Over my career as a photographer, I have photographed hundreds (wow) of women. It has been an honor and an absolute joy. I have learned so much as an artist, and also as a woman.
Here is what I know:
1. We are often kinder to strangers than we are to ourselves
I cannot tell you how many times someone has contacted me saying “The clients on your website/instagram/etc. are absolutely gorgeous. There is no way I can look that good!”
But when I think back to the same clients they are looking at,
those clients often said the exact same thing, too.
I could go into a whole dissertation on this topic, but one of the biggest things I have learned is that we are often so much kinder to others than we are to our own selves. We can see someone else and appreciate the beauty of their dimples, the curves of their hips, the crinkles around their eyes, the softness of their arms, the structure of their nose. But so often, we bemoan those exact features when they are looking at us in the mirror.
How beautiful would it be if we could see ourselves through the eyes of a stranger?
2. Everyone has insecurities
Whether you are a size 2 or size 22, 25 years old or 75 years old —
EVERYONE has cellulite. And stretch marks. And skin texture. And folds and wrinkles and a weird bruise that you don’t know how it even got there.
I know this one is said a lot, but just trust me on this. We all have it. And there is zero point in feeling shame or disgust or anything less than “oh okay, that’s there and it’s fine” about it.
We all got it.
3. Confidence is journey, not a destination
As a boudoir photographer who preaches about self love and building confidence and celebrating your gorgeous self, I feel that people often assume that I have all my sh*t together and I wake up every morning absolutely loving every single part of my body every single day.
But that’s just not realistic.
The truth is, we all have good days and bad days. And while a lot of my clients are on very different stages of their self love journey and building their confidence (some barely make it to the studio and others take their clothes off immediately and twerk to Cardi B — and I love you both), this has rang true for everyone.
I firmly believe in prioritizing body neutrality over body positivity first.
Simply, body neutrality is the act of taking a neutral stance toward your body, both emotionally and physically. It is honoring and accepting your skin suit as it is instead of trying to force yourself to love everything all the time.
You can simply be at peace with it.
Doesn’t that sound nice (and way less stressful)?
4. It is so important to spend time on yourself
If you are a mom and you are reading this, this one is ESPECIALLY for you.
So many women have walked into my studio and confided that the last time they actually took an entire day and did something just for themselves was back in, like, 2007. Even though their husband is always on golf trips/boys nights/watching football/fishing/whatever men do. But seriously, why is the shame always around women spending time and money on theirselves? Golf clubs are super expensive and nobody chastises men for buying them.
You cannot pour from an empty cup.
Please don’t forget to fill yourself up first.
And if someone makes you feel guilty for that, I’ll whack ’em with a golf club. (semi-joking)
5. Women are freaking badass.
If there is one thing I have learned from my years of photographing women, it’s this one.
Women are simply amazing.
I have had the honor and privilege of photographing hundreds of women. Women who have overcome obstacles I cannot fathom. Women who have not only survived but have come out of the other side even stronger.
I am inspired every single day by the women I photograph.
You are incredible. Truly. I know you often do not get nearly enough credit. But I see you. And I am inspired by you.
If you are reading this, please know this:
You are not alone. You are capable of anything. And so many strangers think you are gorgeous.
Trust me, I’ve seen it.