Ladies! Let's celebrate one another!
But seriously, I cannot tell you how important doing these sessions are as an artist and photographer. For lack of a better word it simply SUCKS that we as woman feel shitty about our bodies more often than not. I wanted a way to make my friends feel beautiful while looking at a photo of themselves. When I got this reception, I knew I had to continue doing this!
What is a "Wonder Woman" Session?
I like to call my portrait session with ladies Wonder Woman Sessions. I'm currently not offering these types of sessions for guys at this time because I simply love making women feel beautiful through my photos. I think there's so much to be said about looking back on our time in our 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s! And feeling great about it.
Growing up as a woman I think over time you get more and more exposed to the makeup and beauty industry that you either tune it all out or embrace it. I would say doing both isn't a bad thing but it's SO crazy to see some ads STILL IN 2018 preaching the crap about how we aren't good enough and that these products will make us perfect.
Now, I don't want this to be a lecture about how beautiful we are without all the makeup and how we are beautiful, blah blah blah...... yes that's all true but the struggle is still real. Very real. And this is all information we know.
We know that companies are trying to make money.
We know they have billions of dollars to throw their products in our faces.
We know the beauty industry is trillions of dollars rich.
I think we forget sometimes that there are companies and people starting to change that conversation. Even just a little bit.
When I think about the company I want to build with my photography and the images I want to create I am so hyper aware of what my women clients will think of themselves. I want to make them feel safe and reassured that they look as beautiful on the outside as they do on the inside.
3 Reasons Why I Do Wonder Woman Sessions
It's an excuse to hang out with my friends or people I admire for an hour. I would totally take on models for these shoots too, we're all women of course! It's such a different experience photographing those already comfortable in front of the camera than those who are not. My friends are the people I admire for so many reasons and to give them just ONE reason to see how beautiful they are on the inside reside on the outside is such a fulfilling way to give back to how awesome they are. I cherish all my girl friendships I have and if this makes them feel good then I'll never stop offering it to them.
It's the most fulfilling feeling to have clients and friends love at least ONE photo from the shoot because I know that they felt comfortable enough to open themselves up for me to capture their greatness. Sometimes we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our real lives and forget that we're awesome! Self-doubt is everywhere all the time (!) so when we get a second to just be OURSELVES the girl who wakes up every day with dreams and goals and the desire to push herself to be her BEST self..... THAT'S the girl I try and bring out in our sessions. Letting that girl shine in front of my camera! (I know, I'm getting a little emotionally heavy here bare with me!)
Reminding ourselves that we all deserve a professional photoshoot. And I don't mean to say this as a photographer but I mean to say this as a woman. We only have one year of being 24, one year to be 25, and so on why not remember ourselves how we are RIGHT in this moment. We do it anyways with social media, updating our selfie game, updating our Instagram posts. Everyone talks about leaving behind a legacy/a purpose and I think we forget that we should celebrate where we are NOW. When I started offering couples sessions to friends to build my portfolio the first comment I would ALWAYS get is "but Danica, we aren't getting married. We don't need engagement photos or photos of us." And my response was always "Why the heck not!?"
Why should we need a reason to capture great memories in professional photos? Why does it have to be a birthday or a wedding or an engagement to have these great photos we are proud of. And that matter just us! We don't need to have a significant other to be fulfilled. Heck no!
Now you might be wondering about these bombshell legs above ^ ^ ^
Well you might know her as my friend who I travelled Thailand with. And that's exactly where these photos were taken. We were coming to the last leg of our trip when we had seen all the things we wanted to see in a small town called Pai. We had the idea to find a local pool to take advantage of this Thailand heat before returning home to the freezing Canada winter.
This girl and I understand each other on so many levels. One of these levels stands out when I look at her shining in these photos, and that's our constant struggle with putting in the physical work (hitting the gym for hours and hours a week) and having this work diminished in such a short amount of time. Being two physical girls who loved sports our whole lives we've always had received the opinions of:
You're so skinny.
You're an athlete so you have nothing to worry about.
You're worst day feeling horrible about yourself is one of my best days feeling great about myself.
It doesn't matter how flattering these comments SEEM to be, they all contribute to the pressures of maintaining a certain body type. Now I have to say that my lovely friend and I have COMPLETELY different body types. Our dress sizes our different, our body proportions aren't nearly the same and the only thing we have in common is our joy to sweat it out being physically active. There are so many reasons why I love running and working out but mostly because it makes me feel good and becomes my drug. When I asked my friend "hey, I'm writing a blog post about body image and the photos I offer would it be cool to share these photos of you." I quickly got a response back, "Use whatever you wish miss :)" I wish we had more of this in our world! I look up to you so much girl!
It's people like her that remind me that I'm doing something good, something right with my photography. She's a complete beauty and I loved photographing her but it's more than that. During our time in Thailand we were constantly in bathing suits and shorts and being "presentable" wasn't even on our raider. We didn't care! We were going to be sweating all day in the heat and running around with elephants we didn't have the capacity to care about that. And I seriously try and remember that every single day! That as long as you feel good then what else matters.
There are two platforms I've been following lately that really make me happy every time they post something new or want to share information. Mind you, someone is always trying to sell something. Okay, fine! But I like to look beyond that and see what they ARE doing to make woman love their bodies. In the past we've heard of brands trying to do this but here are two examples of accounts you SHOULD BE FOLLOWING NOW that STILL share valuable representations of woman.
.....a lady you might see pop up more in my feeds and blogs. She is a #bosslady who has dominated at her job as a wedding photographer. And now is an educator on running your own business. Her personal account is thriving with photos of her beautifully curvy body against her 6-pack ripped husband. They made headlines for it!
Yes, they're still doing it. Last year Aerie started their no-retouching style of photography and to my surprise it wasn't just a marketing campaign but something they still stand by. Which it completely refreshing and a store I actually love to shop at! Last time I was there I noticed that there wasn't one girl photoshopped or retouched our their posters. I went home and looked them up and realized that it's a standard for their marketing direction. I think it's definitely a start for a bigger company to involve women of all shapes, sizes, ages, and colour. See what they did for Mother's Day! It just warmed my heart.
I will always offer Wonder Woman Sessions and always welcome anyone who wants to be in front of my camera! These are so many reasons why I love doing what I do. Thank you to all the strong and confident ladies I have photographed! You are the best!
Check out my Wonder Woman Sessions here!
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