I wanted to share a bit about why I do what I do!
Initially, I was a wedding and engagement photographer who thoroughly enjoyed her eight-year career doing so. When I first heard about boudoir, I wasn’t sure what it was exactly (and I sure didn’t know how the HECK to pronounce it! Boo-Dwah? Boo- Dwar?!) As soon as I started doing my research, I quickly decided that I wanted to give this a shot (literally- teehee). I knew that it had the potential to be so much more than just “naked photos”.
I was a preacher’s kid (cue all the remarks about me going wild in my teenage years). And given the circumstances, anything involving women’s bodies and sex was not typically discussed, unless it pertained to married women giving their husbands the good stuff. As far as looks, it was always regarding pleasing someone else-once again, a man.
I was one of the only girls of color growing up. Because of this, I had a hard time fitting in. This, with a number of other important factors, led me to unhealthy eating habits. Shortly thereafter, I developed an eating disorder while also participating in sports. Double Whammy. Ultimately, this continued 2 years into college, but, thankfully, thanks to my friends and my amazing community, I soon saw the light at the end of the tunnel.
Our bodies have always been a hot topic in society. Whether it’s newspapers, television, social media in general, it’s exhausting to constantly feel like you’re not good enough. For me personally, my physical issues were a result of my mental state of mind. I didn’t fully believe in myself, and the power that I held when it came to my life, and my future. I was unsure of basically everything. This is part of the reason why boudoir is so close to my heart. In the time that I have done boudoir, I have heard so many wonderful stories from the women who have started working through the mindset that they are not good enough. Here are a few stories:
One of my very first clients came to me after she found out that her husband was having an affair. It put her in a difficult headspace, and she needed something to remind her that she was still indeed worthy of love, and respect.
Another client had always been known as a “sweet and innocent” girl growing up, but she always wanted to dig a little more on her spicy side. She never felt that she had any opportunities to do so. She was shamed anytime she mentioned anything seemingly outside “Biblical Standards”. When she found me, she was more than eager to have her session because she could do it without fear of judgment or scrutiny.
One woman had been teased all her life about her weight as well as the fact that she wore glasses-her family even made remarks about her looks growing up. She wanted to feel confident and sexy in the skin that she was in, and though she was shy, she soon discovered that her fears about looking and feeling beautiful were all in her head, and she conquered her session with us.
To say all of that is to say- I get it. Women… have it bad. We’re always told how we should dress, what we should say, how we should look. We’re presented with all of these options to “get skinny now”, introduced to the best “diet “to lose 10 pounds in four days, and so on. Why can’t we just be ourselves? Our beautiful, flawed selves? I want you to really think about the reasons that you’re choosing to do this session. Is it for a significant other? Is it because you are trying to impress someone? If these are your answers, I would strongly suggest holding off on a session until you find the core reasons as to why you want to strip down. This is more than just a strip-down physically-emotional plays the biggest role of all, whether you realize this or not. Now, of course, they make great gifts, but we want you to do this for you first, everyone else second. I’m certain that in your day-to-day life, you are always putting people ahead of you. Not today.
I want you to surround yourself with people who love you for who you are, flaws and all. Most importantly, I want you to find more ways to practice self-care. No, I don’t mean the typical Instagram photo of you sitting in the bathtub with bubbles and a glass of champagne in your hand, or that spontaneous trip to New Mexico. I want you to take the mental breaks when it gets tough. Allow yourself to take a breather, say “no” a little more. Close your laptop early and read a good book or snuggle up with your husband and watch T.V. with no strings attached. Cut your phone off when things get too stressful; take a walk when you’re feeling anxious. Remind yourself during the tough periods that you are enough. You are powerful, and that you are worthy as you are NOW. Flaws and all.
I hope that whoever has stumbled across this article remembers to take one day at a time- and to never lose your sparkle. I hope to see many of you in the studio- I’ll be here, waiting to celebrate you-flaws and all.
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