This is going to be deeply personal. Like a lot of women, I grew up with the worst self confidence. It started with body shaming from a close family member.
I remember at a young age having to do sit ups and run a mile before I could go play with my friends. THEIR fear of me being over weight was placed on me everyday. It wasn't long before I hated my body. I would sit in the bathtub and stare at my legs and cry while wishing they were thinner. I wasn't overweight, but in my mind I was. I stopped being able to see me for me.
When I was 15 this family member taught me how to eat and "not gain any weight." I was literally taught how to be bulimic. That went on for me for years. That lifestyle caused a lot of damage to my body and my spirit. Eventually, a friend caught me at school and convinced me to get help. The dietitian I met with told me I was overweight by 5 pounds. 5 pounds! I yelled some profanity and ran out of that office as fast as I could.
It was in that moment, standing in the parking lot alone, tears streaming down my face that I decided NEVER AGAIN. Never again would I let someone make me feel FAT, LESS THAN or NOT BEAUTIFUL.
It was one of the hardest things in my life to do up to that point, but I eventually overcame my eating disorder and started on my journey of self healing. One that I am still on today and will probably never finish. I use that desire to help other women. I do this with my camera.
Like most women, I am my worst critic. See, I said I wouldn't let anyone ELSE make me feel fat, less than or not beautiful. But I still have moments of doing it to MYSELF.
I say it all the time... boudoir is a FEELING. So, how does this all tie together?
I shoot boudoir because I love helping women heal and quiet the negative self talk. Showing them they ARE beautiful... that they can FEEL beautiful. (Right on the back of my camera, Photoshop not needed!) I believe this is my life's calling. I heal a little more with each client I work with.
I teach women about wardrobe, how to move their body to look confident and flattered and other useful tips so they can love the way they look in photos and #existinphotos.
We aren't broken, I am not fixing anyone. What I do is help women to see themselves differently. See themselves the way their loved one sees them and how they want to see themselves. And after their shoot, they FEEL different. I know because it happened to me after my session last year. It literally changed my life. I should have done it sooner!
There are more reasons I chose boudoir photography, but I'll save those for another post.
I want to change the way women feel about being photographed. And I am doing that, one woman at a time. mj