Denver Boudoir Photographer – Saggy, Baggy & Nervous.
Well well well, here we are, Friday. And it’s getting COLD outside. The perfect weather for some hot chocolate with marshmallow vodka (I still haven’t tried this yet) and watching an awesome movie. Or maybe a little bit of fun underneath a blanket. Whatever floats your boat… all of the above sound good to me!
A few weeks ago I wrote an email out to my party people – if you’re NOT getting those emails, click here to start! The emails not only have some fun stuff that I don’t share on my website, but a free guide on how to look good in photos, first notice of model calls, and other fun stuff. ;)
The email had the subject line “Saggy & Baggy.”
Are you wondering what the heck I’m talking about? Did I work with a baby elephant?
OMG NO but if you know of one that needs photos and SNUGGLES
I’M YOUR GIRL – CALL ME!
Back to the subject at hand. I shared a personal story about an experience that happened earlier this year. Several people have asked me to post it publicly so it can be shared, so here it comes. With more photos. Grab a cocktail or hot chocolate and pull up a chair, and based on the responses, possibly a tissue.
Truth: I have been struggling with something lately, and I figured that some of you can relate.
I have always been a larger woman, being larger doesn’t bother me. I embrace my looks and work with what I have. Being a Denver boudoir photographer means that I’m immersed in all shapes and sizes of women, and I’m totally fine with not being the supermodel thin woman that our culture loves to see.
Until I was diagnosed with arthritis, and had to take Prednisone for over a year.
There’s a reason they associate something called MOONFACE with Prednisone – it’s an oral steroid and makes you gain weight like crazy. I gained over 70 pounds. I was sweating nonstop, and couldn’t sleep when I had the chance – which is pretty much hell with a newborn that won’t let you sleep anyway. I was losing hair, because that’s one of those fun things that happens after you have a baby that no one tells you about. I was SO unhappy with my weight, and at a place that was just miserable – which was very foreign to me, and I hated it!
In March of 2016, I packed up my Denver boudoir photographer bootie to attend a large photographer’s convention in Las Vegas to teach – nothing out of the norm there. While I was there, some of my friends asked if I wanted to go to a special location to shoot. Sure! I’m always down for an adventure! I didn’t bring my big camera with me because I wasn’t planning on shooting, but I had my mirrorless and I can rock it, let’s do this!
Until they said I would be in front of the camera too.
Umm… these were all boudoir photographers, and here I was, 70 pounds heavier than usual, feeling like crap, and they want me to take off my clothes in the middle of nowhere, in public, for photos? Not only that, I wasn’t prepared at all, so I didn’t bring anything cute or sexy with me, I was in yoga pants and a loose shirt to hide the weight gain.
Yeah, thanks but no thanks.
But I did have one sexy bra with me (my first non-nursing bra yay!), and a sequin blazer, so I decided fuck it, let’s do this.
It was terrifying.
I have never been one to shy away from doing whatever the heck I want, and public nudity typically doesn’t bother me – but in this state of feeling like a crazy huge weirdo with 70 extra pounds, I was definitely scared. So I joined three amazing ladies in the middle of the desert at sunset in yoga pants, a black bra and sequin blazer, and stripped down.
Whenever artists have crazy ideas like this, it always takes awhile to get the photos back. Clients have to come first, and we have to take care of our families.
When the photos came back, I was stunned. I didn’t look like the freak that I thought I would, I looked…. powerful.
The emotions I was feeling when I trusted these ladies to take some intimate photos of me came flooding back to me. At a point in my life that I really needed it – even though I didn’t want to look the way I did. We wandered around, all of us wearing very little, and I was reminded of the confidence that was hiding inside of me. I felt alive, and excited to be doing what I love, in a weird place, in a weird circumstance.
Those photos represent a time in my life that, while it wasn’t my favorite or most ideal weight, it was a transformation for me. I had just had a baby. I was still nursing my daughter. I had been diagnosed with an auto immune disease, and was taking a nightmarish medication just to be able to get out of bed and actually function day to day.
And yet I looked good. Not just good, but great!
Thinking about it still brings happy tears to my eyes.
Fast forward to today, I have lost 50 of those 70 pounds – which is definitely a hooray moment! However, I now have saggy skin. Yay? I have accomplished some of what I wanted so much, and am now facing another challenge when it comes to my appearance.
(for those of you that didn’t read the entire thing and skimmed, start here)
THERE WILL ALWAYS BE A REASON NOT TO GET IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA.
I need to lose 10 pounds.
I need to wait for my hair to grow back.
I need to fix these dark patches on my skin.
I need to tighten this skin back up.
I have those reasons too, believe me – there is a huge long list. But we aren’t guaranteed a tomorrow. We have NOW. And if, God forbid, something were to happen to us, our families would want those photos of us, taken NOW. Not in 10 pounds, not in 6 months when we tone our legs, or any other number of excuses.
Whether you choose to take your clothes off in front of the camera, or leave them on – these photos are important.
Not just for generations to come, but for you, NOW. For you to look at, and be reminded of the amazing woman that is inside of you. To know that even when you’re having a bad day, or feeling like you woke up looking like a total troll, that you are NOT a troll, but a super awesome woman that is valuable, and worth being cherished and loved.
These lovely ladies are amazing, and I’m so, so glad that I said yes. I’m so happy that I didn’t let fear take over and keep me from doing something that has affected me in such a positive way. There’s a reason that they say the things that scare you the most are the things that help you grow the most. I recently heard a quote:
If you have been considering a session – don’t wait.
Even if it’s not with me, don’t WAIT! Get those photos done now, and then set your appointment for next year too – and if you lose those 10 pounds, awesome! If not, you’re still a beautiful human being worth having your photo taken, worth capturing this moment in your life.
It’s long, I know – sorrynotsorry. This has been on my heart for awhile, and I just want to run up to every woman on the street and scream DO YOU KNOW HOW BEAUTIFUL YOU ARE!? I realize that would be slightly creepy, so I will write on my blog instead. ;)
Thank you so much to these amazing ladies for an awesome experience! I can’t wait to see you again very soon.
Tamara Paskey Boudoir
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If you’d like to have more information about what the heck is going on with sessions, parties and more, click here to grab my Denver boudoir photographer guide – How to Look Amazing in Photos. It has tips and tricks to help you look amazing in photos – whether your clothes are on or off – and avoid having to untag yourself in a social media photo again. Or, just laugh with me at various shenanigans and get early access to events, model calls, and awesome goings-on. Either way, come join the list. We have cocktails.
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.
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These are amazing! You look Amazballs. The confidence that you all have is inspiring.
What a great story and amazing photos you looked amazing!