I’ve been wanting to tell my story for a while, but it has been difficult to find the words that are my own without telling someone’s else’s story. Why boudoir has become such an important part of my life. Keep in mind, this is my story and in no way tells the other side.
Divorce. Yes, the “D” word. I’ve kept this pretty private. So much of what I do is put out into the public world. It’s just a part of my job. I share so much of myself and this time I wanted to keep something for myself. Divorce is a life-shattering thing to go through and I needed to take care of ME first. Over the past year I have done so much searching, self-discovery, and growth. My business is thriving more than ever. I’m truly happier than I have ever been.
But this wasn’t always the case.
It really dawned on me that I needed to tell my story when a business consultant was talking to me and asked, “Would you mind explaining boudoir to me because as a man, I’m not sure if I entirely understand the concept.” I told him how I was in a place in my life, for so many years, where I didn’t feel “seen”. I wondered if it was all my fault.
“Am I not pretty enough? Smart enough? Did I gain weight? Should I have makeup on when he comes home? What am I doing wrong?” I felt lost, lonely, and hopeless. I used to be confident and strong and know who I was. I’ve always been independent and now, suddenly, I realized I was in a co-dependent relationship. Now, I just felt like an empty shell, grasping for straws. I truly believe some people get married who absolutely shouldn’t. It doesn’t mean that they are bad people, just not good for each other. I had to learn this the hard way.
When did I fall in love with boudoir? It was when I was at my darkest. I felt so invisible and I realized that there were so many other women who felt this way. This was my chance to give back; to make another woman feel “seen”. I’ve photographed women who are single, divorced, have kids, are dating, can never have children, have been abused, virgins…you name it, she’s stood in front of my camera. I realized that helping them tell their stores was, in return, helping me tell my own.
The business consultant exclaimed, “Why in the world is this story not all over your website and social media?" Honestly, because I’m not sure how to tell it without hurting someone else. So, I’ve decided to make this about MY story.
When Denice asked if I would model for her for this session I knew I couldn’t turn down the opportunity. I’m a different person now and I wanted to capture that with an incredible artist. I felt what so many of my clients have felt. I wasn’t comfortable in my skin completely. When I received the photos, I looked for a second and then closed them. Just like so many women who have stood in front of my camera have told me, “It was hard to see myself like that.” But then, I came back to them…slowly…just like so many other women. I’ve started to look at the photographs and feel beautiful in areas that used to make me uncomfortable. I’ve begun to shut out the lies that have formed so deep inside my being. It hasn’t been easy and it will be a constant journey. But, what I’ve realized is that I’m tougher on myself than anyone else has been on me.
2017 was the hardest year of my life.
2018 was the best year of my life.
I’ve found myself. What an incredible gift that is. I hope to give that back to so many women. That’s why I don’t take boudoir lightly. It’s not just income to me. It’s now a way of life.
I honestly didn’t know if I wanted to share these photos. But, how can I ask other women to be courageous and tell their stories if I’m not willing to do the same. So, I decided to be vulnerable.
Also, check out this incredible VIDEO!