(If you are just happening onto this blog or series of posts…this is the last post in a series of four, in case you wish to read them in chronological order!)
When I first began contemplating this series of blog posts there was one idea that continually rose to the surface, and it was, “Every woman should do this once in her life!”
I’m not sure about all you women readers, but my life is hectic! A husband, two kids, two dogs, extended family in town, friends, a small business, a house, a yard, and some hobbies! It can feel overwhelming. I would like to say now, in black and white, that I am thrilled with my life! I am so thankful for the people who love me, and whom I love, and for all the opportunities I am continually blessed with. That said; the truth is that it can feel overwhelming. On a day-to-day basis it is difficult to feel like there is a lot of ‘flex’, but there should be…isn’t life so much better when we DECIDE to make time for play and fun?! I happen to be a ‘project driven’ person and so, for me, marking a date on the calendar is almost always critical to my success. If I hadn’t marked “Photo Shoot” down on my calendar I likely wouldn’t have made all the positive life changes that I did.
We’re all different and so the “fun” in prepping for a shoot will vary for each of us. I can honestly say that I’m a girl that likes gettin’ dolled up once in a while, I like expensive and HIGH heels (although I still can’t fathom paying for a pair of Louboutins!), and I am too often found at Sephora; but I am also a working mom who needs to get the floors washed, run the kids to school & activities, play with the dogs, remember and celebrate friends’ birthdays, and try to keep up on the never ending piles of dishes and laundry. So, having a celebrity-worthy manicure, sticking to only prepared-from-scratch meals, appearing as though my day unfolded with ease and grace, all while looking like I just woke from a long and peaceful nap…well, that just doesn’t happen on any sort of regular basis! But WAIT, some of that did happen (maybe not the well-rested part) and it was all due to my decision to have a boudoir/form/fine art nude shoot done!
It’s important for me to say here, and for you to know, that I still had to get the dishes and laundry done and the kids still needed my attention (there were no maids nor nannies hired in the making of this shoot!); however, I had a new found commitment to myself. Over the years I was finding myself spending less and less time on things that made me feel good – less time working out, I stopped going to get my hair done as there seemed like better places to spend our money, I only had manicures when it was part of a girls’ day, etc. – and I really missed feeling ‘pretty’, or perhaps it is more accurate to say that I missed the fun that goes into ‘getting pretty’! I can’t tell you how invigorating it was to think, “Yeah, I’m going to take this hour or hour and a half to work out because it benefits ME, even if I don’t get all the laundry done today.” I think I’ve always known, but the point was driven home for me, that my family was better off for me being better off! The floors maybe weren’t cleaned as often, but nobody was any worse for wear, (in fact I believe that the example I’ve been setting this past year to follow your dreams, to exercise and eat well and to make yourself a priority in your own life were powerful lessons for my children) and the ‘mom’ in the equation felt happier, lighter, rejuvenated, younger, more confident, and, ahem, sexier!
Imagine having a reason to let your husband do the weeding because you want to have nice hands for your shoot. Imagine letting the dishes be dirty because you want to get your workout in and you aren’t going to sacrifice your health or sanity just because you feel you should have a clean counter. Imagine putting yourself at the top of your list. I did this, to varying degrees of effort and success, and I’m here to tell you that it was and is AWESOME!
If all the benefits I listed above weren’t enough, there was more wonderment in store. In early June, I prepared for my shoot with only myself to worry about. I showed up ready to have my makeup professionally applied by a super hip and fun woman. I blushingly showed the photographer what I’d brought along in hopes that he could make me look beautiful. I WAS NOT worried about anything except being present in that moment, feeling free and uninhibited, and loving what it feels like to have no regrets! I was happily playing “supermodel” for the day and it was FUN! And, now, I have loads of images that document this time in my life. Images that make me smile or blush; images that make me feel empowered.
|Photo by B. F. Peterson|
I’m in a rather unique position as part of my ultimate goal was to document the process and results of my shoot to share with you. I also really wanted to have the full experience of what a woman might consider or feel before, during, and after a boudoir shoot so that I could speak to future clients with heightened awareness. However, this part of my process would almost certainly not be a part of yours. Rather, upon you making the decision to do a shoot, the benefit of: re-addressing your priorities and where you find yourself on that list will be had; the fun of finding the style you hope to have for your shoot will be had; the resulting beautiful images will be forever yours to have and to share with whomever you wish; but also, and perhaps especially, there will be your memento of who you are on that day - without any labels, trends, or social titles attached…there YOU will be, looking beautiful, strong, independent, and ready for whatever the world throws at you! The old adage that ‘you don’t know how strong you are until you need to know’ comes to mind…while you may be thinking that the vulnerability you’ll feel in front of the camera on the day is beyond what you are capable of, I am here to tell you that the positive mojo that you get from the experience far outweighs any discomfort!
So, to wrap up this personal and professional series of comments, let me say this…whether you choose me to photograph your session or another, don’t deny yourself this incredible experience. Trust me, I didn’t know that this was on my Bucket List, but, in retrospect, I can’t help but think, “Yep, I’m going to cross that off my list and, WOW, was it fun!”
Life is good!