My Soul Session.
We all deal with our own stuff, and it becomes part of our story.
One piece of my story is my body image, and it has been something I’ve struggled with on and off for the better part of the last five years. My self worth was tightly wound around a number on a scale. I tried to shrug it off, obsess about it, ignore it, obsess once more, compensate by focusing solely on the areas of my life that gave me joy, made excuses about being too busy to deal with it, and it still loomed in the back of my mind.
The one time it couldn’t be ignored was in a photograph.
There are three times in the last five years that I have loved the experience of having my photo taken. Our engagement session, our wedding weekend, and our honeymoon.
The rest is as follows.
Having my photo taken became an awful experience, for me, and for the poor person who happened to be holding the camera, (usually Steve). ‘I’m probably going to hate it’. Before we had even started I would brace myself for the struggle. I always had to see the back of the camera. ‘Maybe we can try one more’. Maybe I can suck it in, stick it out, twist, or move -maybe then I’ll like it. It was an awfully dreadful process. I can close my eyes and see Steve twitch a little when I asked to see an image, but he is a patient man, and so we would try once more. ‘It needs to be perfect’. It didn’t matter how many he took or how wonderful they were, because I was the problem.
I was my own worst nightmare.
Trust me. Be open. Be vulnerable. Be yourself. Love yourself. Express yourself.
When I’m behind the camera it feels like the most natural thing in the world to guide someone through this process. When it’s my turn, not so much.
On our roadtrip Steve made one rule.
1. ‘You can’t look at the back of the camera. Pretend it’s film’ he said.
When I tried to protest with something about collaboration, he shut me up with ‘Just trust me’.
I had to let go of trying to control everything.
At the largest number I’ve seen on that damn scale, I hiked up mountains. I sang my heart out to oldies on the radio, I ate clementines and wasabi peas as we drove. I closed my eyes and tried to commit the smell of morning fog to memory, and I simply stood in awe of the giant redwoods. I watched the tide roll in and sometimes out, I watched the sunset every night, and walked barefoot when the sand was too cold. I packed more hats than I did shirts, I dreamed & wondered, I laughed a lot, I stood in front of the camera, and for the first time in a long time, I loved it.
This is my Soul Session.
More about Soul Sessions:
“While the project is still in it’s infancy, the idea is a mix of boudoir and portraiture photography.
I want the focus to be on creating an intimate space for women to feel free, express themselves, and define their own beauty.
Nude to fully clothed, full makeup to none, indoors or outdoors. It’s up to you.
It’s a ‘come as you are, express yourself, celebrate your body at this moment in your life’ experience.”