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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East a rising, red morning sun. West a silver full moon. A gravel path to a hidden plateau by the sea. There, a labyrinth: ten concentric circles of stone. Lulling ocean waves and still air. Then a gust that sends pleats of oxblood crepe flying high. Thick velvet and delicate lace on cold skin and cold stone.


From the first moment to the last, this shoot was one of change. Changing light, changing wind, changing ocean waves. There were moments of complete quiet and stillness and moments of loud rumbling of the ocean waves below. First the light was purple, then more and more pastel shades emerged, until it settled into a diffuse cool white morning light with a bit of warmth from the East.

Christina, quiet and sweet, thoughtful and romantic, twirled and swayed along the rugged stone labyrinth. Her quiet energy, the movement of the dress, and colors of the day lend the already sublime landscape a bit more mystery.

The Land’s End Labyrinth is a marvel and a bit of a hidden gem. The ascent through twisted Cypress trunks and thicket opens to a panoramic vista of the San Francisco bay with the Golden Gate Bridge standing still to one side and peaceful rocky coastal views to the other. At sunrise no one is here. You can feel like a visitor from another planet breathing in the cold air and walking along the mysterious labyrinth of stone.

Christina, San Francisco fashion blogger of Closet Luxe chose the oxblood pleated Vici Collection dress which provided inspiration for the rest of the styling. We paired Victoria Secret lace lingerie with a velvet kimono by Roffe Accessories, custom dyed to the dress’s shade of red. Soft, natural makeup by Angy Guzman, Vince Camuto shoes in nude suede, and gold Anthropologie earrings and Chanel rings finished the simple, elegant, and romantic look. In the end, more than anything else, it was the glory of the morning, that brought Christina’s vision of ethereal beauty to life.

 

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