I knew from the very first time that I photographed a boudoir session that I was absolutely in love with it.
I am recouping from a major surgery, and while I’m supposed to be vegging out, watching TV or something like that. I have decided that my relaxation comes from doing all the things that I’ve wanted to do for some time now but never get too. You ladies know what I’m talking about, cleaning out the junk drawer, getting rid of old clothes, organizing my makeup drawer and stuff like going through old pictures that I need to print.
While doing this, I came across a picture from my very first Boudoir Sessions. I sat and starred and remembered what it was like. The excitement of learning, and playing around, and just plain trying something new. I remember this shoot like it was yesterday. I didn’t have a studio, I didnt have a bunch of fancy equipment, I just had a friend’s house, a wiling girlfriend, my camera, and me!
I was a little nervous, not as nervous as I would be if it were a paying client, but I didn’t even know what paying client looked like back then. I didn’t know what I was doing and to be honest my camera was set to auto. So, we began and I threw my poor friend right in.
I had a knack for setting up a pose very naturally. I told her exactly what to do. However, there was not consult ahead of time telling her what to wear and there was no mentor quite yet telling me, “When you start off, begin with more clothes on then slowly have them take off more.”
So I was like, “let’s just do panties only! Yea, that will work!”
As I began to shoot, she shyly grabbed her tummy and complained about the stretch marks left behind by carrying her first child. “Make sure to take out my stretchmarks.” She replied. I knew that thought all too well as I had very deep stretch marks of my own tummy from carrying a very large 8 pounder. I can also tell you, at that time I didn’t even believe that my own stretch marks were beautiful or think of them as a reminder of the life I birthed, I still didn’t SEE however, what she was seeing. What I saw behind my lens was a gorgeous woman, a mother, a wife, a friend. I could see even without her verbal cues that she did not believe this about herself.
She continued to to try to hide a bit, putting her hair in front of her breast. I can’t blame her because typically if a woman decides to do some sort of nude that typically happen until well within an hour of shooting.
I could tell she wanted so desperately to come out of her shell. She then began to criticize her breast and how she hated the way they looked after having a child. I too understood the feeling of once having beautiful plump and perky breast to now a softer and more deflated look, however, I still didn’t see what she saw.
Throughout the session, she made a few more negative comments about herself while I tried to cancel them out with speaking words of affirmations to her. I just could not believe a woman this beautiful could say these things about herself and it never even dawned on me how much I spoke hate over my own body while looking in the mirror. Again however, I just couldn’t see what she saw.
More and more throughout the session she smiled and her guard dropped, her shoulders dropped, and she threw her hair back. She began to laugh and hug her body, and I believe that as I told her how beautiful she was, that she began to BELIEVE she was beautiful as well! It ignited a feeling in me that I have never wanted to escape. I wanted to show more women and help more women to discover who they are and help them see their beauty.
This picture is a reminder for me of where I started and my why. It reminds me of my own personal growth in learning to love my body and myself. It reminds me that I am made for what I am doing and I am exactly where I need to be in my life right now.
Come check out our brand new podcast “Between the sheets with Lea” discussing real lilfe topics, the unspoken thoughts we think about, upcoming events and a ton of guest speakers! Come get between the sheets with Lea, Whitney and Dana…. and let’s get intimate!
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