Imperfections are what make life interesting. I’m not just saying that because I’m a boudoir photographer. I’m saying that because if everything was perfect, it would be boring and predictable. It would be anything but unique. Where’s the excitement in that?
Let me give you an example. I think you’ll like this one! I sought out and hired a world-renowned photographer to capture my family. I was looking for very candid and raw images of us, just as we were in our everyday life. I looked for a photographer I liked for a long time! I was so pleased to see all our photos, especially since I’m always on the other side of the camera! A photo of me is so rare. A photo of me with my family is even rarer! They were beautiful without a doubt but I found two things missing when I went through them. There wasn’t a single image of all of us together! Shouldn’t that be the #1 thing a family photographer would do? And some of the images were so propped and posed, it wasn’t true to who we were at all.
My next course of action was to take my own family photo. So I thought about it. Then I thought about it some more. And again weeks later. If I was going to take our photo, what did I want to portray?
I didn’t want to be propped or posed or unreal. I wanted US! So I arranged a day to take a selfie-family-photo. Is that even a thing?!?! I guess it is in my world. My youngest was still a baby, so he was in a bib. My middle son tends to go through his day half-dressed. So we half-dressed him; one sock instead of two, shorts and a shirt that was backward. Because that’s how he dresses. My oldest son has a thing for sugar and can’t’ get enough of the pop. So he had pop. My husband and I enjoy wine, so we had wine bottles in the background. Laundry is always overflowing, so I threw in our overflowing laundry basket. I’m often in between tasks and try to maintain multiple conversations at once, while my hunk of a husband is always working his butt off. So he’s in the middle of it all. That’s us! I made a family photo of it. Do you like the imperfect us? I do!
The same goes for all you beautiful women! There isn’t a single woman I’ve photographed who hasn’t had a stretch mark, a blemish or flyaways. Some have cellulite, scars, and uneven skin tone. The very first time I did a boudoir session, I learned more about me than I did anyone else. I saw the difference between me and the models I was shooting. It had nothing to do with appearance. By watching them, I realized that they did something I didn’t.
THEY OWNED IT!
Here’s an example of one beautiful woman who had never done boudoir, wasn’t sure about it all, didn’t think she’d look good in the camera…..
But by the end…
Some have even asked me not to remove their scars because it’s part of their story. They don’t want to be erased and they don’t want their story erased. It made them who they are today, which from what I saw, was strong and self-accepting. Some have asked me not to remove their wrinkles. They feel they’ve earned them. And for all the amazing momma’s out there, if you bear stretch marks, be proud. I call those Mommy Badges and you earned those too! I didn’t realize how much they meant until I lost two babies of my own. Those stretch marks are the evidence that your body did what it was designed to do; bring new life into this world. Be proud! And wear it like a badge!
Those imperfections tell your story. They make who you are today. I admit aging isn’t fun. But I do believe we owe ourselves some grace and acceptance. I love imperfections. I love my imperfect life. I love how it makes things interesting. And most importantly, it makes us unique.
To sum up my thoughts….
Stop trying to look like the girl in the magazine. Even the girl in the magazine doesn’t look like the girl in the magazine!