An Extraordinary Story of Feminine Strength and Resilience. Chicago Boudoir Session.
Once in a while we hear stories of monumental value. Stories that are so touching and memorable that they become a part of ourselves. Journey that tear us apart and change perspective. When I answered my phone that Saturday morning in early February, I was not prepared to hear one of such scenario.
I got a phone call from Mardi who told me she was looking for a Chicago boudoir session to capture her body before she had a breast removal surgery. She said she was diagnosed with an invasive form of breast cancer in December and was scheduled for mastectomy in February. I was so deeply moved that I was stumbling on words. We scheduled the session and went over some details. I could not stop thinking of Mardi for the next two weeks.
I knew that this was not going to be an ordinary session.
That morning I was very nervous. As I was sipping coffee and getting ready to leave, I realized I felt overwhelmed with the sense of responsibility for the upcoming session. Subconsciously, I wanted to deliver and not disappoint my client. Typically, I feel confident in my skills but that day my confidence escaped me. I arrived at my West Loop studio and took a very deep breath. Soon after I got to meet Mardi in person. She was stunning. And unlike me, she seemed very relaxed. We chatted for a while and soon it became obvious, I was a witness to a very powerful story of resilience and inspiration.
Mardi was a warrior. I quickly realized this was not going to be a pity party but a true celebration of her body and who she was. She was approaching the remarkable rite of passage with so much dignity and grace. I felt privileged to witness and capture that important moment of her life.
I nervously picked up the camera. My hands were still shaking as I was holding it. Something very important and very personal was happening in front of my eyes. A manifestation of beauty, presence, strength and dignity. And in the depths of its intimacy, it was also very human. My “warrior” was so captivating and authentic that her strength naturally reflected in the images. Her portraits are vibrant and beautiful.
When I first started my journey with boudoir photography, I wanted to help women feel confident and comfortable with their bodies. Little did I know that soon I was going to become a part of a remarkable journey through other women’s extraordinary lives and experiences. I am honored and grateful to be able to tell their inspiring stories as they unfold in front of the eyes of my camera.
Mardi’s story is an excellent example of the powerful nature of Chicago boudoir photography that goes beyond the common assumptions of vanity and shallowness. Boudoir can be very liberating and cathartic. It is also a wonderful way to capture and celebrate your body the way it is in the here and now. As women, we go through times and experiences that can be tremendously difficult for us and therefore it is essential to remind ourselves of self-kindness. A boudoir session can be a great gift to ourselves during life hurdles that will remind us of our strength and beauty despite the circumstances.