Given the experience I shared in my second to last post, it’d be pretty ridiculous if I now told you that I’ve just done my first ever nude photo shoot right? Well, it is, and I did.
Now, let me set the scene; I’ve not just marched into a random studio and got my kit off with some babestation style poses being pulled off. A very good friend and absolute hero of mine, Lord (yes Lord) Damian McGillicuddy who used to arrange photoshoots and workshops at a hotel I used to work at and for years we’ve been meaning to get together to do a “shoot”. We recently got back in touch following my move home and he invited me on a roadshow to Ireland for 4 days where I’d be modelling in his seminars and if I wanted to, we could experiment with a private shoot. The prospect of a few days away, getting some headspace and speaking to no-one who knows about my situation was extremely inviting!
So, before the final seminar I bared all – scars both physical and mental on full vulnerable display – and we experimented with some sexy natural looking shots; 50s style, black and white, boyfriend shirt, with a vibe that I didn’t even know the camera was in the room at all.
Yes, I completely agree what I’ve done probably seems completely mental given everything that’s gone on recently. Most “normal” people wouldn’t go getting their baps and flaps out so liberally after an attack, but I’ll tell you why for me it kind of makes sense.
Some psychologists use exposure as a means of therapy for phobias i.e. fear of heights gets treats with visits to high places, fear of spiders a trip to the zoo, fear of jam go to tea room etc. Now the feelings I’ve been having haven’t necessarily been a fear but they’ve been a feeling of distance between my mind and my body; almost detached. There’s also the elements of knocked confidence, anxiety and loss of control on my own life. Like I said, I’ve known Damian for years and we’ve been meaning to do a photo shoot together for the past 4 years. I’d feel pretty shit if after all this time, I was offered this opportunity and I had to turn it down because of the incident that happened in November. That’d be another way for said incident to be affecting my life and another point to him. What better way to stick two fingers up to the situation, grow some big girl balls and regain control of my life?! Plus I’ve never exactly been shy in a bit of nudity – boobs are boobs and a foof’s a foof. I’d hate for any more of my personality to be reserved and restricted because of what’s gone on. So….the little jelly tots came out!
The experience itself was incredible. A lot more natural than I thought it would be, it didn’t feel weird and I didn’t feel awkward or vulnerable. It’s not like plenty of people haven’t seen me and my bits in all their glory over the past few months anyway with all the doctors and nurses and police that have had a look. Honestly, if I wanted this many people to see my bits I should have become a stripper! (you have to try and find light in a situation somewhere!) In all seriousness, after the shoot I felt liberated, empowered, extremely sexy and very emotional; something I’ve lost touch with recently.
Now I’m not advocating everyone in my situation runs to the nearest photographer and gets their bits out. But I am a firm believer in there not being a rule book for dealing with any form of trauma or mental health issues. To do whatever feels comfortable for you and whatever helps.
You’ll all be glad to know I won’t be posting the pictures on my blog – no-one needs to see my kipper and pancakes! I’ll be keeping the pictures for myself as a reminder of the strength I’ve had to do them when I’m struggling and probably show them to everyone I meet when I’m 90 – what I looked like “back in the day”.
One thing I will share with you though is a wonderful quote which I’ve picked up from Lord McGillicuddy himself as his favourite quote and was actually featured at the end of his seminars this week. Something very relevant to how I feel and has been resonant with me since I first heard it – think it’ll stick with me for a while
On a serious note, I’d like to thank the Damian and his team for the opportunity to go to Ireland. I found strength in me I didn’t know I had. Damian’s an incredibly honest, wonderful, supportive gentleman; proper salt of the earth and I’m very lucky to be able to call him a friend. The past few days away has done me the world of good and given me a new perspective on moving forward. Check out his other INCREDIBLE photography which is significantly better without my mug in……https://www.damianmcgillicuddy.com/