Human beings are very judgmental towards one another. We make snap decisions about a person based on what they wear, how they look, where they work. We like things to be neat and tidy and to fit into categories so our brains work really hard to quickly sort out a person in a short amount of time. Into the little boxes they go, judged. And there is probably a psychological reason for this, like maybe keeping us alive and safe.
But what about when you judge the lady ahead of you at the Target check out or the person begging on the corner or your brother’s new girlfriend? I doubt any of those people are out to do you harm. I bet most of those people, if you gave them a few honest minutes of your time, would reveal things to you that would make you realize that maybe you’re more similar than different.
My experience with people, mainly through working so intimately with women, is that they don’t fit into tidy little boxes. Or that the boxes they should be placed in based on certain factors just don’t fit who they are. We are all complicated beings bopping around this planet just doing our fucking best, okay? So let’s give one another a break and cool it with the judging. Or at least be more mindful and try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes before making up your mind about someone.
I’m embarrassed to admit this but I made a snap decision about Kyra before I even met her. She was late for our shoot. I hate it when people are late, it’s my biggest pet peeve. So I was not the nicest I could have been right off the bat but I don’t think I was rude. (At least I HOPE I didn’t come off that way.) So already I’m thinking it’s going to be a waste of time and that the images are going to turn out bad because we are half-way through our hour allotment before we even get started and people need time to warm up to the camera. A lot of thoughts are just flying around in my head and they are all negative. WHY DO WE DO THIS? WHY DO WE LET ANGER CLOUD OUR JUDGEMENT SO SWIFTLY? There are a million legitimate reasons why she could have been late. Like the fact that she’s never been to the hotel I’m at, that parking is really confusing here and that traffic that day was backed up. But no, I judged. And I feel like an asshole because of it.
We basically skipped all the usual chit-chat get to know you stuff and went right into lingerie and shooting. And from the first image to the last I was just in the flow with her. She opened up to me in such an honest way with her movements and her soul that few can do right away. I think you have to be very in touch with your pain to be able to deliver like that so swiftly, at least that’s my experience.
These images are some of my favorites ever taken. But I can’t look at them without a little part of me regretting how quickly I judged her. She’s a beautiful soul, inside and out, and I am privileged to have gotten to capture her on camera at this moment in her life.
Luckily I get to know how she saw the experience because here are her words! —-
“Doing a boudoir shoot definitely scared me. Not because I had never done one before and not because I wasn’t comfortable in lingerie. To be completely honest there was a point in my life where my job revolved around being comfortable in lingerie and being exposed to any eyes to see. And back then I was full of confidence. But that feels like another lifetime and another person. So doing a boudoir shoot at this stage in my life scared me because I feared I wouldn’t be able to bring out that sexy confident woman I once was. I used to be a lot more fit and toned, my body was at its prime back then. I’ve let myself go over the years and grown to really hate what I see in the mirror. Doing this boudoir shoot with Paige was the best thing that could’ve happened to me this year. Paige made me feel beautiful again. Being in gorgeous lacy lingerie brought back a confidence I didn’t think was possible for me anymore. It inspired me to love the woman I see in the mirror and accept my flaws as beautiful. It helped give me the courage to walk outside with my head held high. And ultimately it gave me that voice back in my head that says “Kyra you are one badass bitch.” I am so grateful to have been able to work with Paige. I’ve never worked with a photographer that has such a creative vision and knows exactly how to portray it to you. She had all this brilliant ideas and worked with me to execute them and in the end they turned into flawless images. Thank you Paige for bringing out my inner sexual goddess again.”
Same story, two different sides. And I was on the wrong one. I tell you this (if you even read these) because I want you to know that I’m far from perfect. I judge too quickly still even though I work on combating that every day. And I hope that you can work on it too. Because the world needs more compassion and less Judg-y McJudgertins in it.
Okay here are the bomb-ass images (there are a lot more but I narrowed it down as best I could!)——-