April 13, 2020
Sometimes it’s difficult for me to tell people exactly why I shoot boudoir. It’s a feeling that I can’t quite put into words.
Even when I was a kid I knew I wanted to take photos, but I didn’t pursue it in college because it “wouldn’t make me any money.” Many years and one baby later I began my photography journey with families and kids. Boudoir looked fun, but feeling like my body was a mess after having my son I didn’t think there was any way I could confidently take pretty photos of women in lingerie.
I watched boudoir from afar until someone asked if I’d take her photos for her anniversary. Timidly, I said yes and scoured Pinterest for ideas for poses. I was so nervous going into that shoot, but she was absolutely gorgeous and we ended up having so much fun; I broke a light, she vacuumed in her bra and underwear, and we laughed our asses off. I left that shoot with a fire in my soul to learn more.
It wasn’t until a year later, after the birth of my daughter that I had a session that changed it all. My client came into the studio visibly nervous. She sat still, and quiet for hair and makeup. She fiddled with her clothes to keep her hands busy and took long, deep breaths, holding them before exhaling. When we turned the mirror around after hair and makeup she forced a smile and the tears began to fall. My makeup artist Erin and I looked at each other for a moment before asking her what she was feeling. She drew a ragged breath and she told us “I can still hear his voice in my head telling me that I’m ugly.” My heart shattered for her right then and there. I hugged her, I told her I was there for her and we were going to get through this session together. We pushed forward and she did amazing, I got to watch her nerves melt away with each pose as she began to trust me and have fun with it.
When the time came to show her her photos I was equal parts nervous and excited. I knew she was beautiful and strong and worthy, I hoped I’d be able to show HER that she was. She cried through the reveal and thanked me endlessly, she was blown away by the woman she saw before her. When her album arrived she told me “the day after I saw my images I actually looked up instead of at my feet when I walked, I can’t remember the last time I did that.”
After her session my whole perception of boudoir changed. It wasn’t about pretty images of women in lingerie. It was so much more.
Boudoir is about transformation. About taking the perception you have about yourself in your mind and reshaping it. Boudoir is about pushing nerves and fear aside. It’s about getting glammed up and being treated like a model. Boudoir is about having fellow women who understand your struggles and relate to you, and will lift you up, and cheer for you. Boudoir is about finding and owning your sexy side, regardless of if you normally rock the mom life with dried food on your shirt and 4 days of dry shampoo. Boudoir is about doing something that is entirely about and for you for the first time in forever. It’s about seeing yourself in a completely different way; the way I see you with my lens. It’s about feeling absolutely beautiful and powerful by the time you walk out the studio door.
I hear women blurting out complaints about themselves and their bodies every single day. I know that we aren’t born with these feelings, something or someone has made us feel that way. Something has told us that we are not good enough, pretty enough, strong enough, sexy enough. The day it all changed I realized that I wanted to replace the voice in women’s heads that told them that they aren’t enough. I’ve been fighting for that for every client that has walked into my studio since. She comes in nervous, unsure, timid, and she leaves as a friend; proud, powerful, courageous, and gorgeous.
I have always been uncomfortable with my body. Growing up I would cover up my swim suit with an oversized t-shirt in the summer. I was terrified to wear my bathing suit on a school trip to a water park in middle school, I’d nervously wrap my arms around myself to be small and hide as much as I could. I was small, almost always the lightest in any peer group, people would always comment on how skinny I was. I grew up feeling out of place, unwanted, and uncomfortable. I can’t recall ever being told I was pretty or beautiful. At 21 years old I was diagnosed with cancer; I was terrified, my hair fell out, my skin became dull, my eyes had major dark circles, and I lost a bunch of weight. I didn’t want to be seen by anyone, I hid in my house a lot and avoided going places with friends.
It was not until I found and married the most wonderful man who made it his mission to remind me everyday that I was beautiful and strong that my self-image improved a little. After having my son, the body that I was uncomfortable with to begin with disappeared. My stomach was replaced with more fat and stretch marks. My weight was a number I’d never hit before. I would stand in front of the mirror and tear myself apart. After beginning my boudoir journey I knew that I needed to heal my self-image so I could be the best cheerleader for my clients, I pulled up my sleeves and I got to work.
In order to heal my self-image on the outside I knew I needed to get to work on the inside, so I bought a booked called The Self-Love Experiment by Shannon Kaiser. I practiced affirmations, I forgave myself, I created a self-care routine, and I worked on my gratitude. Eventually, I was able to turn my feelings about myself and my body around and now it’s so much easier for me to take a selfie that I love and kiss my mirror in the morning. I get to project all of these feelings to my clients and potential clients because I’ve been in their shoes. It has been many years of hard work, it still requires daily effort, but I am reminded how important it is with every client, and especially when I look at my kids. I want them to grow up knowing that it’s ok to love yourself and give them the skills to be able to do so in a world that’s built to tear them down.
If you’re curious about a boudoir session with us, or if you are totally ready to jump in with both feet head over to my Contact Page and fill out a super quick form so we can be in touch! You can also see all of my latest work by joining my VIP FB Group, it’s filled with women who will hype you up and make you feel like the babe you are.
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