I see this question all the time in boudoir photography forums and get asked in person often as well: What do you do/say when family or friends disapprove of what you do for a living? This question always leaves me scratching my head. Now, I'm not sure if my family and friends are merely 100% awesome, non-judgmental, open-minded, supportive people...or if they just respect (or fear?) me too much to indicate otherwise to my face...but either way, I am very proud and grateful to say that the response to what I do from those close to me has been entirely positive. Yes, there have been a few people who have taken issue, but that's neighbors and distant acquaintances, not anyone who truly matters in my life.
I have my theories on why this is so, but I really think that, in the end, it comes down to me. I'm really not trying to toot my own horn, but I think people respect and respond positively to what I do, for the most part, because of the following:
First, I have been living my truth and being authentically me for a long time. I surround myself with positive, loving, supportive people who not only allow, but encourage, me to be myself. Those who would ever have had a problem with who I am likely faded away out of my life long ago. To be surprised or bothered by the fact that I, Natalie Kita, am a boudoir photographer would be something akin to being offended by the fact that a leopard has spots. (And before you go thinking I was raised in some ultra-liberal environment so that made it easier for me, let it be known I was born in the very buckle of the bible belt in rural Missouri, raised mostly on a farm in a Pentecostal Christian household, and come from multiple generations of preachers.)
Second, I believe with all my heart that what I do is AWESOME, and that I make a positive difference in the world every single day that I do it. What I do makes people smile. It uncovers and captures beauty, and shares it with the world. It helps women discover and embrace their sensual, sexual selves, and enhances intimacy in relationships. It boosts confidence and body-image, and decreases inhibitions and self-consciousness. And all of this has a ripple effect that makes the whole world brighter and better. I know this, I believe this, I shout this from the mountaintops. I talk my walk and I walk my talk. (When your business is called Get Shot Naked, and your car is plastered with your business name and website address, people are pretty clear on the fact that you're 100% comfortable with your occupation.) When we approach and present our work with no apologies, and with a positive energy and attitude of confidence and conviction, others pick up on that and reflect it back to us.
Third, I make it clear to all around me that I have no place for negativity in my life. As much as nobody would likely call me old-fashioned, I stand strongly by one piece of very old-fashioned advice: If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. Negative Nellies find themselves uninvited from my parties really quickly. I have no problem standing up for myself and my right to keep my space positive, and this is a well-known fact among those who know me.
Finally, I think that maybe... just maybe... those who would have something to say are a little intimidated by me. I can't imagine why... but I have to say, I'm okay with it.
So, my advice to you, my dear fellow boudoir photographer (or aspiring boudoir photographer)?
Live free. Stop apologizing for who you are and what you do. Be proud! Stop projecting your fears of judgment onto others. Stop assuming they will disapprove. And stop "should-ing" all over yourself. Boudoir is amazing. Boudoir changes lives. Boudoir makes the world a better place. So go ahead and shout it from the rooftops! Educate and inspire instead of shrinking and hiding.
Do you have a sexy job? Do your friends and family disapprove? If so, how do you handle it? If not, why do you think that is the case? Please leave a comment below.