It’s hard to pinpoint why I became a photographer, but I do know that part of it has to do with stories and how people see themselves. I always loved the stories that photographs tell, and now that I’m a photographer I love creating them. As I do more boudoir and portrait sessions, I’ve discovered a secondary benefit: helping people out of their body perception ruts.

I think that we can all agree that we live in a society that has a lot to say about how people “should” look. Women bear the brunt of this, but men aren’t immune to it either. It’s easy to internalize all of the rules for how we should look and forgot about how great we do look. We see ourselves in the mirror everyday, but we never really look closely at all of the good stuff. In some cases, we’ve been looking at ourselves for so long that we’re just incapable of seeing the good stuff. This is where a great photographer and a fun photoshoot can really give you a sense of perspective.

I can’t tell you how many clients I’ve worked with who have barely recognized themselves in their images. “I’m so pretty/curvy/sexy!” they say, like they’re surprised by this fact. Sometimes all it really takes is seeing yourself through someone else’s eyes to see yourself in a whole new way.

I think this is one of the reasons that boudoir and portrait shoots are so popular when people are entering new life stages. Lots of brides to be sign up for them, as well as pregnant women and women who have lost significant amounts of weight. I feel like on some subconscious level it’s a way to see the person that you’ve become through a new lens, so to speak.

So if you’ve been feeling a little down on yourself, think about trying out a boudoir or a portrait shoot. With a photographer who gets you, it can really help reintroduce you to yourself in a very positive way.