You may have seen some images I've been taking of my GORGEOUS friend and hairstylist, Toni Terry over the past few months. She approached me about doing a retro style shoot at a motel, and obviously I jumped on the opportunity. Toni really just gets it- which makes working with her so fun and creatively stimulating.
The majority of the idea for the shoot came from Toni:
"I remember I messaged you about this shoot after I had been talking with a client and started following a curvy Instagrammer Helen Anderson. She was so gorgeous and didn’t care if she wasn’t the skinniest girl around. It kind of inspired me and the next couple photos I took of myself I edited them (thanks to your courses I knew what i was doing) and started really playing with the photos I was taking of myself and posting. I felt really good about myself and was like I want to give people something stylized, like all these editorial shoots I drool over, to look at but with a new face. I wanted people to see an imperfect body, in a photo. My imperfect body can still be sexy, serious, or beautiful even. I also wanted to have photos of me, that I felt good about. Something that made me feel beautiful and cool, because we're usually harder on ourselves than others. Self confidence to me is your best weapon, and to me the most beautiful people are confident in their skin!" -Toni Kay Terry
Toni's mindset was in such a great place with this shoot, and it was a very exciting and freeing one to do (even though I would not recommend hanging around Motel 6 for any other reason because it got real sketch real quick lol.) We basically booked a room (and didn't sleep there) but just showed up in the morning before a late checkout and shot. The room had orange walls which immediately inspired me. I also built a little mirror pyramid to shoot through that gave a kaleidoscope effect- more details on that process in this blog post here.
Toni's idea and motivation for this shoot got me thinking- why don't more people book photos for themselves? A lot of times people book me for portraits because they are graduating, they just had a baby, they are engaged, they're having a birthday party, they just started a business, etc... but hardly EVER do I get an inquiry from someone who is just straight up feelin themselves.
So many of us are ashamed to post selfies, or to book a photographer for any reason at all. That's why I loved where Toni was coming from with this shoot, because she simply was feeling great and wanted to document this time in her life in a fun way. You know what she was doing? SHE WAS DOING WHAT SHE WANTED (hey that sounds familiar!)
I urge any of you who might be feeling self conscious or who struggles with body positivity to take a leap of faith and book a fun, styled shoot to help cultivate that confidence.
I am super happy with the way these images came out and appreciate Toni's bravery and confidence, which really made this shoot happen in the first place.
All images are edited with presets from my My Chromatic Presets pack, available to download here!