Client Spotlight - May 2017
Ippy.. I have so much to say about her, but I'll try to keep it short. We had a mutual friend on Facebook and we somehow ended up friends. It feels a little more like fate than random chance, because every time she popped up into my feed, I thought, "Damn, I need to get that woman in front of my camera!" When I ran my DOPE boudie call and I read her application... I couldn't even think straight before sending her a quick response of, "Shut up in get in my studio!!!" I am honored and thrilled to be the first professional photographer to capture Ippy's essence on camera. She needs and DESERVES to be shared with the world. The following text was written by the woman herself. ♥
Anyone that knows me personally, knows I'm very critical of my appearance. I don't know if there was a time I was ever comfortable in my own skin. It seems like I'm always weaving in and out of recovery from my eating disorders, I've broken my nose more times than I'd like to admit, I never leave the house without a heavily padded bra, and don't even get me started on the amount of makeup I wear daily. Truth be told, I'll get plastic surgery before I'll ever even consider buying a house.
I've always hated the idea of having my pictures taken by another person. I'm the kind of girl that takes thirty selfies in the exact same pose, just to pick out a single one to post on my social media. Letting someone else choose my pictures? No fucking thank you, I'm still traumatized by friends that try to tag me in group photos on Facebook.
And not only did I have issues with my body, but I also had issues with the /style/ of photography I typically see in my area. Nearly every photographer I've looked over had that bright, almost cheesy "senior picture" feel to their work. That aesthetic has always bored me. That's not how I want to be portrayed, that's not "me".
Then... Ash happened. I've lurked her VIP boudoir Facebook group (Sincerely You - No Boys Allowed!) for ages. Her style was dark, complex, and captivating. Not to mention, her strong theme of body positivity was a comfort to me.
So anyway, every now and then, she does a "boudie call" in the group, where she offers a photoshoot to someone who fits a theme she wants to shoot. On this fateful day, she posted an image of a bodysuit that immediately caught my attention. With trembling hands, I reached out to her about it.
And before I knew it...
I found myself sitting in my truck, parked right in front of her place. My ears were buzzing with anxiety and panic. I could barely think, I was so nervous. I felt like I was on auto pilot. An auto pilot that was about to throw up. My brain began to flood with excuses that I could say to get out of this. I felt like a fool, how could I have ever thought this would be a good idea?
Then I looked over at her door and something caught my eye. A simple, but sweet chalkboard sign "Welcome Ippy!" written in pretty cursive. And suddenly... I found my courage. I felt at home.
Meeting with Ash and the makeup artist, Angelina, was such a warm and inviting experience.
From the moment I walked through the door, the photographer and MUA were already giggling and having fun. Their chemistry comforted me, their dialogue made me feel like a part of the group. I felt like we've always been friends. Before I knew it, the makeup was over... and I was... calm? Weird. I'm never calm, like... ever.
I looked up from the makeup chair and saw Ash's license hanging from the wall. These girls were not playing around, these weren't hobbyists or weekend warriors, they were professionals. Turns out, Ash is even a Distinguished Member of the Association of International Boudoir Photographers. Surely, if she trusted me enough to be her subject and represent her artwork, then I could trust her to be my artist. And I'm so gad I did.
We finished with makeup, now it was time for the shoot.
Ash is such an expert on empathy. She was able to read when I was starting to get nervous and then immediately comforted me. It wasn't catty, it wasn't demeaning... which I always thought a photographer would be. She cared. She cared about me, she cared about my comfort, heck... she even cared about what music we played.
Did I mention that? She played my music!! I felt like I was in my own bedroom, in a way. We made funny faces, we giggled at funny moments. The way me and my best friend did when we were preteens. Ash was as comforting as any true friend should be, and I came to trust her completely. And it shows.
When it was time for the photo reveal, I was shocked. She's such a talent. Not only is Ash a photographer, but she's a director. A muse. A set master. An editor. A real artist. And it shows through her artwork. Her artwork that shines through you. Your body. It was an unforgettable experience and I'm so proud of everyone involved.