In the Desert: A Lingerie Editorial with Michelle Terris Photography
One of the things I've mentioned before - and that I keep coming back to, because it's always true - is that every shoot is a new experience. Not just because I'm working with a new photographer most times, but also because I'm a different person. The Cora of a few months isn't exactly the same Cora of right now. And I'm finding myself wanting to push, to move forward, to dig beyond what I've done before and what feels safe.
That's part of why I don't really do pinup or boudoir shoots currently; not because I hate pinup or boudoir, but because I want to feel scared. I want to feel that excitement, that newness, that sense of not being exactly sure what's going to happen. For this lingerie editorial especially, I wanted to get over being a perfectionist, to overcome the paralyzing fear of messing up that keeps you from stretching to improve yourself.
Something else I learned? I can 100% use a professional makeup artist on all my future shoots because I am a complete makeup amateur. I never wear it, except when I'm working (such as on a photoshoot), and you can definitely tell. My inexperience is all over my face, so to speak. But one of the reasons I really wish I'd invited a MUA along for this editorial is because the concept, which was kind of an 80's-inspired, golden desert sunset, full of metallics and glitter, would have been much better executed with a professional. What you see here are the absolute outer limits of my capabilities, and while I am very happy with the pictures, I also have a much better understanding of how other professionals can help bring your creative vision into reality.
Of course, it goes without saying that Michelle Terris was wonderful. A true professional, beautiful to work with, and her style was exactly what I wanted for this particular lingerie editorial. I hope our paths cross again.
On a more personal note, I feel like I'm thriving in Southern California. Even though last year was a struggle professionally because of burnout, that had been building for awhile. What I can say, though, is that I might have stayed groggy and fatigued and listless forever had I remained in Seattle. Here, I feel like the sun recharges me. Even a simple walk outside on a warm day is rejuvenating in a way the rain and gloom simply weren't further north (although I do still miss the mountains and forests).
I also feel that, in this current political era, where hate speech and bigotry are both in the midst of a horrifying, stomach-churning revival, images of queer people of color living our lives, thriving, and loving ourselves is more essential than ever. There's power in existence, in being visible, in public happiness and success - whatever that means for you. And I truly see TLA's core mission, which is largely built around creating a safer, more welcoming space for marginalized people, as more relevant than ever. Even if we're just talking about bras and panties (because those simple joys are important too), being able to do so in a place free of slurs and taunts and jibes matters. And I feel newly rededicated to making The Lingerie Addict a place where we can all just hang out and be free...even if it's just for a half hour or so.
You've been reading for a minute, so let me share these credits and you can see the rest of the photos! All images are by Michelle Terris Photography. The black lingerie set is by Lonely. The lace capelet is by The Giving Bride. The floral nightgown is by Flora Nikrooz. And the black knit dress is by Maude Nibelungen. Hair, makeup, and styling, such at is, all by me.
If you haven't yet, please follow The Lingerie Addict on Instagram. Market week is coming up (where I preview lingerie trends for next season), and most of my photos will be shared there first. So follow TLA there if you want sneak peeks at Autumn/Winter 2017!