You know the one thing that you really want to do but it sits deep down inside of you and you always think about it but (at least for me), can’t get yourself to move forward on? Or you think others will judge you so you ignore the nudges?
I had that “thing” for many, many years. Always wondered. Always doubted (myself). Always would dream about if I could make real “artwork”.
That dream for me had always been to photograph nudes.
I almost feel silly saying that out loud. It makes me feel super vulnerable and judged.
I grew up taking a lot of drawing classes and saw artists drawing nudes and was always blown away at the curves and lines and the beauty that I saw in them.
And I can’t say I really ever saw too much artistic nude photography. In those days, I just knew of Playboy because it was kinda' the “norm” in society back then but it was never art (not to me anyway). And then, of course, there were famous painters and other artists but those were in museums and it wasn't work you saw all the time. But I do remember thinking of a lot of the Renaissance painters and how the women were so natural body and it was considered the perfect body. But as I started photography, well before I did this work I am now, every time I looked at photographer's doing what I wanted to do, they were all photographing models and they were probably never over the age of 25! And then of course, all of the ads that we see in magazine or TV are, not in my eyes anyway, were ever "natural" women. They all conformed to the "norm" of super skinny, almost emaciated sometimes and it bothered me that this is what girls and women were believing their bodies needed to look like to be happy.
Fast forward many, man years, and as I started working with women on the entrepreneurial images, the conversations were very much about how we felt about our bodies and what empowerment felt like, what it was like to truly be “in your body”. These conversations weren't about weight or size, they were about feminine consciousness and how we looked at ourselves and ignored society's rules about what we "should" look like.
It was around those moments and in those conversation, that I really started owning my body, loving my body, embracing my curves and I did it for me. Not for anyone else. Only me. And I started to encourage all the women I met or worked with to do the same for themselves because it was oh-so powerful and freeing!!
And then the dream became real. A fellow photographer told me that she was running a workshop and maybe I should attend. She said it would be a cool experience and a chance for me to get out of my everyday photography work and create art.
I was all in. And yes, you guessed right, it was a nude photography workshop. I was all in.
All I knew as I drove up there that morning was that I wanted to capture “light dancing on the body” and I wanted it to be feminine and divine and for it to be only about the woman herself. This was not for anyone else’s consumption. It was only for her.
So when it was my turn to work with the first model, she came up to me and said, “Do you want to do what all these other guys are doing - tying me up with the rope and stuff?” I was like, “Ummm, yeah, no that’s not what I do or like personally...so here’s what I want to do: I want to capture the feminine, the softness, the lights and shadows. I want to capture your emotions. Does that work for you?”
And her eyes lit up and she said, “Oh my God, YES!” And we were on!
I worked with two models that day, had less than 15 minutes with each of them but it was all I needed. What I saw through the camera lit me up. It was what I wanted, what I had said I wanted to create. And as I walked out of the workshop that day, I said to myself, “I could do one of these sessions every single day if I was allowed!”
Two weeks later, it took all the courage in me to start posting a few images on Instagram and Facebook. And what happened next blew me away!
I had more responses to this work than I had ever had on any of my other work. But what was supposed to be a weekend of playing with my art, turned into women asking for sessions,
They. Wanted. To. Pay. Me. To. Photograph. Them. NUDE.
I manifested what I said I wanted. I had the courage to step outside my feelings of shame and vulnerability and do what lit me up.
And when women said that their photo session was the epitome of true feminine consciousness or that their images and experience were the perfect celebration of their body and a gift they gave to THEMSELVES, I knew I was home. This was all I needed to know.
When a woman celebrates who she is, owns her body, loves her curves and unleashes her inner Goddess and does it for HERSELF, that’s the true win, isn’t it?
It certainly was mine.
And so Natural Light Nudes -- the dream, became real.
I'm back in the game again! I am offering some super cool Natural Light Nudes - Factory Edition sessions on September 30th and there are only 4 spots available! Click here to learn more.
Have you joined the Woman Redefined VIP Facebook group yet? I'd love for you to join me in this group where we share inspiring stories of women letting go of expectations, loving themselves unapologetically and all things body positivity and self love. You'll be asked a few questions and for the secret code, make sure you put in "I'm Ready!"