Meet Aly. She and I actually grew up together playing softball in Wichita, Kansas and reconnect through our mutual friend Corissa. Corissa is the fab body-positive blogger from Fat Girl Flow, you might remember her from my last boudoir post.
So Aly is this sassy, doesn’t take any bullshit, kind of woman. She’s the kind of woman who changes diapers, adores her husband, goes to work, supports her friends and get’s home to put the kids in bed, all while rocking a fierce red-lip. She’s the kind of woman who I aspire to be most days.
The kind of woman you’d expect to have this outrageous confidence, right? But then she didn’t.
She didn’t because behind all of this keeping-it-together attitude was a woman who doesn’t see what everyone else is seeing. She doesn’t see the arms that hold two kids, the eyes a man finds his soul in or the shoulders of someone carrying the weight of the world. She simply doesn’t see herself like this.
And that’s ok, because she’s a human, and she’s a human woman. But then she went out and did something for herself and she changed. And I got to capture it all with my camera.
After photographing our friend Corissa, who is constantly in front of a camera and knows exactly how phenomenally sexy she is (seriously, go check out her session and her blog Fat Girl Flow), it actually brought me back to reality. Most women have NO idea how stunning they are. And to watch Aly’s evolution from unsure to show-stopper was a pretty powerful thing. It’s reaffirmed everything I know about how boudoir photography can make a woman feel. We are so used to falling short of whatever kind of woman our culture expects us to be that we can easily convince ourselves that whatever physically is happening here is something to be shameful about.
I don’t consider myself an advocate of any kind but I’ve seen the power of photography. I’ve seen woman start a session embarrassed and self-conscience and leave glowing and feeling alive. I hope now Aly can see how everyone else sees her.
I imagine someday, 30 or 50 years from now, Aly’s daughter looking through old photo albums and seeing these images. I imagine her thinking how amazing her mother is, and how she’s the strongest woman she’s ever known. I image her holding these photos, evidence of the beauty and strength of her mother.
Thanks, Aly, for being vulnerable and for trusting me. I’m inspired by you. You’ve reminded me of how much I love being a photographer and a how much I love being a woman.