"The session introduced two worlds to each other - Mommy, caretaker, housekeeper, [everything practical] to my desired sexy that doesn't often come out." | Duluth Boudoir Interview with Katie

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How old were you at your session? 29 - almost 30!

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What made you decide to book a session?
My original driver was to use the photos as a wedding gift for my groom. As I kicked the idea around, I found several reasons not do it... But then kept finding more reasons to do it [impending 30th birthday, the fact that I recently had a baby and all of that that entails)! Some of the best experiences in life aren't necessarily comfortable ones or easily decided on, but you've got to toss yourself into them sometimes!

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What was originally holding you back from booking a session?
Honestly, the financial aspect - which go hand-in-hand with the reasons I decided to do it! The experience I had and gift I am now able to give my groom, far out-weigh the expense.

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What were you most nervous about for your session?
How awkward I was going to look on camera. I know that I am not generally a photogenic person, nor naturally a sexy person, but also knew of the talent that Jes and Emily had - a great team that had me feeling confident and looking awesome.

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How did you feel about yourself before your session?
Generally, I felt pretty good about my jeans and a t-shirt wearing self but wanted my groom to see me in a different light - a sexier light, or as a different sexy. 

Honestly, I had to borrow lingerie - to have the 3 back-ups...

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Describe your experience.
Exciting and exhilarating. I had the opportunity to express a side of me that I didn't necessarily know was there. Jes made me feel so comfortable exploring that side of myself too - like it was natural to me, she didn't question it.

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How did you feel about yourself after your session?
Amazing. Amazing in the sense that my confidence was beaming and I felt more open and experienced. The session introduced two worlds to each other - Mommy, caretaker, housekeeper, [everything practical] to my desired sexy that doesn't often come out. From my session, I want to practice the way I felt that day. Those roles that I play and played that day can co-exist.

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Were you nervous before your viewing session?Yes, I wanted so badly to love the photos and how I felt to be reflected in the images.

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How did you feel about yourself after seeing your photos?
Giddy :) I loved the photos and the way that I looked - sexy, not awkward.

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What were your favorite products?The booklets of course, and the session boxes. The session box will totally speak to my groom. I fell like it carries a secretive aspect to it - there is something hiding in there...

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What would you tell anyone interested, but maybe hesitant, in book a session of their own?
Push yourself, jump, do it! It's an experience unlike any other. You deserve to take the break, get papered, dressed up and explore that side of yourself.

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How was working with Jes and Emily?
Wonderful. There is so much talent there - it is obvious in the product, but also as support through the experience. There is a calmness in-between them and in that studio that rubs off on you and allows you your comfort to try something new.

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Will you be doing another session?I'd love to!

"I was over the moon in love with them and wishing we could post every single one on billboards all over the city!" | Duluth Boudoir Interview with Rita

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How old were you at your session? 30

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What made you decide to book a session? I wanted to do something fun to ring in my 30th birthday. Something that was a little more out of the box than usual. I've done the boudoir shoots 3 different times before and they were all sweet and "innocent" looks and I wanted to go a little more dark and sultry with a sexy twist. Less girl next door and more mistress down the street.

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What was originally holding you back from booking a session? I've had a rough year. My two year relationship ended and of course not on a good note. It was a relationship that I thought was it. However, he didn't have the same thoughts and feelings and so I ended up taking the break up really hard. Also at the same time my grandmother passed away and I took her passing just as hard. So my weight had been going up and down and I wasn't happy with where I was weight-wise. I know I'm still beautiful but it was more than that. I wasn't feeling comfortable in my own skin. I felt like a complete stranger to myself, and I didn't want any of these new insecurities showing through in the pictures.

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What were you most nervous about for your session? I was going outside of the box a little on this shoot, but I knew I was in great hands with Emily doing my make-up and hair and Jes behind that magic camera of hers. So there wasn't much that I was apprehensive about before the session.

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How did you feel about yourself before your session? I was excited. Nervous, but excited. It was the BIG birthday day and I was already feeling better about the day, but when I got to the studio and saw Emily's smiley face I knew it was going to be an amazing day!

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Describe your experience. The day of I of course was running around like a crazy person getting everything ready I showered the night before but I needed to paint my nails so of course I was feeling rushed. But as soon as I walked in to the studio I was relaxed and at ease. The shoot was so fun! Jes had some ideas that she wanted to try and of course I was all game! I haven't had that much fun in a long at a photo shoot!

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How did you feel about yourself after your session? I felt like I had just left the set of a Victoria Secret photo shoot. I was on cloud nine and didn't want to come down! Thirty never felt and looked so damn good!

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Were you nervous before your viewing session? A little bit yes. I just didn't know what to expect.

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How did you feel about yourself after seeing your photos? I was completely stunned. Like COMPLETELY! I had to do a double take on a few of the pictures because I didn't think it was actually me. They had turned out even better than I had even imagined! I was over the moon in love with them and wishing we could post every single one on billboards all over the city!

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What were your favorite products? I always go with buying the rights to the photos because I can never narrow it down to a select few, BUT I LOVE the large albums that others have purchased.

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What would you tell anyone interested, but maybe hesitant, in book a session of their own? If you're hesitant about anything just send Emily and Jes an email about your concerns. Or talk to one of the girls that have been in a shoot before. We've all been there before. I'm sure one, if not all of us have had the feelings you're feeling right now and the best way to get over them is to talk them out. And it's totally worth doing no matter what you're feeling. Conquer your fears and be like Nike and "Just Do It"!

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How was working with Jes and Emily? Working with Jes and Emily is so easy. They're such professionals and amazing individuals. I'm not one to trust just anyone to do my hair and make-up. I'm very particular, but Emily is an all-star. She knows what she's doing and you can put your full trust in her that she'll make you even more beautiful than you already are. And Jes I mean there's not much more to say then she's amazing! She's true artist and she amazes me with every picture she takes! LOVE THEM BOTH!

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Will you be doing another session? I absolutely will be! I'm thinking I'm going to have to take Jes' suggestion and do an outside shoot!

"This was one of the most amazing things I've ever done, outside of child birth."| Duluth Boudoir Interview with Pam

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NamePam Schimenek

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How old were you at your session?59 years, 10 months and 25 days.....not that I'm counting!

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What made you decide to book a session?I've actually wanted to do a session since seeing Grace on one of the earliest blog posts. I thought to myself, I think I can do that, and wouldn't that just be the most awesome gift for my hubby? What about just doing it as a gift for myself for my 60th year on this planet?

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What was originally holding you back from booking a session?Negative body image. We are so hard on ourselves. The more sessions I viewed the more I thought to push that completely out of my mind. Although I had not ever seen anyone in my age category on the blog I was thinking perhaps I could be that trailblazer.

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What were you most nervous about for your session?To be honest, I was most nervous about leaving my house without makeup! I've worn makeup since 7th grade (that's a long time!). I don't even get the mail without hair and makeup being done. I was also apprehensive about there being something in the boudoir closet for me to wear. Was it going to fit me properly? How was I going to look? Will it show too much? Knowing full well Jes always has our backs, our fronts, our sides, and everything in between......what was I honestly afraid of?

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How did you feel about yourself before your session?I am who I am, and I look how I look. Take it or leave it. It never seems to fail, in my personal experience, that when I am supposed to be fully prepped for something, I'm never completely and totally satisfied with how I look. There's always some nit-picky thing that I'm not happy with. I've learned over time that there comes a point where you just have to put your best forward each and every day. Life is too short to always be so critical of your appearance. Just be the best YOU that you can be.

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Describe your experience.This was one of the most amazing things I've ever done, outside of child birth. The most female empowering thing. Jes and Emily are so welcoming. I walked in to the studio to the cute "welcome" sign. Greeted with a rack filled with boudoir choices, and a couple items I brought myself. All of the apprehension I felt prior to my session left when I tried on the pieces selected especially for me. I was honestly so relieved when I looked at myself in the mirror. After choosing outfits it was then time for hair and makeup. Emily did an amazing job! She's an artist. No peaking in the mirror until the look is complete. You can tell by the look on Emily's face that she's pleased with her work. She's so dang cute! Jes "pre-poses" every shot for you, leaving nothing to chance. Jes showed me a couple shots during the session. I was amazed at what I saw on the screen. Yep, that was really me. From that point forward, I relaxed and went with the flow of the remainder of the session.

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How did you feel about yourself after your session?I felt completely and totally empowered after the session. You walk out feeling like you can do anything! Walk on water if you want! Every woman should do this, no matter how you are feeling about yourself at this point in your life. Do it for yourself if you're not into doing this for someone special in your life. My husband loved my gallery. I showed him all shots from the session. I honestly didn't want to deprive him of the experience I felt. He did not see my final 20 selections. He also did not see my final pick for the 16x20.

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What were your favorite products?I ended up purchasing the 8 x 8 album and also a 16 x 20 print. I figure those will be good memory items for my 60th year of life!

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What would you tell anyone interested, but maybe hesitant, in book a session of their own?I want to tell you all that you just need to do it. I at first had a slight hesitation to sign the model release as I'd never seen anyone as OLD as I am featured on the blog. I felt like I wanted to help set the example that anyone and everyone should open themselves up for the opportunity of more positivity in their lives. We are so critical of ourselves. Yes, you are beautiful enough, just the way you are. Come on ladies, show the world!

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How was working with Jes and Emily?They are fabulous!! Emily has mad skills with the curling irons and the make-up brushes. She enhances the natural beauty that is already there. Jes is fricking amazing. She sees things, and kills those angles, and hits the lighting, and just knows what will look the best in the end. And let me tell you, that girl can strike a pose! Vogue Jes!! We all had some good laughs, and I was just able to be myself, never felt intimidated.

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Will you be doing another session?I would love to.....every 10 years for the next 30!

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Anything else you want to add?Be prepared to cry happy tears....it feels that good! And Jes and Emily give the best most genuine hugs on the planet!

"DO IT! I was totally out of my comfort zone but they make you feel like you are the prettiest woman ever." | Duluth Boudoir Interview with Ashley

How old were you at your session? 28

What made you decide to book a session? I am getting married this summer and I was trying to find the perfect gift for my soon to be husband. I saw them at an expo and just thought it was a great idea. I have also have lost a lot of weight through the years, and wanted to feel good about myself.

What was originally holding you back from booking a session? Nervous and the cost.

What were you most nervous about for your session? Not feeling comfortable being in Lingerie. I still am not 100% comfortable in my body still today. Can still see in the mirror the bigger girl I used to be.

How did you feel about yourself before your session? I was excited. I got a few sneak peeks at a few photos and they were awesome. I felt like a million dollars after with having my hair and make up all done up.

Describe your experience. It was amazing. I walked in and met with Emily. We looked over what she had picked up and I tried a few things on and she helped me pick the best ones. Then we got to the hair and make up which to me was so relaxing. With a crazy work schedule it was just nice to sit and listen to music and chill out. Then after we starting taking pictures and the time flew by so fast, I could have done it all day.

How did you feel about yourself after your session? It was so nice being shown how she wanted you to pose. And made you feel very comfortable and telling you that you look gorgeous. Really helped me feel more comfortable in my session.

Were you nervous before your viewing session? VERY nervous.

How did you feel about yourself after seeing your photos? They were amazing. It was so hard to just use the amount i needed for my book. I wanted to do so much more.

What were your favorite products? The book

What would you tell anyone interested, but maybe hesitant, in book a session of their own? DO IT! I was totally out of my comfort zone but they make you feel like you are the prettiest woman ever.

How was working with Jes and Emily? They were amazing. Very chill and fun to work with.

Will you be doing another session? YES

Anything else you want to add? Thank you!!!!!!

"I have a whole new level of respect for myself." | Duluth Boudoir Interview with Noel

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How old were you at your session?30

What made you decide to book a session?It is always something I have wanted to do, for myself and for my husband.

What was originally holding you back from booking a session?I have never been very confident in my appearance or my body, but over the years of being married and having kids I have come to appreciate myself more. It helps that my husband compliments me as well and has since the beginning even with all of the body changes I have gone through.

What were you most nervous about for your session?I was most nervous about feeling so exposed, and uncomfortable in my own skin in front of a total stranger and then having it captured on camera. I was also nervous that I would not like any of my pictures.

How did you feel about yourself before your session?Not confident, a little anxious and uncomfortable. I also felt a lot bigger than I actually appeared in the pictures, in my mind anyway.

Describe your experience.I loved every minute of it! They made me feel very welcome and comfortable as well as beautiful. I actually felt like a model towards the end once I got the hang of it

How did you feel about yourself after your session?I felt happy and beautiful and I was so excited to see my pictures! I was way more confident in myself after my session.

Were you nervous before your viewing session?A little, but I was mostly excited!

How did you feel about yourself after seeing your photos?I was convinced that I can be sexy if I tried and I have never really felt that way before. I have a whole new level of respect for myself.

What were your favorite products?I loved all of the albums, very beautiful and amazing quality.

What would you tell anyone interested, but maybe hesitant, in book a session of their own?I would convince them that it is well worth it! I think it can be a life changing experience for some women. We can judge ourselves so harshly sometimes and this experience can help you see yourself in a different light.

How was working with Jes and Emily?They were awesome! They made me feel so good about myself. They are so outgoing and welcoming, once I started talking to them I was less nervous.

Will you be doing another session?Possibly

Anything else you want to add?I just want to thank Jess and Emily for such an amazing experience that I do not think I would have had anywhere else. I can't believe how something as simple as a photo shoot can change your perspective on yourself and other women.

"I felt beautiful, strong, powerful... like I could achieve anything." | Duluth Boudoir Interview with Poly

How old were you at your session? 2 weeks from 31!

What made you decide to book a session? I get a boudoir session done of myself every year for my birthday, as a gift to myself! It's been 6 years of this tradition.

What was originally holding you back from booking a session? I wanted to get in better shape.

What were you most nervous about for your session? Feeling beautiful when looking at the pictures.

How did you feel about yourself before your session? I felt good, but very nervous. I just wanted everything to look good for photos. It was also my first time doing boudoir with Jes, but I knew I could trust her, she's the best at boudoir!

Describe your experience. It was wonderful! From the very beginning, choosing outfits from the amazing closet, to having Emily doll me up, to feeling like a queen posing for Jes! Everything was flawless!

How did you feel about yourself after your session? Like a princess! I felt beautiful, strong, powerful... like I could achieve anything.

Were you nervous before your viewing session? Very nervous!

How did you feel about yourself after seeing your photos? Like the very best of me was reflected on the photos. Things I don't normally like about myself could not be even seen on the photos. I felt so happy and felt like I really look amazing!

What were your favorite products? All of them! Especially the album!

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What would you tell anyone interested, but maybe hesitant, in book a session of their own? Jes got you! Don't wait until you think you look perfect for photos. Jes knows how to direct and pose like no one else!

How was working with Jes and Emily? Amazing! I'm already excited to book my next session with Mad Chicken Studio for my next boudoir!

Will you be doing another session? OF COURSE!

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Anything else you want to add? Jes brought me to tears when she showed me my photos. What she gave me was so much more than photos... it's a true gift for a lifetime!

What I learned from my second boudoir shoot

I talk the talk, so it is important for me to walk the walk.  I just had my second boudoir session, and I do them for two reasons:

1. Our bodies make a lot of changes over the year.
2. I like to test drive our experience to see if we need to make any improvements.

Over the last year, I experienced a pregnancy, birth, and the hormonal changes that a postpartum body presents.  I went from a size 10 to a 16.  My body is rounder and softer.  The first thing I will say, is that I love my photos from my second shoot more than my first.  I will also say that even though we give one hell of an experience to our clients, I did see where some improvements can be made.  Here is what I learned.

1. Hydration. I talk about the importance of drinking water before your session BUT when you arrive, we do not have any to offer.  Of course I want to step it up, and not just have regular bottles of water, so naturally it is going to take some research.

2. Breakfast.  The morning of my shoot, I was running around busy getting stuff together, trying to get my daughter off to Grandma and Grandpa's for the day, and trying to get to the studio in time for my session to start.  I completely forgot to feed myself.  This is a really bad idea guys.  Your muscles will completely give out on you, if you haven't had the proper nourishment.  I am looking at options for something to eat while Emily is starting on your hair.  I am trying to ensure that she is able to do what she needs to do without interruption.

3. The chairs.  No, I'm not talking about the prop chairs during the session.  I am talking about the chairs that are used for hair and makeup... ouch!  I'm a whiner sometimes, so I did complain a lot.  We recently added a much comfier hair and makeup chair to the studio to keep me from future whining.

4. Decisions.  After the outfits are chosen, after hair and makeup is done, it is time for photos, right?  So typically I will tell girls to start with the outfit they are most comfortable in.  For my session, I honestly did not know where to start.  I wanted someone to tell me.  I am going to work on this for future sessions.

As a side note... you guys... my posing has changed significantly from last year.  They are no joke!  They are much more intense.  I always tell everyone to stretch before bed, but it is hard work.  Shout out, kudos, and all of the hoorays for you guys for not complaining once... see my note above... I totally complained.  I love you all! 

I hope everyone is prepared for our experience to get even better than before... if that is even possible :).

"I had tears by the third photo because I was staring at this beautiful woman who was ME!" | Duluth Boudoir Interview with Sarah

How old were you at your session?34

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What made you decide to book a session?Since getting pregnant (and have a baby) I haven't felt like my body has belonged to me. I had a great pregnancy and enjoyed watching my body grow and I feel fortunate that my body has allowed me to breastfeed for so long. However, my body has been my daughter's for over 1.5 years and I needed a reminder that it is for me too and it's more than a baby growing/feeding machine.

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What was originally holding you back from booking a session?My body has changed - it's become curvier, softer and I prefer to be more covered up these days. I thought I would want to wait until I spent more time at the gym, but then I got real with myself and realized that if I truly hated my body I would be working a lot harder to change it.

What were you most nervous about for your session?Finding pieces that fit me correctly and then being able to look in the mirror and not critique every tiny little thing.

How did you feel about yourself before your session?I was feeling like I a needed a boost to my self confidence. I'm lucky to have a husband who tells me I'm beautiful (and means it) on a regular basis, but I needed something special, like this session, for me to see it with my own eyes again.

Describe your experience.HOLY SH*T, IT WAS F#CKING AMAZING!!!! Ok, reel it back a bit, Sarah . . . But seriously, it was unbelievable. It was 4 hours of pampering, sincere compliments and WERK. Those back arches are the real deal.

This will sound weird, but I didn't want to have to think a lot. I just wanted to pick out some outfits (that they had), show a few ideas for hair and makeup and then just be told what to do. That is EXACTLY what happened and for the first time since I had a child, my brain shut off. The only thing I thought about while I was there was holding my pose and not dancing/singing to the song that was on . . . because I had to hold that pose. It was like a mini vacation for those 4 hours.

How did you feel about yourself after your session?I was ecstatic. I was so happy that I ended up telling my husband about it beforehand because all I wanted to do was talk about it afterwards. I walked out of the studio feeling so confident and beautiful.

Were you nervous before your viewing session?No

How did you feel about yourself after seeing your photos?I had tears by the third photo because I was staring at this beautiful woman who was ME! It was a huge confidence boost and my head may have gotten a little too inflated because as I walked out I said, "I'm f#cking hot." I've reigned it in a little, but honestly it has helped me love my postpartum body far more than I did before and reminds me that this body of mine has done some amazing things so I need to embrace the extra curviness and softness as signs of a job well done!

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What were your favorite products?Although they're all great, the albums were my favorite.

What would you tell anyone interested, but maybe hesitant, in book a session of their own?Turn off all those little voices in your head trying to tell you that you're not ready or worthy. YOU DESERVE THIS! You deserve to be pampered and flaunt your sexiness - even if you think that you're too skinny, overweight, not confident enough, etc. You are perfect the way you are and Jes & Emily can help you embrace that.

I only had one month from when I booked until my session happened and I was happy about that - I didn't want extra time to obsess about trying to have a better body. I just went about my business - probably ate a lot of donuts and only went to the gym a few times, but as I said before, I've just accepted who I am. You should too and BOOK THE DAMN SESSION.

How was working with Jes and Emily?It didn't take me too long to pick out my 4 outfits, but if I was debating one I would show Jes and Emily and they would confirm it was a good choice and make me feel great about it. I never once felt insecure, which is a rarity while looking at outfits in the mirror

Emily did an amazing job with hair and makeup. After my shoot my husband (who is very creative and visual) told me that it was his favorite (non-everyday) look on me. Why can't Emily's beauty magic last more than one day?!

And then there's Jes . . . oh Jes, she makes you work, but she knows exactly what she's doing. She is amazing with instruction and posing you in ways that will make all your best attributes pop! Hearing her reactions to the shots only made me feel more confident while being in front of her camera.

Will you be doing another session?Yes

Anything else you want to add?Just a huge THANK YOU to not only Jes & Emily, but to all the amazing ladies in the boudoir group. It's really great in these crazy times to have a network of women lifting each other up instead of tearing each other down. We are quite literally baring a lot of ourselves in this group and the support we give each other does not go unnoticed.