This is me and these are some of my boudoir photos from a little over a year ago. I had already had 'boudoir' photos from my kickboxing session earlier that year and decided to do some for my husband that were more typical boudoir photos and less 'Bri' photos... or that's what I thought.
If you would have asked me a few years ago, if I'd post photos of myself in lingerie or underwear, I would have said no. Like every woman I've ever met, I have issues with what I believe to be imperfections with my body. But also, if I'm being completely honest, I wouldn't have posted photos like these because of the assumptions people still make about boudoir. Until a few years ago, I would have been slightly uncomfortable with telling someone that I shot boudoir photography.
Before I lose you with thoughts of 'why are you telling me that you're uncomfortable with what you do?!' I'm not. Initially, I was though. So many people have the wrong idea about boudoir or the reasons why people choose to shoot boudoir or have boudoir photos done. I can only speak for why I chose to get into boudoir and why the women I've shot have decided to book a session. I've always loved the idea of boudoir and followed boudoir photographers for a long time. I truly think it's one of the most beautiful and artistic forms of photography, not to mention how much trust a client places in a photographer to have such intimate photos taken. So, I knew it was important work, having that much trust placed in your hands. But I never truly knew how much until I started shooting boudoir, just how important it is.
I think there's people that still consider boudoir vulgar, exploiting, sexual in nature, and maybe even a little tasteless. Unfortunately, there's also people that will follow photographers and choose to leave inappropriate comments that also perpetuates the idea that it's only sexual in nature. With no regard or respect to the woman they are talking about. Without diving too much into this issue, let me just say that if you are following me, have some respect and consideration for these women that I post about. I am not here for your pleasure, neither are these women. Try and respect how much courage it took for these women to do the session, and how much more it takes to allow me to post their photos.
What some can't understand is there's a lot of woman who struggle to see why they should love themselves and their body. They don't know that there's a Mom struggling with her weight and just trying to come to terms with her new body. The new Grandma who's trying to remember what it was like to love her body and feel young and carefree again. They don't know about the woman who puts in hours at the gym but still can't to see how amazing she looks. They don't know about the newly engaged girl that's placing her vulnerability aside to give her soon to be a gift he'll love forever. They don't see, but I do. The more I get into boudoir and the longer I shoot, the more I've come to understand how important it is.
I've always been a little uncomfortable with my own body. I developed so much earlier than my friends and most girls, at a fairly young age. I constantly had comments being made about my chest from kids my own age, to older men that should have known better. It gave me quite a complex about my developing body as a young girl. Once I was old enough to embrace my body and accept it, it wasn't long after that I had my first child and then I had a new body with marks that left me embarrassed and ashamed. I started kickboxing a year after my daughter was born, and I started loving and appreciating what my body was capable of doing. But I still wasn't happy with the marks my body had. Getting pregnant 3 more times and having kids within a 5 year span didn't help improve my outlook on my body.
When I decided to start shooting boudoir, I knew that I would have to be as vulnerable as I was asking other women to be. So I did a kickboxing boudoir session. I wouldn't say I was fully comfortable for all of those photos, but definitely more so than if I was doing a regular boudoir session. I love those photos, they are more true to who I am and my idea of boudoir for myself. My husband loved those photos too, but I knew that he'd like to have some 'normal' boudoir photos, so I made a plans to have some done. I don't think I understood at the time, how important it would be for me to do those photos.
I was able to experience, fully, what I ask other women to do. The months leading up to the session, I was buying outfits and stressing how the session would go. Looking at my body and picking it apart and telling myself why I shouldn't go through with it. The day of the session, I sat in the chair, drinking my mimosa while my hair and makeup were getting done, and I could still feel those last lingering nerves. Seeing myself in the mirror, fully ready for my session, that's when I could finally feel a little more confident about what I was about to do. After seeing my photos and myself, in this new and different light, I was proud of how my body looked. Marks and all.
What I've realized is that it's like that for most of the women that come into the studio. Seeing and feeling the nerves from the consultation and the weeks leading up to their session, the lingering uncertainty the day of while they're getting ready, to seeing their reaction or hearing those first words of happiness when they see their photos. I know what it is to not really see yourself.. to finally have your eyes opened to how amazing you are.
I want to end saying this. It is my greatest accomplishment to have women trust me and give them the gift of seeing themselves. I ran across this and nothing speaks more to what I'm trying to do and how I want to be perceived through my work:
I aspire to be an empowered woman with vision & grace.
Soft hearted but strong, self-aware & sure.
Respected for my mind, admired for my heart and above all, always honest, open & raw.