As the last few days of summer blend into the first chills of autumn, I am preparing myself to take optimal advantage of the glorious panoply of colors that this season brings to the palette of nature. I simply adore the burgundy and the brown, the subtle gold and the fiery reds and to bring these hues to life, I do a lot of ‘nature walking’ to see them in their splendor at parks and sidewalks.
And that is where the inspiration for this post comes from!
IT ALL STARTED WITH ANDY:
Andrea walked into my consultation room bubbly and ecstatic. She was getting engaged and wanted to present her finance with a collection of tasteful yet sexy images which would convey in no uncertain terms her undying love for her man and her unswerving faith in their relationship. She was a young, petite bombshell and my mind started whirring with ideas of daring shots and electric, smoldering poses. I could definitely go all out with her and do epic work!!
So imagine my surprise when she suggested a look and feel for the intimate session that would definitely fall way short of doing justice to her glossy mane and her knock-out figure. I didn’t press much because it is not in my nature to drive clients over the edge. I rather prefer the gradual unfolding of grace and confidence and women mostly do step into their own under the hypnotic gaze of my camera.
Yet her apprehension kept gnawing at me. It wasn’t natural reticence. Thanks to my years of experience, I have learned to trust my gut feeling and my intuition.
The day of the shoot dawned beautiful and sunny. My studio was flooded with an abundance of natural light. It is flattering and gentle – the best kind of ‘effect’ possible. You would think that with a cracker of a ‘model’ and all the elements aligned in my favor; I would have a rip roaring time. Alas that is far from the truth. No matter what I suggested, Andy would retreat into her shell and shake her head, in almost abject misery. This continued for a while. At long last I called for champagne and sat her down. Was she forced into this shoot by someone? The answer was no. Was I doing something to upset her? She squeezed my hand and assured me I was perfect. Was something about the setting bothering her? She again denied affirmation. I was stumped. Just when I was about to give up, she blurted the truth out. She had been a model in high school and had worked extensively with quite a famous photographer. Recently when she approached him for her boudoir shoot, he came back with the reply that maybe she should reconsider the decision to ‘go nudie’ in front on the camera.
Oh! Imagine the arrant nonsense and the gall of this person. I could not believe someone could say that to such a beautiful women. I took her hand, and told the beauty and strength I saw in her. I reminder her that anyone who could say that to another human being was insecure and clearly disillusioned.
I gave her a hug and promised her that she would LOVE her images, and if she did not, I would bring her back in. As the session continued, she came out of her shell. She blossomed, just like a flower.
I made her shed her inhibitions. I shot her in myriad settings and after each click I showed her the raw images. I showed her how graceful the arch of her back was. I showed her the strength of her solid legs and how they could take her far in life. I will always remember the tears that fell down her face as she said over and over again, “I am still beautiful”.
AS I WALKED THAT NIGHT, I SAW THE TREES:
With a completely different perspective! They are lush emerald green during the monsoons, fresh and dainty during the springs, shorn of adornments during the winter and bold and blazing during the autumn. Despite going through such rapid and profound transformations, they always retain that erect posture and that aura of aloofness. They are grand and unbending. And that is what we should be like. After all we humans are just as much a part of nature as the flora that surrounds us. Then why do we feel that change is to be dreaded instead of celebrated? Why do we feel compelled to hold on to the bodies of our adolescence when mental maturity is so desired? Why can’t we love ourself and the way we look at every stage of our life?
THIS IS A REQUEST TO ALL THE LOVELY LADIES OUT THERE….
Walk into a boudoir shoot to pay homage to what you and your body have been through. Celebrate each supposed ‘flaw’ because it is a milestone on the path that took you from where you were to where you are! You can’t gauge your loveliness unless you leave the baggage of stereotypes and confirmation behind. See yourself as the world sees you. And make that confidence a part of you.
I can’t wait for you to shine.