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This lucky lady happens to be friends with the owner/operator of one of Denver’s historic mansions downtown, the Emerson Mansion. When she contacted me about a boudoir session as a wedding present for her hubby-to-be, she told me about this fabulous place that she wanted to do the session. I was thrilled! And when I got to the Mansion, I was pretty much overwhelmed with all of the options and amazing spaces to shoot. Like you might expect in an old Mansion home, there are big wooden doorways and cool winding staircases, big windows, a huge front porch, and lots of bedrooms to choose from. It’s like a boudoir photographer’s dream come true venue. It’s exactly the kind of place that I have been imagining having a connection with to help grow the boudoir side of my business.
I had my A-team on hair and make-up, Erin Ferris and Jaeger Standler, who were amazing as usual. And between my bride-to-be’s rocking little runner body, lots of fun outfits, and an entire mansion to work with, I straight wore that poor girl out! But we really did have a blast and the images are stunning! Her fiance is going to just absolutely die when he sees what she did for him. I’m making her a “little black book ” full of all the best photos that she is going to give him the night before their wedding day. He has no idea…
Hang tight ladies because I am just about to announce an exciting partnership with Emerson Mansion that would open the space to any of my clients that wanted it. The details are being worked out later this week. And I have my new client and new friend to thank for it! Not only did she give it her all creating these fantastic boudoir images with me, but she connected me to the very person I have been wanting to meet. Thank you so much!!
There are lots of reasons I can think of to do a boudoir photography session. Top among them is purely the celebration of self! The process is a uniquely empowering experience you are guaranteed not to soon (if ever) forget. But more and more, I’m getting inquires from brides looking for a special gift for their grooms and from wives looking for a special anniversary gift for their husbands. And why not? What man wouldn’t love his very own “little black book” filled with gorgeous & mostly nude photos of his honey?? Exactly….
This particular session was done as a one year anniversary gift. When my client first contacted me, she let me know right off the bat that she was extremely nervous about the whole idea but knew that her husband would absolutely die over it. Especially since she was convinced that he would never think she would do it in a million and one years. Careful fellas, we women are really good at surprising you!
Like I told this client when she voiced her concerns about “being curvy,” boudoir photography, in my humble opinion, is not a literal translation of the body. The artistry is in finding the right angel, the right expression, and the right mood, to accentuate and focus on what is beautiful about you. That’s where I come in.
I had my A-team, Erin Ferris and Jaeger Standler, on hair and make-up, pampering our darling model while I got the room ready. Once we got started shooting, I watched her final nervousness melt away as I smiled at her from behind the camera and we took a few deep breaths together. I always feel a sense of accomplishment when I finish a photo shoot like this one! Knowing that I helped someone do something totally outside their comfort zone is a great feeling. When I empower others, it leaves me feeling empowered too. Before I ever looked at a single image, I knew it was a huge success. I think I was right. Happy Anniversary you lucky guy you!
It’s interesting working with people from all different walks of life and in my line of work, especially with boudoir photography, I am given a unique opportunity to capture not only a subject’s outer beauty, but their inner beauty, their essence, as well. There is a hidden beauty that each and every one of us has that is related to our hardships and our successes, to our mistakes and our lessons learned, to our failures and our victories in life. And, there is something deep inside of me that tells me we each “choose” our path specifically so that we can learn the things that will have us evolve spiritually, emotionally, even physically, as human beings.
Empathy is defined as “the capacity to recognize and share feelings that are being experienced by another being.” For as long as I can remember, I have always been a very empathic person, sometimes to a fault. When I was younger, I used to confuse how other people were feeling for how I was feeling, and it was not such an easy trait to bear. But, as an adult, I honestly think my empathic nature is one of the main reasons I am good at what I do, and also why I love it! Because I have always been very sensitive to others, whatever energy is present in the space I am in, I can feel. I feel the stress, the excitement, the impatience, the joy, and the anxiety in others- for better or worse- I feel it all. Why does this matter? Well, I think it matters because when I feel what other people feel, I can have compassion for them and make adjustments to my own behavior and energy. When I feel what others are feeling, I am able to to either ‘feed the fire’ or ‘put it out’ with how I react to it. This personal characteristic has come especially in handy as a wedding photographer, but it’s the same thing with boudoir, or any kind of portrait photography for that matter.
More often than not, I find that my people and life skills are more important than my technical background in creating images of people that really shine. Images full of beauty, life and emotion come more from my ability to relate to others, than from any photography lessons I’ve had. Obviously, it is a “blend” of technical skills, creative vision, and people/life skills that has me able to do what I do, but I am convinced that without empathy, my work, no matter how technically perfect, would fall flat. I have learned how to harness my empathic nature, and like my fingers play my camera buttons like a familiar instrument, it comes very naturally, and I rarely think about it in the moment.
I bring all of this up as a preface to the images taken at a recent boudoir session that had the potential to go terribly wrong! When my model arrived for her photo shoot almost 2 hours late after driving all the way from Canyon City-getting pulled over, and lost-she was literally shaking. And even though I had worked out keeping the hotel room a little longer once I knew she was going to be delayed, when I got a load of her and the stressed-out energy bubble she was engulfed by, I knew it was time to start problem-solving! Long story short, she and her friend decided to stay the night in Denver, and we re-scheduled the shoot for the next day. Ironically, because everything went wrong the day before, we moved the shoot out of a hotel room and were able to capture images that are edgier and more appropriate considering my models personal preferences and personality. Instead of soft and sexy bedroom images that are more typical of a hotel room session, I was able to weave in the strong colors from my own house and nature (which I LOVE) to compliment this bold babe in all her bare brilliance. Poetic, right? I think these images are absolutely stunning and I am excited to share them. The moral of this story?? Sometimes in photography (and in life), derailing the plan to go with the flow, is the best plan. And, beyond that, everything always works out exactly like it’s supposed too, even when it doesn’t feel good in the moment. TRUST. The universe has a way of working things out.
About a month ago I got a very beautifully written email from a 30-something woman that discovered she had MS about four years ago after having her second daughter. Waking up one morning unable to move any part of the entire right half of her body, she went through a major medical roller-coaster ride, ultimately to be given the diagnosis that she did indeed have MS. Since that day four years ago, her wonderful husband has helped her raise over $20,000 for the National MS Society. There is a Walk MS event held in City Park the first Saturday in May, put on by the National MS Society. Her team is one of the largest teams in the area and has raised over $5,000.00 EVERY year for the last 4 years benefiting the National MS Society.
Her email read; “I feel lucky, humbled, and beyond blessed by my husband’s efforts to head my team and fund raise through friends, family, colleagues and the like. He is tireless in his efforts and I realize that not all those living with this nasty disease are as lucky me, so I feel so grateful. A friend suggested I look into boudoir photography as a way to thank him and “capture” myself before this disease progresses. I have to say, it’s the best suggestion anyone has ever given me! I can only imagine the empowerment that comes from a beautiful photo of yourself, as we all know that memories really do last a lifetime. ”
This email touched me because I have been close to people throughout my life with MS. My dance instructor growing up in Fort Morgan, believe it or not, fought MS, for her entire adult life. I do know that staying active is extremely helpful. Like Clarice used to dance and stretch everyday, this young woman has to stay active and fit to do her best to fight off the attacks. MS is a tricky and invisible disease that reacts differently in different people. I was happy to give back to someone so thoughtful as this beautiful mother and loyal wife. Sending you and your family strength and compassion now and always! I’m so happy to have met you.
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