Being behind the lens most of the time, instead of in front of it, has gotten comfortable.
I get a little squeamish being on the other side; nervous, unsure of myself, self-conscious.
It's definitely easier being back here.
But two things happened:
1. I kept seeing all these stunning images from fellow-photographer and friend, Sarah Lovrien, and felt jealous. I thought, "I wish I had beautiful photos of myself like those... and (even more) I wish someone who sees women the way she does would 'see me' that way. That has to feel amazing."
(I also just really love her style --- she has a similar quiet/emotional/moody sentiment to me, I think, but it's a visual style that I'm only starting to flirt with in the past year: I usually shoot pretty light-drenched and ethereal-feeling images; she shoots dark, she shoots edge, she shoots contrasty. While I still favor less contrast and film-y looks to my images, I've been LOVING some of the darker tones and moods I've been shooting this year.)
2. I realized that that sentiment is exactly what my clients, who hire me for boudoir, portrait, or even engagement and wedding photos, must be thinking to themselves when they hire me. And how can I, in good conscience, not give myself the same gift of feeling beautiful that I am asking my clients to give themselves?
So I hired Sarah to do a shoot.
I'll admit to you --- I wasn't ready.
When I reached out to her, I thought we'd schedule something for sometime in the coming handful of months. But she responded telling me that she'd be in town in about 10 days, and then leaving again about 4 days later.
There was no time for hemming and hawing. If I wanted this, it was go time.
I'll also admit to you that, as a 38-year-old, it gets harrrrrrrrrder and harder every year to want to be photographed. Oh god, THOSE lines... THAT squishy bit...
And Sarah mostly shoots models. Great.
But I know *I* love shooting women of every age and every shape, and I ask them to trust me, so what's my excuse?
I'll also admit to you that I've been having FUN this summer, and have gotten a little "juicy" (my friend Elizabeth's endearing term for having a few extra pounds on ya ;) ).
So I took a deep breath, picked a date to shoot with Sarah, and then put the cork in the wine bottle and cleansed for about 10 days.
And I bought some amazing new makeup (have you ever tried the 3D Mascara, shadows, and concealers from Younique?? So good!).
And I went for it.
And it was SUCH a great experience --- both because I have some amazing, beautiful new photos that I feel proud of, and because I got to experience being the client for the first time in a long time.
It was SO GOOD to remember what you ladies feel like when I'm shooting you, how vulnerable you feel when you take the chance and show me who you are --- especially when you feel like you have no business being in front of the camera, and especially when you peel off the layers of clothing and inhibitions --- and how I want to make sure you feel goooooooooood and beautiful every step of the way.
Thanks, Sarah, for such beautiful images!
And, ladies, I'm ready to make YOU feel just as amazing! :)