Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Boudoir Photoshoot

Let's give this a try again...

As some of you have seen and asked about, I posted some boudoir photos of myself on my latest Sunday Funday post, but subsequently took them down.  This is something that I had been considering for a while and finally took the plunge to do last week.  I always felt that I needed to work on this part or that part of my body, and I'd wait till I was "ready" to do it.  I secretly admired the women that could put themselves out there, looking so beautiful and confident while retaining their sexiness and sensuality.  Let's be honest, it was something that I NEVER thought I would do just a short couple years ago.  I'm sure you've all seen my "before" picture, on the Weight Loss Journey section of the blog up top.  If not, here is my "before" picture:

And that wasn't even that long ago.  I was actually just thinking the other day that it's been a while since I've had the feeling like I'm spilling over the top of my jeans.  I used to feel that way all the time.. I never felt like I looked good in anything I wore, and I was constantly trying to cover up my flaws with different clothing items.  When I would start dating a new guy, I'd cringe when being touched, fearing that he would get grossed out if he felt my "fat".  Even in an intimate situation, I couldn't help but wonder if a certain position I was in made me look fatter than usual.  It was really exhausting, and definitely a very negative and unhealthy mental state to be in.  

Working out really changed my life.  I have seen dramatic changes in my body ever since I started committing to working out and eating healthy, especially since I've been on a weight training program.  I've gained a lot more confidence since reshaping my body, but the thing that makes me feel the most confident is actually the feeling of being strong.  I don't even know how to describe it.  I feel more of a sureness within myself.  It's like a feeling of no matter what is thrown my way... I've got it.  I think some of my self-confidence also comes with simply being older.  I used to worry a lot about what random people thought, but now I give less and less crap.  

So, maybe that helps you understand where I came from and why it was such a big step for me to be in a boudoir photoshoot.  A couple weeks ago, I was once again looking at different boudoir photography when I realized that if I'm waiting for my body to be "perfect" before doing so, it will probably never happen.  We are all so critical with ourselves, and I am definitely not one to ever think I'm god's gift to the world.  So, instead of more waiting and wishing, I called up the photographer whose style I liked the best, and scheduled a session a couple days later.

I was pretty nervous leading up to it, not gonna lie.  I didn't even have "outfits" planned that well so I just bought some stuff from Victoria's Secret and brought an entire duffel bag with me to the studio.  I thought I'd be too shy to let my inner porn star out, and would probably just end up looking awkward.  But I was lucky to have found a great photographer who is not only extremely talented but very personable and encouraging.  He helped me pick out different looks, gave me just the right amount of directions to go on, but allowed me to take it where it felt natural and good to me.  As the shoot went on, he showed me some pictures right on his camera, and I was so surprised at the rawness of some of the photos!  I'd probably never seen that side of me myself.  At one point, I was feeling great and having fun, and he said to me: "let's just take as many pictures as you want, and I'll only charge you for the amount we agreed on."  So, it ended up being over 3 hours long, but felt like a breeze!  

I also didn't plan to be nude or anything, but I ended up being topless in some of the photos.  Though they were all somewhat concealed, so you'd see a little peekaboo from the side or my arm was covering my chest.  I thought his style was very fashionable and classy, so I didn't worry that they might be done in bad taste.  The most amazing thing is that he takes his photos exactly like they are shown here, so there is no touch-up work whatsoever.  I got back all the photos we took, which is almost 200!  I like a lot of them, but obviously cannot post them all here.  So this is a small sample that represents each look we did.  

It started out dressed, this was like the second picture we took:

Then we did the whole undressing sequence which I didn't realize till after I got the photos back that I still had such a prominent tan line from the summer:

A couple from the topless series we did:

Men's wear:

These are the most classic boudoir looks:

I really like the effect he used while taking these photos, and I am glad I don't have to pay for touch up work lol.  I am not going to say that this experience made me feel super empowered as a female, but it definitely made me feel sexy.  I know that this is not something that everyone is into, and some women might even be against it.  But my purpose for taking them as well as posting them here is not to further objectify the female gender.  It is more to project how one can look and feel confident even in a vulnerable state.  I am not one to ever talk feminism with you, so this is first and probably last:  To me, a strong woman is not one who is competitive with other women or one who blatantly flaunts her stuff in front of men.  But someone who exudes a level-headed confidence, who is classy and timeless, who has a calming presence and an inner beauty that somehow shines for the world to see.  I wanted to show my progress from a shy and chubby little girl to a 30 year old woman who happens to be in the best shape of her life.  And I wanted to show all of this to myself most of all, and to say: Yes, I am proud of my body.  I'm proud of what I've accomplished so far, and I will continue setting goals for myself and achieving them.

Thank you so much for reading!

Photos by:  Arlen J Photography
Hair & Makeup:  Yours Truly  :)
     Bra & Underwear:  Victoria's Secret
     Shorts:  Abercrombie Kirstie
     Shirt & Tie:  Hugo Boss & Calvin Klein

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  1. I love this post. It is so well-written, and you are absolutely gorgeous. Nice work!!

  2. ahhh this brought a tear to my eye. I freaking love you! (said in the most non-creepy way possible :)

  3. These are some of the most beautiful pictures I've seen! They look straight out of a magazine. Your dedication and hard work inspire me everyday. Thank you for this!

  4. I can finally see a head on the body I've been seeing all these months. I was always curious what you look like.
    You are beautiful, inside and out.
    Congratulations on your journey and thank you for taking us along.

  5. I totally agre on these being the best ones I have seen. The photos are so tasteful!! And ur before and "during" are sooo fabulous. Be proud !!!

  6. Aww thank you for your lovely comments! You are too kind. :)

  7. This is wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing. SHOW IT OFF!

  8. You are such an amazing inspiration. It's nice to see the beautiful face that the hot bod belongs to! Thank you for posting this. You really should be a model!

  9. That's the first time I've seen your before picture - but apart from the obvious physical differences, it is so inspiring for others how empowered and happy you are now! The pictures really capture that, amazing!!

  10. Girl, your body is AMAZING right now and it's perfect to probably everyone but you. The photos are completely gorgeous and tasteful. You look so beautiful and elegant. Thanks for having the courage to share and congrats on the journey you've taken to get where you are now. You've worked hard and earned that body!

  11. Oooh now I want to do this! I love your reasons behind it--you are gorgeous and strong. Beautiful post!!!

    1. You should totally do it!! I had a great experience... a little nerve racking at first, but once you settle into it, it's so fun!

  12. Firstly, your "before" photos are as beautiful as the "after" ones. Thank you for sharing your experiences. Your photos are beautiful but your confidence and openness even more so. I enjoyed your post!

  13. Thanks for sharing! You look amazing....so confident and beautiful!

  14. Thank you so much everyone! I was so touched to wake up to such nice comments this morning. You know, most of my days are pretty routinized and I feel like all I do is work, workout, buy expensive workout clothes, and write about them. :) I never think of any of it as special or inspirational. When I cleaned up my act, I did it for myself to feel and look better, but I didn't even think it could have any influence on anyone else. So it's really an honor to hear that you find my life and what I do to be somewhat touching yours in a positive way. I guess even the smallest pebble can cause a ripple. That's really the best I could ever hope for. Thank you for reminding me of that. I am blessed to have such wonderful readers. :)

  15. You look gorgeous! Thank you for being an inspiration :) I, too, would like to be as comfortable in my body.

  16. I thought you were only joking back in June, but you really do have an anti-gravity butt! And on a more serious note, you are an inspiration to many. Fit, disciplined, smart, confident, and seemingly always upbeat. I often wish I could be more like you.

  17. Just ran across this post! You have a beautiful face! So used to not seeing your face in fit pics lol!


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