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 :).
How old were you at your session? 30
What made you decide to book a session? I had been a part of the group for quite some time, and had always wanted to do it. When I found out I was possibly going away for a year, I figured what better time than now!
What was originally holding you back from booking a session? My body, of course. I've gotten older and no longer have college sports keeping me in shape. My body is no where near where it was or where I want it to be, but this is me at 30.
What were you most nervous about for your session? Picking the outfits. I was worried nothing would look good on me and my fat rolls would be hanging out all over the place.
How did you feel about yourself before your session? I was nervous, but not as much as I thought I would be. I had seen the amazing work Jes does and read the other blogs too, so I think that helped a lot too.
Describe your experience. It was amazing from the moment I walked in. Emily greeted me and made me feel comfortable! She showed me the rack of outfits they pulled for me according to my sizes I had put down and let me have at the wardrobe. I didn't know how some of them worked and Emily helped me get into them. I picked my favorites and then it was on to hair and makeup with Emily. I showed her a few pics and told her what I was thinking and she worked her magic. We chatted and laughed, she eased any nerves that may have been there. Once she was done I couldn't believe it was actually me, I felt super pretty. Jes came and helped me narrow my favorites to my final selection and it was go time. Jes explained EVERYTHING and also did all the poses before so there was no pressure on my part, except remembering what went where. The session was amazing. I had so much fun laughing with Jes. She showed me a few pics during the shoot and I really couldn't believe that was actually me. It was such a confidence boost.
How did you feel about yourself after your session? I felt on top of the world! I had so much confidence and felt like I was radiating this "yeah I know I'm sexy" attitude.
Were you nervous before your viewing session? I was extremely nervous, mainly because my boyfriend came with so there no way to "proof" what he was going to see.
How did you feel about yourself after seeing your photos? Incredible. Everything I was worried about before was totally gone. There I was, on the big screen, and I was loving every bit of it.
What were your favorite products? All!! It was so hard to choose!
What would you tell anyone interested, but maybe hesitant, in book a session of their own? Bite the bullet and do it!!! It is SO worth it and you will love how you feel. You don't need a reason or person to do it for... you'll love the results the most!
How was working with Jes and Emily? The greatest experience ever! They make you feel so comfortable and amazing. They're such fun girls and you can tell they love what they do.
Will you be doing another session? Definitely!
Anything else you want to add? I went into this not happy with how my body had changed and how I looked now, but that all went away after seeing myself in Jes' camera. Don't make excuses or hold yourself back from this amazing experience!
How old were you at your session? 25
What made you decide to book a session? The Black Friday Special was what finally pushed me over the edge to go for it :)
What was originally holding you back from booking a session? My weight and insecurities. I have always been larger than most my age especially. I received more than my fair share of bullying and harassing growing up - after I had went through puberty that is! I started puberty at the beginning of 6th grade. By 8th grade I already was a size C cup, I was overweight compared to everyone else I went to school with... To be honest, it was hell from that point on.
What were you most nervous about for your session? Not "fitting" into any of the outfits I would try on! That was the number one thing I was scared of.
Secondly, I was afraid of seeing the photos. I have always been able to find something positive to focus on with myself when looking in the mirror, but then I would get a glimpse at what "everyone else sees" and feel totally crushed. I had realized that it was possible to feel confident yet still be insecure at the same time!
How did you feel about yourself before your session? At the time of my session I was feeling pretty excited. I had undergone gastric surgery last June, and finally was losing weight and feeling excited for a new start on life. I was still nervous about trying to hide my excess skin from losing weight, but overall.... I wanted this session to help me finally change how I thought about myself and be comfortable in my skin again.
Describe your experience. My experience was nothing less than incredible!
From the moment I got out of my car, I was welcomed with a handwritten chalkboard sign outside the studio door. I opened the door to find two beautiful women smiling at me and overjoyed to finally meet!
I was shocked to see just how large of a selection of outfits I had to choose from, most of which I had no issues fitting into. I was able to ask questions, listen to music, and just take the whole experience in.
Having Emily do my makeup was incredible! She is nothing less than an artist in what she does. This was my first ever experience having someone else do my makeup - especially wearing falsies! :P
Once I looked in the mirror to see the finished product, I could hardly believe it was me! By then all nerves were gone - it was camera time!
Jes is the most down to earth, silly, yet professional woman I think I have ever met in my life. Hands down! - Sorry to anyone whom I know already who may be reading this. ;)
My very large chest decided to make our shoot interesting at times but did I ever feel unwelcomed because of it? Absolutely not!
How did you feel about yourself after your session? After my session, my whole outlook on things changed. I radiated positivity and began to see everything around me as "flawless" in its own way.
I was confident and sure of myself. My mind and body felt as if they weren't at war with each other any more. I felt encouraged to continue on bettering myself, but also choosing my words more carefully around my two little girls. I have always believed in positive self image, but even little things like telling my now 4 year old "I think you got bigger!" changed to more specific things like "Oh goodness! I think you got taller!" or "Look how strong you are! You just did that all by yourself!". I don't want any room for their mind to wander away from just how beautiful and different they are as individuals. <3
Were you nervous before your viewing session? I was PETRIFIED!
How did you feel about yourself after seeing your photos? My husband was with - On Valentines day during our viewing session. He has been my rock through the best and worst times, yet.. I was completely petrified to see his expression upon seeing the photos. I felt "naked" in the sense that there was no "wall" inside me to keep any sign of dislike from going right to my core. Thankfully, that was nowhere near the case. :)
There were over a hundred images to go through, and I expected that there would be ones I wasn't a fan of. But I was stunned when I could count on one hand the number of pictures that were not my favorites. Choosing my photos was SO difficult. I was consumed by them for the entire week while making our decisions.
What were your favorite products? Out of everything, either of the Albums. I just wish they held more photos! :P
What would you tell anyone interested, but maybe hesitant, in book a session of their own? Close your eyes and jump! You will not fall, and you will not feel alone through any step of the process. Even now, with everyone seeing my photos... I am not ashamed in the least bit. Its me! Flaws and all! I have struggled, I have endured, and I have came out a better person in so many ways!
How was working with Jes and Emily? I touched on this already, but it literally is like the tip of the iceberg! Whether you have been blessed enough to meet these ladies already, or will be experiencing it for the first time. You will feel comfortable, at home, and likely leave feeling like you met "soul friends".
They both are artists through and through. There is no doubt about it!
Will you be doing another session? Absolutely! Its booked for the end of the year(ish)
Anything else you want to add? No matter your reason for even considering doing a session, there is no reason too small. The world is a brutal place, and if we can encourage and empower each other even for a small amount of time... That right there is PRICELESS!
How old were you at your session? 36
What made you decide to book a session? I have several friends who have done it and said that it was so much fun. I've seen their pictures and they are stunning. I couldn't wait!
What was originally holding you back from booking a session? I have three kids and work part time and am in nursing school full time. So money. And time.
What were you most nervous about for your session? How is my butt going to look? Do I have body dysmorphia in another form where I think I'm really thinner than I really am? What if the makeup makes me look like a hooker? What if I WANT to look like a hooker? Where the &*(& will I go after the session all done up?
How did you feel about yourself before your session? Again, tired, full time nursing student and mom to young children. I'm exhausted. All the time. And I used to work out 3-4 times a week and since school started I haven't been able to keep up. I'm the happiest I have ever been though. I'm almost finished with school and I'm madly in love. It shows!
Describe your experience. I loved having my makeup done by Emily. She is so precise and she truly is an artist. I loved my makeup and I'll be having her come to my house every morning from now on... My hair is short and I didn't know how curls would look but Emily made it look effortless and just different enough that I still felt like myself. Jess is so down to earth and personable. You can feel that she really loves her job and wants every woman to feel good about themselves.
How did you feel about yourself after your session? I could not wait to see the images and I was so surprised how fast the time flew by.
Were you nervous before your viewing session? Not until I saw the TV they show it to you on ;)
How did you feel about yourself after seeing your photos? I was shocked. It looked like me but also another version. I love them. I just wanted to stare at them. I did this for myself and I'm so glad I did!
What were your favorite products? The accordion booklet and the viewfinder
What would you tell anyone interested, but maybe hesitant, in book a session of their own? Oh, just stop it and do it already. It's amazing. Every woman should spend the day feeling this way!
How was working with Jes and Emily? Fun, lighthearted, professional
Will you be doing another session? I hope so!
How old were you at your session? 28
What made you decide to book a session? I've always wanted to do one, I saw the half of session fee and felt like it was meant to be!
What was originally holding you back from booking a session? My lack of confidence
What were you most nervous about for your session? Posing for sure!
How did you feel about yourself before your session? Alright
Describe your experience. It was great! Both Jes and Emily were really down to earth and easy to talk to. I was so nervous and Jes really helped calmed my nerves.
How did you feel about yourself after your session? I felt really good!
Were you nervous before your viewing session? Yes
How did you feel about yourself after seeing your photos? I could not believe that was me in the picture. I was like, "who is that girl?!"
What were your favorite products? All of them
What would you tell anyone interested, but maybe hesitant, in book a session of their own? It is a once in a lifetime experience. You don't need to do this for anyone, it is definitely something you can do for yourself!
How was working with Jes and Emily? Amazing!
Will you be doing another session? Definitely!