Why Should I?

July 23, 2014

Seattle Boudoir Photographer

Two things I hear the most often when talking about, or shooting, Boudoir is either “Oh I could never do that!” or “I’ve never done anything like this before!”.

So, you might ask – why would you?

I actually have spent a lot of time with this question. And while pondering it, I have watched my daughter growing up in a culture of intense scrutiny around the female body, steeped in pervasive media laden with not only unrealistic body images – but flat out created bodies. Legs that are routinely lengthened, entire bodies reshaped, facial features made more symmetrical, etc etc….on virtually every image she sees. It’s no wonder we look in the mirror with such critical eyes.

Given that, why would a woman want to “bare it all”?

I’ll tell you why.

It’s the same reason several years ago I decided to have my own portrait done by another artist…I wanted to see myself through someone else’s eyes – someone who was looking for the beauty, for the insane wonder of this body that carries me through life, and for the spirit that animates it. I wanted to put myself in the place of my clients to better understand their experience. The rough sketch for the painting is shown below (the painting hasn’t been finished, but it doesn’t really matter – it was the experience that mattered most to me).

And I know something that every woman who steps in front of my lens doesn’t know – I know that when they leave…and when they get their images, they are going to feel different about themselves. I know this because I hear from them afterwards over and over and over again. They come in simply hoping for a lovely picture, but they leave with something entirely unexpected. And perhaps even more touching are the notes I receive in the mail (yes – actual real mail mind you!), email and DM from my clients’ partners – speaking to the difference it made for their loved one. An excerpt from one of my favorites:

“I absolutely loved the images…..they were so very intimate, but even more I love how it made her feel. Worth every penny to see her feel that way about herself…”

It isn’t about a fad (unless you are getting some high volume template approach), or about being narcissistic – it’s about having the opportunity to see yourself through someone else’s eyes who is looking for and seeing what is beautiful. We need a break from the mirror. Our own eyes can be such liars.