Nature is ingrained in our primal beings. We feel the intrinsic pull to be out into nature. Our bodies change with seasons, the rise and fall of the sun, the pull of the moon, and the weather. It is no wonder that city dwelling is linked to a rise in anxiety and mental disorders. We are not meant to be surrounded by concrete, polluted air, and white noise. The Douglas Mental Health University Institute at McGill University in Canada set out to figure out why our bodies respond positivity to nature and can take a detrimental turn in the city. They used functional magnetic resonance imaging to monitor the brains of 32 healthy adults.Those who lived in the city had increased activity in the amygdala part of the brain, which controls emotions such as fear. They also noted that people who lived in the city the first 15 years of their life had increased activity in their pregenual anterior cingulate cortex, which regulates the amygdala. Those who grew up in the city had a greater sensitivity to stress. Of course, there are other factors that play a role in the amount to stress and anxiety in ones city living life. It depends on the individuals ability to cope with city life and have control over their internal responses to external circumstances.
This is where nature comes into play. If a city dweller has access to nature they are less likely to develop mental illnesses and anxiety. A published research study found that people who took a 90 minute walk in nature versus a walk in the city showed lower levels of rumination. It also showed reduced neural activity in the subgenus prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain linked to risk of depression and anxiety. Other research shows that even viewing images of nature activates the brain associated with empathy. People would start to care more about others and the world around them versus viewing urban scenes which triggered blood flow to the fear associated amygdala. This fear causes anxiety and an emotional vortex.
Taking a quick nature retreat may provide physical and mental reprieve from the hectic urban settings. Another study (International Journal of Environmental Research and Publish Health) focused on the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. These systems handle the stress either triggered by “fight or flight response”, or by enhancing feelings of calmness. Sensors were worn to track their heart rates and other functions when viewing green images or urban spaces. The images were shown before and after a difficult math exam, designed to raise stress levels. When green images were seen after the math test, the parasympathetic nervous system was activated and lowered the heart rate.
Of course there all the other benefits of nature I have mentioned in past blog posts. When anxiety is decreased then our physical bodies benefit. Nature improves focus, boosts creativity, leads to better workouts (levels of the stress hormone cortisol are lower when exercising outdoors verses indoors), and less pain and better sleep. Without good sleep our brain and body begin to shut down and are dysfunctional. When we are dysfunctional, anxiety will build due to poor performance in our work, studies, and personal life.
Okay ladies, lets be real. If I earned a dollar for every time I heard a woman give an endless string of reasons why she shouldn’t do a boudoir shoot, I wouldn’t even NEED to be a photographer! I would be rich just off those excuses! I am going to break down the top reasons why women don’t do a boudoir shoot and why it’s all bullshit in my opinion.
Number one reason, “I need to lose weight first.” I get it. Believe me. Before my very first boudoir shoot I went to the gym every day, drank lots of water, ate healthy, the works. And you know what, I looked amazing in my images! But that didn’t keep me from scheduling my shoot to begin with. It gave me something to look forward to, to work towards. It was a good goal to keep me motivated to stay healthy and work out. Besides all that, there is something very beautiful about being okay with where you are at right now, still striving for healthier choices, but also having an acceptance with your body right this moment. It is all on you for self-acceptance. It is my job to document it so you can be reminded of who you are in this moment. And that is beauty, ladies.
Women think they need a special reason for a boudoir shoot. Let me share a secret, YOU DON’T! Boudoir is for YOU and you only. Sure having a spouse or significant other to share those images with is nice, but this shoot is for you! Let me take you back to why I chose boudoir, OUTDOOR boudoir, as my niche! Boudoir images are a tool. They are an end result to remind you of something, to remind you of your experience. I use nature and boudoir as a tool for women to be more present in their lives, to learn their purpose, and start living with intention. Being surround by nature, quieting the mind, helps with that. These boudoir images are a simple beautiful piece of art work to remind you of your purpose and the beautiful person you truly are. It is an experience all on its own and you do not need an excuse or special reason to book!
Here is another one I hear all the time, I am not sexy or I am more of a tomboy. Hey guess what, I am a tomboy too! Like I said above, my type of boudoir isn’t necessarily about being sexy in lingerie or putting your ass in the air to seduce the viewer. It is a tool. It is a tool used to portray you! Whether you are typical sex pin-up vixen or the girl who feels more comfortable in a t-shirt and jeans, a boudoir shoot will uncover aspects of yourself that will surprise you. Women are multifaceted. It is life changing. You will see yourself differently. You will be more courageous, more bold and THAT is sexy! Plus, who said that lingerie was the only thing that looked sexy? Wear your favorite white t-shirt and jump in the springs! That leather jacket you love to wear, the one that makes you feel like a total badass…. Wear that!
Here is a reason I can greatly sympathize with. I can’t afford it. Like most people I can definitely relate to having a budget. Many boudoir photographers will say this is a luxury service and not a necessity. I disagree. Boudoir is a transformative experience all on its own. Now boudoir in nature, that is life changing. Combining the healing powers of nature, it’s special power to calm the mind and bring self-awareness with the confident vulnerability of having your photograph taken is altering. It can alter your career, your world outlook, your relationships, your purpose in this world. Outdoor boudoir is a form of self-love and SELF-LOVE IS A NECESSITY. We are often stressed, juggling multiple things and with that stress comes unhealthy habits. We get stuck in a fog, a vortex of to-do lists, never slowing down. It can start to affect our health. Get back to the basics of nature and listen to what you really need. If a life-altering, transformative experience is a priority to you, if your health is a priority to you, then you can most definitely afford it.
Some women are fearful of what others will think of them if they do a boudoir shoot. You have to ask yourself, Who is this experience for? A confident woman is not worried about what others will think of her. An inspirational woman is a trail blazer. She is a leader. Whether she is a CEO or an inspirational leader to her children at home. Sure there are fears, but feel the fear and do it anyway. Fuck what others will think! Because you know what? They don’t have to know about it! This is 100% your own experience. You do not have to share it unless you want to. I will not share it unless you sign a consent form. This is yours and yours only.
Below are just a few more reason I hear:
I don’t know how to do my own hair and makeup. The answer is simple, hire a hair and makeup artist!
I don’t have anything to wear. Jump in the spring with your plain white t-shirt! Wrap up in a fuzzy blanket. Pair a lace tank top with undies. Or the cheapest outfit of all, go nude!
The point is if you are truly interested in this experience, then you will overcome any fears and excuses you come up with. Break through the bullshit and do it for yourself!
Ready to experience something for yourself?