PUBLISHED – How Boudoir Photography Helps Heal Me – Lemonade and Lenses June Boudoir Issue 2015
Perhaps it was a late night editing while indulging in a glass of wine (or two!) that spurred me to submit to Lemonade and Lenses June 2015 Boudoir Issue. That has to be it, as I am no a writer hahha Alas, they loved my pitch and asked me to write an article about How boudoir photography helps heal me. It’s be a long journey and while I have made huge strides I am still very much at the beginning of my career.
The support of my clients, fans, friends and family has been so incredible and I just want to take a moment to THANK YOU! From the deepest parts of my heart, thank you <3
You can purchase your own copy of the June 2015 issue here: http://www.lemonadeandlenses.com/issues/june-2015/
I would like to share with you the article that I wrote……
(PS. thank you to Chris O’Driscoll for help with editing)
It was in grade 10 that I received my first camera, an old Hanimex which my step father passed down to me. At the time, I was heavily into the visual arts at school and the dept head allowed me to enroll in the grade 11/12 photography class. I was elated. We shot with film and this was before the digital age. I learned all the basics of photography and even got to develop my own negatives and make black and white prints in the dark room. I loved that it ignited both right and left sides of my brain. I was able to express myself artistically but it was still technical and there were “rules”.
For as long as I can remember I have never been a girly girl. I tried to hide my figure under baggy garments, convincing myself I wasn’t pretty enough. I didn’t want the world to see me and I couldn’t see a reason why they would want to. In 2005, I found myself in an unhealthy relationship where I quickly became pregnant. All that negative self talk I spent years going over in my own head suddenly was being reinforced by another.
I didn’t pursue my photographic career seriously until about 5 years ago (2010). By now I had 3 very young children and felt trapped by the relationship I was in. I was broken. I felt that I had lost myself. Getting back into photography was therapy for me, it was a release from my everyday life for me. It gave me a sense of power and control whereas I didn’t feel I had that in any other part of my life at that time. I photographed whatever I could; family photos, weddings, event photography, you name it, I photographed it. Unfortunately my partner at the time was not supportive of my photography and it was a strenuous challenge to keep at it. Due to the continued negativity, I was losing my passion and felt myself starting to sink even lower. Then in 2011, I finally found the courage and with the support of family and friends, I left my ex.
Not long after this occurred, I photographed my first ever boudoir session.
Boudoir photography is a pretty intimate experience, and intimidating to many. It is about creating beautiful and intimate portraits of the client as well as making them feel confident and sexy, and intimate portraiture has gained incredible popularity in recent years. As a woman, we most possibly spend endless amounts of time and money pampering ourselves to look and feel beautiful. At the time, I’m not sure who was more nervous, me or the client. We did the photo session at her home and I remember her offering us both a glass of wine to help us relax. I helped her go through her outfit choices and pick out what I thought would flatter her best in her photos, all the while thinking, how fun is this?!
Naturally, she was very shy and awkward at first. To help her relax, I just kept telling her how amazing she looked, and she that was rocking her poses. After showing her the images I had captured so far on the back of my camera I started to see her get more comfortable and really start to get into the session. Her body became more fluid and she couldn’t stop smiling. After we were done she was just glowing and reeling. She told me she felt so amazing and uninhibited. I left that day on a high of my own. THIS, this was it. I needed more!
I had found it. I found what ignited my passion. Watching this woman bloom before my lens was the most amazing experience for me and to know that she had just as amazing an experience as I did, well that was just icing on the cake. It was like a drug and I needed more!
I’m a woman, just like you, and any other. I struggle at times to see my own beauty, to see my own worth. This body of mine has carried and given birth to three children. I struggle with an autoimmune disease. I have survived an abusive relationship, the emotional and psychological effects from which I still deal with. Due to that stress I first lost and then gained a considerable amount of weight. This body is foreign to me. This paired with the unrealistic standards set by the media we are confronted with on a daily basis, I did not have much in the way of self love or worth at a point in my life. Every time I work with women doing Boudoir sessions I feel a little piece of my soul start to mend.
You cannot help but to be moved, swayed and empowered while you are lifting another up. I photograph women to show them how truly beautiful they are. I show them the beauty they often fail to see in themselves. I honestly believe there are no unbeautiful women in our society since beauty is a such a personal perception to each individual, it is just women that do not know they are beautiful. I’m not just a photographer. I’m my clients therapist and BFF for a few hours and by building up their self confidence, I also build my own piece by piece.
In July 2013, I met an amazing man and feel so blessed to now be in a happy solid relationship. Our relationship feels like such a perfect fit, he loves my boys as though they are his own, he is supportive and encouraging of my photography career and some days, I feel as though he has always somehow been a part of our life, that it doesn’t feel like two years. In some of my artwork, custom furniture pieces he has created for me are featured, life as a boudoir photographer surely doesn’t get any better than this.
Being a boudoir photographer has changed my life greatly. Despite the negative aspects of my past, I now find I exude more self confidence, I am not as critical of, and don’t think of my body negatively. Sometimes in conversations, I catch myself on the times I am about to say something negative and find something positive to say instead. Boudoir photography has helped me face many aspects of my life, and overcome the personal obstacles I perceived there, it’s helped heal me.
Pages from the magazine…