Why boudoir photography?
There are other genres, kids, weddings, seniors, newborns, pets, food, and many other genres of photography that you can do, so why did I choose to be particularly a boudoir photographer?
Sometimes I struggle with articulating why I picked boudoir to concentrate on in my business. I see beauty in women and it breaks my heart when they don’t see it themselves. I believe I can show any person what I see through my camera. Women don’t know how beautiful they are in their own way, not in the commercial way that we are used to.
So a part of my life journey and calling is to show them they are beautiful, for who they are, it’s that simple. I could do it with portraits yes I know, but boudoir is like the forbidden side of us screaming out to be seen, heard, and loved. We never stop loving our bodies, even when we are 40, 50, 60, or 90. But the world has so much hate for itself and sometimes it gets to us.
But with boudoir, it’s a thrilling feeling when I show someone a side of them that they don’t get to see in the mirror. I’m growing up and I am still learning about myself and my need to make women love themselves and see themselves for who they are and love it. I think it stems from my own struggle to love myself and accept my emotional and physical self for who I am. No shame, no fear, and only pure love. I’m still working on it.
I struggled all of my life with self-image. I am like every woman you know, insecure about a part or more of my body. I think this insecurity stems from the media’s influence and the society’s messages around us, the image of young skinny flawless women (that doesn’t really exist) is what we should aspire to in their opinion. It’s hard to let go of the guilt and shame of not living up to the image of what a beautiful woman should look like in this society, it’s taking me years to get over it. Part of me doing boudoir is to fight back. I want to fight back for myself, for my mother, my sisters, my nieces, and my girlfriends. We are who we are, many sizes, many colors, many folds and wrinkles and white hairs, and we are unashamed and unapologetic.
Part of my job now is to be your mirror. Not the mirror that the world shows you and shames you for not reflecting its own thoughts of what a woman should look like, but the mirror that sees past all the lumps, bruises, and distinct marks and past the fear in your eyes. I want to be the one who shows you your own sparkle.
The transformation that takes place during our photoshoots is the best part of the whole experience for us. When a woman arrives in our studio or shooting location which can be your own home, most of the time she’s nervous, sometimes even visibly nervous. Shaky hands and voices, sweaty palms, and faces are things I encounter all the time. once they sit in the chair to get their hair and makeup done, the transformation begins. The client slowly starts to shed those signs and feelings of nervousness and anxiousness.
Then the shoot starts. The first set is prepared to get you all warmed up. When I show you, the client the back of the camera after the first set, I usually hear “OMG, that’s me? No way! I love it!” As we go into the next set and then the net, the laughter and smiles start to come out. Then she starts to feel sexy. The sexy eyes come out and you can tell that it’s starting to click with them.
By the time we finish the session and go into the reveal, we’re friends. We’ve just shared an experience that they will always remember. We’ve laughed and shared stories about our lives.
Once I show them their pictures on the screen, their jaws drop. They see themselves like they never have before. This is one of the amazing things about boudoir photography. I get a chance to show them how I see them, how their spouse sees them, and be their mirror. When they walk out that door, their smiles are so wide and they cannot wait to tell all their friends about what they just did.
A piece of my story
When I moved to the USA to study, I didn’t know I’m going to stumble upon photography classes. I fell in love with photography because it’s the documentation of our lives and many other reasons. For now, I’ll mention my fear of being in front of the camera. In 2016 I needed to create a video to tell my clients what to expect during their photoshoots. during filming, I was terrified of the camera, I was shaking and shivering and words weren’t coming out. Being for years behind the camera has disconnected me from me. I don’t have photographs of myself for about 12 years. When I saw myself on the video camera for the first time, I was terrified of how I looked. I didn’t look 18 anymore, I wasn’t the 127 lbs that I came to the USA with and I had facial lines AND a double chin, AND a wider waist than I thought I have! I thought I’m ugly and no one would want to see me in front of the camera. I judged myself very hard, I had to get over that. I kept shooting myself talking in front of the camera until I learned to love myself again for who I am. And now I give speeches pretty easily. I can improvise and I can laugh in front of 5 or 500 people with no problem. Photography did that for me, it gave me back my confidence right after I thought it stole it from me.