Sara and I were so excited to start offering boudoir to our clients. You ladies are GORGEOUS and that should be celebrated. We had so many ideas and it was a long time in the making getting this going. When we finally rolled out with the session posts we were met with hesitation.
It wasn’t at all surprising. We expected it. Women can be self-conscious. I heard a lot of women tell me they could never do that. They didn’t love their body. They’d maybe do it in the future when they lost weight. I heard “maybe if I was in better shape” and “I’m not brave enough.” I also heard “I have no one to give them to, I’m not dating anyone.” Sis, these are for YOU. If your reason is that you’re not dating anyone that’s no reason at all. You deserve to feel sexy, to feel beautiful, to feel like the goddess you are and you don’t need a man, a boyfriend, or a husband to give these images to because we’re going to show YOU that you look AMAZING. I try to assure these women that doing a session like this is empowering, that they CAN do it. You are brave enough. You are sexy. You are beautiful. The shape of your body doesn’t matter, its YOUR body. There is no one shape, or one body we aspire to be. Everyone has assets or features about themselves that they don’t love. And some that they do love. We can accentuate what you love about yourself and maybe even make you look at the parts you think you don’t like in a new way. I tried telling these women to trust me, to let us show them how beautiful they are.
When you hear the word boudoir what do you think? Lingerie? Nudity? Sex? Women in perfect shape? Those are the things I thought of. UNTIL we started talking about offering boudoir sessions. When I think of the word, and the idea, now the possibilities are endless. First of all, you do not have to be naked, although you’re welcome to be. Second of all you don’t HAVE to wear lingerie, although you absolutely can. You do not have to be perfect because everyone has a different idea of the word anyway and it’s an impossible aspiration. You are perfectly imperfect. Just like me. Just like Sara. Just like every other woman you see. Your session can be as covered or uncovered as you want. You can wear an oversized sweater, your husbands button up shirt and tie, lingerie, a sheet. Your comfort level is where we operate. Your shoot is yours. When you see a boudoir image and you think wow, she’s gorgeous do you realize that could be you? If you’d just get in front of the camera you’d see that it is you. I promise you that.
Anyway, I’m hearing so many reasons why women aren’t “ready” for this kind of shoot and here I am telling you, you are. That you can. That you are gorgeous just as you are and that I want to prove it to you. Talking to Sara about the frustration I’m feeling trying to convey to women that this is a good idea and an epic experience that they’ll love their images and that they should trust us she asked me to model an oversized sweater to show women you don’t have to be naked and the shoot will still be sexy.
Immediately I was no longer on the photographers side. I was no longer body positive and you can do this. I was oh wow… I don’t think I can do that, that’s not for me. I should be in better shape, maybe I’ll do it in a couple months. But before I said these things out loud I thought about it and decided how can I tell women that they look great as they are and that they should trust us if I myself am not willing to show them and place my trust in Sara. How can I tell women they can do this if I’m saying oh, but I cant. Its pretty hypocritical and doesn’t show much faith in my amazing Sara. So I said yes. We can do it. Ill wear a sweater and panties and get sexy with ya Sara. I’ll do the covered up sexy to show women they don’t need to be naked.
The day before “my shoot” Sara and I were talking about photography, and business, and taxes, and all kinds of work stuff. Then she asked me if I’d want to do a black on black look as well for my boudoir shoot. Which would put me in lingerie of some sort most likely. Immediately I was the nervous prospective client again. I thought to myself oh no, no way. I’m supposed to wear a sweater, nice and covered up, I don’t know if I can wear lingerie for real. This is getting real here. But I stopped myself. I told her where my comfort level was, and I sent her pictures of the items I had that could work. I packed my bag and tried to stay calm.
I got my hair curled by Rachael Lamperelli at Platinum Salon. Love her, she’s amazing. Then made my way over to the studio. I was nervous but the FACTS that I kept reminding myself of were these. 1. I trust Sara and her work and skills completely. 2. These images are for me. Nothing will be posted online that I don’t approve of. 3. Sara’s definitely seen me in my underwear before so what’s the big deal really. For my job, most important is number 4. There is no way I can talk the talk in good faith if I am unwilling to walk the walk.
I took a deep breath, I put on a bralette, a pair of white booty shorts and an oversized wrap sweater and we got to it. We blasted the music and sang and laughed, we played with angles and lighting and when I looked at the back of the camera and LIKED what I saw I got more comfortable. The next look was just a longline bra and panties. Then it went to the black on black bralette followed by a Honey Birdette piece that I love. And then before ya know it I was totally fine topless in the sheets.
It was a really great experience. We talk all the time about showing women their beauty back to them but for Sara to show me how this could be, was a true gift. Do I love every part of my body? No. But do I love these images? Hell yes. Would I do it again? In a minute. Do I plan to do it again? Absolutely. Am I confident that YOU will look amazing when you get behind the camera at Sara’s Photography? Without a single doubt I am confident in that.
Its easy for me to tell you to be comfortable and relax. Its easy to tell you you’ll look amazing and that you can do it and that your sexy AF. But now I know down to my bones that its true. Because I’ve been the client. I’ve been in your shoes, or in your metaphorical lingerie and I can honestly say it was one of my favorite experiences. I felt comfortable, I felt relaxed and more at ease with every passing minute. I felt at ease enough to step out of my comfort zone, to do even more than what I had originally said I was comfortable with. The rewards for stepping out of my comfort zone? These images, the feeling I feel when I see them. The look on my husbands face when he saw them (even though, like I said, this was for me. He just gets to reap the benefits). And the confidence and certainty to tell you that you should book. Now. Go. Do it. You’re ready. Right now.