Intimate portraits have always been some of my favorite things to photograph. This is partly because boudoir work requires a lot of vulnerability from both the photographer and the subject; I think a lot of folks immediately understand the vulnerability that comes with being photographed in a state of undress, but being able to see and appreciate bodies exactly as they are, in the wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and abilities, requires me to do a lot of deep work on my own ideas.
Society teaches us a lot about what is “acceptable” and “beautiful,” and a lot of that is rooted in patriarchal ideas and white supremacy when you get right down to the heart of it. To truly see someone as beautiful, I not only need to divest myself of those old ideas, but I also have to get over my own bodily hangups so I don’t project them onto you.
Dominique is pretty unarguably gorgeous in her own right, but as someone with a generally masculine-leaning style, we wanted to make sure we were celebrating her and not trying to turn her into someone she isn’t. When she reached out to me about taking some photos as a gift for her partner, we talked about different ways to bring her own style and presence into them while still allowing her to embrace her femininity as well. We’re all multifaceted, and it’s really exciting to help someone explore some parts of themselves that they usually keep hidden.
What we landed on was a shoot that started out with a strong masculine energy that fell away to reveal the soft, sexy woman underneath. And since lacy lingerie is not her usual thing, we made sure we got some super sexy images that show her as her wife sees her in addition to the fun stuff that might have felt a little more costume-y.
However you want to show up in the world, I’m here to hear you and to help you feel seen. Now please enjoy a little striptease that would even make Billy Porter proud.