Made a wrong turn once or twice
Dug my way out, blood and fire
Bad decisions, that’s alright
Welcome to my silly life
When Gloria first contacted me, I knew it was a bit of an act of will. Like many of my clients, she’d been considering boudoir for a long time, and had finally come to the crux of the matter and made the call, or rather, in this case, the email. I find that email helps ladies preserve that sense of safety, especially in the beginning, so most of my clients approach me that way. Little did I know just how much she’d had to work through to get here.
Gloria told me in her initial email, “I have been through some amazing experiences which has brought me to where I am today.” And when I asked her on our session day about her reasons for doing a session – a standard question of mine on meeting a new client – she had a more unique story than most. After many years in a truly awful abusive relationship – she told me some stories that made me really angry, my usual response to abusive situations – she finally had the courage to leave the guy and find a better life. That definitely gets a cheer from me because it takes so much courage to do something like that. More courage than most of us can muster – and I immediately understood that Gloria was an extraordinary woman.
In real life, though, the part that takes even more courage than leaving is the long term recovery process from the deep scars that abuse causes. I was touched watching her sing along to Pink’s Perfect, a song I myself am pretty partial to, near the end of our session. She sang like a believer in the message that we should see something better in ourselves, for ourselves. This is one of the more extreme examples I’ve come across so far of someone doing boudoir for themselves and their own self esteem. Gloria is also one of the ladies I’ve worked with who isn’t a 20-something. I don’t think, and I never have, that the prime of your life is defined by your age. Part of that is that I grew up in the same home with my wonderful Grandma, whose vivacity and uniqueness (who am I kidding, a little bit of healthy eccentricity that I may or may not have inherited) helped me to see aging as a glorious blooming of a person after a hard life. Gloria was obviously in the prime of her life – in a place of emotional recovery from the brokenness of being mistreated, in a place where she could finally see some of her own beauty that had been torn down by someone’s meanness. She’s obviously found the road to a place of happiness and inner peace that she’s living life from these days, and it’s amazing to see. She’s definitely come a long way, and I’m happy to have been a step on that journey… And maybe more than one step – she was saying she might want to do another session next spring!
You’re so mean when you talk about yourself,
You are wrong
Change the voices in your head
Make them like you instead
There’s a couple of misconceptions about boudoir photography that I don’t want my business to be a part of if I can help it. First off, boudoir is certainly not only for 20-somethings. It’s one thing to celebrate youth, and another thing to celebrate life, and I hope that my sessions will encourage the latter. I hope that more people will decide to celebrate life, at any time. Whenever they are ready, or even if they’re not. A lot of people think that boudoir is something people really only do as a gift for a partner, but it can be so much more than that if you do it for yourself. And heck, if you’re with someone or you want to be, sometimes doing something for yourself is doing something for your partner or future partner, at least I’ve found that myself in the past few years as I’ve been on the road to recovery from an eating disorder. Partly, for me, working with other women on their journey is helping me to heal, to see the beauty in myself as I look for it in the ladies and gents I work with. Partly, I’d like to help others to heal because life isn’t easy. Few people in our lives make it easier for us to see the beauty in ourselves. I hope I can be one of the few for some people at least.
Due to her past, Gloria – not her real name – requested that her name be changed and her images not be entirely public with my old Partial Privacy contract option, so a selection of her photos are in my “Private Show Gallery” which is password protected for Interested Ladies Only. If you are serious about working with Seven Deadly Sins, but you’d like to see a few more images, please give me a call and I will happily allow you a glimpse into the private gallery. My options have changed since this session, however. Get in touch to find out more about image and name protection.
P.S. The image thumbnail with this post is some artwork I did for a friend several years ago while I was in art school, and for me the emotion of it was a bit about abuse history in my family, so I’ve included it here.