I have always, as long as I can remember, taken pictures. First it was my mom’s Polaroid camera, then my first pocket camera that took flash cubes, (yeah, I’m probably dating myself) to my first Yashica film camera, and then to the digital age with DSLR’s. I took photography classes in college when I was taking my Advertising course. I was told over and over that I would never make a living with my camera, so I did what I thought was best for a career, and left the camera behind. Photography played a role in my graphic design and marketing career, and was always a hobby. I continued to shoot for myself. And then, I put myself in front of the camera.
At one of the lowest self esteem points in my life, I picked up my camera in hopes to heal, or see something I just couldn’t. I, like most women, suffered with unworthiness and self doubt. I loathed how I looked, most days. I knew otherwise, but that low self esteem mindset can play nasty tricks on you. I was like so many of my clients today, blown away with what the camera saw. Which is what others saw.
We focus on the mirror, which with a clouded mind, only shows you shit you can’t stand. It directs your eyes to those places that you have drilled in your mind are no good. Or, not good enough. The camera has a mirror as well. So I decided to trust in that mirror. To see the reflection it sends back to me. I still to this day, suffer with low thoughts, like we all do. But that day, a switch was flipped. I was actually in love with what I was looking at. I couldn’t see the flaws that the bedroom mirror always showed me. So from that day forward, I vowed to be kinder to myself. To stop, or at least slow down the negative self talk. The high that I was riding, was one that I knew all my girlfriends, and women as far as I could reach, had to, no needed to, feel this feeling. So I embarked on the beginning of my boudoir journey.
For 5 years, I would rent this lovely B&B in Vineland, and a hotel in Hamilton 2 weekends a month. I would shoot 3 girls back to back, Saturday and Sunday. 12 boudie girls a month, while holding down a 9-5 career. Oh and of course, let’s not forget all my family sessions and weddings that I would shoot on the off boudie weekends. I stretched myself, that’s for sure. It was a grind. But, the passion to shoot made me overlook the long hours, and the fact that I was becoming a work-a-holic. My mind was always on photography. My corporate career was suffering. My focus wasn’t there, and I became widely aware, of how soul sucking the last few years were. I made a few bad career choices, and changes, but it was my mom who told me that without those bad choices, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Or at that time, where I was going.
After serving 25 or so years in the corporate world, I said goodbye, abruptly, to the last soul sucking place, without a plan B, but a fire in my belly that was always pushing me in this direction. With no plan of action, but an overwhelming desire to use my camera everyday, to make women feel amazing, it was my husband who is the total risk taker, that made the decision to build my dream studio. That day was probably one of the scariest of my life. The fear of failure was heavy. I mean, if it didn’t work, I would be looking at the studio everyday as that failure reminder. But then I remembered, to be kinder to myself, and believe in my abilities. It was the fastest 6 months. Shooting in hotels, while the build was happening, my clients were the ones that made me believe in myself. Photographing women is what I am meant to do. It fills my soul. I have always said that this is my therapy. It reminds me, as I remind my clients, they are worthy, they are strong, beautiful, powerful and magical. And so I am.
12 years later, here I am. In my dream studio. Doing what I have always been meant to do. No longer an assembly line boudoir photographer. I now have the privilege of time. Not just the time for their session, but beforehand. To get to know their story and their why. Hoping to connect and continue to inspire women of all walks of life, to love on themselves. To own, unapologetically who they are. I am beyond grateful to have met so many strong and beautiful women, and have been with part of their self love journey.
That’s my story. How it started, why it started and where I am now. And I’m so glad YOU are here. xo