Denver Boudoir Photographer – Imperfections, and Letting Go
Sunday Sunday Sunday… usually I don’t blog on Sunday. This has been weighing on my heart for awhile though, and I’m ready to share.
A few months ago, a neighbor invited us over to her home for cocktails and s’mores. This is rather unusual, because, unlike our son, we don’t know a ton of the neighbors. He knows the entire neighborhood, and can tell you not only names, but kids’ names, dogs’ names, what kind of cars they have, and probably even more about their lives. He is incredibly social, and will talk to all of the neighbors while out riding his bike. When Mrs. M invited us to her home, we were excited to go, but unsure what to bring. So I made sangria! Only to find out that they don’t drink wine, oops.
Mrs. M has a daycare in her home, which means lots of kiddos running in and out, and she is full of personality and over the top social. So sweet and funny, loves to chat and get to know people, and she and I got along instantly. My son has been friends with hers for awhile, but we had never officially met, only talked on the phone. Tom was a little overwhelmed by her personality, as he is with mine, but we relaxed and laughed with neighbors we knew and didn’t know, and made friends.
She was making some food for the kids – macaroni and cheese, and pigs in a blanket, with juice barrels with the foil tops to drink. She wanted to have a birthday celebration for a couple of her kids, and brought out cupcakes.
Why the heck did I take a quick phone photo of the cupcake, and why did these details strike me so much? I will tell you in just a sec, one more screenshot to illustrate my point.
When I type the word “cupcake” into Pinterest to search, this is what my screen shows. A ton of recipes, ideas, and beautiful, magazine-worthy photos of cupcakes. Martha Stewart would be proud. The cupcakes that Mrs. M had for the kiddos looked nothing like this – and yet they completely filled my heart, they were delicious, and I loved them so much more.
Because they were imperfect. She wanted to celebrate those kids and her guests, and rather than freaking out over every little frosting speck and whether it was perfect, she showered those kids with love and attention. She didn’t serve free range chicken hot dogs with the perfect gluten free buns, but pigs in a blanket with ketchup. She didn’t have hand squeezed 100% juice with the perfect balance of fruits and vegetables, she had the juice drink barrels that the kids love and we all probably enjoy from our childhood summers.
Rather than focusing on details that the kids probably won’t remember anyway, she lived in the moment and loved the kids, and spent time with her company.
Now, don’t get me wrong – there are people who make those cupcakes perfectly and still love their kids – I’m NOT saying that you have to do one or the other and not both. I have some amazingly crafty friends that make awesome things and are amazing mothers. But my point is:
Why do we wait until things are just perfect to celebrate them?
Why do our homes have to be perfectly clean to invite friends over?
Why are we so worried about what others think?
Why do we think that things have to be Pinterest worthy to matter?
Again – some people do these things naturally, and it doesn’t stress them at all. I am definitely a perfectionist while I’m shooting with clients, and in a few areas of my life. But personally, I am working on letting go of having the perfectly balanced dinner every night, in favor of spending more time with my kids while my probably not so perfect dinner is cooking. I’m also working on letting a few other things go too. I want to let go of those thoughts that tell me I’m not good enough, that everything must be JUST RIGHT in order for it to matter. Our evening at Mrs. M and her family’s home struck me, and made me want to remember this over and over again. And THAT is why I took a photo of the cupcake.
As a Denver boudoir photographer, I come across this A LOT. Not with cupcakes or dinner, but with ourselves. I’ve heard it all:
I’ll book a Denver boudoir session once I lose this baby weight.
Once my hair grows to be this length, then I’ll book.
As soon as my arms don’t jiggle as much, I’ll schedule my session.
These are just a few of the reasons that I’ve heard for NOT booking a session. I get it – we all have imperfections that we would rather not have captured forever in photos. But guess what – we don’t all get tomorrow. Morbid, right? But true. I have a beautiful friend that is a fantastic boudoir photographer in California that photographed a fun session a couple of weeks ago, and just found out that this beautiful, young woman she photographed died in a car accident. She is now speaking with friends and family to get the photos to her husband. Photos that I’m sure contain a few imperfections. I’m sure this woman probably thought of a few things that she wasn’t entirely comfortable with. Maybe it was her tummy, from having kiddos – it wasn’t quite where it once was. Or maybe her legs had some cellulite on the back that she really hated. Maybe she had some stretch marks on her arms that made her really uncomfortable. These are all possibilities, we all have them.
But now, she is gone. And those photos are the most recent photos that her husband and children will have of her before she died.
Seriously, let that sink in for a second, because as I type it out and think about it more, a lump grows in my throat and tears in my eyes.
She stepped out of her comfort zone to do something brave – and didn’t live to see the physical results. But her family will now have those photos to remember her.
Do you think that her family cares about cellulite? About stretch marks? About 10 pounds that she might have put on since she got married?
Her family will cherish those photos.
The tamer photos will mean a lot to her children, and the sexier photos will be a keepsake for husband. Either way, they will see her beauty and remember her as THEY saw her, not as she probably saw herself every morning.
We ALL have imperfections. Whether they’re perceived flaws on our bodies, whether we can’t cook to save our lives, whether we are crappy housekeepers, or WHATEVER IT IS – we aren’t all amazing at everything we do. We aren’t all fitness models, we can’t all be Martha Stewart, we can’t all have the most amazing clothes, heels, or perfect craft rooms.
What we can do is live for NOW. Do the things that we really want to do, even if they’re not perfect. Wear the dress that you really love, even if you haven’t shaved your legs in a week. Give yourself a break one night and make macaroni and cheese instead of a perfect dinner, so that you can snuggle those little ones a little more. Relax on your bed with zero clothes on, on a hot day, even if your boobs aren’t staying where we all wish they would and your husband walks in. Color with the kids and encourage them to do what they want with those colors, even if it is outside of the lines. Invite your girlfriends over for wine, even if your house isn’t 100% clean. Book your Denver boudoir session to remind yourself how hot you are, even if you still feel a little bigger than you were when you got married. Wear your favorite bathing suit while hanging out with family at the beach, even if your stretch marks show.
I promise you, the other people aren’t obsessing near as much about the little imperfections as you are.
I am working on this in several areas, and changing those voices in my head. I actually set up a coffee date with some mommies this week, and at first I was freaking out thinking “I have a studio day right before this, what the hell was I thinking, I can’t clean!” So I am forcing myself to get the fuck over it. Seriously. If the mommies judge me for my home not being 100% clean, they’re probably not people I want to be friends with anyway. My house won’t be perfect when they arrive. I will probably be in yoga pants, with zero makeup. I have a 7 month old baby, I will be lucky if I was able to shower beforehand. But damnit, I’m going to have some friends over and enjoy their company.
Because THAT is what is important – connecting with others, and living life NOW, not waiting.
Because every post is better with a beautiful photo, I wanted to share this sneak peek!
Please, don’t wait to do the things you love until you think everything is lined up perfectly. LIVE and LOVE and ENJOY your life. Not later, but now.
What are YOU going to work on letting go, an imperfection that may have been holding you back from doing something you want to do? Share in the comments, or email me here to let me know. If you have always wanted to do a photo session with me but some voice in your head has been telling you all of the reasons you can’t, contact me and tell me what’s up. Tell me all of your reasons, and we’ll talk through it.
Ready to book your session!? I’m excited! Click here to contact me and get more information about booking your session with me!
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I am so privileged to be a top Denver boudoir photographer! My clients’ privacy is a top priority for these intimate portraits. Any and all boudoir images that are posted have been shared by the subject with written permission. I am honored that my clients choose to share their images with the world, and talk about their experiences with those images.