“You had to break, to be unbroken. In the brokenness, I had found, that which was unbroken.That which was perfect, and beautiful, and complete.” ― T. Scott McLeod, The Light in the Darkness
A few weeks ago I got a note from Meghan from M.Newsom Photography accompanied by a captivating collection of photographs, and Kami’s story. As I read through her submission I realized this story was a true reflection of Boudoir Collective’s belief that boudoir photography is an empowering medium that beautifully highlights intimacy, elegance and feminism in its most delicate form.
It’s a story about rising above brokenness and feeling whole again. It’s about not letting anyone dim our light, and using a moment frozen in time to always remind us of how strong we really are. Meghan shares a big piece of my heart for boudoir and the way it can create community among women. We instantly connected and have become fast friends. So much so that I invited her to share Kami’s story with you all.
Here's what Meghan shared with us...
Boudoir portraits are something I tried to stay away from for a long time. As a Christian, I have always found modesty one of the most beautiful values a woman could possess, and did not like the way women were being portrayed in the classic boudoir “pin up” style I had seen growing up. However, my view quickly changed as I began to hear women’s stories, and began to develop my own style of art as a photographer. I knew I could somehow create portraits of women that weren’t sleazy... but instead beautiful and create an environment that allowed them to be vulnerable in their own skin. An experience where they could feel empowered, feel beautiful, feel loved, feel cherished and know that no matter what their size or shape that they are “fearfully and wonderfully made”.
As I have started to hone this craft, I knew I had to photograph my best friend Kami. More than likely, Kami’s story isn’t much different than most of ours. She has struggled with her body image her entire life, convincing herself that if she ran more, ate less, or looked different she’d be more love-able, more successful, more... you fill in the blank.
The years passed and she found herself trapped in a marriage where she was forced to face those voices of insecurity every day when she listened to her husband, only this time they weren’t only in her head. “Kami, you need to lose weight”, “Kami, I would love you more if you got a boob job”, “ Kami, that dress looks awful on you because your butt isn’t big enough”, “Kami, you need to eat less and lift more weights... you need more muscle mass”, “Your feet are too fat, your skin is too green, your hair is too curly”, and on and on it would go. I watched this confident, radiant, vibrant woman lose her self-worth and identity right before my eyes. It was a slow process, and it didn’t happen overnight, but after two years of hearing those words over and over again, her eyes glossed over and she was gone. I knew I had to do everything I could to bring her back.
One weekend we were able to sneak away to my family’s lake house. Something we have enjoyed doing since we first met in college. I brought my camera. I brought my make up. I brought clothes I knew she would feel beautiful in, but most importantly, I was present. I was there to remind her of who she was. I was there to set up a space where she could laugh and dance and feel safe in her own skin. I was able to remind her how amazingly beautiful not only her body was, but her spirit was as well. I saw her come alive for the first time in such a long time. My best friend began to bloom again. And, not only during the session but well after our trip. She would text me and tell me just how beautiful she feels every time she looks at her photographs. These photographs were for her and no one else. Their purpose was to remind her of who she was, and who she is. To remind her that she is perfect in every way. That God created her and anything He creates is perfect. She was allowed to expose herself authentically and tastefully and know that she was safe.
And now, six months later, I can say that she and her precious daughter are no longer under the rule of this man. They are safe. They are free. And I know a lot of the work that was done in her heart to make her confident enough to be on her own was because of these photographs.
Thank you so much for sharing Kami's story with us, Meghan! We are so inspired by her courage and wish her much joy and happiness!
Click to view the complete collection:
Story and photography by Meghan, M. Newsom Photography
Have a real story you'd love to share with us? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch.