When I asked “A” to write about her boudoir experience she quickly responded with “YES!”. When I first read this, I was so moved. Her transformation has been one of my favorites. Here it is in her own words:
A’s why for booking a session.
My sister and daughter both had boudoir photo shoots recently. I’ve always admired how women look amazing in these sessions. I started to research boudoir photographers in the area, and saw a post on Facebook for “Women Over 40” sessions being booked by Rebecca Houlihan Photography. My spouse and I were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary also this past year, so I decided to take the leap and schedule a shoot with Rebecca.
I’ve had some major health issues in recent years, including gaining 30+ lbs and having some pretty significant surgeries. Not to mention, all around, I felt unattractive to my husband. I had a very low self esteem stemming from how my body had morphed from being a very active, thin woman, to being overweight and uncomfortable in my own skin. Ultimately, this all led me into a downward spiral and deep depression.
Why booking a session was a mental struggle for A.
I wish I could say that it was easy for me to book a boudoir shoot, but my gut was telling me that I wasn’t worth it. I would never look like the beautiful women I had seen in boudoir photos. But, on the other hand, what was I basing this thought on? Really? I was basing it only on my own perception of what beauty meant in my eyes. In booking a boudoir shoot with Rebecca, I hoped that this would make me believe in myself like I had in my younger years, love myself in healthier ways, and prove to myself that I was both beautiful on the inside, and also beautiful on the outside.
A’s initial fears and how she prepared for her session.
When I first booked my session, I laughed, and then I cried. I laughed because I didn’t know where I got the nerve to actually schedule an appointment. Then, I cried because who in the world would think that this face, this body, this crazy, kinky hair of mine would be photogenic? I thought, ‘What am I even thinking?’ I had high hopes that I would at least be desired by my husband, as this doubled as an anniversary gift, but my irrational fears would continue to cloud my judgment…
Preparing for my shoot proved to be a lengthy process. I scoured social media for poses, outfits, hair and makeup. I went crazy buying several different pieces of lingerie, hoping that I would have enough at my shoot that would fit me, let alone look good. I kept deleting outfits out of my shoot wardrobe after trying newly bought ones on. I decided that getting my hair highlighted would be beneficial, as that always uplifts my spirits!
Getting ready on session day & A’s hair and makeup appt.
On my session day, I was extremely anxious and scared. All morning, I had the butterflies, like I was going into a job interview! Not that Rebecca ever made me feel this way, it was just me getting into my head. I had to stop every now and then to take a deep breath and tell myself that I deserve this and I will be just fine.
First I went to hair and makeup and I had a slight plan of what I wanted. I wanted a very natural look as I am a very simple woman. I tend to go for nude color palettes for makeup. The extra eyelashes she put on me made my blue eyes pop! I did straighten my hair prior to my appointment, since I really do have kinky hair that would never curl pretty without prepping it. I loved what Brittany did with both makeup and hair. She is super talented, down to earth and so friendly! My nerves calmed down while getting my hair and makeup done. Then, after I got into my car, I got all nervous again. It was only when I was greeted by Rebecca at her front door with her calm and relaxing demeanor, and her suggestions on the 20+ outfits I should use, that I started calming down as then I knew I was in good hands.
I was at first very nervous getting through the initial shots. Rebecca instructed me how to pose in such a professional, yet caring way. She commented on how beautiful my blue eyes were in the photos and then had me take a look for myself. I was in amazement of just the first few photos she snapped of me. My nerves suddenly disappeared, and I had a newly found self-worth, something I had doubted in myself until that day. I even had some poses that I wanted to try, and Rebecca was all for it! She truly made me feel amazing!
How A felt after her session. Her viewing and product selection.
After my amazing session, I felt like I had been reborn into this new woman. I still feared that I wouldn’t look good in the photos, but told myself to quit the negative talk. Initially, I just thought that there is no possibility that my images were going to be good, simply for who the model was. When I saw my photos on Rebecca’s large projector screen, I was blown away! Rebecca has mad talent and I truly couldn’t believe how beautiful I looked! She has such an eye for the right poses, the best outfits, and what looks good with your body.
I couldn’t reduce all the gorgeous photos Rebecca took and opted for the 40 image photo album with a leather cover, and thick, metallic-coated pages. It also came with a flash drive that I can download and keep on all my devices. My husband loves it, but I think I love it more! I also chose to get metal wall art of my favorite photo. My next project at home is to renovate my bedroom, with my wall art as the centerpiece!
I often look through my photos to remind myself how empowered I felt after my boudoir photo session and that I am a beautiful person, inside and out!
Having a boudoir session with Rebecca has changed the way I see myself for who I actually am. My genes, my looks, and even my intrusive negative thoughts do not define me. I love me for who I am, inside and out. Rebecca has shown me that beauty is just an outside view of what is really within me. Not long ago, I was in the pits of depression, and now I am beyond that, and seeing the really beauty within me.
This session caused a fantastic transformation in me, and I highly encourage every woman to do this at least once in their life. I am on the brink of setting up another session with Rebecca for just how awesome this experience was!