I didn’t know how I’d feel during the actual shoot, or seeing the images afterwards. Boy was I surprised. I told a friend later that by the end of the session I was ready to just stroll on home completely naked – that’s how great I felt. There were nerves in the beginning (eased by Jenny. And champagne.) – but they pretty quickly disappeared. I had no idea what the images Jenny was capturing actually looked like, but I felt fucking awesome. So I just went with it. I have parts of my body that I’m less excited about than others, and some that I love – so Jenny and I talked about all of that before hand and she made sure to highlight my good bits. It was fun and overall an incredibly positive experience.
The most surprising thing for me was my initial reaction to seeing the images: I immediately and completely unexpectedly burst into tears (in a good way). Even writing about it now is making me tear up. The thing is, I didn’t realize how little I saw myself as “sexy”. Cute, sure. Funny – yes. Weird – totally. But not sexy. And then there I was, on my computer screen, in a way I hadn’t ever seen before. I loved it. I’m still me in those pictures – just a side of me I didn’t really know was there.
I think the biggest thing I’ve taken away from the whole experience came from the conversation I had with my husband when I gave him the book I had made from the shoot. He said to me “I’m just so glad you finally see yourself in the way I’ve always seen you” – and then I cried again. So that’s what I have now – a reminder that I am sexy and beautiful. It’s not a “silly” or “frivolous” thing for me to have done – it was, in fact, incredibly empowering. I think everyone should try it!
As for working with Jenny – I have only great things to say. She’s an amazing photographer; the images are timeless, not “kitschy”, not overtly sexual, and still convey a sense of my personality. And she was lovely to “model” for – she made me feel at ease, was open to my ideas, and just generally awesome.