03.16.17 { CAMERA-AWARE OR VULNERABILITY? }

I’m having a full-circle moment today as I’ve been meditating on vulnerability. It’s something I’ve always struggled with. Not because I don’t think I can be vulnerable. But because I feel like I ALWAYS AM. When it comes to love, I find myself with zero grey areas. Either I feel that my walls are comfortably up or I could be destroyed at any moment for how far I’ve let myself get into the middle of the ocean. My heart doesn’t live in the middle-ground.

But when it comes to my work as a Boudoir photographer, the same truth applies. And I’ve noticed it in a lot of images I’ve seen (from wherever/whomever). Why do I resonate with some images and not with others? Why is some work just… BETTER? Well….

There’s a reason the world fell in love with Marilyn Monroe in a different way than they fell in love with women like Jayne Mansfield. Vulnerability.

There’s a BIG difference between camera-aware and photographer-engaged.

I loved Marilyn from a very early age but it wasn’t until I decided to do my high school history term paper on the her and her influence that I realized exactly how tragic her childhood was and how that was visible in every aspect of her becoming a star. Of course she was beautiful. Of course she was wildly intelligent. But the most integral part of her stardom was her openness.

Her childhood left her with a gaping wound. She was so innocent, so abused, so taken advantage of… but she remained open because she had no choice. She just wanted to be loved. Her vulnerability was born from so much pain, so much brokenness that no one should have to suffer. And then she turned it into a beautiful way to connect to humanity.

That kind of intense vulnerability is what is so clearly seen in nearly every photograph of her. The possibility of approval… the possibility of being good enough… the possibility of love were things she was desperate for, understandably so. And so when we see a photograph of her, we’re not seeing a woman doing a job. We’re seeing a woman, trying to be loved. Her spirit showed up. Fully. Openly. With hope. With desire. With a kind of rawness, that easily overcame a brutal hair-bleaching & styling routine and thick makeup. Her soul was right there. Almost palpable.

So when I see portraits, especially of boudoir, I can’t help but notice the feeling. It’s different. Yes, the subject is inherently vulnerable in the situation, but they’re not vulnerable to the photographer/camera. They’re afraid. Some part of them holds back. They’re VERY aware of the camera. And it’s so easy to see. Even if the ‘pose’ is somewhat relaxed, you can truly feel how aware they are of the camera and how the wall they hold doesn’t allow them to be truly engaged. And then the viewer… however subtly they sense it, can feel the blankness. There’s a cold feeling in a subject that is ‘camera aware’. The subject may be holding our breath and we may briefly respond in kind. They may have tense shoulders or stiff hands and we may, just for a second, tense our own bodies. If nothing else, there is a difference in the energy. We may appreciate the photo, some of us who aren’t ready for the deep feelings of vulnerability may even GUSH over the photo. But if you really look, if you really try to FEEL it, the difference is, their soul isn’t inviting us in.

There are millions of ‘pretty’ pictures out there… maybe ‘sexy’ even. But the only true beauty comes from being vulnerable. And THAT only comes once in a lifetime from someone like Marilyn, OR from a photographer being able to touch that part of your soul. Entice it. Seduce it. Pull it forward…. enough to make your body & energy believe it is safe. Enough to where you are no longer in a ‘pose’, but you are fully present. Enough to where you no longer feel you’re being photographed, but being SEEN.

This is my mission.

The Art of Being Seen.

CAMERA-AWARE OR VULNERABILITY?

07.04.15 { SUNSET & CURRENTS }

It is always the most magical way to end a photo shoot. The light will always be beautiful… but you never know EXACTLY what it will look like until the moment it happens. The beach in San Francisco can be…. quite a trek depending on where we are the City and how much traffic there is. You truly don’t have a way to know what you’ll find when the time comes. So, like any other shoot, we go on intuition. We plan the day organically and where we end up is where we end up.

We hit locations from her own backyard to the beach and everything in between. And when we arrived… magic.












Photography, Wardrobe Styling & Art Direction by Danielle Fletcher.
Hair & Makeup by Maria Chang of Professional Makeup Artistry

04.06.15 { ROADSIDE MAGIC }

Following the STYLE + Soul Workshop in Napa, I spent the day with my sweet friend, Jahnavi (straight hair), who had flown down from Oregon to be my ‘model’ and my incredible Workshop attendee, Maria (curly hair), who came out from Pennsylvania and made us ALL feel at home in the private Villa by making us delicious homemade breakfasts each day. Can you come back, Maria?

The day happened totally organically & spontaneously, as the three of us realized we all had free time until the evening (the other attendees had already left). So I brought all my boudoir wardrobe and worked some beauty magic in the parking lot of Target ;)

We went for lunch and drove down the Silverado Trail… and then… magic. As it always happens with my photo shoots, there is something on the side of the road, a certain light, a certain feeling, a certain structure etc. that catches my eye. We spun around and I quickly pulled some wardrobe & accessories together for them and we had a ton of fun in the few minutes we were in this little slice of Napa heaven.

And yes, it’s pretty clear these two amazing women have a little love thing goin’ on. So I exploited it. :)

Hair/Makeup/Wardrobe/Photography by Danielle Fletcher

For info on booking your own shoot, click {HERE}
For info on booking a one-on-one mentor session, click {HERE}

napa boudoir
napa boudoir
napa boudoir
napa boudoir
napa boudoir
napa boudoir
napa boudoir
napa boudoir
napa boudoir
napa boudoir
napa boudoir
napa boudoir
napa boudoir

11.10.14 { THE MAGIC OF ABANDON }

I didn’t know when I moved from my beloved Sonoma County to the SF Peninsula that I would feel so… alone. I didn’t know that a 90 minute drive meant losing so much. We can’t usually predict feeling kind of abandoned. But the story I’d told myself my whole life about me being a ‘loner’ was feeling more & more real. Being somewhere new after 30 put me in a unique position to either create myself and my life almost entirely from scratch… or just drift along, hoping for someone to help me create it.

I met this gorgeous woman one day at her little day-spa space and immediately felt a connection and a sense of relief. Her spirit, her sassiness, her openness, her caring and her no-holds-barred brand of girl talk was like an oasis. I’m so grateful she wanted to do this shoot with me.

I took her WAY out of her comfort zone with her styling and she was a typical, fabulous client and let me do whatever I wanted. She wasn’t used to the clothes or the hair/makeup we did but she was ALL in and was excited to do something different and fresh. I love exploring deeper into women’s personas when it comes to styling and this is such a beautiful example.

And so here she is… representing a little piece of my heart & imagination… turning feeling abandoned into some beautiful magic.

boudoir photography desert
boudoir photography desert
boudoir photography desert
boudoir photography desert
boudoir photography desert
boudoir photography desert
boudoir photography desert
boudoir photography desert
boudoir photography desert
boudoir photography desert

Art Direction, Wardrobe Styling & Photography by Danielle Fletcher
Hair/Makeup by Misty Spinney

02.05.14 { COUTURE IN THE MIST }

This stunning gown in the closet of my client was calling my name from the other room… it fit her like a dream… diaphanous, regal, royal & of course, sexy. My favorite thing about full day shoots is the ability to shoot a little bit like a fashion photographer instead of focusing on ONE thing. The day of this shoot we did a 70′s couture look in front of marble fireplace, a simple & bare look in the bedroom, a sexy high-fashion lingerie look with a long 70′s fro’ in her ultra cool skylight-lit hallway, this darling dress in a meadow and one tiny add-on look on the street in front of her house that was reminiscent of 1950′s Havana. Long summer days for photographing are the best!

COUTURE IN THE MIST
COUTURE IN THE MIST