AIBP Conference San Antonio
As a lot of you know, I am always battling anxiety away but I have been trying to be extra vigilant in not allowing it to hold me back in things that I really crave to do or adventures that are beneficial to me. I have gotten the chance to travel quite a bit with Arbonne retreats in the past, but I was always traveling in a group of friends which made it much easier for me. In my most recent travel to San Antonio, I was forced to travel alone and it really empowered me that I CAN do it on my own. I didn’t love being in the airport and things alone, and being stranded overnight in Minneapolis alone, but I survived and I came out braver than before. The adventure, the learning, the personal connections and fun at the Association of International Boudoir Photographers conference was everything I needed. I missed having “a work tribe” when I was heavy into Arbonne, and this conference pushed me outside my bubble and allowed me to meet and immerse myself into an incredible group of photographers who GET the way I work and my level of desensitized thinking 😉 . I mean how many people are lucky enough to make a whole new group of friends that you feel comfortable with and allow you strip down to be photographed by them just after meeting them? Well, y’all have that opportunity with me anytime, but here is a shocker, I HAVE NEVER DONE IT BEFORE! When I travel with family, I am always envisioning, “GAHH I want to shoot someone in lingerie there!” when a fun location catches my eye. With this group, I could!! “Hey, strip down here!!” They really were my kinda people, and so welcoming.
We are artists, sharing our passion and vision with those around us and we are both doing a damn fine job of it.
I totally get how y’all REALLY feel now. I mean, not fully, because I am pretty desensitized to the human body and I’ve worked hard on my mindset of my body image as of recent, but it was still nerve wreaking. Every single woman that I have worked with has had some thing that she was self conscious of her body, and I am not above those thoughts either. I’ve had two babies, two c-sections and haven’t consistently worked out since them. But, I got in front of the camera three different times through the week. Once in a more covered bodysuit by the pool in the evening, once in a leather jacket with my ass hanging out in a parking garage and finally in a local friend’s Texas studio in a skimpy bodysuit and then nude. The night by the pool was fine because I was already two margaritas in, so no big. But the morning Teri Skiles-Isenberg, of Radiant Rose Boudoir in Colorado, and I headed out to the parking garage, wearing a “cut too high for public viewing” bodysuit, I could barely apply my own lipstick I was shaking so bad. I was so stoked and excited to shoot what we had planned, but I was still internally freaking out and second guessing myself. BUT I had a freaking blast and am so in love and proud of the images that she captured of me.
Later that same afternoon, I went to Angela’s studio right in San Antonio, as she helped host part of the retreat and shooting opportunities. I absolutely love her simple and moody style, and really wanted to photograph her and have her get a few of me in her space. A handful of other photographers also met up there and we all shot each other, kinda like paparazzi! One of the other photographers that was there was Heather Voigt, of Heather Voigt Studios here in Wisconsin. Now many people would consider of competition, as we both specialize in women’s boudoir within 90 minutes of each other, but we choose to not view it that way. I actually first met and shot Heather’s first boudoir session back in 2013, when I was just starting boudoir, so we have some history! I have also reached out to her about business matters, and to bounce a business decision off of because I knew she would give it to me straight and see where I was coming from. Today we really have different styles to our boudoir photography in our home settings, which sets us apart from each other but we have the same desired outcome for this vulnerable experience. We know that I can’t shoot how she does and she can’t shoot exactly like me. We are artists, sharing our passion and vision with those around us and we are both doing a damn fine job of it. So we took some time and made sure to shoot each other! Cheers Heather, I’m grateful for you and here is to community over competition! There are plenty of lives for us both to impact.
Here are some fun things I created with my new friends of AIBP, and a few that were captured of me!