If just shy of three years ago you would have told me I would be posting a blog about me taking it all off for a session I would have said you need to lay off the drugs. But here I am, year two into an annual boudoir session and loving every minute of it.
I photograph women daily and preach self love; loving your body, your mind and your soul. Yet for me I felt it was unnecessary. I mean I am one of the most confident people around right?
Dead wrong. I may not be a overly emotional person (no seriously if you cry around me I do the Sheldon "there, there" pat on your back and hope it fixes it all), I may not express openly just all the things about me I do not like, or I may not even seem like the majority of what is said bothers me.
But inside I am just trying to hold it together. As a mother of two, sole owner of a business I created from the ground up, writer to one of the largest online photography sites, and doing everything in my power to make every client feel like a million bucks.
So im almost 40 and finally feeling that "age" thing everyone barks about. I use to think big deal. Age is awesome. Until you start to feel those cricks in your neck when you wake up. Those grey hairs fighting harder and winning against your hair dye. Or my favorite recent one; "let me get my spectacles" when the kids ask for help on their homework.
Throughout all the crap we are dealing with just trying to get by in life, why are looks anything we should be worrying about? Bills, house repairs, cars breaking down, making sure we aren't fucking up those kids ( because no matter what we do we always feel like we are screwing them up). I can keep going but we get the point.
So yes. Majority of the day, I look like complete shit. Hair in a ponytail, no makeup, dressed like I am color blind (or fashion blind- someone help there please). But once a year I have had the best friends make me feel like I am not just a bag lady chauffeuring around a clan of minions.
Cate Scaglione and Beth Claire are the best kinds of friends a girl can have. Not only are they the kind that will take the mess that is me and transform it into more than the bag lady, they did it knowing my style, which is , well, lets say less Agent Provocateur and more James Bond girl.
Why do this? Well that is simple. It started out last year as a way to understand what my clients were feeling during their sessions. But then it transformed into a way to see myself as more than just a robot. It gave me back that feeling of self love. We photographers see our client transformed everyday. We know we are apart of that journey and we love every minute of it.
But we photographers forget to take care of ourselves sometimes. We need to see what the world sees of us. So once a year, a boudoir treat for me. It isn't just about taking off your shirt and giving those "eyes" it is about freeing yourself and freeing your mind (insert Matrix montage here). So why show this to anyone but my computer screen? Well if I don't I am a complete hypocrite when I ask my clients to sign a model release.
This is therapy. This is me shedding away my, well part of my, introvert behavior. This is me saying I am not just a bag lady, I am a badass lady who isn't afraid to prove to my clients we are ALL worth it.
A few months ago Elaine contacted me for a boudoir shoot. I showed up to the shoot and see this beautiful woman sitting in my makeup artist's chair. She was quite and shy yet I knew there was a vixen waiting inside her. She said she was nervous but excited as well for her session. She told me about her abusive relationship and that this session was to break free from the shame she was feeling about her body.
I asked her how she felt afterwards about her session. She wrote that she felt "amazing, beautiful and sexy. Proud of my body and of being a woman." She wrote that the studio, my makeup artist and myself made her feel very comfortable and at ease.
Her initial intent of a session was to regain that feeling of comfort in her own skin, but in the end "it is an amazing life changing experience and is a must do" she wrote.
JT Noir Studios is located in Palatka Florida specializing in boudoir and underwater photography. Providing luxury services to all surroudning areas in St Augustine, Gainesville, Jacksonville and Ocala Florida.
Lets face it. We all struggling inside critiquing ourselves for the littlest things. Weight, hair, skin, teeth, ....
Well you get it. The list just goes on.
But what if we just for a moment dropped those insecurities and did something for ourselves? Something that makes us feel good inside and out? Something that we can hang on our walls so that every day we wake up we can have that positive visual of how amazing we look?
Well lately I have been booked solid at the studio with women and men who did JUST THAT! They let go of all these damn expectations that are placed on us by the media and shot a session to embrace that inner vixen that is in all of them.
And the result?
They left glowing, head held higher and a sense of confidence they said they forgot they OWNED.
So what is stopping you from getting back your confidence?
All artists know the term "creative rut" It is like a dagger into our hands when we think of how close it can come to either pushing us off the edge to fall, or in turn allowing us to fly once we reach that point. It is all in how you play the game.
I, as many artists, get into a creative rut every so often simply because I need a change here and there. Shooting boudoir and underwater is beyond satisfying, however, it also needs to be kicked up a notch to get the voices in my head to relax.
- Should I go darker in style
- Should I add more props underwater
- Should I change genres completely
Instead of trying to change how I am shooting, I simply change who I am shooting in order to see a different perspective in posing. It helps feed the creative soul in how we see the movements of the human body, how we interact with the client, and how the lighting can be changed when the subject is more suited for a different look.
I contacted a photographer friend Andres to come help me out and shoot a little male boudoir in order to "see the light" in a new way. I wanted to free myself from being bound to the same posing I have come accustom to in the studio and play with the light in a brand new way for myself.
Sure I could have shot a female model, but that would not have pushed me to change how I posed. I needed to change up the current playlist of looks and break into a more powerful way of movements.
Andres was exactly what I needed. He was filled with energy and movement that brought something new to the studio. Along the way of trying to creatively reinvent how I shoot, I realized I also am completely in love with shooting men. I have shot men and couples in the past but forgot how different and fun it can be. I am fascinated with story telling and progression in posing so this session did it all.
Yes, this will be happening more! So come down to the studio guys, boudoir is not just for women.