeats you’re not any of those things and that people are just being nice to you, right?
But what if we just stop? Stop deflecting, pushing away; allow ourselves to be vulnerable and truly take in what is being offered. Not offer a substitute. Not praise someone else instead.
Just take it in.
“You are radiant.” “I love your shoes.” “You made my day today.” “Thank you so much for your kindness.”
These are words and phrases we hear often but we rarely listen. We project our own fears and insecurities onto other’s compliments, ignoring the kindness and losing a chance of taking in… love.
Compliments are a form of love, after all. And allowing yourself to accept love is an act of empowerment.
Back in 2014 I began shooting glamour. Posing women in flattering ways, drawing out their true spirits and capturing them in photographs. The idea was to create a safe space where my client would be able to feel comfortable in their vulnerability, allowing something magical to slip through the regular defenses we all equip on the day-to-day basis.
Throughout every session I would notice little things about my clients that they deemed commonplace and I would compliment them. Not because I have to, not because “it’s my job”, but because I genuinely wanted to let them know that what the world sees of them and what they see in the mirror are not the same things.
I’ll give you a hint: the way you talk to your reflection is not the way people talk to or about you.
With boudoir photography there is a greater area of vulnerability. As you shed each layer of clothing there is nothing to hide behind. It’s just you, as you are, with myself and my camera to guide you.
But you know what happens when we have nothing to hide behind? We learn to let go. Even if just for a little bit. We allow a compliment to slip through. Or maybe a few.
It can be a truly healing experience to start seeing yourself in a more kind, positive, beautiful way.
By the end of the session many women feel lighter, happier, freer. They begun their own journey of empowerment. And I was there to witness it and capture it in photos. What an amazing thing to behold.
Today’s images feature the amazing Jennifer. Despite looking like she stepped out off the cover of a magazine, she, like all of us, had reservations before the shoot. She told me she’d gained a little bit of weight and was apprehensive about being photographed. But throughout our shoot together she was able to relax, be present and let the positive feedback from myself and the make-up artist lift her up and make her feel amazing.
Without further ado, enjoy these stunning images of Jennifer from our recent boudoir shoot together.
Experience the magic of being vulnerable. Empower yourself. Send me an email to talk about your very own boudoir shoot.