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champagnegalaHello all you fab people out there! Just a reminder that myself and my gal pal, Raemie Bachman of Raemie Bachman Realtor, are counting down the days till our Pink Champagne Gala! We have 15 tickets left to sell and we need your help getting those last few GONE and all to benefit the awesome Susan G. Komen Pittsburgh!

This is a super fun date night or night out with the gal’s. It’s a chance to get a bit dressed up, sprinkle a bit of pink on yourself, and come out for some music, food, pink champagne, a Chinese auction, a Selfie Booth, goody bags and the chance to win one of 2 grand prizes: a 7-night hotel stay from Raemie Bachman Realtor, or an all-inclusive paid glamorous photo shoot with moi!

So, if you’re in the mood for some fun, please join us for a night of merriment and grab those tickets today! Can’t make it? Make sure to pass this on to your friends!

#metoo

#metoo-1First, let me say that I am so over-the-moon-excited to see this new movement coming to life. As sad as I am that this movement has to even exist, I am so proud of every single woman that is using their voice to rip down the veil of shame, confusion and fear that I’m quite sure was hanging like a suit of armor for longer than they can remember.

Second, if you are one of the unlucky that falls under this hashtag umbrella, but you, for whatever reason, cannot speak up, or simply do not want to, we got your back. You feel what you want to feel. You say what you want to say or do not say what you can’t say. Just know that those of us speaking up are right here and we’re speaking for you and with you.

So yes, I am now joining the millions of women that can lay claim to this hashtag (as well as France’s version, #BalanceTonPorc, meaning “Expose Your Pig”. Way to use your words my French sisters!) and I’m quite sure that does not surprise any of you reading this. For one, I have a blog. Enough said about that. For two, I’m female. Enough said about that. If you’re the latter, I can’t imagine you don’t have at least one story to tell, but more likely so many you’ve forgotten most.

As much as I’d like to write a 10 page article on this, I just don’t have to. My audience that is reading this knows that there is just nothing I can say that they don’t already know because they’ve experienced it just as much as I have. So, I decided on a small list of #metoo that I know most women can identify with and that I can actually remember. In no particular order:

  1. When a previous boss asked me to show him my thong at work.
  2. When a man screamed 1 inch from my face that I was a cunt and a bitch because I wouldn’t give him my phone number while dancing at a club.
  3. When I’ve been groped more times than I can count at concerts and clubs.
  4. When men would come up behind me and put their hands all over me as I was dancing and shove their hips and penis into my back as they shoved their disgusting lips onto my throat at the same time.
  5. When my friends and I had to ask a group of men to walk us to our car because another group of men planned to attack us as we left a club.
  6. When a friend of my older brother crawled into bed with me drunk, pulled out his penis and put my hand on it and began trying to move my hand up and down. I was 14.
  7. When a male bartender drugged me at a bar. Thank goodness for my girl possy.
  8. When a previous boss thought it was appropriate to hug me every chance he got.
  9. When I ran into a postman that delivered our mail when I was a teenager, as he told me that he used to go home and masturbate after seeing me on his delivery route in my yard sunbathing in a bikini. I was 21 when I ran into him. He was in his mid-40’s. Best part? He mimicked the act of masturbation as he told me this story.
  10. When asking a potential boss if I could have an unpaid internship at his business, and telling him I would do anything he needed and that I’d be a slave worker, after hiring me he repeatedly called me into his office to tell me all the ways I could be his slave. Go ahead–tell me that’s my fault, fucker. I’m waiting.
  11. When at a wedding photographing, a groomsmen licked my neck after I turned my head at an unwanted attempt at a kiss.
  12. When a male guest at a wedding I was photographing stuck his entire hand down the inside of the back of my pants to grab my ass when I stood up on a chair to capture a photograph of the full dance floor.
  13. When men working in the kitchens of restaurants I served in just couldn’t let me come pick up my damn food without yelling out gross sexual comments about all the things they would do to me in bed if only I’d give them a chance.
  14. When I’ve felt so intimidated that I’ve had to cross the street or walk in the complete opposite direction than where I was heading because a man or group of men were leering at me or catcalling.
  15. When I receive disgusting phone calls from men disguising themselves as potential buyers for gift certificates for their wives and shortly into the conversation they begin asking me sexual questions about myself.
  16. When I receive disgusting and/or suggestive private messages from men on Facebook, which is why I now cannot accept any friend requests from any men that I do not know. Thanks assholes.
  17. When a co-worker, a week after I slept with him, pushed me full force down onto the ground because, apparently, he was finished with me. I heard later that there was another woman at the party that night he wanted to be with and I was getting in the way.
  18. When I would receive late night phone calls from pilots or when pilots would try to touch me when I was a flight attendant.
  19. And finally, when I was getting some exercise and speed walking to the post office in a v-neck shirt and a truck almost screeched to a stop as the man driving pointed at me so that he and his friend could leer at me because, as I saw in the post office window as I walked to the door, my boobs were jiggling as I walked. That was yesterday.

And on. And on. And on. And on. And on it goes.

One good thing that came out of any of this is the long progression of strength that continually built up inside of me and became my shield. I’m one tough cookie, my dears. Another good thing I believe came from all of this was and is the burning desire to create and perpetuate a bond of sisterhood with every woman I come into contact with. I’m quite sure it is a part of the foundation of why I do what I do now for a living.

To a lot of people peering in without taking the time to really stay for a while, I just take sexy photos of women. But to the women that have experienced what I do…well…that’s a different story. Yes, my job is to capture beautiful, timeless and sexy photographs of you for you, but the underlying benefit that comes with that is the chance to continue or begin to believe in yourself and claim your given right to own your self. There’s power in the walls of my studio and I am so thrilled every time I see a woman look at herself and see what I see. It’s a mighty, mighty thing.

So….
#strong
#youwontholdmedown
#fightback
#speakup
#thisvaginabitesback
#hellhathnofury
#womanstrong
#youwontbeatus
#sisters

#FIGHTER

Please feel free to leave your #metoo stories in the comments section. My goal is to get as many as we can, just like every other woman that has a public platform is doing, so that our voices simply cannot be ignored. Leave one, leave a few, leave a bucket full.

Gifts for The Holiday |Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer

Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer-41It’s coming, ladies! It’s right around the corner. You think I’m talking about Christmas don’t you? Well, I am. But I’m also talking about the BIG V! You think Valentine’s Day is so far off. But really, for this kind of session, is it? No. No it’s not.

Want to shock your loved one right out of their santa pj’s? Want to see that mouth drop to the ground on Valentine’s Day? Well…I’m. Your. Girl.

And there is absolutely no reason to think for one minute all the fun goes to your partner…no no no…because not only do you also get those gorgeous photos, but you also get the experience of a lifetime.

So Merry Christmas and Happy Valentine’s Day to you too, gorgeous. You deserve it.Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer-42Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer-43Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer-38Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer-40Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer-45Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer-35Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer-51

Oh…and Happy New Year while we’re at it….

The Reminder I Needed

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“Ohhhhhhhh!!! Let’s do pink tablecloths!”

And then, “YES! Oh my gosh!! Let’s have everyone wear PINK! We can have pink cookies and pink champagne!”

Followed by, “That’s perfect! We can get people to donate things too! Then we can have an auction!”

And of course, “What will you wear?? I’m going to rent a fab dress from Rent the Runway and buy a new pair of pink shoes!”

“Well I’M going to buy a whole new outfit! This will be so much FUN!!”

And on it went. We made our plans. We brainstormed on how to get people to actually want to come to our little gala. We bought pink goody bags and found “pink ribbon” stickers to put on the goody bags, we contacted as many people as we could to ask for donations. We talked incessantly about it all.

What we didn’t really ever talk about was why we were doing it in the first place.

I messaged a most beautiful and lovely survivor, Natalie, that we filmed and photographed to help share her story. I told her she should come! What fun it would be! Pink! Pink! Pink!!

And then I received this message back….

“I wasn’t sure if I would have time to find something to wear to this gala but I thought it may be cool if I would honor one of my old pink scarves. Maybe I could wear it with just a simple black dress. I pulled them out and a flood of memories brought tears to my eyes.

I put a pink polka dot one on and my eyes teared up some more as I remembered wearing it tied on my head. I pulled out a pink necklace that a good friend gave me and as I put it on, noticed my port scar and got a lump in my throat. I found another pink scarf and placed in my hair and cried as I saw a head of hair that was once bald. I pulled out a bracelet that someone gave me that wasn’t really my taste. At the time it was given to me I thought I would probably never actually wear it. When I put it on I thought how perfect it was with the outfit that I threw together and remembered that at least 10 different people had given me bracelets, so I pulled those out as well. By now I’m sobbing because memories and memories of all of the love I was shown came rushing back.

So I’ll be at your gala…to wear my scarves again. This time they won’t be covering my head. I will come and show off my shiny new hair that I thought may never return. And those bracelets will be coming as well to thank all of those random angels that gave them to me.”

And I stopped dead in my tracks. I mean, I couldn’t even get through what she wrote without bawling my eyes out and I wanted to read it to John but I had to keep stopping and finally I just had to quit for a while till I could compose myself.

I was not a little too ashamed of myself in that moment. I forgot. I forgot why I was doing this in the first place. I forgot why this month was dedicated to the color pink in the first place. I forgot about all the lives that were attached to this month in such a profound way. I forgot about the survivors and the family and friends of the survivors. I forgot about all of those lovely souls that did not survive, and all of the lives that were forever changed with a hole that cannot ever be closed.

But I am so grateful for the reminder. So, this is my call to you. If you cannot attend my gala, or if you just don’t want to, please consider donating to Susan G. Komen Pittsburgh, or any other organization that works to help eradicate this killer of way too many women.

Remember those that fought and won. Remember those that fought and lost. Remember those that walked beside them and fought for them when they could not fight on their own. Just remember to remember.