I met Katya years ago and recently we did a boudoir photo session together. I’ve seen her beautiful work and as excited as I was to do this, at the same time, I questioned everything. Will my photos be as beautiful as the other women’s that she has taken? What if I’m not photogenic enough? What if there are no pictures that turn out good and she has wasted her time? I went into her studio that day with an excited and hopeful – yet very nervous mindset.
While having hair and make up done by Anastasia I felt like I was having a ‘girls day out’. There was a lot of chatting and laughing and when I looked into the mirror when she was finished- wow. I didn’t even recognize myself. (I say that in a good way!) I was shocked because I was able to say, ‘wow, I look pretty!’.
There were many times during that day that emotions took over and I felt like I wanted to cry. I had to face my inner demons head on. Those demons being.. am I pretty enough to do this? Should I really be doing this? I don’t have a body shape like the women in magazines. What if the pictures don’t turn out and I wasted her time?? I could go on and on, but everything stemmed back to- am I enough?
I faced those demons eye to eye and I had to overcome them in the moment. (Plus I couldn’t let myself shed one tear because the make up would get ruined!) As the day went on the awkwardness that I was feeling from questioning myself slowly disappeared and I was able to have fun. She made me feel at ease and was so patient while guiding me into different poses and positions. I actually felt comfortable in my own skin.
Last night, she revealed the photos to me for the first time and I was speechless. I felt so many emotions and held back tears. The photos were beautiful. I looked beautiful. I didn’t know what to say because I have never seen myself in that ‘beautiful’ light.
My 14 year old daughter saw them as well and she floored me. She said that I looked beautiful and that she saw me differently. (We all know teens are quick to criticize, especially daughters to their mothers!) Hearing her say that went straight to my heart and I will never forget the look on my daughter’s face as she said the kindest words to me last night before she went to bed.
I am so very thankful for Katya and for this whole experience. I can honestly say part of me is forever changed. Of course I still struggle with those inner demons, as all women do, but the negative voices have been quieted. Ever since I was a teenager, I have struggled with negative body image and at times hated the reflection that stared back at me in the mirror. I have been working on that daily and for the first time in so long there is an inner peace that is stronger than the negativity. Which is such a good feeling.
Katya, you are a strong, successful, professional woman with a kind and beautiful soul. Empowering women is your calling and you are succeeding.
Most importantly, every woman that you are empowering- you are not only making a difference in her life, but her daughters as well and that will carry on for generations.
I have the fondest memories of the day we did the photos and I will have these beautiful photos to look back on. What I didn’t expect to take out of this experience is a new sense of admiration from my daughter, a sense of empowerment and healing from a life time of asking myself, ‘why am I not enough?’ Because now I am journeying down the road of believing in myself and that yes.. I am enough.
Katya, you are changing lives one woman at a time and I am so lucky to have someone like you in my life.
Katya is simply amazing. She made me feel so beautiful. I enjoyed every moment of my session. I loved the attention to detail and professionalism. She is indeed very talented. The studio looks awesome. It is very inviting and welcoming. I loved feeling very empowered.