It's strong, and it's raw, and I'm not sure what I'm doing, or if it's right, but I'm doing it.
All I know is, sometimes, flipping up that middle finger to the world makes you feel more powerful. Every once in awhile screaming out that F bomb can make you feel like everything you had bottled up inside you is finally out.
If it takes the work Fuck for people to finally get where I've been trying to go with my work and women for the past few years, then so be it.
I feel really strongly about photographing women and the way they see themselves. How many times have I spoke with a woman who would be more comfortable and confident with her clothes on, but she takes them off because she thinks that's what sexy has to be. Or how many women have I talked to who want to show off their bodies but they don't because society has told them their body type isn't ideal.
I'm sorry if things are getting a little too deep, or powerful, or even vulgar around here, but let's be honest, we're all grown ups, and we've probably all used a curse word here and there. And I know, if you haven't, you've replaced it with some word that attempted to make it all better. Because that's all we really want, right? Something that just might make it all better.
If a word can start it, why can't a Revolution finish it?
That's why I'm here, and that's what I hope to do. No. That's what I'm doing. Right here. Right now I am introducing a Revolution to you where we "point the finger" at the typical beauty standards women encounter all day, every day, since they are old enough to walk and talk.
To quote Shane Koyczan (through out this entry)-
"Too fat, too thin, bad teeth, worse skin, no chin, big nose, small breast, long toes, poor looks, cheap clothes, goes to short, to tall, to nothing at all, the things we call each other in the name of beaty are ugly and that they allow no contrast to symmetry."
Then what the hell are we allowed to be!? Who the hell is left to be?
I'll tell you who, but you have to promise me though you won't judge them, or knock them down. You have to promise me you will give them a chance and try to understand what they have to offer. You have to take time each day to appreciate them, to have tough love with them, and to open up to them. You have to be ready to accept the good, the bad, and the honesty that comes with being an amazing person.
I'll tell you who.
"Pretty is a lie designed to sell you back to yourself but you are still you." S.K.
Start the Revolution with me. Today.
I want to take this to a more personal level now and share with you a little bit more about what has started this fire inside of me, and explain to you better who I am and what I'm all about, because I think due to the nature of my job, and my work, there is some confusion about that.
Yes, I am a beauty photographer. I use the word beauty more than boudoir because boudoir means bedroom and 8 times out of 10 I am suggesting something other than the typical bedroom shot.
I say I have no clue how I fell in to this, but when I really think about it, that's a lie. I know. It started about 3 years ago when I had met my limit on photographing typical family portraits and crazy, crying, screaming kids. I wanted to connect with people and be able to work with those who allowed me to help direct and style their shoot in order pull out a story. That's when I scheduled my first boudoir shoot, and I'll be honest, I was super nervous. Always loving fashion photography I felt like this was going to be the closest thing to that, but it involved underwear, and skin, and after being taught all my life to keep your body private, that was an odd concept, but it wasn't me I was photographing, so I didn't care.
I see uncensored, raw beauty and art in the human body. Do I have a burning desire to do a Boudoir session myself? No. Not in the typical sense. Not at all if I were 100% honest. And this is where things get odd and people get shocked, bc my portfolio is packed with hot ladies in minimal clothing and I'm knowledgable about what makes a women's body look smoking. And shouldn't the woman photographing you love this for you as much as she loves it for herself? And as you look through these photos of me in this letter to you, wouldn't one call them Boudoir!?
I say no... and the main reason why? There's a strong, strong need for me to create these pieces other than to just undress. These images hold emotion, a story, a point. There ALWAYS has to be a point to what we're doing, in life, and in photos.
I play in to gifting this experience solely for your "man" often, and what he might like, but on the inside, I'm really SCREAMING- Do this for yourself too! Think about yourself! SEE what he sees and don't be afraid to treat yourself, just one day, to an experience that's designed to give you light and confidence back, even if HE, or SHE, or THEY, or the WORLD doesn't get it! Even if your idea of sexy, hot, beautiful, empowering is different than what they like! Don't just do this for them. You're worth this. Stop thinking of your body as a gift to the world and think of it as your own gift to yourself, to appreciate and take care of. Celebrate that. Because at the end of the day, who lives in that body?
I guess after screaming that in my head for years, I'm finally saying it outloud and I hope you understand where I'm coming from.
I got my start by being a Self Portrait Artist. That means people started to recognize me and my photography skills based on how I was shooting myself. At that time, I did some of my best work, still to date. I photographed myself in minimal clothing before I even considered boudoir because I didn't think of it as being sexy, I saw it as an artistic outlet, being a character, and telling a story. If no clothes would better get the point across, that's what I would do. A lot of the time I truly feel like clothes and what they portray can get in the way of the rawness I like to capture. It honestly never, ever crossed my mind though that I was being sexy, and if it did, I got uncomfortable, because sexy is probably the LAST word I would use to describe myself.
Pretty odd for someone who specializes in beauty, right? I talk the talk, and I pretend to walk the walk, but in all reality, every day, under my clothes, I own NO matching bra and underwear sets and a vast array of my underwear are comparable to granny panties due to the fact that one year we left to go on a vacation that was so long I found out I didn't have enough underwear for the trip and stopped and bought the cheapest pack of underwear I could find to get me by...
...because at the end of the day, it's just underwear, and I'm still me, and after I take them off and stare back at myself in the mirror analyzing my body, just as I was born, I am a clean slate, with nothing and no judgement, I realize it's not about my underwear, or bra, or my boobs hanging out. It's about this skin, this soul, this personality. It's about how I feel about myself, how I hope others feel about me, and if my underwear is the last thing I will be judged upon when I die, at least they can say, "She lived life so fully she didn't even have enough clean underwear to get her through the days of her adventures." THAT'S what my underwear says about me. And THAT's what makes me sexy.
So to society and what they think of us women- fuck YOUR BEAUTY standards and go back to you and YOUR BEAUTY, because at the end of the day, when you strip it all down, that's all you have left.
To you, if that means lace, pearls, thongs, and whips make you feel amazing, then please, trust me to tell that story in a way that will blow your mind, I embrace your inner wild child, but at the same time, don't be ashamed if your sexy side only incorporates a pair of baggy pink undies, turquoise socks, and a $20 Vegas Sluts shirt because, I'm here to embrace all of that and everything in between, and you should too. Not for him, not for them, not for everyone watching, but for you.
" ...Appearance forgives nothing. It can not excuse you from being who you are and if who you are has not come far enough to know that then go stand in line with monotony. We will still be here." -Shane Koyczan
AJBC Photography Port Huron, Michigan Beauty and Boudoir Photographer. The Revolution.