Lillies of the Field | Boudoir Photographer
Lately I’ve been plagued with a love/hate of my body. For some of you, you know that in January I made some healthy changes and have lost some weight over these past 6 months. I started eating clean, working out 6 days a week, and all around “thinking healthier. I’ve been through A LOT, and my body sure shows it. From 7 abdominal surgeries, to loosing my son in 2009, to having another infant in NICU for 80 days, to going through a divorce and having to start completely over in my personal life, shit adds up. And it shows. Well, at least I can see it.
Yes, I have ab definition and yes, I’m proud of it. But to say that I am at my “ideal” is so far from the truth. I have moments of revelation where I sit back and think, “Why do I assume that I should have the same body I had at 15?” I mean that was 3 kids ago, a divorce ago, 8 moves ago, and more tears than I could ever count! So why then do I always, ALWAYS revert back to looking in the mirror searching for my 15 year old body, when clearly I am a woman of 31?
When I launched Kellie Mae, I had a simple mission…. All women are beautiful and all women should be allowed to FEEL beautiful. I want to give women BACK that feeling most of us have felt at one point in our lives, where we were as close as we could be to “perfect”. Or at least we were at that point where we felt confident in who we were. When I did my own boudoir shoot after an incredible workshop with the fabulous Boudoir Divas I came into my own.
I weighed 150 lbs, and didn’t care. I FELT BEAUTIFUL. More than that, I BELIEVED I was perfect, JUST AS I WAS.
Just recently, I photographed one of the most incredible women that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting since the launch of Kellie Mae. It was a last minute session, and by God’s grace it all came together at the right moment so that while I was in town shooting another project, I was able to get her in for her third boudoir session (yes, her third). And here is the message I received just 2 days before I had her in front of the camera…
Hey girl, I need a pick-me-up. Need to feel beautiful and sexy.
BOOM. There it was. And to be completely honest, this woman is a KNOCK-OUT! AND she’d already done 2 sessions with me, but just like myself, the confidence fades and we are so desperate to get back to remembering how amazing we really are. So within a few hours, we were all set for her 3rd boudoir session, and I couldn’t wait.
There are some special moments in the career of photographers, clients we really resonate with, experiences we remember. I’ll never forget the moment I took a shot of my client, who had already been in front of my camera 2 other times before, showed her the instant preview and she squealed with delight, saying, “SHUT UP! OMGosh! I mean I work so hard on my body, and I doubt so much, but I’m HOT!”
That is why I LOVE this job. Because I get to experience moments of awareness and empowerment at the most vulnerable of times.
What I learned from this latest experience was that I too need to embrace my own body. There is a never a time where we are 100% in love with our bodies. No matter who is in front of my camera, EVERY SINGLE TIME I hear “I hate my tummy, I hate my thighs, my body is a hot mess…” from every body type, every age group. Women feel SO insecure about their bodies, and it is ALWAYS the same complaints. EMBRACE who you are. YOU are LOVED right this minute; we must learn to love ourselves in our OWN skin. There is SO much power in being okay with being ourselves. <3
I had a fellow photog, Skye Hardwick, a woman I admire dearly, post something the other day that was beyond powerful……..
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.” – Proverbs 18:21
I challenged my family … “What if everything that came out of your mouth today came true?” Now, after we all said things like, “I found a millions dollars!” and “I look like I’m 29 again!” … there would be the honest truth about what we speak (read: think) on a daily basis.
“See, I always mess things up.”“I’m not just good at that.”“I’m too lazy to go and get it.”“I know I should eat right, but why bother?”
Food for thought.
I was BLOWN AWAY! Because I’m THAT WOMAN TOO! This made me think so much about the power of our words and thoughts. We owe ourselves love and grace. If our amazing, incredible creator loves us JUST AS WE ARE, then HOW can I not love myself???
So this week I’m meditating on this verse with the hopes of changing how I view myself.
3 Let your beauty be not just the outward adorning of braiding the hair, and of wearing jewels of gold, or of putting on fine clothing;
4 but in the hidden person of the heart, in the incorruptible adornment of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God very precious.
-1 peter 3:3-4
I leave you with this verse and ask that you ponder with the idea, no, ponder with the truth, that beyond the veil of our own skewed view of how we look, we are perfect in our creator’s eyes.