Today's body image adventure took me back to a location that I discovered not too long ago. I ventured here a few weeks back, leaping across rough terrain and clambering up and down rocks, rewarded generously for my efforts by the discovery of a breath-taking and crystal clear channel of water that ebbs and flows through a picturesque straight.
I'd long wanted to bring a companion here, as the landscape and seclusion of the area offers exciting and varied opportunities for stunning portrait photography.
My companion for this walk is a woman who seems incredibly comfortable in her own skin. She exudes calm energy, as she moves slowly and gracefully with a degree of trust and confidence in her body that I don't see in many women.
Oftentimes, women are understandably nervous about being naked in public places. Even in 'optional clothing' areas where nudity is acceptable, as a women you can still feel quite vulnerable.
We are born naked and unabashed, but through years of social conditioning women are taught from a young age to feel as though nudity is not normal and that our bodies should be covered up. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of shame, guilt and fear surrounding nudity.
However, there was no such fear or shame during our photoshoot. My companion has been on an interesting body image journey. As well as coaching and supporting those affected by trauma through her work, she also teaches the sacred art of Tantra for both self-love and intimate relationship connection. Her work, together with life experience, has led her to a place of body acceptance and love, and I felt honoured to be sharing this intimate photographic experience with her.
With sweeping views, hidden 'mermaid pools' and other naturally occurring wonders, we took some time in between photos to marvel at the natural world around us.
Of all the notable features this hidden gem boasts, the one that stood out to me the most was a rocky crest resembling the form of a woman's body. I asked my companion to lay down in front of the crest to create a stunning contrast - the softness of the female form against the hard rocky shape of the crest (seen in the main image).
When we focus on the present moment and immerse ourselves in nature, the wonders of the natural world reveal themselves. And it's incredible how focused your mind becomes, once you are no longer constrained by clothing.
Get your ass into nature! You never know what you might discover.