She Felt Like A Renaissance Painting ~ Winnipeg Boudoir Photography
I had an amazing opportunity to hang out in Helena, Montana last year, mentoring and photographing the beautiful Jacquie of Floating Leaf Studios. This lovely babe introduced me to her sweet little town (where I found literally THEE best coconut popcorn that I can only get at HomeSense now) but more importantly, I got to know her. I learned about her as a mother, as an entrepreneur, and as a woman and this babe’s heart is bigger than most…but that is also her kryptonite. We spoke about her depression and anxiety and discussed all the feels. This lovely woman has no idea just how important she is to the people around her, particularly the clients that she photographs. Every time I go into a session, I put a little prayer or hope in to the universe that I will provide my person with exactly the thing they need in that day…. essentially offering myself up as a medium to provide clients with what they are searching for. After sessions are done, I know people have fun and all that good stuff, but when I hear just how impactful sessions are for them on a deeper level, I know I am where I am meant to be. Anywho, this isn’t about me. This is about Jacquie and the exploration of herself and how she saw herself like a beautiful muse…a piece of art.
I looked like a fucking Renaissance painting.
I think my story is much like most who come to Teri. Battling low self-esteem and lack of self-love has been the norm for much of my life. Depression, suicidal thoughts, and anxiety plague my daily life. I was never enough and really, I just longed to be pretty and mean something to this world.
I found boudoir, or should I say it found me, 8 years ago and ever since I did, I have experienced the emotional and healing benefits that come from this type of photo shoot. Because of how deeply it has helped me, I decided I would gift myself every year for my birthday a boudoir or photo shoot experience. It might seem luxurious to some, but for me it is a necessity. Each year I have discovered something new about myself. I feel like I am slowly peeling back layers of masks and years of self-doubt to reveal who I truly am. I think life is just a discovery of oneself and that is what I believe these sessions are doing for me.
My 2018 session was with Teri and it’s my favorite. I felt more prepared for this session than I had in years past. Maybe because I had started on a self-love journey and I saw myself more than just the skin I was in. Maybe I have learned to make peace with my body. Maybe I knew Teri specialized in photographing all bodies and I knew mine would be loved just as much as her other clients. I definitely knew to expect the emotional roller coaster leading up to the shoot and even the weeks after. What I didn’t expect was to feel like a Renaissance painting.
You know those paintings…of women (and men) in full nude with curves and bellies and ample bosoms. I had always been mesmerized at their ease of being naked. It was so natural. When Teri and I talked about my wardrobe for my shoot, I kept coming back to feeling like I didn’t need clothing this time to feel beautiful. I had two outfits just in case, but left it in Teri’s hands and vision. I trusted her as an artist to guide me through the shoot.
To our credit, we did try the outfits I had brought, but I think it wasn’t ten minutes in and I was butt ass naked. Fuck, it was liberating. Have you ever stood completely naked in front of someone? Knowing there was not an ounce of judgement in the room, but only pure love and acceptance? There was nothing to hide behind. Truly there was nothing to hide from? If not, I beg of you, please don’t let your life pass by without experiencing this at least once. This must be why those subjects in the paintings looked so at ease. They knew.
That night Teri sent me a preview. I sat in silence and finally said out loud- “I look like a fucking Renaissance painting!” Right before me was proof-I looked identical to one of those ladies in the paintings. I finally saw my soft, sagging breasts as beauty. I saw my rolls as art, not something I should be ashamed of. I saw my tum with the lines where my skin and stretch marks met each other as natural. Not disgusting, but natural. And my booty, I had never seen my booty as desirable and here it was in all its glory, just as my husband always described it to me.
My shoot with Teri brought me joy in a time where I didn’t know if I would feel joy again. Joy in my nakedness, unashamed and unapologetic. Teri showed me that I am whole as I am now. I did not need to make any changes to become whole. I am whole. There is so much freedom in life when you realize that. Thank you, Teri, for making me feel like a work of art.
Every person needs to recognize themselves as the beautiful pieces of art that they are. From every little freckle, the bumps and scratches, the scars, the pigments, the textures of your body are all beautiful designs in the universe and they deserve to be celebrated….yes, even you! Click below if you want to have your own “art” experience!