My head has been in battle lately. Like, the devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other? Like that.
Over the last few hours, I've had some clarification and I just need to spit it out somewhere!
I recently had my first boudoir shoot. It came with a lot of preparation, anxiety, excitement, and brain overload!
It began with a brief consult a few weeks prior. I arrived with a few items of clothing for her to try on and choose from. The consult is so important in any shoot. I was then able to take the visual of the shoot location home with me and brainstorm, keeping her wish list in mind.
With this in the forefront of my mind, I also had the Women's March still fresh in the back of my mind. I kept asking myself, am I crossing the line? Am I going against my words and my thoughts? Shouldn't a woman feel beautiful without making a book of themselves filled with sexual poses? Is she looking to gain their partner's love or prove themselves to them? Shouldn't their partner already be aware of their beauty?
I struggled with this a lot. But I put out the offer. I received a response. And an appointment was made. Fortunately, I knew this woman and I knew she was strong. Stronger than I'll ever be, in fact. If I was to try this out, I was so glad it was with her!
I watched a lot of tutorials before the shoot. It's not just about getting the shot, it's about making your client feel comfortable, pampered even! As nervous as I was, she was the one in her bra and underwear! How dare I feel nervous, right?!
I needed to walk in there with friendly confidence. Ready to have some fun!
It was fun. We laughed a lot! It was like playing with my girlfriends when I was younger. Hanging out in her bedroom, trying on clothes, talking about relationships, curling her hair...
Then my mom called and said it was time to go home. Haha, not really.
When I got home and sat with my collection of photos, I was blown away. You really could see her ease in to her comfort as the session went on. I kinda thought (and hoped) that would happen. In fact, I planned our first few poses with her mostly covered, holding a coffee mug and just looking out the window. I wanted to ease into it. Get her into the act of acting. Even though those photos were quite beautiful, you really could see the transformation as we went on.
And maybe that's what it's about, being comfortable with your body, feeling sexy, and wanting to share that with your partner. It's not even necessarily for your partner. It's for you! It's about being brave and confident!
I went to my trusting, feminist friend for her opinion on the matter. She instantly thought it was wonderful. I hope she doesn't mind me quoting her in saying "I feel like we've been conditioned to think being sexy is not feminist. It's victim blaming, really."
That's where it came full circle. She was spot on. That's where my struggle began. Women have been exploited with our sexuality to beyond measure. To put it on the other side of the spectrum, sexy is bad.
Sexy isn't bad! I feel I can speak for all women in saying we still want to feel sexy, we just don't want to be treated like objects!
With all that said and done, this woman's husband is one lucky guy. Not just for his Valentine's Day gift, but for being married to such a brave, confident, strong woman!
Thank you, anonymous woman! You know who you are! That was one of my all time favorite shoots!
Capturing memories for me and for you!