Lesley Bom from Aislinn Photo Art has started a
Lesley Bom from Aislinn Photo Art has started a "Empowering Women" photography campaign. Chris Ison ROK080318caislinn1

Heartache drives CQ photographer's mission to focus on women

FEELING beautiful doesn't always come naturally for some women, but photographer Lesley Bom is out to change that.

With more than 18 years experience in the photography world, the owner of Aislinn Photo Art knows too well how often women spend behind the camera instead of in front.

"They ask me to photograph the children, or the family, but never themselves,” she said.

"We are a generation of women who have no portraits to pass down to our family.”

After losing her mum, Lesley said the photos left behind were some of her most precious possessions which inspired her to create the 'Feel Beautiful' project.

Women are pampered with hair and make-up, gorgeous outfits and gently guided through the entire photography journey in one of Lesley's brand new studio spaces above her James St space.

It's not all about looking beautiful though with Lesley saying the most important part of these shoots was the feeling of empowerment the women get from the entire experience

"We have women with so many different reasons for being photographed. Some have battled cancer, some have run a marathon, some have never had portraits taken before, and some just want to do something wonderful for themselves,” she said.

"Every single woman leaves here feeling on top of the world.”

Since moving to Yeppoon three years ago after craving a sea change, Lesley jumped at the opportunity to expand her studio and introduce contemporary women's portraiture in the region.

"I can't emphasise enough how important it is to have portraits taken, for yourself and for those you love,” she said.

"Nothing could be more important.”

Lesley said women needed to stop putting themselves down as they deserved to take time out for themselves, even if it was just for one day.

"Women put it off until they lose weight, or they grow their hair out, or one thousand other reasons. They have to realise that time may never come,” she said.

"They deserve to have a beautiful day, being pampered and gently guided throughout the shoot.”

As a mum herself, Lesley knows the pressures of mother-hood who started her photography business in 2000 as a hobby when her sons were young.

Now a national award-winning photographer and regular charity supporter, Lesley said she has met a lot of inspirational women along the way.

"One woman told me she hated having her photo taken so much that she didn't even have photos of her wedding. We photographed her and she loved every single image,” she said.

"They hold themselves differently on the way out the door after viewing their images. They see themselves in a different light - a more beautiful, powerful light.

"It's incredible to watch.”

Lesley said her talented team, including assistant Tess, always feel privileged they can make a woman feel so special.

"Honestly, we have so much fun on these shoots, it's a fantastic experience for everyone involved,” she said.

Aislinn Photo Art's "creation fee” for Contemporary Women's Portraits is $290 which includes the design consultation, guidance with wardrobe, their professional hair and make-up and the photo shoot.

For more information visit them at Shop 2, 22 James St, Yeppoon or call 07 49383819.

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