Winter. The rising morning sun, cold but soft, then warm. Ripples on the water. Rocks from the past. Cold Air. Yellow buttercup by the stairs in the sand. Winter and Spring. On a bikini, pops of color: a vibrant choice. A vibrant smile. A vibrant soul. Spring.

It’s 6:50am and a very cold and still dark morning when I meet Aimee, San Francisco fashion blogger of The Ohio Transplant, at Sutro Baths. The first thing I see is a big, exuberant smile, then I am greeted with a genuine hug. She is happy to be there, happy to see the beauty of the location, and it seems, happy to be alive. And for the rest of the shoot I find myself smiling big behind the camera.

The look for the shoot was inspired by Aimee’s love of San Francisco and denim jackets. She has six! Sutro Baths was an easy pick for a morning shoot in swimsuit, and Aimee found just the right fur-lined jacket to pair with a vibrant, floral two-piece. Yes, it was cold, but Aimee’s vigor and excitement didn’t let her feel the cold until the very end.

Ariana Rose created a natural, flawless makeup look with bold lip that stayed on perfectly for the whole shoot and after! The fresh look and Aimee’s high energy declared to our surrounding that spring is coming.

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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 feminine talk I’ve had with Christina, San Francisco fashion blogger at Closet Luxe after her Land’s End Shoot with me.

As a woman yourself, when have you felt most feminine? When have you felt best about being a woman? 

I love that the right outfit can really impact a person’s confidence. Women are lucky to have so many fashion options to choose from, and for me personally, I never feel better, more confident or more feminine than when I’m wearing a beautiful dress or a beautiful lacy set of underpinnings.

What do you think is the biggest misconception about femininity or what it means to be a woman?

 Just because a woman wears a dress or a pair of high heels does not mean she has any less potential, or is any less powerful or accomplished than a man. Women today have never felt more empowered to show they have the ability to be rockstars at anything they put their minds to, and I feel so grateful to be living in such an inspiring time.

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

Certainly. Being a late bloomer in practically every sense, I watched girls in high school and college develop into beautiful women with curves and legs for days, while I remained the same. Even though those years are long gone and I did eventually “bloom,” the insecurities still linger. I look in the mirror and I still struggle to see past who I was and what I looked like 10 years ago, rather than the woman I am today.

The thought of putting myself out there in such a vulnerable way for a camera to capture was definitely concerning. Paired with a worry about how others might judge me for taking such photos, I almost changed my mind. But what put me at ease was the realization that it’s not possible to move forward by standing still. In the end, especially after seeing the final shots, I am very happy I chose to go out of my comfort zone. It was absolutely the right step forward in my process to seeing myself more clearly.

You can see Christina’s fashion and boudoir shoot here or visit her blog Closet Luxe for more of her fashion style and perspective.

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