I'm NOT a people person---I'm shy, I'm awkward, I tend to giggle and turn bright red when faced with social situations, and yes, my palms will sweat and I'll stammer over my words when placed in the spotlight. But I LOVE people. I love to observe them. To watch what they do, how they act in different situations, learn what makes them tick, try to figure out why they are they way they are. I love to hear their stories, and once you've made it into my inner-circle, I'm a friend for life. Your struggles become mine, your triumphs and accomplishments become something that I am swelling with pride for. So, maybe I'm not a "people" person, I'm a "person" person!
So, to me, it's only natural that I should love to Photograph PEOPLE! (My reasons for Photographing Graffiti and Buildings are a different blog post all together!) The thing that I'm learning that I love most about photographing people, is that everyone has a different story to tell. And I make it my passion to capture that story---YOUR story! I want to hear all about it, I want to share it with the world! I want people to see how beautiful I think you are! This is what I especially love about photographing women! WOW---what amazing stories do women have to share!
When I set up a Boudoir Session, the first question (ok, not always the first, but it's always in there somewhere) I ask is....Why? I get the standard, "I want to do this for my husband", or "It's ______________ holiday/birthday/celebration"....but I ask my "why" again, because I know there's another reason for it. My favorite answer?? The one I hear the most that I LOVE?? "Because this is ME....and I want to love ME! I'm reclaiming who I am, and showing myself that I'm beautiful, sexy, and still a woman"! As women we go through such amazing changes---some good, some "bad". But a change to our bodies can mean a change to who we thought we were. I know, I struggle with self-image as well.
When I signed my life away to the military, I started training. I knew I didn't want to go into Boot Camp as someone who wasn't physically ready. I lost weight, I gained muscle, and I pushed myself. I went in at 125 pounds. I pushed myself through the physical demands of Boot Camp/Tech School, and came out of training at 135 pounds of muscle. I was fit, and for the first time in my life I was HAPPY with the way I looked. (After struggling through Jr High and High School thinking I was "fat", this was a welcome realization!). After a year though, everything changed. I got pregnant with my son, and my body changed drastically again--I gained weight, lost my muscle tone, gained those lovely stretch marks that many of us get, and felt like I had been thrown right back to square 1. Any mother can tell you how difficult it is, especially with the first child, to find a healthy routine. I devoted all of my time to my son, and none on myself. Finally, when he turned 3, I couldn't take how I felt about myself anymore. I started going back to the gym, and changing my eating habits. It took me a little over a year, but I finally started to get to a place where I was comfortable with how I looked again. I had lost weight, and had more energy, and could smile about how I looked. Then, sure enough, life hit again, and baby #2 came along. (Such an interesting thing, life!) BAM! I was right back to where I was again!! But, instead of getting upset and frustrated about it (ok, ok, not ALL the time anyway!), I started accepting that THIS IS WHO I AM! I am me....I have curves, and stretch marks.....but I have strength, and power----and to me, that meant that I was beautiful! I started to learn that I am beautiful, not because of what I look like, but because of the person I put out there to the rest of the world. It wouldn't matter to me if I was a size 0, or a size 20----if I'm miserable, and grumpy, and hating everything, then I'm not beautiful. I needed to be happy. And, once I began to accept that this is me, I was. My confidence grew, and I realized that this was all I needed.
When I started photographing women, I saw that they all had the same struggles I have. We are all in the same situation, one way or another. And I found that I LOVED showing women how beautiful they really are. The best compliment I EVER got was: "I now see what everyone else sees. I now see how beautiful I really am". I may have cried after hearing that---I can neither confirm, nor deny that!
Just remember---ladies, you're beautiful no matter what! Your story, your smile, and your attitude mean the world!!
In a few weeks, I'll be talking about another story-telling project that I'm working on. This one is even closer to my heart, and involves some of my best friends! I can't WAIT to tell the world about it----but you just need to be patient with me for a little while longer :)
In the mean time.................I've still got openings available for the Boudoir Blitz! Really, it will be a BLAST! I'm excited :) Email me to reserve your spot (and if you have any questions!)