In celebration of International Women’s Day, I want to take a moment and answer a question I get asked quite a lot. That question is: why do I do what I do? Why did I choose to become a Boudoir photographer? The answer to this question may sound easy for most, but for me it is provokes quite an emotional response. I usually answer with something simple that gets me off the hook of actually speaking from the heart on why I chose this genre of photography. Today, for the first time publicly, I am sharing the real reason I do this with all of you.
I, like many women, struggle with confidence in many areas of my life and haven’t exactly given myself the love that I deserve. I am critical of myself not only physically, but emotionally, intellectually, as a mother, a lover and as a friend. I am constantly doubting myself. I never really allow myself to sit back and appreciate who I am or who I have become over years of blood sweat and tears trying to be a mother, a provider, and a business owner. Through this, I have failed many times along the way. You see, I can relate to so many women that come into my studio. I hear their stories and I can understand what many have been through, are going through or are facing because I have more than likely been there at one point in time in my life. I have cried, laughed and celebrated milestones with my clients on so many occasions and to be able to be a part of something so profound in their life is, well, an incredible feeling. I am able to give these women what I have not been able to give to myself or ever received. I get to show them they are beautiful, sensual, sexy and worthy of being shown and genuinely looked at for the remarkable women that they are. There is no judgment here, there hasn’t been a woman that has left me that didn’t feel amazing and didn’t want it to end. It is a bit bittersweet at times because I see their faces light up with tears in their eyes when it finally hits them that the woman on the back of my camera is them. In that moment, they truly see themselves for the first time. I see that spark come back into their eyes that had been buried under responsibility and going through the motions of the day to day. I see them become the woman they remember from years ago before babies, marriage, divorce, abuse, neglect, self neglect, exhaustion and a million other things buried her deep inside; the woman they thought they would never see again. I get to help them find their power, beauty and most importantly, their self love. I described this feeling as bittersweet because I've never felt that. I have never been able to see myself how others see me. I also have a distorted vision of myself that life has twisted into someone I don’t even recognize, and to be able to see myself as my clients see themselves seems unreachable, as I am sure so many reading this feel the same. It is ironic that I give the gift that I am unable to give myself-- but the joy, the pure joy I get from being given the gift to empower women and have that kind of impact is indescribable. I can’t put that into words, it is a feeling deep in my soul that I am doing what I was put on this earth to do. I don’t do this for the money, though it is my means to make a living. I spent years scraping by on next to nothing and still didn’t stray from shooting Boudoir. I never gave up on it because nothing else felt right to me. I take such pride in the ability to lift women up and to help them to lift up others. I want women everywhere to feel incredible. To own their bodies, mind, desires, hopes, and dreams. To leave my studio knowing that they are worthy of feeling incredible.
Boudoir is so much more than a gift for a significant other, it is more than just sexy photos of women in lingerie. It is not superficial nor is it only for women who have someone to give the images to. Boudoir is a gift you give yourself so that you can finally see yourself as you have never been able to see yourself before. We as women have been taught to dull down our sensuality to not offend the public, and I say to hell with that! We should never dull ourselves for others in any aspect of our lives. We should embrace who we are and be proud of every inch of our bodies; whether someone says it isn’t the correct shape, age or size. I do what I do so that at least one time in their life, someone made them feel like a woman in every sense of the word. I do what I do so at least one time in their life they don’t feel judged or picked apart, they feel comfortable in their own skin and are allowed to be their true self. I do what I do so that they can see that the woman they once remember is still there inside of them.
So there you have it, now the question has been answered as to why I a chose Boudoir photography. In all reality though, Boudoir chose me.
Thank you to every single woman that has trusted me with such an intimate experience. Please know that the gift you have given to me far outweighs the gift that I have given to you. Each and every one of you are incredible, fierce women that I will carry with me always.