An Insider Exclusive Look at The Voulez Vous Experience
It's Samantha here!
One may wonder, what does it really mean when we say "The Voulez Vous Experience '"?I have a unique perspective of what it's like to, both, work towards the mission of Voulez Vous and also be photographed by the woman behind it all.This week I am here to share my intimate photoshoot experience with you, images, behind-the-scenes & all.Realy simply put, the Voulez Vous Experience means that this is NOT your basic JC Penny photoshoot ladies..When I first started working with Lana, I didn't anticipate the emotional roller-coaster that came along with the position.Lana works from a sincere belief that photographs are one of the most sacred belongings you are gifted in your lifetime.
Photographs are fleeting moments in time, paused and captured for you to cherish forever.
Without a camera there to bare witness, you would only have a memory, subject to fade over time.I've understood and supported this belief since day one. But what I didn't fully understand was the emotional value fine-art portraits have to a persons self-esteem and the role this plays in personal growth..Client after client, I've observed as she enters the studio for her very own experience. Apprehensive at first, unwinding a bit after indulging in the confidence boost of professional hair & makeup and a glass of bubbles.The mood evolves to a nervous giddiness as she rummages through her wardrobe, plus the studio's, to piece together her perfect look.As Lana and I make final touches to set design, another transformation is taking place in the powder room.This is the moment when I believe she starts to see herself for the first time. She set the date, did the preparation, and now she's looking at the woman staring back at her- the woman that led her to do something bold in honor of self-gratitude. She takes a deep breathe before she emerges to stand before a camera in nothing but a corset and a smile.We great her in awe and admiration as we take in her radiant confidence.Sometimes there's a moment of second-thought. I think this happens because A) It's not every day she stands in front of new friends in nothing but her underwear and B) She's rarely been encouraged to bare it all with her chin up and hip out by anyone other than a partner.But that's the magic of Voulez Vous. Lana designed this as a space to celebrate every angle of a person's unique beauty. There's no room for shaming or talking poorly of your self. Lana and I are quick to shut down any and all negative self-talk.She spends the rest of the day collaborating with Lana and I to create images that are an expression of her truest self. The creativity that goes into making these images unique to every client is one of the greatest joys of photoshoot days! It's often the ideas we come up with in the spur of the moment that make for the most breathe-taking portraits.We break for lunch and all share stories, life lessons, and current challenges we're growing through.By the end of the day, we've all contributed to a fulfilling day of creativity, connectivity, and a healthy round of women lifting up other women.She walks away knowing she just partook in something that her future self will thank her for in many years to come. She did something daring yet sophisticated. And most of all- she reconnected with the spirit inside that longs to be care-free, expressive, adventurous, sensual, and loved.I know how transformed she feels because I am her, too.I had my own day with Lana and finally realized why so many women shed tears at Voulez Vous. Some do it during the photoshoot, some during their reveal, and I now know (from personal experience) others do it quietly at home..Lana gives so much attention to detail at every step of the process. Even though my photoshoot was just for us, she still gave me the same regard she gives all her clients.She helped me finally see the woman I've become. And at my photo reveal, the past year of growth and transformation came rushing over me like a wave of realization.In these images, I saw strength. I saw every day I woke up unsure of my abilities and the direction of my path. I saw the sleepless nights, and the days full of putting myself out there- even when I didn't know where it would take me. I saw all the times I tried and failed, and all the times I tried and surprised myself. I saw the hardships I overcame and the rewards I reaped from the Universe simply by continuing to try. I heard all of the nuggets of wisdom that were shared with me by Lana, loved-ones, and strangers alike.I finally saw the real beauty in the process before me..All sparked from the images that Lana took capturing a beautiful moment in time of my journey.I'm honored to share my experience with you. I hope you see the depth behind every image Lana creates. She is an awe-inspiring woman and I'm nothing but grateful to receive her mentorship and work alongside her as a colleague in the Arts.I hope you too have your own experience of self-gratitude and illumination.Until then, here are the lovely Fine-Art portraits we created on my special day. Enjoy!