Secrets Shared: How to Reclaim Empowerment from Photography

An inspirational story of love and empowerment

Jaimie and Katie have one of the most inspirational stories of love and empowerment.  After meeting through work, they became fast friends. Having both been in only heterosexual relationships in the past, they were shocked by how their connection evolved into something more meaningful.

The strength of these women, both individually and as a couple, is breathtaking to witness in a way that I would never do justice. Because of this, I’m going to let them take over from here.

Jaimie recounted, “The first time I saw her, my heart soared. We started to build a friendship, and it dawned on me that here I am, a 30-year-old woman with a baby and a man I want to share my life with, but I had this entire piece of me I’d never really been able to get to know. I was saddened to think I’d spend my life not knowing what being a bisexual woman meant for me. Telling [my partner], this was TERRIFYING. I was so afraid he’d be angry, blame himself, or leave. Instead, he surprised me with his love and told me he didn’t want me suppressing a part of myself. So he, myself, and Katie sat down together to talk about us exploring our connection, and it’s been UN…REAL.

After falling in love with a piece of myself and my sexuality that I’d let sit tucked inside for so long, I felt a sense of newness in my body. 

I wanted to celebrate that.  I wanted to make a statement for myself that elevated my empowerment and identity as a queer woman. I wanted to discover what living as a queer woman meant for me. I wanted to celebrate the love I’d found with another woman and capture the magic we created together in a way that would make some of our moments last forever.

Of course, nerves played a part going into it as I’d never taken time to deck myself out in sexy lingerie. In a more profound sense, I’d never learned to lean into my inner sexuality either. And I had certainly never done so with another woman beside me. To add to that, I had my first child two years ago, and my body is now so different from how it once was. While I recognized and adored my body’s strength, I’d stopped seeing it as a playground to explore for myself.  After my session, that piece of me was finally back where she belonged.

Walking in,  I was afraid. Afraid I’d be awkward with posing because there wouldn’t be poses that would flatter all parts of me.  Mostly, I feared not being comfortable enough to open up and let my true nature with my partner shine in front of a camera. What if it felt inauthentic and that feeling translated into photos? However, none of those things happened.  The guidance and encouragement received put my partner and me at such ease.

Above all, Ashley took the time to learn about our intimate dynamic.

She asked how we interacted and usually played together, and who tended to be more dominant and in what ways. These key details shaped how we were photographed together and created an experience that was just beyond. Not only that, but it was fun to talk out loud about how we show affection and share closeness. Ashley worked with this information and let us lead the way during our session.

As a result, I felt like Venus, herself. I felt proud. Of my body. Of my sexuality. Of my vulnerability.  I left feeling closer to my partner and so grateful we were able to take our love, fire, and tenderness for one another and immortalize it.”

Similarly, Katie faced many obstacles over several years that changed the way she viewed life, and herself.

She said, “This shoot represented so much healing and empowerment. As a professional photographer experiencing a career dip from chronic health complications, I discovered my relationship with my body- and being photographed-  has changed in both positive and negative ways. I personally experienced boudoir for the first time five years ago. Luckily, that session allowed me to feel deep sensuality as a woman without shame.

Due to my previous experience, when my partner asked to do a boudoir shoot together, I saw this as an opportunity to love myself after heartbreak, divorce, job loss, and illness. A chance to open up this newly discovered part of myself, as well as, a chance to be seen with someone I care for deeply.

Queer love is beautiful to me. However, due to my straight relationship history, I never saw myself in that picture.  Yet, when Ashley treated us and our chemistry with so much respect, I felt seen. The sense of empowerment was tangible. In her desire to show off our unique dynamic, deep parts of me felt respected and validated in a way I never expected to feel. I felt like my love did not have to hide behind closed doors.

And that, as an adult woman in her first queer relationship, changed my life forever.”

Are you ready to reclaim your empowerment?