When looking for a photographer for anything, whether it's a family session, boudoir, or weddings, there's a huge element of trust that has to happen. I can't stress enough how important it is that clients feel connected to their photographer and vice versa. Not only are you putting your faith in them to get the perfect shot, but you also rely on their direction and positioning because you obviously want to look good in your photos, right?! Right.
But here's the thing, if you walk into any photo session feeling self-conscious, or any ounce of self-loathing, it will show in your images, and I can't fix that. There is always a level of nervousness when being photographed, of course, but I refuse to alter the way my clients physically look.
Guys, I don't use photoshop. I don't even own it, and I'll tell you why.
Wrinkles are a sign that you've lived.
Stretch marks show your strength.
Your body is capable, beautiful, and powerful, even with cellulite.
Our body is our armor that holds and protects our soul. When was the last time you thanked it? Self-love and positive self-talk is SO important. Not just for a photo shoot, but for EVERY DAMN DAY and you deserve to celebrate yourself, your body, and all that it's carried you through.
Let me tell you something, I am French, Syrian, and Dutch. So? So, my ancestors are some of the most HAIRY people EVER and they passed that shit down. For the majority of my life, I thought I was UNWORTHY of love from a man because I had more hair than the average female. I was bullied like hell through my childhood for the way I looked, and now I'm married and can't tell you the last time I shaved my legs (it's no-shave November, guys, come on). Among all the hairiness, my thighs have stretch marks, I have cellulite on my ass, scars due to not having one ounce of gracefulness or coordination, my hair is beginning to turn gray, and as of recently, I sweat for no reason and smell like I live in a locker room. COOL.
You may have seen this image on my social feed, but it's powerful as hell, so I'm going to share it again. Nine years ago, I fractured my spine. I was 18 when it happened, so naturally for the first seven years after the accident, I was bitter and angry for my body not being able. I felt sorry for myself for a really long time, until I learned how to see my body with eyes of love, kindness, and forgiveness. This injury has taught me how to be in tune with my body and how to properly care for it. Today, I celebrate this body, even with hair and B/O.
Your body is sacred.
Your energy is sacred.
And I'm not going to photoshop that.
If you have a pimple or a bruise, of course I can edit that. Those are not part of who you are. However, if you want to look like you got a face-lift, or a boob job, then I'm not the photographer for you. Don't get me wrong, there are some skilled people out there who are willing to do that for you. I'm not. I'm confident in my shooting and editing abilities, and I always do my best to empower my clients and make sure they look amazing, but the "feel amazing" part starts with you.
I know with the IG and SnapChat filters, seeing and loving ourselves for who we are is a whole new concept, but one thing that really helped me change my mindset, was working with life coaches. In 2016, I worked with Lynne Taggart who is all the way in Ireland. She is a spiritual influencer, and miracles and success coach who first taught me about the power of good vibes and how to undo years of a negative belief system. Then, just a few months ago, I worked with someone a little closer to home, my friend and coach, Tristin Fleetwood. She offers a personalized body confidence and self-love coaching experience that was absolutely mind-blowing.
I've taken the things I've learned from both women and integrated them into my personal life and my photography business, because what I do is more than pushing a button or adding a "filter" to an image. This is so much deeper than that. What I do has the ability to change lives. I work with people who trust my vision, appreciate my time, my skill, and my value. I offer an experience for every single one of my sessions and I serve my clients with my whole heart. When you book with me, you're not just getting photos to post on Instagram, and you're not just getting any photographer, you're getting me, my fire-burning passion, and moments that will never exist again.
So, screw the photoshop. Come as you are, and lets create something magical. I promise, I wear deodorant.