Tutti del Monte: The Woman Empowerer
Meet Tutti del Monte
For Tutti (Sara) del Monte, the connection is key. As a talented boudoir photographer, her ability to empower women transcends just (very) sexy photographs and creates important self-love conversations that sit with her and her clients long past their time together. Tutti's passion for what she does is almost tangible and her goal to allow her clients to be their most confident selves is evident throughout her work. I got to hang out with her recently in Brooklyn to talk more about why she does and her take on the purpose of empowerment.
Sara del Monte. A lot of people know me by my nickname though - Tutti :)
Occupations, affiliations, and projects.
Photographer and videographer at Boudoir by Tutti and With Love Tutti, writer for the Boudoir by Tutti blog, and yoga instructor & ambassador of self-love through everything I do.
“People Who Do” focuses on those who excel at moving forward throughout their passions in life. Why is it important to you to “do”?
Truthfully, I "do" because I can't imagine myself pursuing a life where I'm not listening to what my heart dictates me to "do." Ever since I can remember, I've lived with my heart on my sleeve so it makes sense I'd choose a career that encourages me to do the same. Now that I've established myself as a professional along with cultivating a community of people who believe in my mission, I feel as if my artistry and the need for it have only been reinforced further.
What's your #1 motivating mantra to get through tough moments.
Something my dad told me the night of my first heartbreak, when I was 15: "The sun will rise tomorrow." It serves as a two-fold reminder that no matter what happens today, it's okay to feel, in fact, that it's the most human response. Also, it taught me the power of perspective - that with each new day, I have an opportunity to either dwell and stay stagnant or grow and move forward.
What’s your favorite thing you’ve learned so far this year?
Oh man, ever since I started my business, it's been a non-stop learning journey for me (to put it lightly). This year I've learned and embraced one of the most valuable lessons: that I must believe in myself and the in value I have to offer. It sounds so simple, but for the longest time I expected my career to reach new heights and opportunities on its own, but now I know it's up to me to continuously strive for bigger jobs, ideas and dreams.
Tell me more about why your photography is important to you.
My photography is important to me because it's a means to connect with people. Ultimately, it's this connection that I yearn for because it creates space for people to be themselves and love themselves, furthering my dream of building communities where people love themselves and spread kindness to one another.
At what moment did you discover that this was what you wanted to do?
There wasn't a specific moment where time stopped and I realized this was my path. It was more of a slow process of looking inward that led me to see what was already within me - that my strengths and talents in relating to all kinds of people are meant to be used for a bigger purpose. I still remember my very first boudoir shoot I back in 2010. While looking through the images with my client and seeing her reaction to the beauty within herself, I remember feeling such a high degree of pleasure, satisfaction, contentment and understanding. It felt like such a natural path for me, but it still didn't "click" until I wrapped my journey of self-discovery into the mix, noticing that what comes natural to me, that is, relating to others and making them feel loved through creative projects, is where my place in the world lies.
To date, what accomplishments (of any kind) are you most proud of?
Living in New York for over three years is something I rarely think of as an "accomplishment," but, damn, when I think of all the ways this city tries to bring me down (costs, walking, stairs, competition, inconveniences, uneven sidewalks, costs, winter, falling - literally, those days where EVERYTHING goes wrong, etc.), I'm proud to say it hasn't had its way with me. New York 0 - Sara 3.
I'm also super thankful I've been able to incorporate my love for the human body in a lot of the things I do. I got my yoga teacher certification two years ago and have realized that what I most love about yoga and the different styles of photography I offer is that it all gives me a closer look into how absolutely beautiful our bodies are and what they're capable of doing!
As far as a truly personal accomplishment that ties in with the "yoga talk," I'm so proud I've been able to cultivate a balanced life where I can clearly differentiate the trivial from the significant. It helps in staying afloat and focused on the bigger picture of life rather than drowning within inconsequential matters.
What’s the best piece of advice that you can give from what you've learned so far?
To care for not only your body but also, and almost more importantly, your mind. To be endlessly curious and compassionate with yourself in finding ways to find peace within. Many times when I feel stressed or confused about what my next step should be, I come back to this quiet, safe place in my heart that knows everything will be okay. Our minds can make something exponentially bigger out of something that doesn't merit a single thought, so dedicate time to finding your own happy place where you can always come to when "life happens."
3 words that you want to be remembered by
Compassionate, loving and full of life.
Top 5 people you would invite to a dinner party.
I want to have 3 separate dinner parties!
My mother, my maternal grandmother, my maternal great-grandmother, my paternal grandmother, my paternal great-grandmother
Matt Damon, as Jason Bourne, Justin Timberlake, Albert Einstein, Jon Stewart, Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Hannibal Lecter - to keep things interesting
Jennifer Lawrence, Kate McKinnon, Ellen Degeneres, Pocahontas, Marie Antoinette
What’s your favorite lesson you’ve ever learned, ever?
That being kind will always go further than being right. My mom has exemplified this in the most graceful and elegant way, although I'm not even sure I've ever told her! Mama - if you're reading this, you've taught me everything I know about being a compassionate and kind human being. I love you!
What's your go-to song to put you in a better mood?
Anything by Garth Stevenson (The Southern Sea), old Shakira (Pies Descalzos album) or Fleetwood Mac (Gypsy + Everywhere). Somehow, though, my "Spotify Discover" usually knows exactly what I need.
Favorite method for logging any kind of inspiration.
Paper and pen, words and doodles.
What’s the next goal?
1.) Interviewing and shooting Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, Jessica Alba and Christina Hendricks for my blog. They're all influential women who use their voice to uplift and inspire other women. My kind of gals.
2.) Shooting a campaign for lingerie brands (La Perla, Tisja Damen, Agent Provocateur, etc.).
3.) A big dream of mine is to be able to work away from New York for about 3 months of the year so I can pretend the Winter never happened.
4.) Growing my YouTube presence to continue reaching new audiences and spreading my message of self-love.
By "do-ing", you create your own unique legacy. How do you want your legacy to look/be remembered?
I don't really spend time thinking about my legacy because I like to spend my energy on things I can affect right now. When I think about the future, though, I hope for inner peace, an abundance of love and a steady stream of personal satisfaction. So if I had to choose, I want to be remembered as a woman of vision who wasn't afraid to pursue her dreams of a more loving and kind community.