During the workshop, the teachers asked us our "WHY". Why do we shoot boudoir?
Of course my first thought was "I love to empower women and help them embrace their bodies"
Then we were asked to think deeper than that. I began to think of my own journey to loving my body the way I do today.
I thought back to my childhood- always being called "skinny minnie" by my family and how uncomfortable it made me feel. Even though I was thin, I was so self conscious of my body. I would wear a t-shirt over my swim suit to the public pool as an attempt to cover my flat chest. I would wear baggy t-shirts and sweaters to school because I wanted to hide that I didn't have hips, and felt my body was too boyish to be seen.
My body didn't look like the other girls in my class. I can even remember in middle school, wearing two bras under my shirt to a party to try and make my boobs bigger!
During college when I gained some weight and got some boobies, I still wasn't happy with my body. It is so hard to love yourself when you are constantly bombarded with images in the media that show you an unachievable standard of beauty.
There is a common misconception that skinny=happy. That could not be further from the truth. You never know someone's insecurities based on their size.
It wasn't until I discovered boudoir photography that I started to truly love my body just the way it is. I saw the impact the photos had on my clients. Sometimes these women are seeing themselves as beautiful for the very first time in their life, and it is a very powerful feeling to give someone that gift.
I started to realize that there is no such thing as the perfect body. All bodies are valuable and all bodies are unique. Women's bodies allow us to live, love, thrive, laugh, succeed, learn, grow babies, travel, dance, and of course, eat all the pizza!! Our bodies are capable of SO many amazing things, I finally learned it doesn't have to be perfectly chiseled in order to be happy with life.
Fast forward to current day, where I no longer am ashamed of my body. At the workshop I did not cover my body on the beach, but rather frolicked nude and went skinny dipping with the entire group of women at the workshop. It was one of the most surreal and amazing moments in my life. I felt completely free and happy.