Oh how things have changed since my very first time in front of Jes’ camera. I’ve been getting a boudoir session done of myself since I was twenty-five. I am now thirty-two, and my last session with Jes was my 4th time with Jes. Although the last year I had two sessions since I also got married, and wanted that to be the wedding gift for my husband.
At first the decision to come to Jes was actually all because she’s truly the best in the industry. I had worked with a few other photographers, and her work is, hands down, the best I’ve ever seen anywhere. The styling, the posing, the lighting; everything about her work was fascinating to me.
For my first session I went in like I had done previously. I judged my body HARD. I starved myself before my session and spent hours trying to figure out what to wear. I felt like it would be ok because Jes would just work her magic with posing and editing though. I went in, and every time she said something positive about me, I would immediately respond with a negative. However, Jes made it clear that was not acceptable at her studio. I’m not going to lie, that was SO counter everything I had heard all my life. I was caught off guard.
I grew up in Brazil, where looks seem to be everything. To this day a big part of my conversation with my parents is about dieting, staying thin, working out, trying not to eat all the yummy things, and it’s been this way my entire life. Sometime between session number one and session number four Jes finally got through to my brain, and I’ve started the process of healing. Of working on loving myself. Because unfortunately I’m fighting thirty-two years of telling myself I’m not good enough, or pretty enough, or skinny enough; and even worse, the verbal abuse sometimes came from loved ones, even though they will never see it as such.
I remember sitting next to my boy crush at 13 and him asking me what those lines were on my thighs. I got hips so young I’ve had stretch marks for as long as I can remember! Or working at a modeling agency as an assistant and being told “If only you were taller, if only your nose was thinner, if only you were 20 lbs skinnier, etc” and I wasn’t even a model!!!
Working with Jes has been liberating in more ways than I can count. Her impact in my life doesn’t end after our sessions, it’s a forever thing. I’m so ready to love myself, and feel confident, because what I used to view as flaws, are NOT flaws at all. They are part of me, my story, my life. My “flaws” are part of what makes me, me, and I’m finally proud of that.