Victoria BC Boudoir Photographer - March to the beat of your own drum

There’s 7.53 billion people on the planet. 7.53 billion unique voices, heartbeats, one of a kind fingerprints. The most sensational and inspiring thing in the world is the people that inhabit it – the power that we each hold to offer the world what no one else can offer it: ourselves.

“Being different will always threaten the institution of understanding of a closed mind. However, evolution is built on difference, changing and the concept of thinking outside the box. Live to be your own unique brand, without apology.”
― Shannon L. Alder

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to discover our true selves – how truly daunting and difficult that task can be. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately because I’ve been meeting a lot of strangers lately who have seen my work, read my words, been touched in someway by what I do. (I say strangers: what I mean is friends I didn’t know I had yet). It baffles me that by being my silly, weird, naked self I’ve managed to create a brand and community that helps lift others up… something that 4 years ago, I could never have imagined would have gotten this far.

But… my favourite part of this whole wild ride? Is that by marching to the beat of my own drum (which, by the way, is regularly off-beat and a little hard to follow), I’ve had so many other unique individuals march their way into my life and dance beside me for a while. We’ve shared laughs, growth, giggles, silly dance moves, and a dream for the future where people celebrate themselves unapologetically.

Here’s to all of you: dancing your own dances, prancing along your own unique path, and touching hearts as you do so. Thank you for dancing along with me, even if just through internet-land.

And without further ado… a session from a few months ago with one of the most magical + unapologetic self-drummers I’ve had the chance to meet. This babe and her session will always have a dear place in my heart (seriously: anyone who comes in and asks if they can cut up their clothes for sensual art will always get me jumping for joy ~hint hint nudge nudge let’s cut up your clothes for art~)

*content warning: this blog post contains a woman in all her glory unashamedly celebrating the natural body she was born in. It features photos of what our culture has determined are evil parts of the natural femme form: nipples. Viewing these images may cause you to question the beliefs our culture has taught us about our anatomy, and make you exclaim 'whoa, what a badass’. Proceed with caution.

Molly AshlieComment
Editorial Boudoir Photography - Victoria BC

“There is a need to find and sing our own song, to stretch our limbs and shake them in a dance so wild that nothing can roost there, that stirs the yearning for solitary voyage.”
Barbara Lazear Ascher

This was a creative project that has been percolating in the back of my mind for a while now – waiting for the right location + collaborative model to help bring it to life. Enter: Madeline. Professionally trained on pointe and in contortion, I knew Madeline and I would be able to make some weird, spooky, other-worldly magic.

“Gamache knew people were like homes. Some were cheerful and bright, some gloomy. Some could look good on the outside but feel wretched on the interior. And some of the least attractive homes, from the outside, were kindly and warm inside.

He also knew the first few rooms were for public consumption. It was only in going deeper that he'd find the reality. And finally, inevitably, there was the last room, the one we keep locked, and bolted and barred, even from ourselves. Especially from ourselves.”
Louise Penny, The Cruelest Month

I wanted to create something not focused on beauty – I spend most of my time creating art for others that helps showcase people in their best light, so that they can use those feelings to draw inspiration from and channel into their daily lives. Beautiful, important work that I hold close to my heart and cherish beyond measure. However this time, I wanted to focus on the opposing darkness. If I spend most of my time casting people in their best light, this time I wanted to cast someone in their best dark. We spend a lot of our time as women, as humans, as people, putting on a mask and showing the world our best face. The vision of ourselves that we have subconsciously been curating for acceptance. Painted walls and facades that we, usually unknowingly, are constantly creating and destroying in order to excel in our culture. But we all hold crumbling buildings inside of us: pieces and parts we’ve long neglected the upkeep for, that still stand in our hearts as a decaying building stands forgotten in the wild of the forest. We are each a story of light and dark. And sometimes we need to celebrate those last rooms that we keep locked and barred from the world, and ourselves. Openly dance in between the crumbling walls and peeling paints: each room in our hearts is a piece of us. Our best light, and our best dark: working together to create ever evolving masterpieces.

Molly AshlieComment