Monday, 21 July 2014

Naked lavender

I spent yesterday afternoon and evening in a lavender field in the company of 20 women of all different shapes and sizes, and one amazing photographer in the shape of Jennifer Murray.  We arrived, we enjoyed the views, we drank prosecco, we chatted, we laughed.  Then, after a touch of natural make-up by a pro, Jennifer got snapping, in the beautiful evening light, permeated by the scent of lavender and serenaded by the humming of the bees on wildflowers.

I didn't take my camera along; I was a bit intimidated about being in the company of a real photographer.  But I couldn't resist taking a few snaps on my phone.  I am uber-excited about seeing the pro shots, but I'm not sure I'll be brave enough to share, as we weren't wearing a lot...

Not at all the kind of thing I would ever have thought I would do, but Jennifer's photography is amazing, so natural and beautiful and set in my favourite place - the great outdoors.  I was extremely nervous about the idea, but actually getting your kit off in a field is exceptionally liberating!  We women are all so different in the way we look, yet we are constantly bombarded by a single image of what it is to look like a woman.  Tall, stick thin, with no bumps, curves, moles, stretchmarks, cellulite or other "imperfections".  With the aid of photoshop even the models don't look like the images they portray.  I really feel it is time we reclaimed the female image and I want to be happy with the way I look, especially post-baby (more about this in another post coming soon). 

The thing is, by hiding away, by not wearing swimwear on the beach because we feel uncomfortable (see this excellent article), by bemoaning the way we look in front of others, we are reinforcing that ideal - that women should look like the images in the magazines.  I don't want the boy to grow up thinking that all women "should" look like the airbrushed versions of the female form that permeate our society.  And should I go on to have daughters, I don't want them to feel the pressure to conform to this impossible ideal. 

Women are beautiful, in all their forms and we need to turn away from the images and learn to love the bodies we live in.  So having a few scantily-clad photos taken in a field is hardly going to change things (especially if I'm not brave enough to share them), but it was a way of helping me to feel good about myself and accepting about the body that I have.

Jennifer Murray doesn't just take nudies of lovely ladies(!), her photo documentaries and family and child photography are seriously beautiful.  Go check out her facebook page!

The lavender fields are near Alton in Hampshire.  There's a lavender shop there and it's well worth a visit at this time of year when the flowers are in bloom, and there'll be no bare ladies to interrupt your view!

Kate x


  1. Love this, love you, love Jennifer xxx

  2. Awwww, thank Jen! Cannot wait to see your beautiful photos! x