Occasionally, and I mean *VERY* occasionally, I'll receive an email from a prospective client asking for something a little different than I've ever done before. Maybe even something a little (gasp) challenging. And no, I'm not referring to the email that starts out with "I'm wondering if you're comfortable with photographing my girlfriend and I making love?"...because I get those just about every day. Annoying.
In one session, this client wanted to accomplish my usual artistic boudoir in lingerie, some fully clothed portraits that she could potentially gift to her parents, and some art nudes...including a feature of her nude and embracing her sexy...while wearing her insulin pump. All three were such a different direction than each other, but I felt confident that the challenge would inspire me. After all, I *am* a creative brain (read: scatterbrained), right?!
We sorta kinda nailed it. Miss M was open to my creative interpretations and did an amazing job trusting me and letting me do my thing while also adding her own energy to the session. I LOVE the confidence that is exuded in each of these images. Enjoy.
I received the most beautiful e-mail from Miss M shortly after I sent her "sneak peek" photo and I felt that it was likely highly relevant to so many women, so I thought I'd share it in it's entirety...
Shifting out of parent-friendly portraits and into boudoir...
"This experience definitely made me more aware and appreciative of the features I have and allowed me to embrace them. I'm focusing more on those positive things and letting go of the self-criticism. I'm now able to focus and enjoy the beauty of others in a positive way without it causing me to feel bad about myself."
"I had not felt attractive or feminine, let alone beautiful, in a long time. This has been an awesome experience that has helped to open my eyes to see myself in a new perspective."
"The "Show Me Your Pump" campaign that began in 2014 was a great starting point to help users feel more comfortable with exposing their pumps and to decrease the stigma and any feelings of embarrassment some people may have. I feel it is important to not only be unashamed of having one but to show that one does not define you.
Your character is more than a medical device and it shouldn't be the only thing someone focuses on. People should see YOU regardless of whether you have a pump or use a wheelchair or have a prosthetic." - Miss M
Admittedly, the only knowledge that I had prior to photographing Miss M, here, about the "Show me your pump" campaign was a news story that crossed my feed a few years ago when the campaign was started. It was featuring Miss Idaho who wore her insulin pump out on stage with her bikini during the pageant. When interviewed about it, this is what she had to say:
"My message to everyone, diabetic or not, is that we all have something that doesn't "measure up" to the beauty standards set by the media--and that is okay! It does not make you any less beautiful. We also all have obstacles, challenges, and trials. Diabetes turned my life upside down when I was first diagnosed. Don't let your challenge hold you back or slow you down." -Sierra Sandison, Miss Idaho 2014
"The type of photos I requested were envisioned and produced by Kara in exactly this way. Those images are so powerful that the last thing anyone would think was that the pump was a flaw. Rather, the images throttle it into the forefront as an accessory to sensuality. I would encourage any insulin pump wearer that feels any reservation about revealing their pump to view these images in order to gain a more positive perspective" -Miss M
"My photo session and the photos that I received have made me look and feel confident, sexy, beautiful, powerful, feminine, voluptuous and soulful. I am a force to be reckoned with!"- Miss M
Thank you SO much, Miss M for sharing your thoughtful words with all of the KMB readers, and for being an inspiration to so many who may be feeling insecure about their figures (95% of women!) or their medical devices.