If you're familiar with a boudoir photography shoot, you may know that it's something regular people (read: not professional models) sometimes do to have a little fun and perhaps get a healthy self-esteem boost. Women, men, and even couples hire photographers to capture images of themselves looking confident and beautiful in sexy outfits and alluring poses--and sometimes, they'll use the resulting photos as an intimate, ultra-personal gift to surprise a partner or spouse.
Such is the case for the man in this situation, whose wife hired Victoria Haltom of Victoria Caroline Photography in Texas to take boudoir photos of her as a gift for him. She made sure to ask Haltom to retouch the pictures to remove her wrinkles, stretch marks, and other flaws, as she was hoping to “spice things up” in her marriage by giving the photos to her husband for Christmas.
Haltom did as she was asked, as people asking for retouching is nothing new. But a few days after the holiday, Haltom received a note from the woman's husband that she could have never expected.
In, it, he wrote: "These pictures…while they are beautiful and you are clearly a very talented photographer, they are not my wife. You made every one of her 'flaws' disappear…and while I’m sure this is exactly what she asked you to do, it took away everything that makes up our life. When you took away her stretch marks, you took away the documentation of my children. When you took away her wrinkles, you took away over two decades of our laughter, and our worries. When you took away her cellulite, you took away her love of baking and all the goodies we have eaten over the years."
Gulp! And that's not all. The husband went on to say that seeing his wife looking "perfect" but nothing like the woman he loves made him realize something important: He wasn't telling his wife she was beautiful and appreciated nearly enough.
"I have to do better, and for the rest of my days I am going to celebrate her in all her imperfectness. Thanks for the reminder.
We love this man's honesty and unconditional love for his wife, and that he not only saw what was important in those photos, but felt moved to share his amazing message with the photographer--whom he later gave permission to post his (anonymous) letter on Facebook, where it's gone viral.
As for Haltom, she now makes a point of encouraging clients to embrace their so-called flaws and tries to steer them away from too much airbrushing. Business, she says, is booming.