In this series, I interview women who boost other women’s confidence. They share their personal stories, top tips, and talk really honestly about what makes them feel great.
Here’s Yolande De Vries, founder of Girls on Film, on the transformations she sees at work…
WHAT DO YOU DO, YOLANDE?
I’m founder of Women’s Intimate Lifestyle (Boudoir) Photographer
WHEN AND HOW DID YOU START DOING THIS?
I’ve been photographing women in an intimate way since 2012. I started as a photojournalist and wedding photographer and feel like boudoir was a natural progression.
As a female photographer there is a more natural trust by women, so I booked a hotel room, makeup artist and a model and started from there.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR WORK?
I love working one on one with women, providing a safe place for them to let go some of their inhibitions, and showing my clients to see themselves in a way they haven’t before, and how beautiful they really are.
I don’t believe that being photographed in lingerie or nude is empowering for every woman, but certainly for my clients who actively seek this as their way.
DO YOU NOTICE WOMEN’S CONFIDENCE CHANGE WHEN YOU WORK WITH THEM?
I’m creating digital images of them so during a shoot I’ll show them (only) one or two back of camera shots to boost their confidence.
They are usually amazed and this ups their confidence for the rest of the shoot. Sometimes showing them an image has the opposite effect so I have to gauge it – we are so hard on ourselves!
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN A CLIENT FEELS MORE CONFIDENT OR FEELS BETTER ABOUT THEIR APPEARANCE?
If I’m with them, I can tell by the look in their eyes, their instant smile and its all in the body language. If clients see their images online, they will usually send an email.
The best compliment and the biggest show of confidence is if they post an image from the shoot on social media – usually Instagram or maybe Facebook.
“If and when they allow me to post their images on my website then I know they feel massively proud of themselves and their images, and hugely confident.”
WHAT TIPS WOULD YOU GIVE OTHER WOMEN TO HELP THEM FEEL MORE CONFIDENT?
Confidence is not just about looks, it is about attitude, sass, personality and personal style and how you carry yourself. Be proud of your achievements, know your strongest traits and build on them.
Natural makeup enhances and is more attractive than trowel jobbies. Personal style is key, don’t be afraid to show your personality. Have your photograph taken professionally every year – this doesn’t necessarily mean Boudoir, but treat yourself to an afternoon where everything is about bringing out the best in you – celebrate yourself, you’ll be thrilled to have a visual record to look back on when you get older. Trust your photographer!
“Treat yourself to an afternoon where everything is about bringing out the best in you – celebrate yourself”
WHAT HELPS YOU PERSONALLY TO FEEL MORE CONFIDENT?
I like to have great hair and love great clothes. At the moment I’m a bit overweight and this is affecting my confidence but I’m exercising and have made some changes to my diet and I’ll regain some of my previous confidence. For mental confidence I have to remind myself of my journey and the far way I’ve come since growing up in a large town in Africa!
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO ADD?
“Advice from older women is that life really started when
they stopped caring what other people think,
and life is very short so don’t wait too long”
I think that women are very competitive to each other. And it is hard no to be overwhelmed by caring too much what other people (women) think.
The single piece of advice from older women is that life really started when they stopped caring what other people think, and life is very short so don’t wait too long…. check out Iris Apfel and Diana Vreeland.