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The Sunflower

March 9, 2021

Mental health photographer. Mental Health Photography. Female empowerment gallery. Female empowerment photography. Empowerment photoshoot. Harley Quinn inspired photoshoot. Photography therapy. Photography as therapy. Therapeutic photography. Eating disorder photography. Camera therapy. Therapy photos. Therapeutic photography courses. Body positivity photoshoot. Body positive photography. Body positive boudoir. Body positive images. Body Positivity & Self Love Photoshoot.

Mental health photographer.

Mental Health Photography. Female empowerment gallery. Female empowerment photography. Empowerment photoshoot. Harley Quinn inspired photoshoot. Photography therapy. Photography as therapy. Therapeutic photography. Eating disorder photography. Camera therapy. Therapy photos. Therapeutic photography courses. Body positivity photoshoot. Body positive photography. Body positive boudoir. Body positive images.

Body positivity photoshoot.

Mental Health Photography. Female empowerment gallery. Female empowerment photography. Empowerment photoshoot. Harley Quinn inspired photoshoot. Photography therapy. Photography as therapy. Therapeutic photography. Eating disorder photography. Camera therapy. Therapy photos. Therapeutic photography courses. Body positive photography. Body positive boudoir. Body positive images.

Female empowerment gallery.

Mental Health Photography. Female empowerment gallery. Female empowerment photography. Empowerment photoshoot. Harley Quinn inspired photoshoot. Photography therapy. Photography as therapy. Therapeutic photography. Eating disorder photography. Camera therapy. Therapy photos. Therapeutic photography courses. Body positivity photoshoot. Body positive photography. Body positive boudoir. Body positive images.

Female empowerment photography.

Mental Health Photography. Female empowerment gallery. Empowerment photoshoot. Harley Quinn inspired photoshoot. Photography therapy. Photography as therapy. Therapeutic photography. Eating disorder photography. Camera therapy. Therapy photos. Therapeutic photography courses. Body positivity photoshoot. Body positive photography. Body positive boudoir. Body positive images.

Empowerment photoshoot.

Mental health photographer. Mental Health Photography. Female empowerment gallery. Female empowerment photography. Harley Quinn inspired photoshoot. Photography therapy. Photography as therapy. Therapeutic photography. Eating disorder photography. Camera therapy. Therapy photos. Therapeutic photography courses. Body positivity photoshoot. Body positive photography. Body positive boudoir. Body positive images.

Harley Quinn inspired photoshoot.

Mental health photographer. Mental Health Photography. Female empowerment gallery. Female empowerment photography. Empowerment photoshoot. Harley Quinn inspired photoshoot. Photography therapy. Photography as therapy. Therapeutic photography. Eating disorder photography. Camera therapy. Therapy photos. Therapeutic photography courses. Body positivity photoshoot. Body positive photography. Body positive boudoir. Body positive images.

Body positive photo shoot. Austin glamour photography. What is a glamour photo shoot. Arts based therapies in the treatment of eating disorders. Types of boudoir photography.

Feel comfortable.
Stretch marks.
Glamour photographer.

Austin glamour photography

Portrait Photography.

What is a glamour photo shot.

Arts based therapies in the treatment of eating disorders.

Body positive photo shoot

Types of boudoir photography.

What is a glamour photo shot.

Feel comfortable.
Stretch marks.
Glamour photographer.

Austin glamour photography

Portrait Photography.

What is a glamour photo shot.

Arts based therapies in the treatment of eating disorders.

Body positive photo shoot

Types of boudoir photography.

What is a glamour photo shot.

Feel comfortable.
Stretch marks.
Glamour photographer.

Austin glamour photography

Portrait Photography.

What is a glamour photo shot.

Arts based therapies in the treatment of eating disorders.

Body positive photo shoot

Types of boudoir photography.

What is a glamour photo shot.

Feel comfortable.
Stretch marks.
Glamour photographer.

Austin glamour photography

Portrait Photography.

What is a glamour photo shot.

Arts based therapies in the treatment of eating disorders.

Body positive photo shoot

Types of boudoir photography.

What is a glamour photo shot.

Austin glamour photography

The Model Call

I met Alicia on Facebook through a model call I placed, looking for new faces to add to my portfolio. It was 2017, I had finished settling in Texas, and I wanted my portfolio to reflect the shift I had made in my shooting philosophy.

I want everything that I do, including the pictures I take, to have meaning.

I had a stroke in 2012 and had dealt with the grim prognosis of Multiple Myeloma. The experience left me with a deep appreciation for my body, health, and the fact that I had endured. It also instilled an awareness that tomorrow is not a given and that I should create a life going forward, where, if I was given a terminal diagnosis, I would not feel regret.

Shooting Philosophy

Thus, the shift in my philosophy centered on shooting with intent—why am I taking these pictures? Will it mean something? Will it help people?

Alicia was getting into modeling not because she hoped to make it in the industry but rather it was an essential part of a therapeutic process that she hoped would lead to better mental health.

Alicia was recovering from an eating disorder.

Meeting Alicia had allowed me to work with a young woman who matched perfectly with my new philosophy of shooting with intent.

Alicia was someone like me who had survived and endured.

Eduardo Vega Colon with a model in front of Ai Weiwei's Forever Bicycles.
Eduardo Vega Colon with Alicia in front of Ai Weiwei’s Forever Bicycles.

I take pictures so that I can call myself a photographer rather than a survivor, someone who was, at one time, sick. Women, like Alicia, have pictures taken of themselves so that they can see, objectively, they’re beautiful. They’re not the ugly that comes from the feeling of battling an illness or dealing with toxic situations.

The Sunflowers

I read the poem, Sunflower Sutra by Allen Ginsberg while deployed for the Persian Gulf War.

It helped me see I was not a cog in a war machine, literally covered in oily grime. Being shown, I had no control over my destiny and told it was not my job to think.

In the poem, there’s a verse that reads:

My take away from that line was, as if the poet, Allen Ginsberg, addressed directly to me:

You were never a cog in a war machine, Eduardo, you were a human being.

After talking with Alicia, it seemed she had forgotten she was a sunflower as well.

TOXIC PEOPLE

There’s another line from the poem that stays with me:

Despite our best efforts, sometimes we may find ourselves surrounded by toxic people who eventually cover us with their metaphorical grime. We may find ourselves in relationships with people who make it a routine to, in less diplomatic terms, download their shit on us.

In the poem, no matter the amount of grime covering the sunflower, it was still a sunflower, and it was golden and beautiful.
Shooting with intent meant showing the gold in each person I photograph.

I wanted to show Alicia she was never whatever she had been made to feel about herself, which led to her fighting an eating disorder.

Alicia was not a cog, an object whose only function was to be at the service of toxic people and their needs.

It was important for her to feel in control because there had always been some controlling force that made her think she had no say in her life.

That’s an awful feeling that can leave you feeling less than human.

Shooting with intent meant showing women, like Alicia, that they control their bodies and how THEY want the world to see them.

Here are some select shots

Out of our entire photoshoot, these were the most important photographs for her.
She said she felt like a superhero who was tasked with saving only one person, and that is herself.

The look in her eye showed she was starting to feel good and believe in herself.

Boudoir photography austin tx

Here are some select shots

Here are some select shots

Then came her moment of truth.

VICTORIOUS!

Austin Boudoir
ALL PART OF HER GRADUATED EXPOSURE THERAPY

Alicia had said this was something she could have never imagine doing. Now, she’s just having fun with it. I am so proud of her. Through this journey, she’s learned, through employing portrait and boudoir as part of her therapeutic approach to recovery from an eating disorder, she is in control of her life.

My friend allowed me to share the story of her journey. Alicia hopes it will help other women who may be battling, as she once did, and see, it doesn’t have to be like that.

The pictures Alicia and I created filled my life with meaning, and I felt my photographs had a purpose.

It helped her. . . .

If you’re someone who is battling an eating disorder or are in a toxic situation, first seek help.

WHEN YOU’RE READY, I WILL BE HERE SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO INCORPORATE MY VISION INTO YOUR JOURNEY!

BOOK NOW

Based in Austin, Texas — Local to the United States

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