After opening the studio, I knew I was going to need professional yoga pictures taken. Joy and I had recently connected over Instagram--you never know who you might meet when using social media wisely. Initially, we had scheduled a family lifestyle session but after meeting Joy, I knew she was the photographer I was going to use for my professional yoga photos, too.
I wanted high quality images which could be used on my website and for social media. Pictures that represented me; pictures that captured physical and mental strength. Believe it or not, that is a big ask.
The physical part is what it is. I did not prep my body at all for this shoot because that wouldn't have been an honest representation.
The mental piece—that's something only a good photographer can tease out.
Needless to say, I was floored by the finished product. What I saw in the pictures was this person I thought existed on the inside but hadn't seen expressed outwardly. The photos gave me tangible evidence that I was who I believed (but had questioned) myself to be.
It was striking. Jaw dropping, really.
In these photos I am strong. I am determined. I am an entrepreneur. Like, whoa! How did that happen?! Without this photographic evidence, I don't know that I ever would have been able to write the preceding words with such conviction. Thank you, Joy. That is priceless gift I will be eternally grateful for.
So Why Boudoir?
Circling back to the original intention of this essay: why boudoir?
When I was given the opportunity to work with Joy on another project, this time through her beauty and boudoir brand Lovejoy Portraits, how could I say no? I loved our family photos and was enamored with my yoga pictures. Boudoir is something I have secretly wanted to do for a long time, but it felt indulgent.
Beyond that, though, I didn't consider myself worthy of such photos.
I know it sounds strange but in my mind I wasn't “that girl” until all the sudden I became “that woman”. Huge shift, right? I had firmly decided this was something I wanted to do. I had conquered strong, determined, and entrepreneurial already as evidenced by my yoga photos. It became time to dig deep, get over my fears and insecurities, and see if I could be feminine, sexy, playful….AND strong. All of those things at one time. Again, this was a big ask.
The Photo Session
The experience I had while taking these pictures was surreal. It's not often I am able to spend time doing my hair and makeup much less getting it professionally done. I have two little kids and right now my social life is really limited. I wanted to be able to represent what was happening with me internally through the physical. That is super empowering.
This photo shoot was my opportunity to showcase my inner goddess. I know that sounds ridiculous, but don't knock it until you try it!
Posing for the camera sounds simple, but using my body in such a different way was more difficult than I expected it to be. But I dug deep. I moved my body both in ways that felt natural and unnatural. In the end it all felt good—really freaking good.
Boudoir Photography and Self Care
“Self care” is a hot button issue right now. It means different things to different people, but this experience with boudoir photography was absolutely about self care.
I am not going to talk about the cliché of having the photos to look back at 20 years from now so I can feel proud of who I was because that simply isn't my reasoning for taking these photos. I will always feel proud of who I am in this moment, not entirely because of the physical representation, but more because of my experience of life and the way I now feel about myself. Instead, these photos will remind me of the experience of arriving at the ownership of my strength and sensuality; of the journey that I am on as a woman, a yogi, an entrepreneur and a student of life.
The photos show me what exists within. All of the time. All I need to do is call on that sense of being and I will show up in that way. Even though this was an external experience, I was able to go inside and learn some new things about myself. Once again, Joy, thank you for that gift. It was lifechanging for me.
I have posted a few pictures from the shoot through this post and in the gallery below, but I have more in a password protected gallery for other women who might be interested in seeing them. If you would like to see more or have questions, please email me—I would be more than happy to discuss my experience.