What the heck man. How is it that I get to meet and hang with the coolest ladies ever!? Well, this is session number two of my little outdoor boudoir series I am doing and I am seriously so excited to share this one. I am super grateful to have had Ally Voshell of Allyson Wonderland Makeup Artistry on board again for hair and makeup. But anyways, Melissa is one of the most down the earth women I have met since being in North Carolina and the most hilarious thing ever is that she and I have been going to the same CrossFit gym since I moved down here and our paths just never crossed. She then reached out to me when I did a call out for women to be a part of this project. It is a miracle alone that she even saw the post online, so when she wrote to me, introduced herself and mentioned she too goes to CrossFit Sil War, I was really excited to hopefully work with her! Melissa's email to me was so genuine and open. I immediately understood a lot of where she was coming from as a woman and why she needed this session. She was struggling with the acceptance of her body at one point, and like most of us, the chaotic nature of life doesn't seem to help that. Since her & her husband's relocation to Jacksonville, she found herself at CrossFit SilWar, ready to take control of those feelings and build a better foundation for her self esteem. CrossFit has helped her gain a new confidence for herself and appreciation for what her body is capable of, despite all of the naysayers and her initial fear of getting "too muscular". All of these things Melissa spoke of in her email, I could relate to. I am sure most of us can. Unlike a lot of the women who wrote in, Melissa was already in the process of taking control of her mindset towards her body. She was in the process of learning to love herself as she is, and for her, a boudoir session was the next step. She wanted this experience for herself, and herself alone. I really admire that about Melissa, and many of the women who come into my studio. It takes a lot to let your guard down and open and honestly show yourself to a larger audience as you are, knowing and loving every inch of yourself. Melissa did just that. Her session is flawless and not because I am a trained photographer or because Melissa is absolutely gorgeous or because of photoshop- which by the way, I never use- but because she was open, unguarded, and ready for more change. Like every single woman I photograph as well as myself & all of you out there reading this, Melissa is a real woman with insecurities & flaws. If we all just take a second, for ourselves, and stop the negative thinking and bad body talk, surround ourselves with good people and energy, take more time to do things to pamper ourselves, we will all begin to see all of the beauty in which we are; flaws and all. And better yet, we will learn to appreciate all of those things. Before I go, I just wanted to share a little bit of what Melissa sent to me a few days after her session:
"I just wanted to drop a quick note and say thank you! I had so much fun on Saturday, and you're right it is addicting! I was prancing around in my underwear and didn't think twice about it! I did that because of the excitement that you and Ally introduced into the whole session from the first second I walked into the door! Nothing about the situation was uncomfortable or intimidating. Please express my gratitude to Ally for me as well - nothing is better than sitting in a chair getting tended to while being complimented left and right! I love what you are doing with this project and I am truly grateful that I got to be a part of it and I have only seen 3 photos, so you're obviously doing it right!"
Every single one of you badass ladies out there is fully capable of doing this. It's just a matter of when. Who's with me?
Also- can we just take a second to appreciate Melissa's incredible head of hair?! Holy holyyyyy her hair is incredible! Thanks Ally for bringing out Melissa's already beautiful and unique features!
Hair/Makeup, Ally Voshell of Allyson Wonderland Makeup