A boudoir photographer from Texas is inspiring men and women after she shared a heartwarming message from a client's husband concerning the sexy, photoshopped pictures she took for him.
Victoria Haltom of Victoria Caroline Photography told BuzzFeed News she has focused on boudoir images for about a year and a half. Many clients ask for her to photoshop their images.
She said her clients see "flaws" in their pictures that they wanted removed, and she would usually comply.
"I never thought about it as changing them as a person," she said.
This was the case of one woman, a fortysomething mother whom Haltom photographed a couple of years ago.
Haltom complied, and figured that everything had gone well. But a few days after the holiday, she said she got an email from the woman's husband that moved her to tears.
The husband said that the photos were lovely, but they didn't truly represent the woman he loved:
When I opened the album that she gave to me, my heart sank. 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.
He concluded that receiving the photos had showed him that maybe he wasn't telling his wife enough how beautiful he thought she was:
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.
His message struck a chord, and Haltom said since that day she has told her clients she will not do extensive photoshop on their pictures.
She said she worried she would lose clients, but her business has actually grown.
"Women are appreciative of the fact that I can take them just as they are," she said, adding, "I really push the message of 'You don't have to lose 10 pounds.'"
Recently, Haltom had a client call her in tears because she was thinking of canceling her shoot because she was worried her husband would "think she was gross."
Haltom remembered the message from the husband, and decided to ask him if she could share it on her Facebook to encourage that woman and her other clients. He agreed. It has thousands of likes.
Though many messages have been positive, Haltom said she has received hate mail claiming she made the whole thing up for publicity.
But she said that criticism has only shown her how important the message is, because people can't believe a husband would accept his wife as she is.
"I really think that men and women need to see this," she said.
She added that as a new mom who has struggled with body image herself, she is incredibly dedicated to fighting against rampant photoshop in her industry.
"If I don't do it, I don't know who will do it," she said.