Boudoir and Being Brave

I don't use the word 'brave' in a silly sense. Like be brave and put yourself in some lingerie and pose sort of definition. I wanted to blog about all the women I've met through my boudoir studio who have histories that need to be overcome and how a beautiful boudoir photo shoot allowed them to be brave and start anew.

What is it to be brave? The most profound woman I worked with this past week defined the brave in every way. She was a breast cancer survivor. For her the time had come to capture who she is now, battle scars and everything. For those of us who critique every tiny line, droop and hair out of place, she embraced her fight with cancer and used it to show that she was beautiful.

I have met women with self-inflicting cutting which to the individual relieves their inner emotional turmoil. To expose herself when most of the time women must hide these scars was something that truly humbled me. To be able to give her the gift of retouching so that she can once again see herself without these permanent scars was something I'll never forget. How brave she was to step out with little coverage and capture her beauty in photos!

Eating disorders has been one that is also a hidden conflict. And to be able to look at yourself in the mirror and say, I'm beautiful without a distorted mind and body image,

let alone stand in front of a camera to make that permanent is truly brave. Eating disorders don't ever go away. You learn to manage it and become 'better' but it is always there. Photography helps these women see themselves how others see them and not the twisted way a woman does who has suffered this disease. How brave is this?

There have been other brave examples; women leaving violent relationships and using photography to start a new beginning; dysfunctional pasts that led to low self-esteem and self-doubt; and those that just overcame huge obstacles that over time wore their self images down and photography rekindled who they were inside.

I say this often when I meet women for the first time looking to have a boudoir shoot. This is more than pictures. It is a serious genre and an opportunity to celebrate with a camera as the catalyst. Beginning anew, enjoying who you are, seeing yourself 'reborn' and realizing that with your bravery, you will go far. A boudoir photography session is just the beginning. But without bravery, you'll never know.