Alright! So here it goes. This has the potential to be a pretty long post! First of all, I am so excited to be posting this! A big shout out to the Boudoir Divas and especially to my photographer Deena! She was absolutely amazing and helped me be me…and then be the me I didn’t know I could be! An even bigger thank you to my hubby who is so supportive of all I do, and who always tells me I am beautiful no matter how I am feeling (or looking!).  Thank you sweetie for waiting around in a foreign land, (California…still unfamiliar territory for us) for encouraging me to do this and for letting me share these images and this experience so publicly.

I considered not sharing any images, not posting about it at all…mostly because when I started shooting boudoir it caused a little bit of a stir. But you know what? This is something I really want to share, and my husband is ok with it, and I am…so here I go (again!)

If you have read through my about me pages or my random things, you may have learned that I have struggled with my self image for a LONG time. I know that I am not alone in this, and it really breaks my heart to think that other women have gone through (or are going through) the same kind of thoughts, feelings and experiences that I have. It’s one of the things that makes me love shooting boudoir photography, and has me hoping that I get to do it more and more. There were a few reasons that I decided to go and do this shoot. I thought going to the Divas studio (who I idolize when it comes to boudoir!) would be an amazing learning experience….and it was. I thought that it would be a fun experience…and it really was. I thought that they would make me feel glamorous and give me amazing images…which they did. What I didn’t expect was to see myself as beautiful, to CHERISH the photographs and for them to slap me in the face!

If you know me at all, you would know that it is not normal for me to say “man I look hot” but seriously…these are just a couple of the shots, and lets face it, I look pretty darn good! I remember going through the images in our viewing session and thinking, that can’t be me, that girl is beautiful. Slowly, painstakingly the walls came down. I AM beautiful. This IS me. I had to ask Deena if they had made me skinnier, tucked things away, or done many of the other things I know can be done in photoshop. No, the images were just proofs, they had not been polished, this was me I was looking at on the screen. A beautiful, sexy and fun woman. I am still processing it. I cried.

I had never in my life seen myself this way, over and over and over again (100’s of proofs and I only didn’t like maybe 10 of the shots? Deena you really are a miracle worker!) again…just forcing me to face the fact that my “reality” was a lie. The way I had seen myself for so long….that wasn’t who I really was. It was a lie, and one that I don’t want to believe anymore.

I don’t want to tell you that I’m cured, that I have never since the day of my shoot  thought a negative thing about me or my body…but I can tell you one thing, there was a turn in the road, a change in perspective that is going to be with me for the rest of my life. I want to say that this truly was one of the best experiences of my life.

For you women who are confident and don’t know what I’m talking about that’s awesome! I am so happy for you! Take boudoir pictures, rock them for your hubby or just do it for you and do it with all the confidence you have.

But I know that there are many other women out there who are thinking even reading this post “I couldn’t do that…its easy for her to say….look at those pictures…she is beautiful….” or whatever you are saying in your mind (only speaking from experience here not saying you should feel that way) I am telling you that YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. and I want you so badly to see that! Maybe boudoir photography won’t be your turning point on the road, but I know that it was for me…and the last few clients I have had have shared similar experiences with me (I am hoping to share a few of them on the blog as well!) How amazing it is to me that I have helped women have this same realization about themselves. They ARE beautiful.

I don’t have a magic camera. I do very little “photoshop-surgery” (changing your shape). Yes I have some posing techniques, some lighting tricks, and a knowledge of photography to capture you at your best. But what I am telling you is that the pictures are of YOU. Just like these are ME (still facing that one!)

Have you ever heard the story of the little girl who was walking on the beach where hundreds of starfish were washed up on the shore. She started to pick up a starfish and throw it back into the water. Another lady looked at her and said, there are so many washed up, it won’t make a difference. The little girl picked up another starfish and turned to throw it into the ocean and said…”it made a difference to that one.” I may not be able to change the world, or even change how women in general see themselves, heck, often I can’t seem to get a handle on how I feel about myself. But if I can give even a handful of women the understanding of how beautiful they truly are….

wow crying again…and its almost 2am.

so here are those photos. of a beautiful woman. a fun woman. a woman who shouldn’t beat herself up over a couple of pounds on the scale. a woman who shouldn’t let her joy be stolen by a mirror. a woman who is sexy and real….

this is me…