What are The Self Love Sessions? A unique, boudoir photography experience that incorporates journaling exercises and community involvement to build self-esteem and self-acceptance. Participants were given the option of being included in a magazine and gallery-style exhibit/magazine launch party. Season One ran from February through August 2023, culminating in a wonderful celebration in our new studio location at the end of September.
We’re sharing the stories of our participants, and up next is gorgeous Connie 🙂
I waited until the last possible moment to type this because I haven’t been sure what to say or what to share from “my story”. Primarily because I believe my story is a lot like other women’s stories. One that has not had a lot of self-love, been riddled with self-doubt, or just plain discomfort in your own skin.
I have had very few moments in my life where I have truly felt beautiful. I’ve always been plus size. I was raised in a very religious household that taught modesty. I have never really worn anything fashionable, just things that I like. And application of makeup is a foreign concept.
For years I have battled PCOS, which has caused a host of problems from abnormal hair growth on my face to crippling acne. Did I have people who told me I was beautiful? Not particularly. Friends would tell me I was cute or if I did happen to wear an amazing outfit. Family would call me lovely and full of life. They would say I had a beautiful or sweet soul, I was kind, I was intelligent…but never beautiful.
I’m not exactly sure what happened to make me change my view of myself. Wait, that is a lie. I DO know what happened. I got tired of my self-doubt and bad choice in men (now that is a story for another time). I took a look at the world around me as well as a long hard look in the mirror, I listed the accomplishments I have made, and I realized that I am worthy. I’m worthy of the love my family and friends give me, but I’m also worthy of the love that I withheld from myself.
So, with that thought, I began to buy the daring clothes in bold colors that I wasn’t sure I should try. I began to take myself out in public on dates without feeling I should hide away. I began to take pictures of myself and those I love and not be afraid to post them on social media. Every day I found something to love about myself and every day I began to shed more of the doubt. I also found that every day I grew happier and more content with myself.
My Self Love Session was another step in my journey of healing and growth. To see myself in another light that I had never thought of before and to also share that light with the world. Because I am beautiful. Every lump and bump on me tells me that. When I saw the message on Facebook about these photo shoots, it was almost like they were calling my name. And they were telling me it was, IT IS time for me to accept my beauty and my strength without shame or exception.
I was absolutely terrified that I had picked the wrong outfits, I would have no idea what to do with my face, or I wouldn’t be able to relax for the pictures. I have never seen myself as a model and seeing myself in only lingerie was a whole new…experience.
However, I shouldn’t have worried. Kat was amazing at helping me figure out what would look great on my body. I also didn’t have to focus on being a model, just on being myself. I had on beautiful clothes, and Portia created a stunning look with my makeup that still contained the essence of ME. I was always checked on to make sure I was comfortable and seeing the pictures as I went helped boost my confidence. I could see the beauty and I could see me.
Would you like to see and hear more about The Self Love Sessions: Season One?
Stay tuned to this blog as we share more stories
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The Self Love Sessions: Season Two is open and registering new participants! Limited spots are available, so act NOW!