WARNING. This post is about to get as real as it gets when it comes to boudoir photography. If nudity makes you feel uncomfortable, please do not continue reading this post. I do hope that with time you can revisit this post and take away the love in these beautiful and timeless portraits.
“The artist must train not only his eye
but also his soul.”
- Wassily Kandinsky
I have to be honest with you…
As I prepared to share this body study with you, I hesitated. I hesitated a million times. I hesitated so much that I am ashamed to confess this session is a year old. You see, it’s normal for me to hold sessions for that long and sometimes my work never see the light of day due to a client’s request. But more than ever, Women are taking control of their body and their voice. A continued growth of strength has never felt more unapologetic than ever and I freaking LOVE that. And even in this instance where Cecelia has given me 100% approval to share any and all images from her session, I still held back and for that, I am sorry.
I found myself in a tug of war of many emotions and quickly realized that holding this session for so long had all to do with me. Boudoir and Body Study portraits are more than just intimate images. They are honest, real, and emotional. I could tell Cecelia was nervous, but I also felt that she trusted me. She opened herself up to the process, not knowing what to expect, and it was beautiful. I chocked up when I first received my film scans from my lab. It was a true testament of her strength.
I asked Cecelia a few questions, here’s a bit of what she shared:
What made you decide to do a Body Study Session with me?
I was in a weird place regarding thoughts about my body. I'd always wanted to do a session of this sort but after having my son I struggled with thoughts of “why didn't you do this when you were skinny?” I eventually got to this place of accepting the fact that my body is going to change in every season and that I may not ever look like I did when I was younger but that doesn't mean I shouldn't appreciate what I have now. I ultimately decided to book this session because I needed to see myself from someone else's perspective.
How did you feel when you received your photos?
When I received my gallery I felt a lot of things. I mean a lot of things. Looking through the photos for the first time was tough. My gut reacted instinctively in a really negative way. It was overwhelming so I needed to stop and try again a few times and after a little bit, my brain started seeing the beauty in front of me. It was a really cool thing I did standing here in front of your lens completely vulnerable and it was an even cooler thing that this body had a baby just 2 years prior and that this body was still sustaining that baby at the moment that picture was snapped. It was incredible to me all of the sudden.
If you were talking to your best friend and wanted to tell her how you felt about your experience what would you say?
It was exhilarating! I was nervous when I stepped out the bathroom but as soon I walked into the set and we started chatting it was smooth sailing from there. Body studies are a little different than boudoir in the sense that you have to allow yourself to be "studied" for lack of a better phrase. There were poses we tried that didn't work and while that may have made me feel self conscious in another circumstance, I felt okay about it here because it was supposed be artfully raw. I would tell them not to hesitate, just book it! You won't regret it!
These portraits represent my most honest and raw body of work to date. Frankly, I am still a bit nervous about this post going live. They say that the artist’s work is a reflection of their soul. I was afraid to share it and be judged. I was afraid to let you in. Yet I realized that accepting my fears and tapping into it is the only way I can continue to create honest work. I want you to feel when you see these images. I want you to accept vulnerability, as I have many times again.
Cecelia, I thank you. You are an inspiring and admiring Woman.
“Denice is a highly professional and extremely talented woman. She is friendly and kind and keeps her clients comfort in mind when interacting and posing and even posting things on the web and social medias. I could not be happier with the decision to trust her with the portraits. I will cherish them until I'm gone and I will recommend her as long as she chooses to stay in this industry.”