After Five years, hundreds of women, thousands of boudoir photos, and countless pieces of lingerie, I have no doubt in my mind that I have made an impact on many women. But, what has my career as a Columbus boudoir photographer done for me? A lot.
Aside from being able to create an amazing life that I wanted to live, there are some deeper benefits to my job and I wanted to share them with you.
Every single day I wake up with purpose, feeling fulfilled by my work, but it wasn’t always that way. I started out my career path, and I do mean path in every sense of the word, at Columbus State. I was pursuing an associates degree. My path was winding, and turning, and I used the stepping stones ahead of me to transfer to OSU to get my bachelors. As a first generation college student, I placed a lot of value on education and I felt I needed to prove myself as a smart, successful woman. In the meantime, the camera found me, and I couldn’t help but create a new path for myself. Looking back, it wasn’t the education that made my career valid, but having a meaningful place in the world. I know that now.
I have met so many women who tell me that boudoir changed their lives for the better. Sometimes for clients that means being able to see their beauty for the first time, for some it means remembering how sexy they could be. Some women come to me to get their sexy back after baby, or reinvent themselves after divorce. The incredible stories, I think, are the women who come to me to reclaim their sexuality after abuse, or reclaim their femininity after facing infertility. And the women who come to me in the midst of a breast cancer battle, to show their strength, or the women who come in after surviving the battle with cancer and saying to the world, I AM POWERFUL. I celebrate right alongside these women, we laugh together, we cry together, and we take on the world together.
Loving what I do brings me so much peace. I know I am making a difference in women’s lives and I know that I am appreciated, and respected in my career field. That alone fills me with purpose, gratitude, and happiness.
Not only has being a boudoir photographer in Columbus impacted the way I feel about my life’s purpose and my career, it has changed the way I see myself. As a plus sized woman, I too have my insecurities, don’t get me wrong. But I have so much more confidence now than when I began this journey. I know now, insecurities do not know size, shape, age, race, sexual orientation, or economic status. I’ve worked with the most beautiful women who have nothing to be ashamed of, and they are the MOST insecure. I’ve worked with women who have had 3 children and are covered in stretch marks and they ask me not to retouch them, because that’s who they are. Isn’t that incredible? I’ve learned that the little things we obsess over, whether that be the final 3lbs to our goals, or the hip dips, or sagging, we are the only ones who notice. It has made me more free when it comes to my body and my sexuality. I’ve stopped hiding myself under the identity of plus size and began walking a little taller with the identity of confident.
I have become a role model for women in my life. I hope that my friends and family look to me as inspirational. I hope I inspire them to have confidence in every area of their lives. To set goals and crush them. To want something, and go out and grab it. To wear the bikini, to wear the little black dress, to show off their shoulders or a little more leg. To choose their sexual identity. To have a voice. To have power. To enjoy their lives.
I know boudoir has changed my life in so many ways. I know it has changed the lives of my clients, but I want to believe it has changed generations of women to be leaders, free thinkers, to be confident in their bodies, sexuality, decisions and life choices. Because when women are confident, there isn’t anything they can’t accomplish.