A boudoir photo shoot is often thought of as sexy and provocative. I recently received photos back from a session I did in November to mark my 50th year on this earth in this body. It was so much more than a set of sexy pictures.
Aniya Emtage was the photographer here in Barbados that showed me how to celebrate my body. Her feedback form after the experience was more about being a woman, than being a model for a morning. I have shared a few of her questions here:
What have you learned to appreciate more as a woman as you go through life?
I have learned to appreciate BEING a woman more as I go through life. My career was male dominated and I fell into step with what men believe is successful, or did at the time. Now, I trust my intuition more and do what is right for me. These pictures bring out that I can be both feminine and powerful – and that is all woman.
If you could go back in time and meet your 18-year-old self, what would you say to her?
Live your life and don’t follow the fixation of our society to find a man, a mate. Live life fully on your own until that person comes along. And if you decide that you don’t want someone to come along, that’s ok too.
Would you recommend this experience to your friends, and why? Why do you think this is important for other women to do?
I would fully recommend this experience to everyone, and I have, because it is a celebration of who we are. As women, we beat ourselves up over our bodies and we align our expectations to ridiculous standards in the media. These photographs are stunning. When I blow them up and look at them on my big screen, I can see the age of my skin – the spots, discolors and bagginess in places. And they are still beautiful!
At the end of my session, Nick joined me for a couples shoot. I know that Nick entered his 50th year with a mindset of pushing himself, going outside his comfort zone, and trying new things. This man receives full marks for doing this with me.
Aniya does a “Big Reveal” when the photos are ready. When the pictures of Nick and I came on the screen, I teared up. I literally cried seeing the tenderness between us. I thought, “See, others can see it too.”
This experience has given me the deepest gratitude for:
- A healthy body that doesn’t stop no matter what tests I put it through (although, my expectations are much gentler than in the past).
- Women like Aniya who use her craft to raise others.
- Finding a loving partner who believes, like me, that we are on this earth to grow and be the best human beings that we can be.
You don’t get the full benefit of my boudoir photo shoot in this blog because some shots I would not rate as G for general audience. But trust me, they do not diminish me to an object of sexual desire. Each and every one screams the power of a woman.
To see more of Aniya Emtage’s work: