A quiet afternoon walk along Land’s End: Thundering ocean waves that spray a salty ocean mist. A California cypress forest by the beach. Warm, caramel hair falling in soft, quiet waves. A wispy pale mint dress and bare feet touching the just warmed spring grasses and stones of the sea.

The inspiration for Elena’s portrait came from her love of walking outdoors and the beauty of the location we choose. In spring Land’s End’s wispy grasses have a delicate green hue which is the perfect dress shade for Elena. This minty green paired with the light yellows of sunset in spring and the caramel tones in her hair and the surrounding stone and earth, created a delicate, fresh but warm palette. The dress’s beadings of silvers, emeralds, and whites was reflected in the choice of Alexis Bitter’s Seaglass Lattice Teardrop Earrings and the Cerulean Jewel Box Cuff, which reminded us of shimmering, encrusted oyster shells. The caramel Cynthia Rowley cashmere wrap shielded Elena from the cool evening ocean breeze. Her beautiful hair was kept natural showing its wavy texture and just enhanced by a simple waterfall braid.

The sunset was warm and long that day and she enjoyed feeling the bark and light ocean spray. We had peace and many quiet moments to enjoy the tranquil scenery at Land’s End, staying until it was dark.

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Femininity is defined as “the quality of being female.” That’s incredibly vague! As a women’s portrait photographer and a woman myself, I am fascinated by this elusive quality.

So to bring more depth to the photo stories on the blog, and in the hope to shed some light on what “quality of being female” is, I have started a series of interviews with inspiring women, special clients, and thoughtful entrepreneurs catering to women, on the topic of femininity.

Here is a short exchange I had with Joyce before I started the project.

Did you have any concerns about having intimate pictures taken? If so, how did it work out?

In my culture an intimate picture of the body is not something natural. My country of origin is a paternalist one. Women used to serve men and used to hide their body for very long. I always felt different from what the society was trying to impose on me. But exposing my body was always an issue. I felt curious about it but insecure doing so. In fact, I was simply not proud of my body.

What changed the game was finding eyes that admired me for what I am and who I am. The love that I received and I’m still receiving created confidence. And it helped revealing the women that I was and am now.

What do you think it means to be feminine?

Being feminine is the freedom of being who I am regardless of conventions and preconceptions. I’m happy to be a woman and I’m happy the world appreciates me as a woman.

Can you give an example of when you felt very feminine?

When I was wearing that gorgeous and sensual dress close to the Seine in the street of Paris. I was feeling proud in such a romantic place. I was feeling very good.

See Joyce in her portrait photos along the Seine and her Parisian Apartment boudoir photos.

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notes
  1. […] See the lingerie, indoor portion of Joyce’s boudoir shoot and her thoughts on femininity and the experience. […]