Hey everyone I’m Grace! First of all I think I can speak for all of us when I say that Jes, Emily and Katie are FUCKING AMAZING and I feel so grateful and lucky to be affiliated with such a badass group of women – THAT IS ALL OF YOU!! Second of all, I’ll warn you about how long winded I am.
I used to live in Duluth and just over four years ago I met Jes, she asked me if I was interested modeling for a styled shoot she had in mind, without hesitation I said yes, I mean how could I not? I remember going out and buying some new bras, underwear and shoes for the shoot, followed by getting my hair done and of course mani/pedi. The shoot that she had planned was inspired by Marilyn Monroe, being at my blondest, I was so excited and nervous. I remember showing up to the studio and meeting Emily, we pretty much started the glam right away. The shoot felt like it flew by because of how much fun it was, but the best part, hands down, was how comfortable and confident they made me feel. I have always been a fairly confident person with who I am both inside and out, that being said ive had some real highs and lows along the way. After leaving my first session I was on cloud 9! Snapping selfies in the car while still in their parking lot, I had absolutely no shame I was totally feeling myself and my eyelashes. Emily, I still think about those ones lol. When Jes sent me the final images from my Marilyn shoot I was in AWE! Like, WHO IS THIS HOT BABE? Oh yeah that’s me!!!!! ME!!!!! I didn’t know what to expect but it far exceeded anything I had imagined. I had just gotten into a new relationship and showing him the photos from that shoot. Looking at him, looking at me.. [now I know why they say the best things are free] (thanks Monica for the lyrics) I was so in love already but wouldn’t tell him for another three months.
Fast forward to later that year and her first boudoir Black Friday sale.. by the time I was ready to book I had only had a couple of options left for dates because so many bad ass babes wanted to have to same feeling that I already knew and experienced. My next session was booked!! I was back in the studio for another session about a year after my first, I was so excited and so ready. By this point Jes had a pretty good group of women in her Facebook group and I was just LOVING following all the beautiful stories and images. There is something so damn powerful about women who lift each other up but I think in this group that goes without saying. So anyways I walk into the studio for my second shoot and this time I didn’t have to bring as many of my own pieces because Jes had already started buying pieces for what would turn into The Closet. I tried on a few things and narrowed it down and let me tell you it was fabulous. Gone with the wind fabulous. Emily got going with glam and it was so fun to have a completely different look than my first. Once she finished we jumped right in and just like the first my shoot just flew on by, like can I please just stay all day and walk around in my undies? I remember going to my viewing session and bringing along my boyfriend (same one from the first shoot) and having Jes show us all the images on a projector screen. There I was up on that screen looking fucking awesome. Like hello ,wow. Even though my bae came with me I still wanted to buy an album for him for his upcoming birthday, and let me tell you he was still surprised and I loved watching him open it. Right around my second shoot is when ‘The Girl of the Week’ started and I can still remember all the love that I genuinely felt from all the ladies who support the group. I felt fabulous and so confident seeing what everyone had to say.
There was almost three years between my second and third sessions and I feel like SO MUCH happened between them, for both me and the studio. Watching the group expand the way it has and watching Jes expand not only her team but her studio has been absolutely amazing, like I previously said I feel so lucky and grateful to know women like her/them. I relocated a little over two years ago and while I miss Duluth so much I love still being connected to the group. When I first moved I was honestly so lonely being in a new place with no friends or family and my confidence really took a nose dive, it was a whirlwind of emotions. Like I had mentioned earlier I am a fairly confident person, like everyone I have had my moments where I feel pressured to look a certain way or be a certain size, but it got really hard for a few months, along with non-body personal life issues things weren’t easy. As I get older I’m learning to love myself in different and new ways. I still find myself being insecure at times because let’s be honest getting older takes its toll and I haven’t always been the best at self-care. I love that I can look at the comments from all the group members and quotes from real women and remind myself why I’m beautiful, both inside and out. I remember one day commenting on a live video they were doing in the group and they told me they would love if I came for another shoot, I remember being so happy but it was one of those insecure times and I wasn’t in a hurry to make time for a shoot when I wasn’t feeling myself the way I wanted to. It was probably a few months later and a similar scenario happened on a live video, only this time I was so fucking ready. I was planning a trip home to visit friends and family anyway so I thought to myself ‘you better do this shoot bitch, you need it’ so they were the first to know the dates I would be home so we could plan the day. I know I would have regretted not making time for this and being in a dark place previously I just knew it would be exactly what I needed.
Between setting the date for my shoot and waiting for the day to actually arrive I had learned that I was the first woman that Jes ever did a boudoir shoot with!! Then! I learned that the local paper was doing an editorial on them and wondered if I was okay with them coming during my shoot. Talk about an honor, I cannot say enough how honored I feel to be the model featured with them. Both the reporter and newspaper photographer were seriously beautiful women and made me feel so comfortable having two extra people there recording conversations and talking some behind the scenes photos. My shoot was planned at the end of my trip home and there couldn’t have been a better way to end my stay in Duluth. I showed up to the new studio so excited! So excited about so much! Excited just to be there, excited to see the studio after seeing it in so many photos and videos, excited to see Jes and Emily after so long and so excited to meet Katie even though it felt like I already knew her. I walked it with the biggest grin that I don’t think ever left and was greeted with puppy kisses and so many hugs, I was already so happy. I was shown around and brought into the closet like OH MY FUCKING GOD. I felt like a child and I wanted to look at and touch everything. I was immediately stopped in my tracks by this amazing robe and instantly started looking at it. We chatted a little bit and they told me I could try on all the stuff on the rack, INCLUDING THE ROBE. I was so happy it was pulled for me because, well, gone with the wind fabulous. It was so hard to narrow it down. I can’t talk about the rest of the outfits because I can and will go on forever because well, you’ll see. During glam I loved chatting and laughing with all the ladies all while channeling my current favorite Real Housewife, Erika Girardi of Beverly Hills. Feeling like a full on fierce bitch on top I changed into my first outfit and we started shooting.
Just like the first two it flew by. More than an hour of crawling, rolling, leaning and arching my back on floors and furniture and it was over. I went to change and came out with that same big grin I originally walked in with and no one or anything could wipe it off. I can’t believe I forgot how good it felt to be there. How much love I am capable of feeling for myself, how much confidence I had, I can’t believe I forgot. I am so happy to be reminded, it was the boost I needed after having a difficult transition within the last couple of years. You don’t even know how much you need it until you do it. To all you ladies reading, thank you. To all of you ladies wanting to do a session, do it, the only thing you’ll regret is not doing it sooner. To Jes, Emily and Katie – I love you boss babes and thank you for being you and bringing so much love positivity into my life through your work.