STANDARDS OF BEAUTY BY LAURA OPFEL PHOTOGRAPHY

portfolio-39 The lovely Laura from Boudoir by LO shared with us this wonderful story, centered around the need to accept everyone around us, and forgetting to love ourselves. She helps beautiful women learn that they, too, are beautiful. Even the most "perfect" women in the world have insecurities that are difficult to get over, and she uses her boudoir talents to help inspire self love and confidence in women everywhere.

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"Boudoir has developed quite a reputation over the years. Even before specializing in boudoir photography I had preconceived notions of what I believed boudoir photography to be. But as a photographer who now specializes in this genre I felt the stigma of boudoir had to be broken. I challenged myself in this shoot to show women what boudoir meant to me. I wanted to show them that boudoir is so much more than a half dressed woman posed provocatively. Boudoir is feminine and powerful. It is celebrating a woman’s curves and lines; it is being sexy without overly sexualizing. Boudoir is romantic; a nod to who that woman is and what she is capable of. Boudoir, above all else, is an opportunity to empower and learn the art of self-love.

"From the minute I saw Katie I knew she embodies everything I believe boudoir to be. By most standards Katie is the perfect woman. She has the perfect body, she has the perfect face, and “of course she will photograph beautifully.” And she did. But behind her beautiful face is a girl with a story that I am sure is not much different than your own. Katie is a girl that struggles with self-love and who fights the same demons of self-doubt that we all do; telling her she isn’t good enough. She stood before me the day of her shoot saying things like, “I still have a long way to go but I am learning to love myself.”

"Natural light and feminine, lace lingerie complemented her soft natural look and gorgeous tattoos. We laughed. We danced. We discovered. We photographed. And like most women, this amazing transformation happened; I was no longer posing Katie. She started to move herself fluidly from one pose to the next, trusting her own intuition and listening to her inner Goddess. The result was breathtaking. I am both honored and humbled to share the results with you here. I hope this shoot proves that no matter what you think the standard of beauty is; you are beautiful. You are the standard. We all struggle but that is why it is so important that we celebrate everybody and every body. We are women and we are beautiful."

What is your approach to boudoir photography?

Empowering women through romantic and feminine photography while also providing images that separate sexy and sex.

What challenges have you faced as an artist?

I think the biggest challenge I have faced as an artist thus far has been trying to break the stigma of what others believe boudoir to mean. Yes, boudoir is sexy but it is far from pornography. It is my opinion that when boudoir photography is done correctly it can be sexy and sensual while still being classy and tasteful. The other challenge I have faced is convincing women that they are just as deserving of boudoir photography as the next girl. They are pretty enough, they are skinny enough, they are young enough. As women we believe we have to fit into this mold of what society believes is “beautiful.” Breaking through a woman’s own insecurities and telling them you can and should do this is very challenging.

Boudoir imagery is powerful. How do you see it positively impacting women?

Boudoir is an opportunity for a woman to see the world as WE see them. We have been taught for so long that any one can be beautiful except ourselves. That somehow it is wrong to love ourselves completely. Boudoir gives a woman the chance, even for a day, to let go of the expectations of anyone else and learn to love herself. It instills a sense of confidence that, "hey I am sexy, too." Boudoir is the ultimate confidence booster.

We want to know, what superhero power do you most desire and why?

Oh man alive, y’all I want to teleport so badly. I tell my husband all the time that I would spend my tax dollars happily on studying the possibilities of teleportation. Stuck in rush hour? Not any more. Wake up late? Not to worry. I mean, come on guys… is there another superhero power worth having if you could teleport? I think not sir, I think not…

HMUA: The Beauty Bar // Lingerie: Yandy // Styling and Photography: Laura Opfel Photography // Studio Space: Annelise Jensen Photography Studio