Thoughts on learning to love your body

When I started planning photoshoots this year, I was mostly doing it to a) show off some of the lovely lingerie I’ve collected over the years, and b) because I enjoy meeting photographers and becoming a part of their creative process. I find photography fascinating, it’s been a hobby of mine for some time, and making connections with other photographers (amateur and professional) has been a big part of the fun for over 20 years now. I’ve been shot by friends, professionals, and even a celebrity but rarely have I had a camera pointed at me more often than I have in 2021!

I’ve had one virtual photoshoot and four in-person shoots so far this year, and I have to admit it’s been so much fun, but the one side effect I hadn’t expected was that I would start to love my (older, softer) body a bit more. Whether I’ve been shot by a boudoir photographer who offers endless compliments and encouragement throughout the shoot, or another type of portrait photographer who simply suggests poses and chats away, one of the best things about it has been being present in my own body. I’m not focusing on doing anything other than sitting, standing, twisting, turning, and knowing that some of the shapes I’m making will result in good images.

Lori, wearing lingerie by Karolina Laskowska, shot by Emerald Photography over Zoom, in February 2021.

I have discovered that seeing myself through someone else’s eyes is actually rather magical. Any of the things you might be tempted to be overly critical about when looking in the mirror somehow become completely unimportant, or even beautiful, when viewed through a stranger’s lens. When a photographer puts you at ease, it is instantly noticeable in the image and you realise just how much your smile really does make everything look better. You stop thinking about the negatives and start obsessing over the positives, and the more you look at the images the more favourites you will select!

The last 18 months have been challenging for everyone. We’ve eaten more, exercised less, and become stuck in our brains rather than our bodies. When we can’t go out and have as much fun as we’re used to, we can end up sat indoors stressing about clothes that no longer fit, worried we’ll have nothing to wear when we venture out again. I think that’s partly why I started booking photoshoots. Last year’s virtual shoot experience was so much fun – just stretching, posing and de-stressing – that I wanted to do more, and then this year slowly became the year of the photoshoot. I can highly recommend getting in front of a camera if you need to reconnect with your body. There’s nothing quite like it.

Main image shot by Adam Robertson Photography in August 2021.

5 thoughts on “Thoughts on learning to love your body

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  1. All of those shades of red in that photo!

    I am trying to take more photos of myself at the moment. I really want to put myself out there a bit more and try online dating/making friends. I’m not sure I have the chutzpah to do it though.

    1. When taking selfies, I recommend thinking about what you’re trying to say about yourself. If its for a dating profile, what sort of person are you trying to attract and what about you might appeal to them. Choose clothes that make you feel comfortable, but make sure they don’t look like you picked them up off the bedroom floor… and make sure there’s no mess in the background. You don’t need to share any photos your not happy with, so try to have fun with it.

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