A PLUS SIZED TRANSFORMATION THAT OPENED HER EYES
I am a photographer by trade, but a little known fact about me is that I am also a writer. I am not very prolific — as I am strapped for spare, clear-headed time to do it as often as I’d like. But I think what it comes down to is… I am obsessed with stories. Hearing them, imagining them, creating them, seeing them come to life. Especially through pictures.
As a boudoir photographer, people often share their stories with me and, when they do, it can translate into powerful images. When I know what they are feeling, I also know how that feeling has potential to translate visually.
I have to admit, Ms. V is one of my more powerful stories that Ive encountered. It is not that her story is so unique — about 50% of the women clients that come to see me are also single moms or divorced. But…She…
SHE is powerful. There is a certain kind of impact with a person who knows how to be vulnerable, and I always recognize this power in others. As a whole, her vulnerability was palpable — but he willingness to express it, to conquer its dark side could knock me over. That is TRUE FEMININE POWER.
She was scared, brave and beautifully quietly fierce all at once. And to me, that is the MOST kind of beautiful I could ever hope for in a client session.
When it came time to select her album and images — she was VERY clear. She did not want to be Photoshopped to anything other than what she was. Knowing her story, I knew this was a breakthrough. I knew this was a success. And I am so grateful she shares herself with us to inspire others. Grab your tissues, because I had a little mascara fiasco here reading her thoughts. Thank you Ms. V… for being exactly who you are.
IN HER OWN WORDS… MS. V:
A friend shared a blog post that I really liked and I started following Cate on social media. I loved seeing her posts and photos. One day I went to her website and discovered she did plus size boudoir.
I visited her page about 10 times reading everything I could about her. I felt like she understood plus size boudoir — and didn't just do it because it was there. Her images were beautiful and you could tell all the care and time she put into them. She just seemed like a great fit for me.
I had gone through a few rough years. My 14 year marriage had come to an end. I decided to go back to nursing school. In the process of these two events I lost myself. I was too busy studying, working and taking care of my teenage son. I didn't love myself or anything about me. I didn't even like myself.
One morning in the midst of an amazing pity party I decided I had 2 choices. Keep having a pity party and slip further away or get off my ass and do something. I decided to get a personal trainer and get to work. 2 years later I've surprised myself with how far I've come. BUT I'm still uncomfortable with myself. Still not able to look at myself in the mirror. Still not dating. Still not loving myself. Still thinking that I'm unlovable.
I started following Cate on social media — and in a moment of insanity decided I wanted to do a boudoir session. Maybe it could help me to open my eyes and see me as others do instead of how negatively I view myself.
Then I started thinking - is it weird that I'm just doing this for myself and not to share with someone? I actually didn't care. I needed to do this. For me.
I was petrified walking into the studio that day. As soon as Cate greeted me I started to feel a little calmer. The more we got into the shoot the calmer I felt. The fact that I even came out of the dressing room was amazing. The fact that I didn't run back in was a miracle. At one point Cate said I was "stunning".
She couldn't possibly be talking about me but I was the only one there.
I was so far out of my comfort zone there was no turning back now. Half naked with 6 inch heels on and I decided to let go of everything I had been hiding.
I had the best time and 2 hours flew by. I think I sashayed out of the studio that day wanting to go get myself some amazing heels! I felt great until I got the email for my viewing appointment. Oh my god I have to look at myself!!! I sat in the parking lot that day literally shaking and my heart pounding out of my chest. I didn't know if I was ready to see myself. I told Cate I was petrified.
I sat with a glass of prosecco staring at the screen holding my breath. I couldn't believe the photos. They were beautiful and they were of me and I didn't want to hide.
This whole experience has been amazing. It has helped me take a huge step in my journey to self love. I still have a way to go but this opened a door that I've been stuck behind or a long time.
I can't thank you enough. I don't know where to begin and I don't know the words to express I feel. Just know that you made a huge impact and difference in my life and I will be forever grateful. xoxo"
Hey Ms. V, How would you rate your shoot experience on a scale of 1-10?
Ms. V: “10,000.”
Thank you, Ms V for sharing your story.
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