Whenever I do a week of guest bloggers it’s always my hope that a past client will write. Partially in a selfish way, I hope that I can be brought into the deeper thoughts they had during their time with me, thus making me a little better at my job. But, also because I realize that many of these beautiful women have thoughts and experiences that you all share. I fall a tiny bit in love with everyone behind my camera and I think it’d be a shame for you not to see it too.
Shanti is not only a past client but a new friend. She has an openness about her that makes you feel at ease in her presence. She is genuine and lovely. You can read more of her writing on her blog!
I’ve been asked a few times why I wanted to do a boudoir shoot. There are many reasons why I decided to do it, but most of my answers have been “just because”. It’s time I answer that question truthfully and fully.
All my life I’ve been chubby. I was ridiculed mercilessly in middle school (people complain about high school, but middle school is the WORST!) and by my at times jerky family. I had a terrible self-image, low self-esteem, and few friends. This lasted until my freshman year of high school when I began to make real friends, and during high school I lost about 40 pounds and began to feel attractive for the first time ever. I regained that weight, plus some, after high school and I’ve been battling the waistline ever since. Very rarely did I feel attractive, very rarely did I feel worthy of attention. Somewhere in the past three years, this changed.
With an extreme life change that has changed my future and encouragement from friends, I began to notice people noticing me. I began to look at myself a little differently. I began to feel like a woman instead of someone who needed to constantly be covered up. This only increased when I moved across the country to Asheville, my great journey/adventure. I am surrounded by warm, positive, like-minded people who tell me repeatedly how beautiful I am. Is it any wonder that when the opportunity arose to go outside of my comfort zone, to do something that even a year ago I wouldn’t have even considered, that I’d jump at the chance?
Why did I do a boudoir shoot? To prove to myself that I am beautiful no matter what shape I am. To have something to look at to remind me of who I am at this time in my life; my hopes, my dreams, my goals and ambitions. I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do with the pictures, but I didn’t get them taken for anyone but me. To remind that little girl and that sad woman that they were and always will be beautiful.
I have to say, having Sarajane as my photographer extraordinaire made this experience so much more rich, fulfilling, and lovely. She brings the best out of everyone, she makes the experience fun and freeing, and this is captured in her gorgeous photography. As I am captured, beautiful and desirable and worthy just as I am.
Shanti Elena Hoffman