Photography by Nicky Alexandria Photography
After the birth of my third child, I’ve spent a lot of time reconsidering my definition of sex appeal. We live in a culture that promotes the commercialized idea of sexy. Flawless skin, unmarked and flat stomachs, exaggerated and unnatural poses- all edited to impossibility. Women feel the need to pucker their lips and push out their “assets” in selfies in order to measure up. It’s all so very exhausting and it seems so misguided and false.
I believe sexy means something else altogether. And, even more importantly, something different for each of us. Freckles, fullness – of a woman’s hips or in her laugh, the way a woman floods a space with her energy – all the natural qualities that cannot be forced. “Sexy” is unadulterated by expectation, innate and effortless and, by my definition, only present when effort is absent.
This is why I love photographing woman. I am drawn to the opportunity to showcase the neglected and hidden features, features not so common in our commercialized world. I truly believe every woman is both beautiful and sexy, and when I photograph a woman I search for the unique qualities that are part of her effortless appeal – the ones she may not even know exist within her. The results are powerfully rewarding. Some of my favorite moments are when a woman sees her gallery for the first time and gets to experience herself through appreciative eyes. I love when a woman sees her own beauty, strength and sexiness. When I can show a woman that she is truly seen – examined uncritically for who and what she IS, not all the things she isn’t – it is the most exhilarating and humbling feeling.
For as long as I can remember, I have always been drawn to the sea. There is just something about the sounds, textures, and scents that completely consumes me. When I'm creating by the sea, I feel closest to my true self. For this shoot I imagined a woman being drawn to all the things that make the ocean so alluring, and that which makes a woman so alluring. The light was incredible that morning and we let that inspire our movement. I played with the idea of my model being pulled in and absorbed by the waves and that gorgeous light. There is something so beautiful about how water renders on film, and that morning glow against the cliffs truly made these images some of my favorite.