Dress Size: 14-16
Reason For Shoot:
CONFIDENCE BOOSTING EXPERIENCE
When we first launched Mighty Aphrodite in 2004, I had my first set of sexy portraits taken because we needed some images for our portfolio. I was amazed at the results and it really gave my self-confidence a boost.
Years later, after hitting 40 I promised myself that I would have a photo shoot to mark the milestone where (supposedly) life begins. But looking in the mirror at the extra lines on my face and the extra inches around my waist since my last photo shoot made the prospect of being on the other side of the camera really scary.
It may seem weird, given what I do for a living, but I actually hate having my photograph taken! When we are on holiday, it's usually me that ends up taking the photos so that I don't have to be in them. I've spent the last four years working with hundreds of other women (and a few men too) to make sure they have an inspiring experience and they leave our studio with a real sense of achievement and self-assurance. But I kept putting off having my photo shoot with the excuse that I just wanted to lose a few pounds or tone up a bit.
I finally decided to face my fear - if we could make all the other women we have photographed over the years look fantastic, why wouldn't our magic formula work on me? I did also have the safety blanket of knowing that if the images did show a few too many wrinkles and I wasn't happy with the shape of my body that I could edit them to make me look perfect, but I was hoping that the shoot would help me to see myself in a different way and accept my body as it is.
I went into the shoot with a very positive open-minded attitude and was adamant that I would not be overly self-critical, but would look at the images as I would if we were shooting a client. This really worked and it stopped me from obsessing over every tiny detail. Even though I have seen thousands of images of other people shot in our studio, I was still amazed at how flattering and gorgeous my images were.
It was actually quite an emotional experience looking through my images afterwards - I didn't realise how distorted my self image actually was. I think we all have a blueprint in our minds of what the perfect shape is for a woman based on what we see in the media. In real life, 99.9% of women's bodies are nothing like this - in fact the majority of the models we see published have had body re-shaping and skin smoothing applied to their images so even they are not really that perfect!
When it came to editing my own images, I really felt that I wanted them to be as natural as possible so that when I look at them, I know that that is the real me. I did take out spots and a few wrinkles and the odd bit of cellulite that was visible, but apart from the odd bump here and there, the body shape is all mine. And I'm not embarrassed to say I love it!