Why Boudoir Photography....
When people ask me to put into words my “why," the reasons why I chose to focus on and specialize in boudoir photography, it literally lights this fire within my soul. “Get ready for my TED talk," I think, as the number of reasons start to roll off my tongue. You see for me, boudoir photography is something I am so passionate about that it literally pours from my soul. It is not just about the pictures. It is about the experience of it all.
I love being a boudoir photographer because it allows me the ability to show people the beauty I see in them, that oftentimes, they are missing when they see themselves.. We see ourselves in many reflections, beginning with the mirror in the bathroom, as we ready ourselves for the day ahead. What we often miss is seeing ourselves from the viewpoint of a stranger across the bar, our best friend or a partner and lover. I love showing people that side of them, and seeing the reactions! Ranging from the excited screams, to the “HOLY SHIT” and even the few who think I swapped out the pics in the camera for someone else's — because “How is that me, and I didn’t even know I looked like that!?”
My favorite moments are when people see those sneak peeks for the first time, I notice them “light up," straighten their shoulders, and walk with a new swagger of added confidence!
Social media idolizes a body that doesn’t exist, one none of us can or should compare with what we see in our bathroom mirror. I want to show you what your mirror, and those comparisons miss…the person beyond the cellulite, stretch marks or lumps and bumps and bruises. The person that is a beautiful human inside and out. The person that has lived a life and has the scars to show it. Those scars tell a beautiful story, that is uniquely yours.
When I tell people what I do for a living, I often will hear common responses “ I could never be that confident," or “ I would never look that beautiful, I have stretch marks, and cellulite or a mom-bod”. I’m gonna let you in on a little secret… I don’t shoot professional models. The women you see in our portfolio, or on our social media sites-they are all real women! They have insecurities, and things they are still learning to love about themselves too!!!
The Transformation...Beauty To Bombshell!
The transformation begins from the moments you walk in the door. Most people arrive feeling nervous! Sometimes you can see hands shaking, or hear the slight tremble in their voices. But once you are in the “glam chair," we are chatting it up laughing and sharing jokes and talking about the ins and outs of life as we know it. The nerves melt away and the excitement takes over!
Next, we choose the perfect pieces for your session, ones that YOU love, and allow that confidence to shine! We sit down and chat a little more, and then it is SHOOT TIME!!!
The first set we start with, is really to get you warmed up and wash away those nerves! I get so excited to be able to show you the images off the back of my camera before we move on to the next sets!
I find that the second set is where people start to allow themselves to feel that confidence and see themselves a little different (I think those sneak peeks off the back of my camera help)! There is usually a good mix of laughter, and sultriness. It is shedding that version of yourself that walked in to the studio, and allowing space for the beautiful confidence to shine through!
By the time we are all finished, and get to see your final images, we have become friends. We have shared an experience that I hope you will always remember and will remind you that no matter what, you are worthy.
Seeing the images for the first time on the screen, I see many eyes pop, jaws drop and exclamations of, “is that really me?”. Yes babe, it is really you. In all your beautiful glory. You see yourself, like you never have before. This is the amazing thing that boudoir photography gives to you. This is what this experience gives to you. The opportunity to see yourself the way others see you. To show you, you are more than what you see in the mirror.
How It All Started...
When I started shooting boudoir, I did a session for a friend. She wanted “ sexy photos” for her boyfriend at the time. She ended up with a ton of “sexy photos”, but she also ended up with something even more incredible. She saw herself, she saw herself as sexy, confident, desirable. You could see the empowerment literally happen before my eyes as she looked through the images on the back of my camera. It gave me goosebumps, and we both oohed and awwwed, and there was laughter, and joy. There was astonished comments like “ OMG, IS THAT ME??” My smile from ear to ear, confirming “ YES, THAT IS YOU!!” My heart was so full, I thought it could burst from happiness!
That first session only left me with a desire to make more people feel that way EVERYDAY! Boudoir is about seeing yourself the way you want to be seen. It is about feeling confident, and empowered. The ability to see your own worth, hearing your own laughter, feeling the joy of appreciating YOU. It is the beginning of a new path, in the journey of loving yourself, all of yourself.
My Own Story....
My passion for boudoir photography stems from some of my own insecurities, as well. Years ago, when I was still a teenager with a growing body, I began modeling. The industry at that time was incredibly toxic, and heroin chic was the sought after look. I was 5’10” and weighed a mere 115 pounds, and was told I could stand to lose a few more pounds to fit into the ideal size clothing range of 0-2. I remember the battles I felt inside with food, and being hungry, mixed with shame that my body was considered plus size at that time. The game of control started when I was 12, and I don’t know if it truly ever leaves you.
When I was younger I was assaulted, on more than one occasion. This only amplified the need for control, and I controlled the one thing I knew how: food. My mental health was in a terrible space. I self-destructed further. It wasn’t until becoming pregnant with my daughter at 21, that I started changing the way I treated myself. I wanted to do better, for her, and so I did.
Fast forward 18 years, I realized when starting to get closer to 40, that I really wanted to try harder to love my own self. Something I never had truly been able to do. If I am being honest, it is still a work-in-progress, and likely always will be. In working on it, I have reflected on things in my past, how they shaped how I saw myself, who I was and who I became. I have realized that there are more women who also lived and grew up in the era of heroin chic, where only ultra skinny bodies were celebrated. There are many more people, who have dealt with or are currently dealing with trauma. They are working on taking back their own power, working on loving themselves, working on shedding their past and embracing their future.
This is what Wildfire Studios is about, a safe and supportive space to do all of this. To begin that journey of celebrating you.
So Have I Done A Boudoir Shoot?
Yes, I have! I haven’t shared them in the past for a variety of reasons. But I want to share one with you today. This image, it is so many things to me.The wind whipping my hair reminds me of my wild, free spirited soul. The ocean, brings me peace, maybe it’s that Pisces side of me, but it truly does. The sea stacks, remind me that I can be strong. The sand, reminds me that nothing is constant, it is always shifting around us. The driftwood is my point of stability, that is shaped by my environment. The fiery sunset, reminds me of my deep emotions and burning desire to empower others in my life and in my work.
I want you to know that when I photograph people, I am not just photographing the outside, I am also telling a story about the person that exists within your soul. We push into those deeper emotions For me boudoir photography is about celebrating you. It is about loving you, and reminding you of your own power. Let’s celebrate you together.
Interested in booking your own boudoir experience with us?