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      August 2, 2019

      Body Positive Boudoir Photography with Alicia

      BOUDOIR

      Body positive boudoir photography with Alicia of Austin by Eduardo Vega Colon, a photographer based in Houston, Texas.

      Sometimes, when we feel we’ve lost our power that sense of helplessness could manifest in a wide variety of ways. In this post, I will share my experience of working with Alicia. She helped me bring more into focus the importance of a body positive boudoir photo shoot as part of a therapeutic process that helps women take back control of their body’s and the way they see themselves.

      Boudoir Photography with a Purpose

      When I decided to become a boudoir photographer back in 2013 I knew I wanted my work to focus on body positivity.

      When I moved from New York to Texas in 2015 I had to rebuild my portfolio and wanted to work with models who understood the importance of body positivity.

      Young woman standing along Congress Avenue in Austin Texas for Glamour Photography photo shoot. Paramount Theatre marquee in the backdrop.

      Alicia of Austin

      When I met first met Alicia she was recovering from an eating disorder. At one point it was so severe that she almost lost her fight. She had answered my model call on Facebook. She wasn’t looking to become a professional model. Answering the model call was something that would help build her sense of self-esteem. It would be a valid part of the therapeutic process that would lead to self-acceptance. It would affirm she was fine the way she was.

      The Interview

      Meeting a model for the first time is like an interview. We ask each other questions. We share some personal history. Most of all, we come to an understanding of a vision for a photo shoot.

      I shared with her why I chose boudoir photography and that I was like her, fighting to get better. She went on to share details about her personal life and I began to think of sunflowers.

      The Sunflower

      Glamour Photography photo shoot with young woman posing in front of Ai Weiwei's Forever Bicycles in Austin Texas for Glamour Photography photo shoot.

      I first read the poem, Sunflower Sutra by Allen Ginsberg, while on deployment for the Persian Gulf War. It helped me understand how dehumanizing it can be to feel like a utility or a part of some machine, which I was. What Alicia shared helped me understand that she too had been made to feel less than human.

      There is a line that states:

      You were never no locomotive, Sunflower, you were a sunflower!

      Dignity and Esteem

      No matter the amount of grime covering the sunflower in the poem, it was still a sunflower and it was beautiful.

      I wanted to show Alicia she was never whatever she’d been made to feel about herself. Like the sunflower, she will always be beautiful.

      The vision of our first session was to get her to see past all that grime her sense of self-image made her feel.

      Body Positivity through Empowerment

      For our first session, I wanted her to touch on her power and understand it. There had always been some controlling force that made her feel she had no say in her life.

      So, we decided we were going to flip that around and have fun at the same time. She wanted to dress as if she’d been out all night and didn’t care. As an adult woman, it was her choice.

      We met on Congress Avenue in Austin before sunrise and began our glamour photo shoot.

      Young woman standing along Congress Avenue in Austin Texas for Glamour Photography photo shoot. Paramount Theatre marquee in the backdrop.

      Young woman standing along Congress Avenue in Austin Texas for Glamour Photography photo shoot. Paramount Theatre marquee in the backdrop.

      The First Step in Taking Control

      Afterward, Alicia came up with the idea of moving our photo shoot over to the sculpture, Forever Bicycles, by Ai Weiwei.

      She wanted to have a photograph taken of her asserting dominance over her personal space. She wanted to pose in a way that would make her feel like a superhero.

      Out of our entire photo shoot, this was the most important photograph for her.

      Glamour Photography photo shoot with young woman posing in front of Ai Weiwei's Forever Bicycles in Austin Texas for Glamour Photography photo shoot.

      It made her feel she was on her way to taking control of every other area of her life.

      Glamour Photography photo shoot with young woman posing in front of Ai Weiwei's Forever Bicycles in Austin Texas for Glamour Photography photo shoot.

      The Plan

      I have worked with Alicia several more times since our first photo shoot. Each time we would always talk about doing the big one. A boudoir photo shoot where she would confront and conquer her triggers.

      We spent considerable time brainstorming how to go about it. Months later Alicia decided she was ready. We found ourselves at a motel that would allow for our ideas for a boudoir photography session.

      Before executing our ideas she needed to build up to the moment. As we talked about her journey I was taking her picture.

      Young woman looking pensive in a hotel room during boudoir photo shoot with focus on body positivity where she's confronting triggers behind eating disorder.

      Confronting Her Fear

      Young woman looking pensive in a hotel room during boudoir photo shoot with focus on body positivity where she's confronting triggers behind eating disorder.

      Young woman looking pensive in a hotel room during boudoir photo shoot with focus on body positivity where she's confronting triggers behind eating disorder.

      Young woman looking pensive in a hotel room during boudoir photo shoot with focus on body positivity where she's confronting triggers behind eating disorder.

      The second half of our session involved Cheetos and a cupcake.

      A quick stop at Walmart before the photo shoot led to this.

      Body positive boudoir photography in Austin, Texas with woman resting on a bed of Cheetos and eating a cupcake. Victory!

      Body positive boudoir photography in Austin, Texas with woman resting on a bed of Cheetos and eating a cupcake. Victory!

      Body positive boudoir photography in Austin, Texas with woman resting on a bed of Cheetos and eating a cupcake. Victory!

      Body positive boudoir photography in Austin, Texas with woman resting on a bed of Cheetos and eating a cupcake. Victory!

      Body positive boudoir photography in Austin, Texas with woman resting on a bed of Cheetos and eating a cupcake. Victory!

      VICTORY!

      Body positive boudoir photography in Austin, Texas with woman resting on a bed of Cheetos and eating a cupcake. Victory!
      Body Positive Boudoir Photoshoot in Austin

      I was so happy to see this young woman laugh, and come to terms with her relationship with food.

      I am so proud of her.

      Alicia has become a wonderful friend who is always ready to assist me on photo shoots in Austin.

      My friend permitted me to share her story. She hopes it will help other women who may be battling, as she once did, and see, it doesn’t have to be like that.

      If you’re someone who is dealing with an eating disorder, first seek medical attention.

      Next, place yourself in some sort of therapeutic process.

      When you’re ready to contact me. I will be here should you chose to incorporate my vision in your journey.

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      Based in Houston, TX
      United States

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