Duality, and Being Vulnerable and Powerful, Simultaneously | Vancouver Boudoir Photographer
Hello lovely friends!
I just finished a 4-day photography conference/workshop in Ontario with some of the best boudoir photographers in Canada and the US; then I have a few days to spend with my family in Ontario - both have been great, and I'm glad to be able to do a "hard reset" on life, goals, family & friends, and my creative practice.
I've been going through some massive changes lately - changes which I will not outline in this blog post, perhaps I will save that for the future, but I will tell you that it's a positive, sad, and necessary change and I'm both terrified and excited (you'll find out sooner or later, what it's all about!)
But hey, my point, you probably want to know about that!
I have soooo many downright amazing sessions to blog about (uh, 20, 30? seriously if you're reading this can I hire you to help me, I'm so behind!) with the coolest women, and I'm at this point going totally out of order but I'll be going through them, one by one, over the next few weeks. If you want updates, please subscribe to my mailing list and I will update you upon their release!
So I want to tell you about the coolest woman who booked with me - and she booked on a whim! Actually, it was on a whim and a gift for her man, but of course as it always ends up, clients are so thrilled with their portraits that it ends up being so much for themselves. Not a bad thing is you ask me! She said...
"I was and am still in love with every photo. I was going to choose the 10 photo option but I just so happened to cut out the photos except 20! I just knew it was meant to be."
And regarding her album she also said,
"When it came to choosing the album, I had no idea I could make it as custom as I wanted! I was very specific on which photos would go where and the material I wanted to use for my album cover."
Doing this "business thing" solo, working for yourself, gets lonely and it's extremely challenging, filled with self-doubt, and real-talk with yourself about your shortcomings, but I never, ever, ever take for granted how closely I get to work with women (and men, if you happen to be a straight couple and I'm shooting your wedding) and the unique opportunity it allows for me to create space for clients to explore who they are and their identity. Call it emotional depth or whatever - I see a lot of boudoir photographers who talk about body acceptance, and of course, of course it's about that, but that almost goes without saying; I really believe a boudoir portrait session is about getting to know oneself on a deeper, more intimate level. It's like, self-love and self-acceptance and self-indulgence and vulnerability all rolled into one (to name a few things, really).
I should emphasize the vulnerability part, because that often gets overlooked - we are vulnerable when we are wearing only lingerie, or are topless, or are nude. And you can be vulnerable and powerful at the same time - so let's explore what that looks and feels like. How is it possible to be vulnerable and powerful simultaneously? It seems illogical, but it's not, because we can experience this duality and we see it and feel it. This is all just part of the experience and the array of emotions you can feel during a session. Get to know yourself better, deepen your relationship with yourself.
And when we deepen our relationship with ourselves and when we can give and show ourselves love in this way, we can actually be more present and loving for others as well. When we reserve kindness for ourselves, it is actually quite easy to then find love and kindness to share with others.
"Pamela is an amazing photographer with such an artistic eye and a loving personality. Her warmth is radiating!"
So actually I didn't just make that up and my client did actually say that. Self-promotion is something I don't do very well, but in the interest of taking my own advice and challenging myself to grow, I'm gonna share that little bit of love she shared with me. But there's a point - and I want to tell you, dear reader, that I do really aim to create a supportive space in which people can freely love and get to know themselves without reserve. That's truly my life's mission - I just do it through boudoir photography.
Lately I've had a few clients who, initially when signing their agreement, selected the option of only sharing photos in which they approve and/or their identities are hidden, but after seeing their photographs, give me the go-ahead to share them all. This woman was one of those clients!