Last month I met one of the strongest, most beautiful women in the world. Her name is Selena and she booked me for a boudoir session and mentioned in her e-mail to me that she’d “had a rough year” and that she was excited for this little pick-me-up. When I arrived to her session and began to photograph her, I was completely inspired by how naturally beautiful she was in her minimal makeup, long dark hair, with a soft gaze on her face that almost said to me “I’ve overcome it all.
It was not long into her session that she explained to me that she had just fought and won her battle with breast cancer and would like to document her scars artistically. Talk about shooting for meaning! What a strong, brave, beautiful woman.
The story continued…shortly before Thanksgiving, her husband passed away. I thought back to the “had a rough year” comment she made in her first email. My heart sunk when the words came out of her mouth, and I began to feel the tears welling up in my eyes. I cannot even IMAGINE going through all of this at all…let alone over the course of a year.
Like I said, one of the strongest, most beautiful women in the world.
It’s not often, but every now and then I will get an e-mail or a comment from someone who is disapproving of “boudoir” photography. Part of me understands exactly why they feel that way. In the boudoir industry there are a lot of photographers that are cranking out completely inappropriate and class-less images and calling them boudoir, and that has left a bad taste in some people’s mouths. I would like to continue to change skeptics’ minds on boudoir. It is NOT about being overly sexual, it is NOT about looking like you belong on the cover of Penthouse. It is about making a woman feel BEAUTIFUL about herself….even if it is supposed to be a “gift” for her significant other….it’s about HER.
I like to chat a little with my clients while we’re shooting to get a little back story on why they booked a boudoir session with me. During the booking process, 9 out of 10 women tell me they are interested in a session for their husband/boyfriend/etc as a gift for their wedding/birthday/anniversary. By the end of our session together, 9 out of 10 women tell me the session was really for themselves—as a pick-me-up, as a milestone, as a celebratory boost for overcoming hardship. There is almost ALWAYS a deep-seeded reason why women book boudoir shoots with me, and THAT is the reason why I do what I do.
Boudoir has quickly become my favorite aspect of my profession because of women like Selena. I thoroughly enjoy documenting something SO important, empowering her to feel as though she can take on the world, and reminding her that, after all she has been through, she is still beautiful. Inside and out.”