ICYMI: Venus & Vixen | I have lots of ideas, so I created a pop-up sister brand called Venus & Vixen JUST to test those out! This interview is from one of my V&V girls after her client experience <3
Tell me about you!
I wear so many labels…mom, wife, nurse, photographer, grad student…that I often forget that I am also a warrior, woman, and an individual. As an individual, I love to read. I have an INFJ personality. I love my cats. I like to read historical fiction. I have dreams of traveling and writing.
What brought you to Venus & Vixen?
I’ve had an exceptionally rough year or so filled with surgeries, marital issues, becoming overwhelmed with my life, and feeling negatively about my body and my self as a result. I promised myself several years ago when I first started following Christina’s work that I would do this shoot for my 30th birthday. Unfortunately, I turned 30 in recovery fresh out of a major lung surgery, followed by GI procedures, and then a gallbladder removal…a string of procedures which left me with many more scars. As I worked through the many issues plaguing that year (personal and medical), I came to view my scars as a sign of strength and I wanted to highlight that. Then I saw that Christina was rolling out the Venus & Vixen line and I knew it was time. Not later when I might weigh less or have more energy or feel less insecure about my body…now.
What was your shoot like?
I have followed Christina’s work long enough that I fully trusted her and her vision. Boudoir is such an intimate session that it could easily feel uncomfortable or awkward but Christina is so incredibly professional and puts you right at ease. The consultation is done in the studio space, so you are able to see it and get comfortable with it long before your session so it doesn’t feel totally foreign. She even helps you choose your styling (I hadn’t worn a “real” bra in so long that I didn’t even know my bra size and the consultation prompted me to get fitted!) which can be difficult when you don’t feel particularly sexy. Christina has so many strengths but posing is absolutely at the top, which is so important with boudoir and helps you feel confident and beautiful in your own skin in addition to the hair and makeup styling Rue preps you with so you look and feel like your best self for your session. I hadn’t felt so comfortable simply in my own skin in such a long time. The session gave me back a piece of myself that I had lost.
What was it like to see your images?
Even though I took a mild sedative just before seeing them to try to avoid an emotional outburst, I was in tears. The images were so stunning. I knew that they would be because Christina’s work is incredible but nothing really prepares you for the moment you actually see them, in matte print, in person. She puts so much of her heart and soul into her craft and I could feel that love for what she does and for every woman that she is able to serve in each of my images. They were so stunning that I couldn’t get into the elevator without taking every single image home with me!
How did you feel about everything being “artist’s choice”?
Honestly, both as a photographer and as a client, it was such a relief to hand the reins over to the boudoir expert. No one does intimate images the way Christina Patton does and I trusted her entirely. It was so much less stressful and I found that it enabled me to just relax and enjoy the experience.
What was your favorite part of the whole V&V experience?
I’m not sure how to narrow this down! Obviously, having these timeless images for myself and getting to see myself in a way that I had forgotten was a priceless investment. Getting to know Christina through this process was also wonderful, as she really is the warmest person who truly believes in empowering women to give themselves permission to be who they are, all of who they are. Also, getting to be one of the first V&V girls was incredibly special to me and something I will have forever.
This is your space to say anything else you’d like
The entire experience was empowering, emotional, and extraordinary. I have the same insecurities that so many other women have about weight, features, etcetera and I let them hold me back for too long and that’s the biggest takeaway…as women we can’t forget to invest in ourselves. It’s okay to want to feel beautiful, enchanting, and *gasp* sensual. It’s okay to be exactly who you are, comfortable in your own skin, in whatever package it happens to be in. It’s okay to take a moment to take off all the other hats you wear (and everything else, if you like) and remember that you are still you underneath. These sessions are about so much more than beautiful images…they’re about celebrating your womanhood in whatever form is meaningful to you.