Nude image of a woman photographed by Mark Laurie of Inner Spirit Photography studio in Calgary.

“I have never been one who appreciated body image for what it was. After having these photos taken, I see myself in a new light and for the first time can say that I am beautiful. I feel beautiful and as a single mom of four, no longer wish to change anything, because seeing myself this way..I am perfect just being me.” – Victoria

Body image is a funny thing. It effects so much of our approach to life – how we interact with the world and with those we love.

The sad thing is, we rarely see ourselves as we are or as others see us.

Have you seen the talk shows where they have several women go up and draw life size outlines of the shape they think they are? Then the host has them stand in the middle of the drawing and she redraws them accurately. It’s always a smaller outline.

There was also the experiment done by Dove where the women describe their face to a sketch artist. Then a stranger describes her face to the artist. When the two are shown to her, she is stunned by the difference.

The nude portrait (it can also be in lingerie) has the same effect. There is a bonus with the experience that comes with the session, as it holds revelations as well. The nude portrait explores not just what the body looks like, but how it expresses itself. The camera views the nude with an emotional lens, going from romantic, sensuous, sculpture, fitness, erotic, and even funny.

As you see the results emerging on the camera back preview screen, you can feel the image that you hold of yourself cracking until the pieces fall away. The mind instinctively knows when it is seeing the truth of your look, however much it is at odds with your belief of your look.

But it does not happen all at once. It’s not like a switch flips. It takes time to settle in. A 30 minute session will not do the trick. There is a flow that is needed, and it takes a bit of nerve to start the experience, the journey of discovery.

You need to spend a little time with your photographer, getting comfortable, exploring ideas. You need a transition from the real world into the magical world of the session. That is the makeup, hair, and refining plans. Then hours of a session. Building sets, changing poses, experimenting.

Then the unveil – the viewing – when it all comes real. Four feet by five feet of revelation. It often brings tears.

We don’t do the exotic alterations, just some minor polish. Knowing that is important.

Your portraits need to be real – need to be how those who love you see you, those close to you. They see you as more than the physical. They see you through the sheen of your personality. So no matter how skimpy your attire is, you see your self.

The shift in body image – owning it, appreciating it – becomes the result.

As friends comment, the confidence grows. The new image takes hold. It is very liberating, freeing. The bolder you go, the more effective the results are. It’s odd that it should work out that way. In fact, it seems odd that confronting your figure naturally should be the trick to redefining your opinion of it.

It may seem bizarre, but seeing ourselves and aligning our body image with how the world sees us, and how our lovers see us, completely upends our body image.

Empowers you.

It’s worth the challenge of overcoming the fears. We would love to be the studio you choose.

Posted by: Mark Laurie

World-renown photoartist Mark Laurie of Inner Spirit Photography specializes in Female Portraiture: nudes, boudoir, prenatal & fine art. His empowering images of women reveal their heart & soul.