I usually write and talk about boudoir from, well, the photographer's perspective.
I talk about how it's normal to be nervous, how every woman has insecurities, how I offer outfit styling and give complete posing direction... and still, every couple years when I, Mitzi Starkweather, have boudoir photos taken of myself, I learn something brand new.
When I look at my boudoir photos from this past week, I feel beautiful.
Don't get me wrong - I love to write. But in this moment I wish you were sitting with me in my living room so the gravity of that sentence could sink in. I'd look right at you and as my eyes widened I’d say, "When I look at my boudoir photos... I feel BEAUTIFUL." I'd say it slowly and quietly, because the words surprise me. If only you knew the way I normally pick myself apart.
At times I've struggled with feeling like a hypocrite. At one point I sobbed in my bedroom and told Jordan I had no business telling women they were beautiful and valuable just the way they are, because every day I struggle to see my own worth. He reminded me that's what a person's "calling" is: the truth they're trying to believe for themselves.
Every day I struggle to believe I am worthy.
I love boudoir photography because it’s stripped down and intimate. A boudoir portrait says, "This is who I am in the most intimate parts of my life, and I celebrate it." I've done multiple boudoir photoshoots for myself over the years because as I grow and change, I want to continue to celebrate the person I am.
Women: Please resist the pressure to view your life as a steady slope downward toward wrinkles and saggy boobs. You are so much more than this! You are wisdom and strength and beauty and fierce love! You're world changers. You know who inspire me the most? My sixty, seventy, eighty, and ninety year old clients. These women are so incredibly confident, sexy, and brilliant. They have endured trials, raised children, overcome abusive relationships, survived cancer, conquered career goals, poured into their communities, and so much more. I can't wait to have glamour and boudoir portraits done when I'm that age!
Everything changed for me a couple years ago when I decided to focus on what I am rather than what I am not. I decided to speak confidently about what made my heart beat fast, and women who needed to hear it told me it inspired them. Yes, it usually happens while I'm photographing them in a glittery gown or lingerie. Portraiture is the method I use to show people their value, and it's the method I use to challenge my own beliefs about myself. I get it - the camera is scary because it's a mirror we can't hide from. But when we open ourselves up to celebrate our beauty, we set off on a journey and don't return from it the same.
It's easy to forget or over-complicate the sacred act of showing up for yourself. But friend, show up. Not next year or next month or when you lose ten pounds or when *whatever excuse you can think of* happens. Just show up. And if you'd like to feel beautiful again (or for the first time, or in an entirely new way), you can show up to my studio for a day that celebrates you, the beautiful you that you are right now.
I’ve found that my clients love to show off their photos to their girlfriends. So friend, I want to share my portraits with you. I want to show you so you can see that right now, I am proud of the woman I am. And trust me - If I can do this, so can you. View my boudoir gallery here. Click the image below if you’d like to book the experience for yourself! I can’t wait to hear from you.
Cheering you on,