“This was my 4th photoshoot with Gloss and though every time I step into the studio I have an idea of what I want to achieve, this time I knew exactly what I wanted to create coming into the studio and of course Marcee helped me turn it out! This shoot was for my 30th birthday, the turning point!
I know this is just the beginning of all the greatness about to come my way so while in previous shoots, I’ve wanted to capture the different sides of my personality, this time I wanted to capture that true Queen energy I know I possess!
My fellow black girls reading this know and may refer to their natural hair as their ‘crown’. For years I would fry my hair straight, trying to hide the thick 4C afro my mother would spend hours untangling and moisturizing, trying to blend in with everyone else around me. But somewhere in my early 20s things started to change and as a black actor in Vancouver everyone wanted natural hair, so I stopped all the nonsense and let it grow out and slowly but surely as I cut off years of dried out, dead hair, I became reacquainted with my natural hair, my natural beauty began to show and with it started to come confidence, self love and respect. I glowed when I walked in an audition room, I started booking and younger performers started to reach out and have these conversations about black beauty standards and being black in the industry. With growing out my own crown, I had become a mentor and an advocate for many others, like myself, who grew up without representation in the mainstream. Now as a burlesque performer, I often use my shoot photos for promo content and it is always very important to me to represent both sides of my heritage and normalize natural black beauty especially as it is such a rarity on the streets of Vancouver, let alone seen on stage so I always make sure to rock my natural hair. But for my 30th I wanted encapsulate all of that in a way everyone would recognize so I went out and bought a physical crown. I knew that when I shared these photos for future shows, when I showed these photos to my partner, and when I hung these photos over my bed it would be a reminder to all, myself included, of my true essence and responsibility to my community as an empowered black woman. I wanted to really put all of me out in these photos and now I’ll always have the memories of how sexy I was at 30.” ~Gloss Babe C
“When people ask me about doing boudoir photoshoots I always say it is the most empowering thing you can do. It is such an amazing reminder for people, and I would say especially for those raised in a feminine body, of not only how jaw droopingly, heart stompingly beautiful you are but also of how strong you are to stand up to the old narratives and celebrate yourself. I want to believe the narrative is changing and I see more and more young people stepping into their power but for a lot of people in my generation the narrative was to cover up, make yourself small, be ashamed of having curves, or darker skin, or ‘unruly’ hair. To this day, the most rebellious thing people of my generation can do is love themselves as they are, unapologetically. I might make it sound easy, but it’s not. While this is my 4th shoot, the growth and the confidence I see since that first shoot is exponential and this has truly been an almost decade long journey of unlearning, rewiring, and accepting and it’s not over yet!” ~Gloss Babe C
“My top tip when prepping for your shoot, especially for my bigger sisters and people that may not be as comfortable in their bodies, is to find reference photos of people that look like you. This also goes for just reshaping your ideas of beauty in general. Social media has a way of promoting those smaller, paler bodies but I promise there are people of every size out there feeling themselves. If you’re on instagram, check out Lizzo’s big girl dancers and Fenty’s models, go through who they’re following cause you can guarantee they’re following other people that look like them and keep them inspired. Make sure you’re feed is diverse because what we consume truly reinforces what we think is normal. Look at how others are posing and try a few out in the mirror, you can do it clothed… or not! The photographers at Gloss are going to guide you and pose you perfectly, so don’t you worry, they’ll get the shots, but having an idea of how certain poses feel in your own body will really help your movement to flow.” ~Gloss Babe C
“If there’s a specific idea you have, let the ladies know! Don’t be shy! This is your moment and they’re here to make your dreams come true! I came into the shoot wanting to replicate a previous shoot Gloss did with Portia Favro (Follow her for inspiration! She is a goddess!) I had the robe, the shoes, the roses! Naturally, Marcee said of course! And started pulling out back drops and lights and while we got that replica shot of my Portia moment, she also made sure I added in my own flavour and made the set up unique to me. That is the love and the dedication and the years of experience and wisdom I know to expect from Gloss that brings me back year after year for my next shoot.” ~Gloss Babe C
Are you at a turning point in your life and ready to jump into your next season with more self confidence and a powerful outlook on yourself? THIS IS YOUR SIGN to book your shoot!