Monday, June 7, 2010

The different sizes and shapes of breasts

I had the enormous pleasure of photographing a new model today, someone I haven't known for long and don't know very well yet.  She was awesome and brought some great props - a fake fur zebra coat and an impressive turquoise necklace.  It was fun figuring out how to use those.  I think they made for some terrific shots.  Look for them in the coming months!

As I was photographing her, she asked me a question I hadn't considered before:  What have you learned from this process?

I was stymied.  When I photograph people, I consider myself to be a conduit, there for them, to be present and available to them so they can have the most wonderful experience possible.  I don't really bring myself into it.  So when she asked what I've learned, I had to process the information I've gathered completely differently.

I've learned so much more about how women's bodies look, particularly about the similarities and differences.  I realize that before I began taking these photographs, I was really quite unaware of the specifics of a woman's body. 

Of course I knew what a woman's body looks like - face, neck, breasts, belly, butt, legs, feet.  But as for the variation!  I've learned how obese women look, or very thin women, or big boned, or average build...  It's been fascinating to see how all the parts come together given those variations. 

Breasts can be tiny little protrusions, or "perky" (I hate that word for breasts!  It sounds like that's the only acceptable way for them to be.), or stand alone, or droop to the waist, or big and fleshy, or small, petite little mounds.  Areoles are small, large, pink, dark brown, different colored or the same.  Nipples range from tiny to thumb-size (not in length - in diameter!)  This photo-montage can give you a sense of the amazing differences.  When a man says he loves breasts, I wonder if he's thinking of a particular size or shape?  I wonder if there are "ideal" breasts?  Which of these would a fashion magazine editor consider "perfect"?  Which would a partner love?  Which would a baby be blessed to suckle from? 

Then there are the bellies!  What a range!  Some women have a flat expanse from breasts to groin with nothing interrupting the plane other than their belly buttons.  The heaviest woman I have photographed has an amazing landscape between her breasts and her groin.  She has lost and gained weight several times so has stretch marks and dimples, mounds and curves.  I painted a picture of her belly just so I could explore it in detail.  I loved capturing the folds and bumps and fleshiness of it all, so different from my own, such an exquisite landscape.

I find it awe-inspiring to discover many of the different possible sizes and shapes the female form can take on.  Each time I have the honor of photographing a new woman, I am captivated by her  precious form, the unique beauty of her shape, the gorgeousness she brings to the world.  I feel so blessed in this endeavor.


  1. Wonderful. Inspiring. Enlightening and intriguing.

  2. Doing Great job...

  3. thank you...i was really in need of your article...

  4. i have always kinda wondered what i "should" look like, or like, if my "areas" look normal and i dont just mean my breasts. What is perfect and what does my future husband expect, cus i probably dont look like what he is picturing under my clothes. Anyways, it really doesnt matter...cus we are all so different. And i really appreciate seeing this and learning that without having to look at well, borderline porn to know what different womens bodies look like, if that makes sense. anyway, thank you.

  5. Most beaautiful for me, number 11 , counting left to right, top to hottom.