Miss Liz is probably one of my favorite people in the world. I have only seen her in person twice in my life, but each time it’s like no time passed between. Another beauty brought to me courtesy of my colleague and friend Lindsay Rae Photography, Liz has been our curve model on 2 seperate occasions! The first was in Vegas, the first time I attended WPPI and played in the desert, the second time was just recently in Florida, where Lindsay and I hosted our Florida Curves Workshop, inspiring and educating photographers to improve the diversity in their boudoir portfolios! Just like in Vegas, Liz never disappointed. She got crazy with us, letting me put her in the pool, going skinny dipping with us in the ocean, and making us delicious dinners.
While Lindsay and I had done a previous workshop in Vegas, Florida Curves was going to be our first 2 day workshop where everyone stayed in the same house and while we expected it was going to be awesome, we were blown away. This workshop was intimate, emotional, vulnerable, creative, and full of education. The girls that came to the house brought amazing energy, bonded over life stories, and we got deep into what it means to be boudoir photographers and WHY it is so important to showcase a diversity of body types. While Lindsay and I come at boudoir from 2 different approaches, we merge together in style, execution, and business. As far as the workshop is concerned, we both teach the importance of running your business from a place of passion, hard work, and consistency. For both of us, having had less than desireable experiences being photographed as plus size babes, we both knew how important it was to show every woman that they are capable of feeling sexual, sensual, beautiful, powerful, and more. The work that both of us put out is beautiful, of course, but more importantly it is a reminder to women of all shapes, sizes, colors, orientations, and abilities that they are worthy. These are the main principles we teach at our workshops and to have 2 days to dive deep into it was amazing. There was wine, belly laughs, tears, big smiles, and skinny dipping (Shit, there was almost an accident with 2 guys in a golf cart thanks to Miss Molly’s chest!!) It was incredible to see what can happen when women come together and support each other. If you are interested in joining us on our next adventure or partaking in a mentorship with myself or Lindsay, feel free to join our Facebook group to keep up to date with our travels!
A crazy part of being a creative entrepreneur is that you need an outlet and the opportunity to try things you have never done before in an effort to keep you alive and passionate for the work you create for your clients. It’s helpful to have an amazing team available when you need to get an idea out of your head and onto paper, film, computer, and this particular project was no different. I told Nicole, my fab makeup artist, to come to the studio because I had 3 ideas to play through and it was completely different for both of us from the makeup to the styling to the posing….definitely not my traditional boudoir. That being said, it turned out exactly the way I saw it in my head when I purchased a pair of nude panty hose. I am now inspired to try this same concept with multiple colors in the future, so it may be an ongoing adventure! In any case, here are the results of Look #1 (which cost me approximately $8 for the entire “outfit”)
This babe. Oh, this babe. I had the pleasure of meeting Miss Erin a few years ago in New York when I was visiting my colleague and buddy Lindsay Rae Photography. Erin owns Erin Marie Artistry and is the extreme talent behind the hair & makeup that is done in Lindsay’s studio and while she is amazing at that, she is also a gorgeous model, but MORE importantly, she is a beautiful soul. Every time we meet up, we have an amazing time together. Here are the gorgeous images we got while in Boca Grande at the Florida Curves 2017 workshop.
Nicole and I did it again! This time we were inspired by Rihanna’s HARD video with it’s green/yellow tones and bad ass military vibe. While we didn’t get as many outfits as we had wanted, I still like to think we made magic. For me, this was a challenging shoot because of the editing more than the shooting process. I had to desaturate a lot and play with color toning that I usually try to avoid. I got frustrated, but then I had fun learning and trying to match the lighting styles of the video. Once we played out the military outfit, we decided to grab some shots of Nicole with our faux police attire as she is trying to decide what she should be for Halloween….she’s just going to go to 2 different parties.
Here’s our inspiration:
So…did September even happen? It was pretty much a whirlwind for me. My first adventure found me in Jersey City, Brooklyn, and Time Square X 3 times in the span of 5 days while I hung out with some of the best people in the world. When I first found out about the Safehouse Workshop: NYC through the Babetown Collective (an amazing group of photographers on Facebook/internets) I knew that without a doubt I needed to get there. So, I contacted Babetown’s fearless leader Lola Gilbert and I told her that I would do whatever I could do to come play in New York, so she hooked me up with a teaching job for the workshop.
I was beyond ecstatic and actually recall screaming the good news while I was in a hotel room in Vancouver in April! While I knew this week was going to be epic beyond measure, what I didn’t expect was meeting SO MANY incredible, talented, passionate, and inspiring people from all over. The coolest thing about Babetown is that it is not specific to one genre of photography, so this workshop was unlike any I had attended before. We had instructors for headshots (#chadshots), self portraits, silhouettes, intimate male portraits, family portraits, maternity sessions, engagement, same sex couples and intimate storytelling, and plus size boudoir by yours truly. So, when I wasn’t instructing I was able to partake in the other instructors’ classes and at first I was like, “that’s silly…I don’t shoot X,Y,Z, so maybe I should just hang back”….but quickly I realized just how awesome it was to be a noob at different genres of photography. I’m not saying I know everything about boudoir, but if I’m teaching on the subject, I best be somewhat of a specialist on the topic….but I definitely was not a subject matter expert in the other genres. It was awesome to take little bits from each instructor and see how I can apply it to boudoir. In fact, I have noticed that my work since attending the Safehouse Workshop has been a bit more playful, intriguing and exciting…pulling from the inspiration of those amazing people I met in NYC.
While I am thankful for the opportunities that have come out of this workshop, I am mostly thankful for the amazing friendships that I have made in a relatively competitive industry. I have people I can message on FB, strike up a ZOOM chat, or just send random voice notes to in an effort to make mine and their days better. Since coming back from this Babetown workshop, I am already signed up to instruct at the next 2 Babetown workshops in Idaho and Maine in 2018 and I am so beyond blessed for these experiences. I am so incredibly excited to meet up with my buddies and help inspire and educate other photographers to do the things that make their soul happy.
On the last day, I was watching my new friend Jessica teaching her course on Self-Portraiture (while sitting in a copper tub, mind you) and I was moved to tears. It is such an honor to be able to see people speak with such passion about their lives. It made me happy to be surrounded by people who are just as motivated as I am to never settle for the status quo. The coolest thing was, that almost all of the instructors spoke about their journey to their niche in photography and what set them apart and it was the fact that they were able to see the good in the struggles of their lives. I like to reference it as turning their kryptonite into their superpower….because it’s in their vulnerability of sharing themselves and their passion for working through “the mud” and sharing this with their communities that they have become successful and well known in their industry. It has nothing to do with their camera equipment, the amount of $$$ they bring in with their business, or how long they have been doing photography…it has everything to do with the fact that each instructor literally throws their whole being, heart, and soul into their work and into inspiring and helping others in the industry. I am beyond privileged to be part of this Babetown crew.
In addition to all the inspiration, photography, and creativity, there was A LOT of play time. We did a Facebook Live for the Babetown crew where we had to ask each other questions, but it really only resulted in Chad and I deciding we need to have our own podcast, we got lost LITERALLY every time we drove home from the studios (but in doing so had the privilege of seeing the NYC skyline and Time Square multiple times), I got to eat some chicken and waffles, I photographed my babely instructor friends (their shoots to come later!), and of course, we learned that maaaaybe you shouldn’t host a mixer the night before the first day of teaching and instead, perhaps should leave it until the last night to avoid epic hangovers and regret.
I always say the sign of a good workshop is when I come home with laryngitis and a sore stomach from laughing so hard, and Babetown DEFINITELY delivered both of those! Is it April or May yet??? I will stop babbling now and inundate you with photos from the amazingness that was The Safehouse Workshop. If you are a photographer and want to get in on this amazingness, you can check out the other Safehouse Workshops here and come see me in Maine or Idaho (or both, heh heh heh).
Leading up to summer, a colleague of mine, Boon Ong of Figuratif by Boon, and I were comparing our shooting styles. I commemorated him on his ability to achieve such intimacy, such confident quietness into his work and while he was struggling to find more “SEXY”, I was having a hard time slowing down, and just flowing and being. It’s interesting when you look at your work through someone else’s eyes and I know that my work is standardly strong, voyeuristic, and a tad cheeky, I have been lacking a certain slowness….like, if I slow down then something unexpected might happen, then what? And if you have met me, I am like a horse chomping at the bit and raring to go with all my pent up energy. When I shoot it is no different, I jump around from location to location, outfit to outfit like there’s not enough time in the day. And while this works for efficiency and the way I create, it’s always fun to challenge oneself because within that challenge, I will be able to grow and maybe see some new inspiration where I was afraid it might NOT be. In any case, both Boon and I set out to attempt a different vibe in a shoot, each channeling the other and while he embraced a bit of sexuality and sensuality into his intimate work, I slowed down, thought about composition and used my babe in ways that I normally wouldn’t. I did less poses designed to elicit sexuality, but instead focused more on intimate existence…if that makes sense. The deadline was my birthday and well, today is that day. For me, I paid attention to hands, I worked on elongating the neck, I looked at the lines in the location and I worked with the ambient light that I had. I played with light differently than I usually do and I looked for things that I normally am moving too quickly to notice. So, thank you Boon, for inspiring me to slow down, move with my client and I can only hope that I am capable of channeling even a little bit of your stillness and beauty in my work.
Hair & Makeup: Erin Marie Artistry
Lingerie: The Shops At The Loft
- body image
- curvy boudoir
- Fine Art Nudes
- Get Messy
- guest post
- Imperial Goddess Session
- Inspiration Session
- International boudoir photography
- male boudoir
- Not Yo Mama's Headshots
- Picture Me Perfect
- RAW session
- Vendors We Love