I walked into the makeup room and viewed my client, Elizabeth Galbraith of the Newport Costume Gallery, and saw a woman who had a twinkle in her eye, a subtle nervous energy about her, and a the desire to share a story. This was not an ordinary boudoir photoshoot- Elizabeth came with a purpose and a mission. She was aware of her curves, her stature and her feelings about herself as a woman and how people may, or may not view her. But she also had something much more important to explore in this session . . .
She looked at me point blank and said "Would you like to know why I want to do this photoshoot"? "Yes" I replied. . . . "Because several years ago, I was held at knife point and that incident has affected my life ever since - both physically and mentally. This photoshoot is part of what I'm doing to help heal myself - I want to get back to my positive self! I used to be happy and smiled a lot and since that day, I lost something of myself". I took a pause and then quietly asked "and why do you want to do a boudoir shoot?". Elizabeth looked me in the eye and said "Look, I know I have curves, I am not small. But I want to show the world that anyone can look and feel beautiful in their body with who they are right now!"
The words popped into my head . .. Yesss . . .Wow . . . what a strong woman . . . I do NOT want to fail this soul!!!"
So over the next several hours, we worked together, very easily, and I strove to capture the gamut of emotions and images which I imagined characterized this wonderful woman. We didn't turn it into a therapy session - we just shot, talked, laughed, and had quiet moments together. The session flowed! At the end pf the shoot, she looked at me with a much larger twinkle in her eye, and thanked me and my MUA Trina Paul, for giving her exactly the type of experience she needed! I smiled, thanked her very much for the honor of shooting her, and internally, noted that THIS is what capturing the human spirit is all about.