Luxury Portraits has the absolute privilege of witnessing true love and beauty on a daily basis when photographing wonderful couples in Brisbane.
Any our couples are not models…they are real people who love each other and have an enduring beauty.
So we asked the question – What exactly is beauty?
The conclusion we came up with after reading many of our Facebook posts and interviewing some of our clients is simply this.
Beauty is individual, it has many meanings, it is found at the core of every loving relationship …and true beauty is something to be embraced and celebrated. Yet the idea of what is beautiful is different around the world and has even changed throughout history.
While our mainstream media seems to have a narrow view of what beauty is – young, slim and often photo shopped to ‘perfection’ – many countries around the world celebrate the true womanly form – all curves and not a straight line in sight! Some of the greatest artists in history also celebrated the voluptuous woman as a figure representing fertility, sensuality, nurturing and love.
Peter Paul Rubens’, Europe’s leading Baroque painter, even inspired an adjective we still use today ‘Rubenesque’, for his preference for plump, voluptuous women.
Skinny women were to be pitied, were seen as being from the peasant classes, and certainly weren’t worth immortalising in paintings. Not only are larger,curvaceous women beautiful to paint, they are also beautiful to photograph.
We photographed the most wonderful couple a few weeks ago, Jason and his beautiful wife Christina, who has the most luminous skin, thick, lustrous hair and womanly, curvaceous body. Jason had won one of our promotions and was excited about the prospect of capturing some beautiful imagery of his new wife, who he was obviously besotted with.
His wife, Christina, was less than convinced, having battled low self esteem over her weight for a number of years. When Christina met Jason four years ago, she was relatively slim, but after the excitement of a new relationship and the arrival of their beautiful baby Christina found the weight creeping on.
For Jason, Christina’s weight is completely irrelevant, and he often tells her he fell in love with far more than just her dress size!
Christina however, won’t even hold Jason’s hand in public because she doesn’t want to embarrass him! How funny – had Christina lived in Ruben’s day, no doubt she would have felt truly beautiful! When I asked Christina why she feels this way, she explained that the constant barrage of images representing perfect, young slim women gets her down. “Society idolises youth and perfection. Even models, who are naturally beautiful, are airbrushed. You rarely see larger women in magazine fashion spreads, so even if you like the clothes, you’re unlikely to buy them because you can’t imagine how they’d look on a larger person. It can be demoralising – it’s as though women above a certain weight don’t exist – although the average Australian woman is a size 14.” Christina also felt apprehensive about the photo shoot, because she felt all the couples she’d seen on our facebook page and website were ‘beautiful and seemed to be really confident.’ Christina’s apprehension however, melted away after speaking to the Julie and the girls before the photo shoot. “They explained everything to me – and reassured me that I wouldn’t have to do anything I wasn’t comfortable with. They really took the time to explain the whole process, so I knew what to expect when we got there,” said Christina.
Christina said the actual photo shoot was fun from the moment her and Jason got there. “We just laughed the whole time. Julie just has a way about her that relaxes you – Jason had an absolute ball! I felt myself agreeing to some shots that I never thought I’d do – but it’s all just so natural and easy – and fun! Three precious hours without the kids – both of us had a ball.” Christina and Jason are both thrilled with the photographs and invested in an album. “Every…and I mean every, shot Julie took was stunning. And the most wonderful part? It’s me – I’m not disguised under two inches of makeup! Julie has created the most beautiful photographs of me.
The way she positions you, the lighting, her use of shadowing…it’s just so beautiful. Plus, all my imperfections like stretch marks– Julie has just retouched them away!” Christina has received wonderful feedback from her friends and family.
“Jason loves the photos, particularly some of them, but so do a lot of my friends! They keep telling me how beautiful I look – it has been a huge confidence boost. And you know – I never really felt ugly when I looked at myself
– I know I weigh too much, but I also know Jason loves me unconditionally.
He’s so strong and romantic – I feel beautiful in his arms.
These photos have captured this feeling forever.
I’m so lucky to have unconditional love from the man I consider my soul mate…how could you not feel beautiful?”