"It's not about seducing men, it's about embracing womanhood." ~ Dita Von Teese
This quote is my perfect answer to anyone who asks me what a boudoir experience is about. Most clients I attract want to do a boudoir shoot for themselves first while gifting the photos to their man is an afterthought. There are various reasons why a client wants to do a boudoir session. She can be seeking an instant boost of self-confidence after a break-up; or yearning to celebrate her weight loss or good health. Post childbirth a woman is more keenly aware that her body can and will go through some not-so-pleasant changes over the years, so why not capture it now 'before it's too late'. At times, she could just be simply going through a really tough time in her life.
The best part of my job is watching a woman's metamorphosis unfold right in front of my eyes. From her looking a bit nervous because she's about to share such an intimate experience with a complete stranger, to that moment I witness her newfound sense of self-love. The "Wow, that is me?!" when I show her an image from the back of my camera as her big smile shines through. Seeing herself through someone else's eyes is sometimes all it takes. While she gushes with compliments and thanks me for allowing her to see her beautiful authentic self, I give her and every bold woman who has stepped in front of my camera my heartfelt gratitude for giving me a reason to wake up in the morning. The time we spend together changes both our lives and I am honored to be part of this celebration.
Most of us are left with no time to pamper ourselves due to our busy day-to-day lives. Some women will tell me, "Oh, I would love to do a boudoir shoot! But I need time to do this and that....I need one..three..or twelve months to be ready." Ladies, the time is NOW. Tomorrow may never happen, or tomorrow may bring more life challenges. There is never a perfect time to celebrate yourself than now.
Last October I decided to walk the talk, be a client and not the photographer. As a wife and mother of three (yes, my dog counts!) I've also been juggling two jobs while working hard building a photography business. Why not celebrate all of that now and experience what my clients go through? Without much thought (overthinking kills the value of any experience) and preparation, I took a bus ride to New York city to meet my very good friend Lance of Lance Taylor Photography, and his girlfriend Sandy, whom I absolutely adored from the moment we met. This 'experience' taught me a thing or two about myself before, during and after. Like every woman I know I have my own insecurities. I learned that it's still sometimes hard for me to let go of negative self-talk. I had to stop focusing on my imperfections and because of that I feel more grateful that I am blessed with good genes and have chosen to live a pretty healthy lifestyle . (Thanks for the pep talk, Lance!). I now see the person I've become and still striving to be and am proud of it!
To Lance, my friend. Thank you SO much for perfectly capturing the different facets of me. The intimate, bold and vivacious. Seeing these photos has enabled me to fully understand what my clients mean when they tell me "You really captured who I am!". Sandy, I still hear your sweet and encouraging voice in my head, cheering me on and saying 'Go girl! You got this!!'. I'd like to think and look back to these photos when I'm 85, with a teeny tiny smile on my face and feeling proud that I embraced and celebrated my beautiful youth! I thank you both for being part of it.
The photo shoot:
Special thanks to Julie of 1604 Salon & Spa for doing my hair the day before the photo shoot. Woke up early the day of the shoot, took a 4 1/2 hour bus ride to NYC, checked in to my hotel and quickly did my own make-up. By the time we got started it was almost dark out but Lance did a fantastic job creating some magic with what light was left to work with. Note to self: On my next boudoir shoot I want to get the FULL pampering experience :)
Here is a no make-up shot I took from my iPhone:
And voila, after some make-up magic ;)
"People often say that 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder', and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder. This empowers us to find beauty in places where others have not dared to look, including inside ourselves." ~ Salma Hayek
~ lots of love,