06.06.16

THE CONSEQUENCES OF BEING SEEN

These past few months have been pretty raw. And I didn’t have the desire or energy to try and decide who I would tell what to, how many filters I would be switching through & how open I could be. So I just decided to be real.

I set 99% of my Facebook posts to ‘Public’. I talk about dating and my inner erotic creature (& how I found her)… I talk about being weirdly happy about silly things, and I talk about being anxious/pissed/scared/sad when I am. I don’t wonder what ‘other people’ are going to think… seriously, only my friends are truly paying attention and if ‘other people’ happen to actually care & think I’m strange…. GO me. But what I wasn’t prepared for was doing this AND being a woman in this Patriarchal culture. Being open like this is totally new to me. But it felt completely natural, and it still does. The issue I find myself running into is…. condescension. Mostly from men (sorry guys). When, for instance, I would post about a hilarious & kind of pathetic online dating incident…. I would receive REALLY cliche & obvious ‘life advice’.

The responses to those stories range from ‘You should get offline, all those sites are just going to lead to X’, to ‘When you stop looking, it’s true, that’s when it happens!’ to ‘Don’t spend so much time worrying about finding someone, just be happy with who you are’. You guys. Seriously. The list goes on and on. A plethora of ‘Just do ___’ and ‘You should ____’….

Essentially… advice you would give a young teenage daughter. Of your OWN.

Not advice you would give to a 30-something woman with HUGE Life-transforming personal work under her belt. The things I’ve learned, the tools I have, the experiences I’ve gotten through places like Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts and through working with Jaiya Ma, a somatic sexologist, would BLOW their little minds. And yet, I am seen as an inexperienced, scared/lost little girl who needs a man to tell her ‘Everything will be okay’. Hmm… You know what? I kind of love that.

I love men. Love, Love, LOVE them. What an incredibly sweet gesture… to see a woman in ‘pain’ and offer her what you have… even if what you have is 4th Grade Life Advice. Oh, did I mention I’m a Brat? I should’ve, sorry ;) But it’s the truth. I see the masculine in his earnest desire to ‘fix’. And I have nothing but love for it. Okay, a BUTTLOAD of frustration & wanting to smack him, but THEN, nothing but love. Because, you know what? I AM really inexperienced! I’ve actually never really dated before! So my honesty about where I’m at is big and open and visible and that’s okay. When it comes to dating, I pretty much AM like a baby teenager.

But here’s the catch… I’m SO NOT. I won’t say I’ve lived a very big life up until now (there is SO much traveling that needs to happen you guys!!) but I will say that I am proud to be an Awakened Woman. I am an Empath. I am a Goddess. I am a Lover. I am a Friend. I am well versed in claiming my emotions, right where I am and not apologizing for them. I claim what I want. I claim what I don’t. I know how to protect my energy. I know how to hold space. I know how to break down. I know how to stand up. And I know that my choices are mine alone and don’t have to make sense to anyone else. When I say I am caught in self-loathing… I mean it. I own it. And I don’t need someone saying ‘Just try to come from a place of Gratitude’. Baby, I grew up watching Oprah, you sound like 25 years ago to me. But OH HOW I THANK YOU, you sweet, caring man!

I know seeing someone in pain or going through something is difficult. Uncomfortable. Even painful for the masculine. You want me to change course immediately, maybe even to soothe your own discomfort. And I so get that. But I just wanted to let you know… I am just being open. I am just saying out loud what millions of people are going through and maybe not saying out loud. I have just decided to let myself be seen. I will continue to own where I’m at, every step of the way. I will continue to walk with my eyes open… into triumph, into brokenness, into the deep dark swamp of anger or sadness, and into the sun again. Over and over. Like the wildly imperfect female human that I am. And if you want to be there, if you are called to care and soothe and comfort… just let me know you see me. Right where I am. And you support me feeling exactly what I am. And you love me, exactly as I am.

04.28.16

CIGARETTES, SEX, & A SNEAK PEEK

I’m a smoker in my dreams. And to this day, I’ve never smoked a cigarette. But…

When I was really young (about 6 or 7 I think), I went outside and collected a couple cigarette butts that my neighbor, Mary Lou, discarded. And I hid them under my bed.

Now, I definitely never lit them and I don’t even think I put one in my mouth. But I took them. I wanted them. I somehow knew that part of my persona was this… badass. Not even a rebel. Rebels tried to get a rush from doing something they thought was ‘forbidden’. But I didn’t want it to be forbidden. I just wanted to BE.

Of course my mother had an attack… I think she might’ve believed that I’d smoked them. Which I remember being confounded by. As she was screaming at me, pushing me to confess what I’d done… I remember thinking ‘That’s GROSS! Why would I put this in my mouth and light it? I’m a KID! It was in the GUTTER!’ Turns out… she thought what I’d done was heinous enough, just storing them under my bed, and I’m sure it scared her. That she had a daughter that had it in her to think about cigarettes so seriously that she’d pick them up from the street, used. But the truth is, I had no desire to actually smoke. And the practice still seems a little silly to me. I didn’t want to smoke. But… I wanted to be a smoker. And yes, there’s a difference.

What I’ve learned over the past 18 months about myself, mainly due to working with the incredible Jaiya Ma (somatic sexologist/educator/mentor/coach) has been a process of discovering so many awesomely fun things, but more than that, it was a process of coming back to myself. But in a way that was brand new. I recognized these truths about myself that have ALWAYS been there, so clearly, but I’d denied them for so long because of the relationship I was in. I was never asked to be a different person. I was never asked to tamp down my traits. But it’s what I did. And I had to learn the hard way.

When I do a Boudoir or Brand Shoot… it’s not just about creating something ‘pretty’. It’s not about putting together a perfect-looking scene of glamour & posing or a sitting outside in a fancy outfit, drinking a cappuccino at a Cafe you’ve never been to. It’s about BEING. Yes, I help style wardrobe and yes, I’ve got my hair & makeup artist with me… but it’s not to help you fool people into thinking you’re this particular persona…. it’s to put an exclamation point on the reality of YOU.

When I learned, accepted, and embraced these traits about myself… that I have a dark, feminine persona, that I SHOULD be buying mostly black clothes, that I love to sway and shake my ass to a heavy, down-beat dub-step-style song, that when I do my makeup, the darker & smudgier my eyes, the better, that I prefer rough textures (in some things) over smooth, that I prefer a thud or a scratch on my skin over a gliding touch or a sting, that I can bring out my brattiness… and it can be SUCH a good thing!… and so many more big truths… when I did that, I was even more sure of my purpose with my work. That it’s about finding your core traits and magnifying them.

My Personality Brand clients get to explore the depths. And I get to go with them. We get to play with all the different facets of their life and show them, maybe for the first time, to the world. The process of owning every piece, from leader to lover to friend, daughter, mother, marathoner, couch potato. From calm yogi to emotional outpours, from green smoothies to bottles of wine. They’re ALL beautiful. They’re all perfect. Because they’re all REAL.

With Boudoir, I get to play. I get to create something from my fantasy rather than pure reality. Beauty is found in that process so magnetically and magically. Playing in different arenas in my Boudoir work doesn’t just feed my desire to create & fulfill what I know is truly ME… it often sparks my client to remember who SHE is also. And sometimes, discover who she is for the first time. Watching a woman’s eyes grow wide with recognition of how this vision that I’ve created with them feels so TRUE? Nothing more incredible than that moment. She may tell me she never would’ve discovered that on her own. That she never would’ve worn ‘this’ or done her hair & makeup like ‘that’ and that she feels truly alive. In a way she never expected and doesn’t know how to process yet. That she feels sparked, supported, excited. Truly SEEN.

And that’s what it’s all about. Whether you are a dream-smoker, a rock-climber, a musician, a sex-geek, a wanderer, a guide, a fighter, a facilitator or a fairy…. there’s no more important place to start than by simply BEING.

Welcome to my yet-to-be-unveiled new website & new movement….

01.06.16

THE TRUTH BEHIND THE LENS

YES she was really driving at about 50mph. And YES I also sat on the top of the passenger door while she was driving…. good times.

Check out More fun from my shoot with Molly Mahar, of StrateJoy…

https://www.instagram.com/p/BAN-Ib-FEgw/?taken-by=daniellefletcherstyle

https://www.instagram.com/p/BAI9JrmlEol/?taken-by=daniellefletcherstyle

07.07.15

BY THE DESERT BY THE WATER

I love this little corner of the earth… I love that it allows me to feel the magic of dust & weeds & water & birds & the most incredible, soul spearing light at sunset.

Styling Dira, I felt my heart bursting… it was exactly what I wanted and exactly how I felt. Dark and light. Witchy and magical. Seductive and innocent.

Shooting Fashion Boudoir in the great outdoors never ceases to bring the emotion up and up and up. And that’s just how I like it ;)

outdoor fashion boudoir photography
outdoor fashion boudoir photography
outdoor fashion boudoir photographyoutdoor fashion boudoir photography
outdoor fashion boudoir photography
outdoor fashion boudoir photography

Hair & Makeup by Misty Spinney

07.06.15

SURRENDER TO IT

Art imitates Life for me.

As an artist who likes to have her creative hand in every piece of my photo shoots… and as a ‘nope, not good enough yet’ girl (I hesitate to say ‘Perfectionist’ because… i don’t know, it just doesn’t feel right) I have come to know the feeling of self doubt and questioning myself REALLY well. Lately, a few people in my life have been pushing me to get over myself and SURRENDER. To the process. To what will be. To my intuition. To looking like a fool. To being afraid. To going for it.

And it’s so funny that that is exactly what I do for my clients on their photo shoot. Once I grasp an idea or get a vision, I bring them to the point of surrender. Because they’re not models. Because it’s scary. Because my Boudoir style is pretty Edgy sometimes. Because they can’t know what’s in my head. Because they trust me. Because it’s up to me to make their shoot everything I can see in my head. Or, to put it in Cowboy vernacular… to ride them hard and put them away WET. Which… it seems, more often than not, is LITERALLY what I do. Well… just the wet part. I’m heavy, I can’t ride them like a horse.

So… what did it take to get the stellar Isabel Foxen Duke to surrender to having water dumped all over her? Nothing more than a ‘OHHHH!!! I know what we’re doing!’ and a wicked laugh. She screamed to high heaven but… she trusted me to do my thing. So that’s exactly what I did.

edgy boudoir photography
edgy boudoir photography
edgy boudoir photography
edgy boudoir photography
edgy boudoir photography
edgy boudoir photography
edgy boudoir photography
edgy boudoir photography
edgy boudoir photography

Makeup by Misty Spinney
Water by Me & Misty (provided by Fiji, ha)