In January I had my very own beauty photo shoot here in Asheville with a photographer I’ve been following for some time, Jesseca Bellemare. You can read about the beginning of my experience with the parts one and two links here; Part One, Part Two. Well, after my very own payment plan (thank goodness!) my matted print collection finally arrived. I find myself staring at them with sort of a disconnect. Is that me? I’ve always had my own body issues to contend with but really, haven’t we all? Before unwrapping the ribbon my self hate voice was laughing terribly at me. I pushed through and untied the ribbon and then it all fell away. The self loathing subsided and I remembered that while these pictures are a gift for myself and a marketing adventure to see how to better serve my clients, they are really a gift for everyone that loves me. The ones that don’t go out as holiday gifts will stay nicely tucked away because c’mon…who needs a dozen matted 8×10’s of themselves hanging all at once? Some will go into my studio and yes Mom, some to you too 😀
What have I learned? I’ve learned that I already offer a pretty great experience for my clients but there are a few details I could improve upon. I’ve learned that in order for me to be a better photographer and business person for my clients that I needed to be as brave as I expect them to be. I’ve learned that it is important to value mySelf. To make sure that my own needs are met and that I can look in he mirror and be comfortable in my own skin.
How is a beauty or boudoir photo shoot empowering? How is that now that I’ve accomplished this, that I’m a better person for it? Because I am staring at images of myself that are beautiful. They aren’t over-edited. They are of me looking my absolute best at the time they were taken. They are of me at an incredible time in my life and that deserves to be celebrated. I love that in this imagery, I define my own beauty and that it isn’t defined by some Hollywood faction of commercialism. Of how someone else thinks I should be viewed. You can see, plain as day that I have curves and I am beautiful. Period. Discovering that for yourself is something every woman should experience at least once. Thank you Jesseca. This experience has been eye opening and I hope to give that to each and every woman that reaches out about a beauty or boudoir shoot. To remind them that they are beautiful too, on their own terms and in their own skin.