To jump start my personal project (don’t know what I’m talking about? See this post: Personal Project), I reached out to a good friend of mine who I thought would be a perfect fit. She’s beautiful sole, absolutely hysterical, hard working, and a super sweet friend! We’ve talked about my business before, and she, like many other ladies out there, always says “I WANT to do this, but I’m just not ready right now. . . need to lose ‘insert any number here’ pounds”. I knew this would be good for her, and I knew she needed it. I scheduled her session, with only a days notice (she had no time to prepare, and less time to THINK about it). Here’s what she said in her application (even though I asked her to kick-off this project with me, I still made her do the questions):
- Are you single, married, divorced or “other”? Married
- Age range: 21-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69? 35
- Children? How many? Ages? 1 little boy 2 1/2 years old
- Your favorite body parts? My eyes and smile
- Your least favorite body parts? There are a lot right now. I gained a lot of weight during my pregnancy and after a frustrating 2 1/2 year battle of trying to lose it and dealing with thyroid issues, I’m very insecure about my body now. My stomach, boobs, and legs all bother me immensely. I also am insecure about my face so this no makeup shoot will definitely take everything I have.
- What is your biggest complaint when you look in the mirror? I don’t look like myself anymore. I am a tired, chunky shell of the girl I used to know.
- What scares you about doing this session? Hahaha .. Everything. I’ve always tried to put on a strong front and pretend that I’m ok with the way I am now and this will be a stripped down version where nothing can be hidden.
- Anything else you want to include? Thank you for asking me to do this.. You’re right, I need this terribly.
What she said just before, and just after her photoshoot:
“I looked back on my text when I actually agreed to be part of this project and thought I was crazy. Seriously?? No makeup, very little clothing, and the need to lose 40 lbs does not = sexy photoshoot in my head. Thursday night, I came up with an excuse not to do it and I went to type the message to Marie and I glanced at her previous text that said “I’m so so so excited about tomorrow” and I was mad that I was about to miss an incredible experience and life lesson because I was insecure about my body and was about to let down a dear friend in the process. So I put the phone down, and deleted the message I typed. I didn’t sleep much that night because I kept asking myself how I could have possibly let my body get how it is and mad for not taking care of myself and working harder to look better. The next morning I woke up and fixed my hair and thought… “Ok, at least I’ll have good hair for today??” Then I continued to analyze every wrinkle and pimple on my makeup free face and couldn’t believe I was about to let someone photograph me at my ultimate, most vulnerable and insecure moment. I pulled up to the studio 10 minutes early and thought I would vomit. I was immediately at ease in the studio. The fun colors and beautiful decor were a good start. I glanced at all the sexy pictures on the wall and remember thinking “I wish that could be me”. I nervously babbled nonsense for the first few minutes, wondering if it was too late to leave. Marie must have sensed my desire to run as she nonchalantly locked the door behind us… It took my about 10 min to come out of the dressing room, which is ridiculous for the absurdly small amount of clothing I had to put on. I finally took a deep breath and threw back the curtain and walked out into the studio. I awkwardly didn’t know what to do with my hands and chose the one handed crotch-cover.. As I walked into the beautiful studio I realized I had done the hard part. I made the first step out and…. It was ok… I was alive and no one was laughing at my fat rolls. Plus Fergie was playing and that songs made me want to shake my groove thang (but not in tiny black panties in front of someone else). As I crawled into the bed, I felt a strange bit of confidence and sexiness.. I forgot every bit of hatred for my body as I rolled around on the big romantic bed and felt as hot as every girl on the big canvases in the studio.. Then it was over. I survived….and actually had fun!!. I was proud of myself for confronting my fear. I walked out with a little swagger in my step and thought, if I can do a half-naked photoshoot with no makeup on and at the heaviest weight I’ve ever been, then I’ve done something I would have told you I’d never do 3 weeks ago. And I felt good. And pretty. And strong“
and. . . .what she said AFTER she saw her images:
“When I first opened the pictures, I gasped at the first one. Honestly I was dreading opening them because I know me, and I know how critical I am of myself. I honestly was ready to hate all of them and have to lie to Marie about how much I loved them and then figure out how to talk her out is posting them. But then I saw the first picture and actually saw a pretty girl. The pretty sexy girl I felt like I was on the beautiful romantic bed.”
For me, it’s important for all women to remember that there are two sides to boudoir. . . a fun, playful, sexy, “I want to be a model”, full glam, new outfits, out of my comfort zone side. . . and then there is the “this is me”, simple, beautiful, just ME side. Whatever your side is, however you want this boudoir session to end up. . . I can only say that YOU are BEAUTIFUL right NOW, in your current skin, flaws and all.
A big thank you to my sweet friend for allowing me to photograph her in a completely vulnerable state, and for allowing me to share her story and images with you!