Last fall, during RAW (an art show For Your Eyes Boudoir Photography was showcased in) a close friend of mine brought a friend I also went to high school with to the event.Honestly, I barely remembered our mutual friend, Cameron, until she mentioned she was on the school newspaper staff the same time I was on the yearbook staff 20+ years ago.
"I look a little different now..." Cameron mentioned. The cool thing about reconnecting with someone from high school as an adult is that it is like meeting a new friend... no preconceived judgement or expectations, just a new first impression... Cameron had about 10x more style than me, and killer kicks.
Little did Cameron know, but I was instantly inspired, and wanted to do a photoshoot with her. I've been capturing the beauty of women for a dozen years now through boudoir photography. Women of all ages, sizes, ethnicities, all beautiful...and feminine. Cameron, as the photos in the gallery below show, is a masculine-presenting woman, and she has a style and beauty that quite frankly, our portfolio was lacking. I knew I wanted to change that.
I've photographed women in men's shirts and ties before, but they grabbed them from their man's closet. Cameron just grabbed them from her wardrobe, along with suspenders, a tux, and wingtip shoes.
One of our most important missions is for everyone that steps in front of our camera to feel proud and empowered. We want their personality to shine through each image. We want their beauty to be captured, and each one to feel sexy regardless of what labels society gives, or even they give themselves. We want to help redefine beauty, and for that matter, masculinity.
In Cameron's words...
"For me, presenting as masculine is beautiful, if you take the societal definition of beautiful as a feminine descriptor."
"I'm a girl, just not what you expect. But that's true of everything in my life."
"I feel so many positive things when I'm dressed up. I feel like me."
"I've put an alternator in my truck and then rewarded myself with a mani-pedi. People don't have to fit into a mold made by anonymous beings if they don't want. Why not try being happy, feeling like you're doing what is intrinsically you and giving exactly zero fucks about what anyone else says."
"I feel good looking in the mirror because I am me, and I always have been."
"That has changed shapes over the years, but everything does. I get looks and side eyes, but I also get people encouraging me, complimenting me on my haircut or shoes, or saying that I'm dapper and they like my style. Those are the people that you listen to."
"They took their precious time and energy to appreciate me being off their 'norm'. But they are open enough to accept it and embrace it and encourage it."
"Although nervous at first, the photoshoot with For Your Eyes Boudoir Photography made me feel empowered. I know how I see me, but it was interesting to me to see how other people see me. It's also nice to have a space where you don't feel like being selfish is a bad thing."
'It was totally about who I am intrinsically, and I loved that affirmation. It felt good."
"I don't do things for other people. I do them because it feels good to me. The first time I put on a bowtie and a nice tailored shirt, my smile was so big. I found me."
"These photos reflect that found self. This is me..."