The Cave

Nude Photography Auckland

Silver medal for ‘The Cave’ at the 2021 North Shore National Salon of photography – Monochrome category

Between Two Rocks

Nude Photography Auckland

Gold medal for ‘Between Two Rocks‘ at the 2021 North Shore National Salon of photography – Scapes category

Devi

Nude Photography Auckland

Devi

Nude Photography Auckland

My name is Devi, I immigrated from Brazil to New Zealand six years ago in 2015. I was born on a small farm in Sao Paulo Brazil, but unfortunately, at the age of 5 my family had to move to the city because of a tragic accident: I lost my left eye!
I was raised in a strict Christian religious family model that helped me adopt good values. These principles include the ideas that women should always be very well behaved and obedient to her husband. The big aspiration was always that I will find a good man to get married and build a family. Nothing wrong with that but it doesn’t work so well for me…
So I got married with my first boyfriend at the age of eighteen years old, virgin, with no experience in life. Consequently this marriage didn’t work out and I divorced my husband at the age of twenty three. I was full of guilt that I had ashamed and disappointed my family and my church community, so I tried to get some support from members of the minister of the church. In one meeting, which was run by men, they didn’t even listen to me and kept saying: “Forgive your partner, he is a good man”. I felt that I had no voice and that I was not supported. Because of this so many women are still in toxic relationships. You simply do not have any support, you just have to be brave and own your decisions independently.
I then decided to leave the church and started to write down my biography. While all these things happened, I never stopped working or studying. I had to work very hard to pay for my own university. I travelled more than two hours every day to work at the bank and at night I went to the university.
When I completed my university studies, I met a nice guy at work in the bank. We fell in love and moved to Costa Rica because of his work. Four months later we were together and this rhymes crazy, right? Haha, I think that Brazilians go too deep and too quickly in feelings of romance, it was an amazing experience for both of us! We were living in a Caribbean country and we were totally in love, but after two years we decided to return back to Brazil because we had more professional opportunities in our own country.
Unfortunately, after four years together our relationship deteriorated. He became a workaholic which brought nice things to our lives: we bought a luxury apartment and built a beautiful life. Everybody could see how amazing we looked together but I started to ask myself if I was living this lifestyle because people said it was nice to have or because I really like it to be like that. I had a nice life and nice work, working in the office paying my bills, what could be wrong? This is traditionally how the books tell us the formula for happiness.
In my case nothing of this really fulfilled me. I decided to immigrate to New Zealand at the age of 30, just so I could accomplish one old dream: to learn English and maybe start a new life. After a while, we broke up. This was the hardest chapter of my life. I felt all these feelings again: disgraced for leaving everything behind me. But today I see I was just trying to discover who I am, what I really like. Because according to my upbringing, I couldn’t be by myself when I was in Brazil. I just hated being a woman because I was ashamed to show my body.
The problems just started. Immigration is never easy, the only money I had I paid it all for a Visa which allowed me to stay in New Zealand. No money, no love, with my heart broken to so many pieces. All alone, I felt so lost with no English, it was the most challenging and important time of my life, I had to keep positive and strong because I didn’t have choices to look back and go back to Brazil, I just tried to grab every good opportunity, to learn, to grow as a person and as a professional. I can tell I started to live again thirteen years later, hahaha. Because I now feel free to fully express myself and not caring about being judged as a woman that left home for all kinds of crazy adventures that you can imagine. It was intense and taught me a lot about who I really am.
When things started to get better I met the future father of my son and I got pregnant unexpectedly. This is another very hard chapter of my life (I feel the tears coming down my face right now). I was sleeping on the floor, sharing a mattress with my Mexican friend Denisse and sharing a flat with more than ten people. I was working as a cleaner in the evening and studying business at night, so I couldn’t stop working because I had to pay for rent and for food, my partner supported me as much as he could but we were in shock and he broke up with me. After this episode I got depressed and I felt very lonely. I just remember staying in this flat. The weekends looked so long, everybody left and I felt so down. I didn’t want to go out but was totally hopeless, still having to clean and to study without any money. What future could I give to my son? But I tried to keep positive.
I had good people around me who supported me and I became calmer. My partner and I got back together when I was eight months pregnant. We decided to live together and to raise a beautiful boy. I now have my own cleaning business and work as a model as well.
In New Zealand I discovered dance which helps me to connect to myself, to express my feelings, to give me confidence and to pose in front of the camera. I just realized that all these bad things happened to me in order to teach me a lesson: you always have to believe in yourself and never give up. Always follow your dreams!
You will probably feel lonely and lost but the beautiful things of life are born through pain. So life has ups and downs, you just have to dance with the flow. For women specifically, accept yourself as you are. Try to live according to your beliefs even if you don’t have any support. Life is too short and too beautiful, don’t hide yourself. I am still learning and discovering who I am, but I have completely changed since the day I left Brazil. I now feel great about being a woman. I am not ashamed to show my body. It is quite freedom and liberating.
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