When I decided to do a boudoir photography session as a wedding anniversary gift for my husband, I didn’t know that it would be a huge gift for me as well. I felt energized, uplifted and beautiful, after my boudoir photography experience. All things I had lost touch with in everyday life.
As a business owner, wife, and mother, I don’t have much time for me. I know I’m one of many working women and working mothers, all of us busy and often exhausted. Days begin super early taking my daughter to school, and end pretty late, since I often have shoots and client consultations in the evenings. I rarely ever have more than about 5 minutes for makeup and hair. The thought of getting dressed up and having my makeup and hair done professionally was both foreign and exciting.
And then there was figuring out how to slip away for my session without my husband finding out. I told him I was getting together with a photographer friend….which was the truth!
As I drove to my session, I didn’t really know what to expect. I’d been prepped, of course, so I knew a bit about things like what kinds of poses we’d do, but that was about it. I was nervous, and of course I wanted to look good. I really hoped the photographer wouldn’t focus too much on my gut, my least favorite part of my body.
Of course there were a million other questions running through my mind, like would I feel comfortable? And would the pictures be any good?
But the moment I sat in the makeup artist’s chair, everything started to shift. It felt so good to be pampered, to feel the makeup brushes softly sweeping across my cheeks and lids, and to have someone else brush my hair. For me, there’s nothing more relaxing than that, and no one had done it for me since my teenage days, back when my friends and I would braid and style each others’ hair for fun. It felt wonderful to have someone take care of me for a change, and I felt myself relax. Really relax.
Because it was summer, my boudoir session ended up being outdoors. We hiked to the top of a hill out in the middle of a wilderness preserve so we’d have privacy. Changing into lingerie out in nature felt a bit odd, but the warm summer end-of-day sun felt good on my back. I loved being guided in and out of poses, and hearing encouraging feedback from my photographer. When she paused to show me the back of her camera, I couldn’t believe the woman I saw was me.
Which was amazing encouragement, to say the least.
As the session continued, I started to have fun. I knew my husband was going to love his gift and I enjoyed feeling beautiful for a change.
I brought a few accessories to play with (both of which were gifts from my husband). A little rhinestone sparkle here and there, a beaded necklace, and a pair of elbow-length gloves. I felt glamorous, and oddly, slightly invincible.
Until another group trooped past us. I quickly realized –the lone female in a robe and nothing else was a dead giveaway–they were here for the same reason we were–another boudoir nature session!
Luckily they kept on trooping until they were basically out of sight. Nothing like having people crash your boudoir session to make you feel self-conscious. We had a good laugh about it and once we saw they were gone, it was pretty easy to get back into the flow of the session.
I changed into my final outfit as the sun was beginning its final descent. We did a few shots with the sunset behind me, then ended with poses where I was lying in the grass (they turned out amazing, but wild grass is super itchy!)
When I returned to the studio a couple of weeks later for my reveal session, I was blown away. Not only were the photos beautiful, I liked the way I looked in them. I’m pretty sure most of us have distorted views of ourselves. I know I do! Seeing myself through someone else’s eyes gave me new perspective and appreciation for myself.
My husband adored his gift–I wish I had a picture of his face when he opened the box to share with you–but I can tell you this: his eyes got really wide and he was grinning from ear to ear.
For me, the gift was perhaps even greater: I was reminded that I can reclaim my ability to feel beautiful at any time….and I’m pretty sure I look at the photos more often than he does.
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