So last week I shared with you the beginning of my journey into Goddess Portraiture, and this week I answer the million dollar question…was I brave enough to do the full nude…?
…after a lot of anticipation the day arrived.
We drove down to the location together…chatting the whole way and enjoying the gorgeous sunshine. When we arrived we had time for a quick picnic in the sun before getting ready for a day of real adventure and exploration.
We discussed the dress options I’d bought with me…selecting some to take with us and some to leave behind (to lighten the load a little!)…and then, after some makeup application and some last minute touches to my hair we set off.
We began to venture into the woodland….where we met a little challenge.
As gorgeous and sunny a day as we had selected, the days and weeks prior to our session had been very rainy…which had left the path through the glen rather muddy! I’d told Samjhana that I was happy to face the elements so luckily we had come prepared, and it certainly made for an interesting journey through the trees…but it all added to the fun of the day!
As we tip-toed along into the wooded area I realised just how special this location was going to be. It felt almost magical with the gorgeous green ferns, huge trees and the sounds of the water trickling through the glen.
The beauty of the recent rainfall was that it had created new waterfalls in the glen, one of which we agreed was to be the location for our first set of photographs.
So we set down our things and got started. The trees became my wardrobe (providing the perfect place to hang the dresses), and the woodland my dressing room as I got into my first outfit of the day. Before we began Samjhana smudged me (and the area around me) with the most gorgeous smelling sage to clear any negative energies and to honour the start of our magical day .
As Samjhana then clambered around the gorgeous spot we had selected, placing lights and setting up her camera it was my role simply to sit and enjoy being in these beautiful surroundings. I closed my eyes and listened to the water, dipped my toes in the (quite chilly!) stream and felt the moss on the log to the side of me underneath my fingers.
After a couple of walkers had passed us (looking a little bemused by the scene!) we began shooting.
I have to say that at first, I did feel a little self-conscious. Sitting in a silk nightdress in the middle of a forest in the middle of a Monday afternoon isn’t how I typically spend my time. But within moments Samjhana had me feeling totally relaxed and completely connected to my surroundings. She reminded me to sit with my back straight (rather than hunching over) to release and open up my Kundalini energy and to feel more connected and in flow. She talked me through connecting into the natural elements all around me…prompting me to notice how the moss felt under my hands, to feel the water flowing through my fingers and between my toes, to listen to the sounds of the running water and the birds all around us.
After a very short time I felt like my senses were heightened…like I was really experiencing the moment fully…I was breathing in every aspect of the beautiful surroundings I was in…I felt like I belonged there. The time flew so quickly – before I knew it our time in the little stream was done and we were ready to move into the next location….
…We kept walking until we came across this huge gorgeous tree set back off the path. It was twisted, gnarled up and surrounded by ivy, ferns and creeping vines. As soon as I saw it I knew this was the spot for our next set of photos…and with a little assistance from Samjhana before I knew it I’d climbed up into the centre of the tree.
Although there were moments where I was conscious of a rogue twig or two nudging me in the ribs…I just loved standing up in the space of this huge tree! Samjhana began talking me through the shoot…she encouraged me to ‘feel’ the energy of the tree…being conscious of it’s connection to both the earth (being really grounded and solid) and the sky (being free and flexible with the wind)….and there were moments where it almost felt like I was a part of the tree.
The time working in that space seemed to go so quickly…and before I knew it we were finished and moving onto our next location but not before we stopped for a quick break in the sunshine. We walked up out of the wooded area, up to a gorgeous hillside with an enormous expanse of sky. There was not a cloud in sight, and when you looked out over the sea, the woodland and the cliffs around it could have so easily been a spot in the middle of the Mediterranean.
Location number three nearly didn’t happen. As we set off down towards the beach, Samjhana pointed out some gorgeous flowers that would make a nice setting. My initial response was no, but as we headed into the woods I had this feeling that we should go back. So we found a good spot and I had this instinct that it might work better as a nude. Now as we were in an area that was relatively open, and other people had been passing through it was definitely something of a challenge….but we went for it anyway! Halfway through the shoot as Samjhana was encouraging me to feel the sun and the breeze on my skin and to connect with the dancer in me to create some beautiful shapes, a runner appeared out of nowhere…and I’m not really sure who was more surprised by it…him or me! But after a quick cover up for him to pass we finished our shoot and I have to say that I felt liberated. It felt great exposing my skin to the elements and just enjoying ‘being’ in nature (but I’m keeping the nudes from this part of the shoot for my private collection!)
So on we went to our final location…the naturist beach. We found a spot to leave our things and then it was ‘skin to the wind’ as I prepared for our final session of the day….the full nude. Before I knew it I was sitting in the very ‘fresh’ British sea, feeling the sun and the breeze against my skin and the water moving all around me. I felt amazing. I’d never done photos like this before, and Samjhana made me feel so relaxed and comfortable. Within a few shots I knew this picture was going to be special…I just didn’t know at the time just how special…that was going to be a surprise for later.
We then spent the twilight hours, playing on the beach enjoying the energy of the day. I jumped and danced along the coastline…and Samjhana took some stunning portraits of me while getting me to connect into just how peaceful I was feeling and how grateful I was for the amazing experience I’d just had. I was amazed at how many different sides of my personality she captured…
We were having so much fun that by the time we headed back to the car it was getting dark and we paused to enjoy the twilight stillness, the moon and the dancing lights of one of the coastal towns twinkling in the distance.
The experience was amazing…but it didn’t end there. Samjhana and I met to review the photos and select the ones that I would be having as prints. To see what we created that day in images was really quite moving…and it was so easy to tell the photos that had that special something extra about them.
You see, a lot of the pictures were lovely…I was smiling and happy and enjoying the day. But the ones that were truly magical…where there was that extra sparkle to them were the ones where Samjhana had been getting me to really connect…to the surroundings, and to myself…had me at a loss for words. I remember one in particular at the tree, and another in the waterfall….the images of me smiling at the camera are lovely…but the power of the ones where I’m feeling into the surroundings is immeasurable.
Samjhana explained to me that receiving the prints would be special…but to be honest, I didn’t realise how special. I knew it would be nice to get them, but I didn’t realise how seeing the prints in front of me would take me right back to that moment. How I would be instantly transported back to that place, that time, that amazing feeling that I had been experiencing when the photo was taken.
When I met Samjhana to receive my prints I was genuinely overwhelmed. I actually got quite choked up. I was so delighted with them…to look at those photos and see me, looking like that was something special.
…and this full nude on the beach was the one that took my breath away…
I’ve hung the six prints I have all around my living space…and even in my office. Every time I look at them, I am right back in that moment, I feel every aspect of the experience, the sights, the sounds, the feelings…I feel beautiful, I feel special…and I’m proud to be a woman.
So I encourage you to find a way to indulge your inner goddess, and to remind you of her every single day…and if you choose to do it with Samjhana it will be an experience you will never forget.
If you would like to find out more about doing a goddess session with Samjhama, you can find out all about it on her website here. She has also kindly offered a 10% discount for anyone from the Feminine 1st community, just quote the reference “Feminine 1st”. Enjoy! x