Last year, we wrote a blog post about our friend and talented photographer Erin Mitchell, The Delusionist. You can read it here. What follows
Belinda Rowell – When I first approached Erin about doing a photo shoot that was focused on women our age and the confidence necessary to get in front of the camera, I instantly got butterflies in my stomach with the thought that she might actually agree. Erin loved the idea, accepted the offer and left me wondering if I would be able to actually do this – pose for pictures for the world to see. All that kept running through my head was all my flaws and how I try very hard to keep them hidden. I mean, what would people think? I can’t show them the real me, can I? Now don’t laugh, but I actually considered asking a friend to take my place, so I didn’t have to go through with it. Then my wiser voice spoke up saying “why are you worried what people will think, so what if some judge you, stop worrying about the rest of the world… this is for you”.
Erin started the process by getting to know me, asking questions about my feelings, what my life is like and what makes me tick. She recommended different photo ideas and options to consider. After that, I went home, opened up Pinterest and started a board with all the poses that spoke to me. I sent those over to Erin and she took it from there. I borrowed clothes from a friend, packed up my props and even did my own makeup and hair. Erin was ready for me when I arrived, and we immediately got busy taking pictures. At first, I was as nervous as a whore in church. I told Erin how I didn’t feel relaxed and she listened to my concerns, talked me through it and it wasn’t long before I felt comfortable, so much so that towards the end of the shoot I didn’t want to stop!
I could not be happier with the way my pictures turned out and as is my husband (wink). This experience was freeing, gave me confidence and now I have pictures that I can look back on that make me feel good about myself. I can’t thank Erin enough and I can’t wait to do it again!
Michelle Berryhill – Over the years I occasionally thought about having boudoir photos taken of myself. With my 50th birthday approaching, I decided to do it. During the initial meeting with Erin, she spent time getting to know my personality and interests and to find out any ideas I had for the photoshoot. I knew I wanted to be outside in a natural setting, although the thought of taking photos in a public place practically clothes less made me a bit uneasy. However, Erin made the entire experience very pleasant, even fun! We met at an arboretum early on a Saturday morning to avoid large groups of people. She talked me through each pose while offering positive, empowering affirmations to help me relax and feel secure (honestly, a glass of wine probably would have helped as well!). I recommend bringing along a couple of girlfriends for personal assistance and support. It is helpful to have someone fix flyaway hair, powder a shiny face and offer encouragement. I am very pleased with my decision to celebrate my femininity with photos of myself and for choosing Erin to make it happen.
Miranda Sevcik- I loved working with Erin because she understood my vision of a goddess coming out of the water. This is an image that resonated with me due to my love of swimming and the ocean. After exchanging images that appealed to us by email, I felt she had the right direction in mind for our shoot. I offered to add mermaid-like hair extensions and Erin agreed it would add to the fantasy. She requested I wear a lacy bra that I was comfortable in as the camera can easily pick up on discomfort or insecurity. Erin brought a long, red wraparound skirt and headdress. The ensemble really popped against the canvas backdrop she draped behind the front step of my pool.
Into the water I went and thankfully Erin was there to help me find “my angles”, the poses that best complimented my body type. Erin was also great at giving divine motivations for the facial expressions she wanted to see in the shot, like “you are a water goddess, emerging from your bed to watch the sunrise in the East”.
Erin made all the insecurity and fear that the pictures would reflect that one diet cheat day that lasted a week, or not having done those last ten setups this morning. “I believe women are at their most beautiful in the present. We can’t control our future, who knows what will happen to us? I like to celebrate the beauty of my subjects right now,” says Erin. “I also am no photoshop surgeon. Besides some minor tweaks, I want the pictures I take to look like the women posing in them. I want to bring out their natural beauty in a fantasy-like setting.”
I loved the way my images turned out and I recommend every woman embrace her beauty and celebrate how she looks right now too!