Written by: Tristin Halie Fleetwood
So this quite a long post, but as I was writing it...I realized my passion behind it was so fierce and that rather than trying to condense it into a 'quick read' that instead if it really resonated with someone, they would choose to read the whole thing. For those of you who haven't scheduled a Boudoir Photo Shoot with Stephannie, I'm telling you that it will 100% change your life. It will change your perspective on your body, mind and soul. For me personally it gave me this new found appreciation for every little thing about me. It made me feel worthy of being desired not just by a man, but also to desire myself. It made me realize that I have GOT to stop saying I'm sorry all the time for simply being who I am. As long as my intentions are set in the right place, and I'm staying true to my boundaries and morals then it's okay for me to be unapologetically ME! I keep going through my photo galleries from Stephannie and finding new things that I'm grateful for about myself. My first Boudoir shoot was with no make up. This was a choice that I made myself and almost immediately after making it I about threw up. I was terrified to have photos of myself taken without putting on a full face in advance. I'm judgmental enough about my body and appearance and the thought of having others view my body in such a vulnerable state really sent my mind on a tailspin. I'll be completely transparent with you all that when I got the first gallery back from my "no make up" shoot, I stared at those photos for actual hours and cried. I sat there picking apart my body and each little thing I wanted to be different. I had to step away from my laptop and have a 30 minute pep talk with myself before viewing any more photos. I told myself that before I opened that lap top again that I was going to look at these photos subjectively; in the same way I scroll through Instagram with all the "society standard" beautiful women that I've never met in my life. I told myself to look at those photos as a bi-stander and actually choose the things that made that woman on the screen beautiful. When I re-opend my computer and began scrolling through all of Stephannie's incredible work, the first thing I gravitated toward was my smile. I have always loved my smile and it's probably the feature that I get complimented for the most. I realized that even if my stomach wasn't exactly what I wanted it to look like, that my smile overpowered those little 'imperfections' in every single one of those photos. Then I started to remind myself that these photos are edit free, which is FREAKING awesome!
I was able to be beautiful without being taken apart by photoshop. I thought about how many of the "society standard" beauty shots are edited beyond belief; that by the time the work is said and done those aren't the women that were originally being photographed. For me to sit there and realize that I was beautiful with no make up, no photoshop and sub-par gym activity; I broke into tears all over again...but for the best reason. I was finally taking in those images and appreciating my beauty for all that it is. Which I cannot even begin to thank Stephannie enough for giving me that opportunity. By the time I scheduled my second Boudoir session, I had decided it was going to be a full glam "hair and make up on point" type of scenario. I had a lot more external confidence going into that second shoot, but not any more real internal confidence. I knew I was still going to be in a vulnerable state and that people would end up viewing these photos without really knowing my story or how I even got to where I am today. When I received my second gallery I expected to love the images so much more because I had a full face of make up on. To be completely truthful I loved them equally! I had so many favorites from each session and as I looked through them all, the love for myself and ALL OF MY FEATURES (physical and personality) grew stronger and stronger by the minute. Over the last several weeks these images come up in many of my conversations with friends and strangers alike. Being able to explain to someone how powerful it is to look at an image of yourself for the first time and really feel "beautiful" is something that EVERYONE needs to experience. I grew up with some very critical people when it came to my physical appearance, and then those same traits began surfacing themselves in some of my serious relationships. Body image was something I had always struggled with and this was the first time I was not only combating it, but healing from it. When I was choosing a name for my Health Coaching company, Genuine Vitality was something that really resonated with me. It wasn't until doing those photo sessions with Stephannie that I understood what Genuine Vitality was for myself personally; turns out that SELF LOVE was one of the biggest pieces I'd been missing in my life. If you're missing it in your life, talk to either Stephannie or myself! We are here to support you, educate you and help you reach levels of confidence you didn't know were possible. #tuesdaytruths #whatdoesbeautymeantoyou #photography #boudior#phototherapy #genuinevitality
For more information about Stephannie's amazing work, follow the link below!
How has this post impacted those around me?
"💖💖 it’s a beautiful gift to be able to find the strength to do boudoir! That’s why I love doing them for clients. It’s a beyond amazing feeling to get when someone is so nervous than after is so empowered and who has discovered their inner sexy. Everything is edited in life today and we are so judgmental especially to ourselves . How empowering for you to do a shoot to begin with! And look at all that self love growth or came with! Your true spirit radiates through your smile that’s why you get complimented on it so much.
Diving into the unknown is how we grow and it’s terrifying to everyone. You cannot get anything meaningful out of life unless we are vulnerable. It’s where dreams, love and strength lie.
You finding that vulnerability in a world of people trying like hell to push It away and broadcasting it on social media for anyone to see fucking rocks! Pardon ma Francis ;)
You are showing who you are to the world and that’s scary because it just comes down to what life is all about and that is connection. Being accept for who you are . You accepting you is the biggest of all self love hurdles and you showing your Magnificate self to everyone else is the work of magic. Just the universe grabbing ahold of that amazing courage and saying “my dear you are meant to stand up and make a difference “ and you are - one vulnerable topic at a time.
💖💖💖✨✨😍 much love to you!!!! "
- Rebecca S.