“Once I felt confident in my own skin and decided to trust my instincts amazing things started to happen…Today I am confident my work is quite important to women’s lives. I believe every women should have this experience of loving their body; including our flaws…” – Waneska Valois, Female Portrait by Valois. To claim your exclusive discount, book here, and mention GirlCrew.
Despite the current obsession with selfies, Instagram, and all things photographic, for many of us getting our photo taken is an awkward experience. You can easily swing from something between a grimace and a smile, to an expression that’s just bizarre. One GirlCrew Dublin member, who is helping to change that by empowering women in front of the camera, is photographer Waneska Valois.
Born in Brazil, Waneska Valois knows firsthand the pressures that women can be under to look perfect. For Waneska these pressures and hard teenage years took their toll in the form of bulimia. In 2008, she packed her bags and moved to Ireland to learn English. “Being away from the beach body culture we have in Brazil and not hearing how [un]womanly I looked ever day, I felt free and started living a healthier life. Today here I am! Loving myself a bit more every day and helping other women do the same.”
Waneska is helping women to love themselves, through her budding business in boudoir photography. Starting off as a portrait and wedding photographer, Waneska got bored of the repetition. She wanted some excitement in her life, and to use her skills to help others in a more profound way. After doing some research she came across boudoir photography. Eager to find out more, she took a workshop and was immediately hooked. “That class and everything [the teacher] said about the power of experience had in her client’s life lit up a fire inside me. And just like that I discovered my purpose in life.”
Twelve years later, and Waneska hasn’t looked back. In June 2016, Waneska returned to Dublin, after travelling across the US on a Fliker scooter, and set up her business. “Since then I’ve photographed 150+ women, which I think is very high considering we are a new business, and it goes to show how much women value this type of service.” And it’s not just the customers who can see the value either.
“At first I was a bit scared of what people in Ireland would say about my art. I was scared to be judged. It took me a little while to realise how silly I was (once again doubting myself). Once I felt confident in my own skin and decided to trust my instincts amazing things started to happen…Today I am confident my work is quite important to women’s lives. I believe every women should have this experience of loving their body; including our flaws and [there’s] nothing better than having amazing pictures of ourselves to look at the when the bad days come.” If you are looking for some fantastic shots, then we suggest getting in touch with Waneska Valois. She’s also offering all GirlCrew members an exclusive discount, just mention the GirlCrew when booking!
Quickfire Questions with Waneska Valois
1)What is the best thing about your role?
Meeting amazing women and being able to help them to learn how to love themselves. Also seeing the delight in their faces when they look at the pictures for the first time and they see how beautiful they look.
2)What did you find most challenging about it?
Most challenging is showing women that we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves. We say things to ourselves that we would never say to our worst enemy and it’s hard to change that evil habit.
3)What is your proudest work related achievement to date?
Being invited to be part of the an exhibition (Nature: the lightness and the sheer of the being in motion involving artistic nude) that will happen in Brazil and Ireland beginning of 2017. I will showcase my photos, be a curator, and also help organize it.
4)What would be your one tip to others who want to get involved in this industry?
Be respectful, open minded, do not judge and be trustworthy. We are all different with different lives and backgrounds. Some [are] more sensual than others, some more timid than others, but we all want the same thing; [to] feel at home in our own skin.
5)What would be your motto in life, and in work?
“It’s not about seducing man. It’s about embracing womanhood” – Dita Von Teese
6)What’s your favourite thing about being in GirlCrew?
Women need to be in contact with other women, without each other it’s hard to live in this crazy world. GirlCrew helps a lot, especially when you are not in your home country. It’s the best place to make new friends.
Follow or find out more: Female Portrait by Valois