- by Suzanne Caines
A Moment In The Life Of A 55-Year-Old First-Time Supermodel...
So, just so we’re clear, I’m not exactly the boudoir kinda gal. I don’t have a lot of lingerie, nor do particularly like photos that focus on my body, with or without a lot of clothes on it. In fact, sometimes I think that pictures that are trying to be sexy are anything but. Nonetheless, when Bruce and I began talking about this new aspect of his old business, we both thought it would be good for me to “preview” the experience our company was offering.
Hence a photoshoot was born.
Now I’m not gonna say that I was terribly enthusiastic about this modeling endeavor and when he suggested we do the whole thing--make-up artist and all--I actually felt a little dread creeping in. Again, I wear a little eye-liner and lipstick on the daily, but I’m a less-is-more person on this front and the thought of someone fawning over me with a chestful of cosmetic products was slightly overwhelming.
But, then this happened. Ana, a gorgeous young woman from Romania sat me down, in a bright room a few doors away from our boudoir studio, gave me a little glass of prosecco and started working on evening out my skin-tones and highlighting my eyes. She was funny and engaging and explained what she was doing. In fact, I actually wrote down some of the products she used, because unlike what I thought was going to happen, I actually looked more like the self I see in the mirror--sans the age spots. I still had the little wrinkles around my eyes, which I believe give me character, but my eyelashes looked long and dark and the colors she used on my eyelids made my eyes sparkle. She straightened and styled my hair a bit and brushed my skin with a little magic powder that made it glow. And, it was fun. She seemed interested in me and I could tell that she worked hard to follow my lead and respect my sensibilities. Now, to be honest, we didn’t do a ton of make-up on that day, but what we did do made me feel great. You know the feeling you get when you come out of the salon with a really good blow-out, that’s how I felt.
And then, I entered the boudoir photo studio.
And the light was gorgeous. Even though I’d looked at this space a dozens times in the weeks prior, it felt so different, so soft and inviting. My husband, who, by the way, is one of the funniest people I know, suggested that we start with some photos by the window and he explained how he wanted me to pose. And even though I felt slightly awkward at first, soon we were laughing and I felt so beautiful and encouraged that before long I was fairly certain that these photos would be the launch of my much-delayed supermodel career. (I can hear our daughters laughing aloud at this.)
Anyway, soon into this experience, I realized that my husband is a total professional. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know...he’s my husband. Of course I knew that he was a photographer and that he had been shooting beautiful, artful pictures of models and portraits of famous people over many decades, but I didn’t really understand how much there is to it. Directing regular people, like me, in a way that not only makes them feel confident and beautiful, but also highlights their best features, and obscures their flaws, is a real talent. Bruce encouraged me to pose in ways that I thought might be good, but then directed me so that his shots captured my best physical qualities with flattering angles, and perfect light on my skin. More importantly, though, the photos we shot that day revealed my positive energy and reminded me of the woman I always want to see in the mirror. Hundreds of shots and two wardrobe changes later, we had so many gorgeous photos that I didn’t want to stop looking at them. I also had a brand new appreciation of what an experience like this can do for a woman’s spirit.