"You are worthy to see yourself in a different light." || Duluth Boudoir Photography Interview with Tracie

tra-015 copy.jpg

How Old Were You At Your Session? 43

tra-001 - Copy.jpg

What made you decide to book a session? I booked a December session the April prior, after spending the afternoon with both Jes and Poly. They were so encouraging and raved about the session.....and basically questioned "why not"? Jes told me there was only 1 session left in 2018 and it was in December. After a drive home from the southern suburbs, I answered myself and instead said..... "why wouldn't I?" I felt tired of always covering myself up....pants, long sleeves, and maxi dresses. I was suffering with a bout of eczema but WHY was I letting that stop me and prevent me from enjoying life. I'm working hard in the gym, I'm celebrating my 20th anniversary with the love of my life and I want to see myself as he does and several of my friends whose comments I basically let roll off. But this time was different...this opportunity was the chance to maybe allow me to see the beauty instead of the flaws up close in my own personal mirror. I had seen Jes's work and was intrigued to see what kind of transformation I could see of myself in a gift not only to my husband, but to me. I booked, sent off the deposit and was giddy for the next 8 months to pass.

What was originally holding you back from booking a session? Not believing in myself. I struggle a lot with confidence and it was one of those things that I didn't feel I needed to spend the money on myself.

tra-007 - Copy.jpg

What were you most nervous about for your session? Showing scars....and stretch marks....and things that have been called out in the past. Yes, I once had my stretch marks called out by an acquaintance ( I wouldn't necessarily call her a friend....) while in a pool on vacation in Cabo. "Did you know you have stretch marks on your back?" Ummmmm....WHAT?!?! Excuse me?!?! Who do you think you are?! It basically blew my mind and was like a punch in the face on Day 2 of 7. I was stunned and didn't even reply. Later, her friends stuck up for her and stated "that's not really what she meant....that wasn't her intention" Whatevs.... it has scared me for a long time.... and frankly I was nervous about those pieces of my body glowing like a fireball. I was worried that boudoir photos are only for those that can be airbrushed and photoshop-ed for publications. Stupid reasons to be nervous, I know. I had also gone to a 2nd dermatologist since booking the appt and was at ease that treatment for the eczema on my legs had dramatically improved. I hadn't shaved my legs in over 2 months....but I did 2 days before the session. I prayed that the positions my body was in wouldn't make me feel self conscious that the focal point was directly on legs.

tra-011 - Copy.jpg

How did you feel about yourself before your session? I was nervous..... but excited to have makeup and hair done.

tra-013 - Copy.jpg

Describe your experience. First of all, I'm not sure I can put my experience into words. Because I like in a northern Mpls suburb, I lied to my husband about where I was going that day. Because it was in December, I was also concerned about the weather and road conditions but they both were favorable. Katie's smile and laughter put me at ease upon stepping foot inside the door. She was so welcoming and authentic in that they were looking forward to ME. The wardrobe room blew me away. How was I ever going to decide..... I mean, they curated a separate rack just for me. I had never worn any lingerie so to try it on and see myself in the mirror was heart-stopping. That was me.... woof. And the make-up chair....as a little girl, I dreamed about being a HMUA. I remember doing a career fair in the 2nd grade where we researched education and what it would be like to do that. Now, I find myself "too busy" to spend too much time on myself and often make a mess of my eyes/face. OR worse yet, does a mom of almost teenage boys need to have layers on makeup?! HA! I loved the conversation I had with Emily. It was so insightful to hear what she likes best and it was also inspiring to me that she is doing something she LOVES. I too am seeking more of that so there were moments in the chair I thought to myself and challenged myself of seeking out that THING that I love to do. Her work inspired me and I am still blessed to have been the magical girl in the chair that day. I did not have my make-up done for my wedding or any other day so I was so excited to see myself. The beauty in my eyes were highlighted. That is something my husband and my good friends see and for once I was beginning to see that in the mirror. Not because of makeup but because I was doing something for myself and going way out of my comfort zone with new found friends. They were there to help me find myself that day. I was able to walk around the studio without the worry of being judged. My scars no longer existed..... Jes and the angle she takes behind the lens as well as coaching me into stunning positions is so freaking amazing. I mean, she knows her shit... We have all seen photos in magazines, etc, but I never thought I could look that amazing....no lie. She's a natural, she makes you feel so comfortable and at ease. She compliments and is authentic in what she sees in me. I made a comment about self care being selfish, and she challenged me because I didn't like "self"..... I feel it feels selfish. Maybe its because I'm a mom of 2 boys and always putting their needs first. Maybe its because I put too much weight on what others think of me where it would be selfish to take care of my needs. This experience was life-changing. I also learned that Katie has eczema as well. It does not stop her from doing what she loves at the studio....she's warm, inviting, and her laugh makes me want to enjoy the moment with her as well. We all struggle with issues in our life but we CAN NOT let that stop us from doing what we love. I can not let my body and how I feel about it because of what others said stop me. Life changes are currently happening.....because they empowered me to believe in myself. xo

tra-018 copy.jpg

How did you feel about yourself after your session? Life-changing..... I am beautiful. I am enough. I am loved.

tra-020 - Copy.jpg

Were you nervous before your viewing session? Nope. I was so darn excited.

tra-023 copy.jpg

How did you feel about yourself after seeing your photos? I am beautiful.

tra-021 copy.jpg

What were your favorite products? The album. A must-have for me to remind me if/when I am feeling down to flip a few pages to see myself as a beautiful woman / wife / mom / friend / daughter / sister.

tra-026 copy.jpg

What would you tell anyone interest, but maybe hesitant, in booking a session of their own? Trust me. You owe it to yourself. You are worthy to see yourself in a different light.

tra-027 copy.jpg

How was working with Jes, Emily, and Katie? Amazing....the best team. They work so well together. Their system is smooth and flawless.

tra-029 copy.jpg

Will you be doing another session? yes, I would like to for sure!

tra-033 copy.jpg

Anything else you want to add? Thank you Girls! I love each of you!