From Shalista ** Photos by Teri Hofford.
A lot of clients ask me if I’ve ever had my own boudoir session and yes, yes I have! I’ve been doing boudoir awhile now, so I have actually been photographed by multiple other photographers. However, my first boudoir experience was a lot like the women that come to my studio.
Even though I strongly believe that all women are beautiful, I would be lying if I didn’t admit to having the exact same hang-ups as almost all women that come to me. I don’t love my body sometimes. I wish there were parts of me that were different and I lack confidence in my appearance too. So, when I was looking to book a boudoir session for myself, I was hesitant because there are so many photographers that do not know how to pose a curvy woman. This is an important factor when choosing any portrait photographer and can make a tremendous difference in your photos. Having a photographer that understands how posing, lens choice, and composition create good images is of utmost importance! If I am getting naked in front of a camera, that person is damn well going to know what they are doing.
I became part of an online community of photographers who were bringing the art of boudoir photography into the mainstream. One of these photographers was well known for her work especially with curvy women, Teri Hofford.
Teri lives in Canada and posted that she was traveling in the area and was anyone interested in a session. I JUMPED. Yes!! Here is a photographer I admire and I didn’t have a client on the day that she was available in Omaha. It was meant to be. So, we booked it. I was so excited!!! Then, the anxiety hit.
OMG… what am I going to wear? What is going to look good? Do I wax? Is my butt too hairy? What if they are horrible? What if I hate them? I asked myself all those questions too. (Am I getting you in the feels right now?)The photoshoot was in Omaha, so I had to make up a story for my husband. I told him I had an engagement session in Omaha so he wouldn’t wonder why I was driving to Omaha on a Tuesday afternoon. I wanted this to be a surprise for him too, even though I felt like the experience was really for me… He’s so very supportive of me and always tells me how pretty I am and has never made me feel anything less than beautiful, but I, like so many of you, don’t see it.
On the day of the session, I was a wreck. I thought maybe I should cancel. Stupid anxiety thoughts, but damnit, I was going to do that scary thing. I felt like I couldn’t back out and then still justify telling my clients that it was going to be ok to see me! I made the trip to Omaha and met up with Teri at our location. Even though I knew her online, we’d never met in person and she immediately made me feel like a friend. I was totally comfortable about 5 seconds into the shoot. Even though I’d photographed hundreds of boudoirs myself, I was just a normal client. I let go completely and Teri was in charge.
A few weeks later we did a Skype reveal where Teri showed me my images. It was surreal. I actually couldn’t believe that was me. I cried. When clients sit on my couch and cry at their images, I 100% get that feeling. I know that feeling too, ladies. I saw what my husband sees. I realized that my stomach I hate wasn’t so bad. I have great boobs. I do have those bedroom eyes. I am beautiful. The album I made lives in my husband’s bedside table. He took it out recently and was looking through it again. He loves it. He loves me, and he loves me how I am. And, while I can’t say I don’t wish I looked different, I do appreciate my body now. I do realize that it’s beautiful despite my size and despite the things I think are bad. I am beautiful as I am, right now. If you are ready to do this too, let’s book your session. I would love to give you this same experience. Every single woman on this planet deserves to see her beauty. I know this experience is life changing for so many women, and it was for myself. My famous line is… The Confidence Comes After the Session, comes from my own real-life experience. Let’s do this. <3