Getty/File
Getty/File

Victoria Caroline Haltom is a photographer who for more than a year has been taking sultry 'boudoir' shots for women in Texas.

An anecdote about a client in her 40s she recently posted on Facebook has been very widely-shared for its body positive message.

Tonight I want to tell you ladies about a time I messed up really badly. It was back when I first started boudoir, and...

Posted by Victoria Caroline Boudoir on Monday, 12 October 2015

Haltom wrote that it was a time she "messed up really badly":

It was back when I first started boudoir, and I had a mid-forties lady book my services at a gorgeous hotel in downtown San Antonio. She was a curvy, beautiful size 18. I thought she looked like a goddess, but as most women do, she had a request...

She came to me, looked me straight in the eyes, and said 'I want you to photoshop all of my cellulite, all of my angry red stretch marks, ALL of my fat, and all of my wrinkles... just make it go away. I want to feel gorgeous just once.' So, I did exactly as she asked. We spent an hour and a half together going through many, many poses. I went home, made every last stretch mark disappear, smoothed out every dimple of cellulite, took away every wrinkle. I turned her into the epitome of what every woman dreams of being.

The photos, 30 in total, were a Christmas present from the woman to her husband, apparently a public figure in San Antonio.

Days later, however, Haltom received an email message from the husband:

I don't want you to think that I am in any way upset with you... but I have some food for thought that I would like to pass on to you. I have been with my wife since we were 18 years old, and we have two beautiful children together. We have had many ups and downs over the years, and I think... well, actually I know that my wife did these pictures for me to 'spice things up'. She sometimes complains that I must not find her attractive, that she wouldn't blame me if I ever found someone younger. When I opened the album that she gave to me, my heart sank.

He went on:

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. I am not telling you all of this to make you feel horrible, you're just doing your job and I get that. I am actually writing you to thank you. Seeing these images made me realise that I honestly do not tell my wife enough how much I love her and adore her just as she is. She hears it so seldom, that she actually thought these photoshopped images are what I wanted and needed her to look like. 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.

Haltom noted that while she can "Photoshop just about anything", she wants people to "think twice about how much 'altering' we do":

Oh, and just in case you don't have anyone telling you how beautiful you are tonight... you are so damn beautiful!

HT My San Antonio and Mic

Keep reading...Show less
Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)