Putting Myself Out There

I haven't done my WPPI post yet (3 months and counting...) but I wanted to take a minute to share something with all of you.  When I tell you that you're going to be nervous and maybe a little scared and that it is going to be ok?  I know, I mean like, I really know.  When you complain about wanting to lose 10lbs first, I'm with you.  When you want to do it but you don't have an 'event' coming up, I get it.

When I started my business it evolved as a result of my husband asking me to take "sexy pictures" for him.  If you want a challenge, try taking boudoir photos of yourself.  Looking back at them I thought I was a total badass, but the lighting was awful, the posing was questionable and my skills in makeup needed work.  But a couple things came from it - he loved coming home to little surprises; I was losing weight at the time and the picture exercise started to rekindle my self-confidence and I discovered that I really enjoyed doing it.  And if I enjoyed doing it myself...maybe I would enjoy doing it for other people.

Now I get to be other people's badasses and show them a whole different perspective.

Since that time, I've slowly and steadily (and sadly) put back on about 25 of the 35 lbs I lost while training for a marathon.  Some mornings when I go to get dressed, I end up sitting on the floor of my closet in tears because nothing looks right or fits correctly.  Until recently it wasn't for a lack of trying.  I dance a couple times a week and I was working out (short, but regularly).  I did a 6 week program that had me working out 6 days a week for 1-1.5 hr each day (two workouts).  At the end, when I compared my measurements, not only had my weight not changed but my measurements were the same.  In 6 weeks, not a single thing had budged.  In fairness, I hadn't really altered my eating - but I certainly wasn't eating any worse.  I expected at least a little movement somewhere.  After that, my ambitions and desires for working out fell off a cliff.

This year at WPPI (an annual convention for photographers and filmmakers), my roommate and other friends planned a day of shooting each other in our suite.  We also decided to go out to the desert and play around a couple of times.  A few weeks later I started receiving images from my friends who had shot me and when I saw the first batch....I cried. 

Like, watching The Notebook for the first (or 12th...) time cried.  

I don't want you to think that suddenly my entire opinion of myself changed, but I had a moment where I saw myself the way my husband does, the way friends do.  I didn't see the person in the mirror whose face was always broken out, whose thighs touch when I stand and rub when I walk, whose ass has dimples, whose stomach is a perpetual muffin top.  I saw a woman who, is a total ham in front of the camera (and I still claim I hate being in front), who has some stunning curves, who has an oh-my-freaking-god ass that when popped out (just look how many times it got photographed)...looks damn good.  I saw the woman who has had years of dance training and can pull off an incredible curved back - and really who cares about the bit of roll?  I got to see myself through the eyes of someone else. I realized that even though I was going to wake up the next morning and look in the mirror and hate everything about how I looked in whatever dress I had on (I wear dresses the majority of the time because I can't find pants that actually fit - or shorts for that matter), I knew, under it all that I was beautiful. 

I was beautiful in my own way.

Now I share with you some of those images.  If you are in these photographer's areas, do check them out because they are amazing women who get it and understand the hesitations some women have about doing boudoir.  And if you're in my area - let's talk.  I get it.  I've been there and I want you to feel the same amazingness I did when I opened the files.

Teri Hofford Photography - Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Blue Flame Boudoir - Denver, CO