All of us, at one time or another, has had to get in front of the camera. I’m not talking about pics on your cell phone, but a professional photo session. Mark and I just received our Yosemite photos from our photographers, and I’ve been looking at the pictures, deciding which ones I look fat in. Don’t lie, you do it too! Even though there are five of six images I don’t like myself in, there are over a hundred that I love. I love them because they are authentic, and I look like ME. My husband and I look like US, like the two people we see in each other every day.

My boudoir photography business has changed my life. I’ve worked with so many amazing women, in every shape and size, and it’s touched my heart. The fact that these women bare their flaws and trust me enough to flatter them on film means the world to me. These amazing women have taught me to be brave and accept my own beauty.

It is very easy for a photographer to make someone feel bad about themselves. I think in many ways, some photographers don’t understand the power we have. I choose to use my work to make women feel beautiful and confident, by giving them real, honest photos of themselves.

We can do so much good with our skills and our cameras, but we can do a lot of damage too.

I asked a friend this question: If I did a boudoir session of you, and I Photoshopped you to be ten pounds thinner (or more) and absolutely perfect, how would you feel? She quickly said that she would be hurt and angry. She would feel like she’s not good enough in her natural form. Then she’d eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and cry.

I believe that if I were to Photoshop someone’s body to make them thinner, curvier, more perfect, etc, I’m telling them that they aren’t perfect the way they are. As it is, we are constantly bombarded online and in magazines with retouched images of thin, curvy, PERFECT women. Even though we all know it’s not real, it still gets into our minds and messes with our self esteem. This is nothing new. The media has been talking about it for years, and the eating disorder statistics continue to rise.

I want my clients to be proud of their photos, to show them off and say, “This is ME!” I want them to love their bodies, and they won’t if they’re looking at a fake photo of themselves.¬†After several years in boudoir photography, I know how to light and pose someone so they look their absolute best. I also help my clients choose their wardrobe pieces, to ensure they wear the most flattering outfits for their body shape. In my opinion, that is how boudoir photography should be.

I also want my clients’ significant others to look at the photos and say, “That’s my girl!” not “I guess this is her…” The men who love us aren’t critical of our bodies. We pinch our arm pit fat (aka chicken cutlets) and say, “Ugh, how do I get rid of this?!” Guess what? He doesn’t care! He sees you as a whole, beautiful woman, and that’s what he wants to see. He wants to see his partner in life, the mother of his children, his best friend. He wants to see YOU, as he is used to seeing you. He doesn’t want to see a magazine-like Photoshopped version of you. If you don’t believe me, ask your man. Read this paragraph to him and see what he says.

I’d love to hear your opinion, so comment below. Tell me what you think of all the retouching done in the media, and the pressure it puts on you as a woman. Tell me how YOU would like to be photographed.