The Power of Misty's Eyez

Your life changes after you meet Misty. She’s just so damn nutritious!

Misty is an educator and community leader and I’m going to guess she’s saved more than a few lives. You just get that Mama Bear vibe from her.  She’s fierce and soft, kind and powerful, and strong and delicate all at the same time.  Misty is a woman with an huge heart and open arms with a breadth and scope of compassion beyond measure. 

As a transgender woman, she has a special understanding of a life in transition. She understands feeling different. She also understands the joy and freedom found in living your truth- in living life on your own terms. She lives life in a way that allows others to live theirs just as freely.  She loves being a role model for other girls struggling to accept themselves.

So when we talked about doing a boudoir shoot, Misty was excited about sharing her photos and boudoir experience, but she also had some hesitations.

“I absolutely had some hesitations before booking my boudoir session. I am a BBW/TS (big beautiful woman and trans woman).  Both of which are usually scorned, judged, and ridiculed by society. We are condescended to and made to feel broken, unwanted and unattractive.

I am comfortable being nude in front of my husband.  But I am not accustomed to exposing myself to other people, much less a photographer.  I also worried about what I was going to see when I looked at the photographs.”

Misty’s concerns were similar to most of my clients - everyone worries how they will photograph - but as a transgender woman who has felt marginalized, I understood she had an extra layer of worry. 

I totally get it. Why TF is society so scared of non-standard bodies? Even with the body positivity movements out there, there aren’t a lot examples out there for someone who looks like Misty.  Its hard for her to see herself represented in the mainstream world.

We spoke quite a bit before her session and discussed what she wanted to see in herself - how she’d like to be photographed.  I always say I take pictures how you feel and that its not really about what you look like.

Misty is full of life and personality and loves feeling pretty and playing dress up. So, that’s what we did!

We did several portraits of Misty alone and even added her husband in for a bunch together. I love that they trusted me enough to share their intimacy and the resulting images captured not just their love for each other, but how much fun they have together.

“I like that Graciela made me feel comfortable.   She was very open, affirming and accepting and thought of creative poses for me to stretch and manipulate my body to look the most attractive in the way I wanted. I felt loved and I never felt judged. I felt very comfortable.

Graciela is obviously comfortable working with large and lovely women and transgender women.  She’s also clearly comfortable working with heterosexual straight cis gendered men like my husband.  We had a lot of fun and enjoyed shooting together.”

To my transgender audience, I want to talk to you directly.  This is a safe place. I am here for you. I want to you love yourself no matter where you are in your journey. That’s not to say you can’t keep moving forward, keep transitioning, keep finding yourself - its to say that while you are doing that, you can still revel in the fact you are a fucking spectacular human being worthy of love, joy and happiness.

Misty says, “I would definitely recommend a boudoir shoot as a milestone in your journey no matter where you are in your journey - whether you have just started or have been in transition for a while.  It’s good to have photos to look back and say, “Wow, do you remember when I looked like this? Do you remember before the surgery and this is what I look like do you member before the hormones kicked in this is what I looked like? etc.” 

When I asked Misty what she wanted people to know about being transgender, she said, “I want people to know that being trans is not a choice and that we are born this way.  The choice does come however, in accepting yourself and deciding to love yourself and deciding to come out of the closet and be yourself - your true authentic self.”  

People, this is easy. Live and let live. Love and let love. 

MUA: Scharon Isse