Back to the Basics, My Artist Statement

Updated: Oct 21, 2020

First Off, Hello.

My name is Sarah McDaniel and I am the owner of Sarah McDaniel Studio.

Chesapeake boudoir photography

See that person in the above photo? That is me, and if I can do this, you can. YOU GOT THIS.

Random Facts About Sarah McDaniel:

This week is the official first week of me being in my new studio. So, of course, I wanted to test out the lighting and sets. Today I learned a few things about myself that I did not know.

One, I am currently pregnant (26 weeks) and for the first time in my life, I am in love with my body.

Two, I absolutely HATE taking my own photos. Who Knew?

Three, I started doing Boudoir Photography in 2017/2018 to help women that were suffering from Eating Disorders. I am a survivor of Alcoholism, Childhood Rape & Abuse, PTSD, and an Eating Disorder. So I take mental health VERY VERY seriously.

Four, my favorite TV show to this day is Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and yes, I own the watcher's guide.

Five, I always wanted to become an artist. I always wanted to create artwork that allowed people to feel an emotion that sparked conversation. I work in Metalsmithing, Ceramics, Performance, and of course Photography. I was told for years that I would never amount to anything by my family. However between the last 2.5 years, I have been accepted into 42 Art Shows, 1 National Show, had Three Artist Talks, Presented my research on Sexual Assault in front of Congress (when the Famous Sexual Assault Trial of 2018 was going on) Denied from my Dream Masters Degree, and allowed my own healing strength to empower others. So the last thing I learned today about myself is that the only limitation I have is the one I place for myself.

My Overall Perspective on Life:

Our mental health is just as important as our physical health.

Our mental health is just as important as our physical health.

Our mental health is just as important as our physical health.

I am not a Glamour Photographer, I do not edit out scars. I embrace the qualities of female strength. “Bringing Light to the Beauty In Everyone” is my personal motto for why I do what I do.

I want to showcase the beauty in everyone, regardless of their past traumas, scars, ethnicity, or even background. You are Beautiful, and WE are going to prove it.

Chesapeake boudoir photography

Why I focus so Much on Body Positivity:

I wanted to talk about something that has always bothered me.

My Flaws.

Which isn’t really a big surprise right? It is something that I have always noticed, and the last relationships have taunted me. The idea that I have scars from self-harm, burn marks from cigarettes, brain issues due to my suicide attempt when I was younger, imperfections, and above everything else..the exact opposite of what society wanted. I remember when I was younger I had relationships that only cared about how I looked. They never wanted to learn that the reason I was so skinny and had scars were because of the trauma I survived. The amount of Jack Daniels that I drank only led to easier sex, and fewer conversations. The same type of man that would get high and point out all of my flaws. That would cheat on me because I wouldn’t give out to him.

Because I said no.

I allowed this idea of a man to lower my own self-worth.

Well, when I walked away from that toxic relationship I STOPPED pointing out my flaws. When I was at my lowest I was 134 pounds. Placed on IVs for fluids and surviving on two bottles of Jack Daniels a week. Not being able to handle food or any type of fluids due to my uncontrollable anxiety/depression.

CONSTANTLY being medicated because my family didn’t want to hear about how my brother raped me..

And what happened?

I walked away.

I became my own person.

I took back control of my life and started making my own decisions.

I started to say NO.

And meaning IT.

And three years later I am ALIVE.

I HAVE MORE CONTROL THAN I DID. I beat my eating disorder, and now I weigh 208. YES, 208. The uncomfortable number that society labels are “overweight.” WELL GUESS WHAT? Fuck your standards.

So guess what? I have scars, I have stretch marks, trauma, baggage, body hair, facial hair, bags under my eyes, and I have a weight that isn’t seen as “sexy.” But guess what I do have? CONTROL. I have control over my life which is 100% better than a shallow suicidal grave. I love my flaws now. All of them. Because they are me. 100% me. And each of them tells a story of what I have gone through, and how strong I am.

So this is me. This is ALL of me. And I promise you, YOU ARE WORTH IT.

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