When I first thought of Boudoir I will admit I thought, “I can't do anything like this, that's something for models.” I am a person who has many insecurities about my body and knew I would not like any pictures taken of myself in that way. It wasn't until my good friend Allie told me about doing a boudoir shoot for her fiance for his bachelor party and for the night before the wedding that I really looked into a boudoir shoot. She too had some insecurities, however, following her shoot and seeing her photos she told me how much confidence she felt and how empowered she felt about her own body. The moment I heard this I knew I wanted that. I wanted to feel that way about myself. I started looking into photographers but everyone in Pittsburgh I found I did not have a good feeling about. Allie said her session felt rushed and I knew I didn't want that. Of course we also see the cost and immediately have second thoughts. So I started to look into more local photographers, since I currently live in Austintown, OH and stumbled upon Sheer Photography. I started to explore their site and immediately fell in love with some of their samples on their website. I did not reach out right away because I was extremely nervous. I had never done anything like this before. I started to run through reasons why I could do this other than I wanted to feel better about myself. I decided that I could do this for my husband because his birthday was coming up in February and I could give it to him as a gift. I finally, after 3-4 weeks of trying to convince myself, reached out to Sheer and said I was interested in doing a shoot. I was very upfront about being nervous and how “out of my comfort zone” this was going to be for me. Jen and Brian were amazing. Jen responded in less than 24 hours and told me I should come in to a group and talk to her and some others about the shoot. So I booked my date and came in for a discussion. Right when I met Jen I knew I liked her. I mean what girl doesn't like another girl offering you chocolate and wine and wanting to take sexy photos of you? I had no idea what to expect. I had no idea what to wear, how to prepare or anything about this. I didn't admit it at the time but when Jen was giving us advice on outfits to wear and asked us what we didn't like about our body I wanted to say “everything”. But my favorite part of this night, other than meeting a now new friend, was hearing about a #SheerBeauty's experience in person. Hearing her testimony of how she did not like her body and now, after her reveal, how in love she now is with her body made me that much more excited to have my own #SheerExperience. I explored several lingerie sites, as suggested by Jen and other Sheer Beauties on the facebook page, and found a few outfits that I really loved for a reasonable price (a few were $5 or less!). I even shared with my mom that I was doing this and she surprised me with a few outfits as well. As my shoot date came up my nerves were rising by the day. I decided that I wanted this shoot to be me so I didn't starve myself or try going to the gym 3x/day. I ate healthy as I normally do and I worked out in my normal routine. Then came the day of my shoot. Let me tell you I don't think anyone could be more nervous than I was. I even packed a bottle of wine and 3 mini shots of Fireball with no intention of drinking them to be honest but just in case I needed to get out of my own head. Jen picked out the outfits she liked best while I was getting hair and make up done, which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND, because Brittany is absolutely amazing. When she was finished with my hair and make up I felt like a whole new woman. I had never felt so beautiful, other than my wedding day lol. Don't come in with expectations just let Brittany do her thing and she'll make you feel like a goddess. But, even with how beautiful I felt it didn't stop my nerves. I got into my first outfit and I was nauseous. I came out of the changing room and felt like I was shaking and I was. I was so nervous Brian could tell. I was sweating and shaking in my entire first outfit. By the time we were done with the first outfit and I was changing Jen and Brittany needed to take me in to the hallway for air because I started to cry I was so nervous. Brittany had peppermint oil that she rubbed on the back of my neck and the sides of my face. After cooling off I felt a lot better. We continued with the shoot and the more we took photos and the more Brian showed me the better I was feeling. I actually felt sexy which I didn't think was possible. At one point Brian and Jen asked me what kind of photos I was looking for and interested in. I told them to make me a guinea pig because I had no idea. That's when things got fun!! Put your trust in Brian and Jen. Jen will put you into poses that you cannot look bad in. Try your best to not think about your insecurities because Jen will make sure you are in the most flattering poses. I can say with confidence now that I did everything I could to make the most of my shoot and to just go for it! My shoot started with me shaking, sweating, and crying and ended with me topless in the shower and I loved every minute of it. The following week Jen had me in for my reveal and I think I almost cried. I kept all but 1 of my photos that was taken. We went through them and hand picked photos I wanted to put in an album that I wanted to keep for myself and then we went back through and picked photos that I was going to use as present for my husband. This is where things got rocky. I got the present and I was in love. I was so excited to surprise him with these photos and with the flash drive so he could see them all. The day came and the reaction I got was not what I had hoped for. My husband actually was not a fan of my photos because there was too much makeup and he could not see past this. He likes me all natural and he decided to tell me that the photos “aren't you, I can't see you.” I was crushed. I went to my room and started crying for the next 2 days. I reached back out to Jen and thought I made the worst mistake of my life. But as time went on and I kept looking at my photos I was more angry than sad that he didn't like them because I felt sexy. Jen messaged me when my album came in and my excitement stirred in my heart. When I came to pick up my album I was in tears. I WAS IN LOVE WITH MYSELF FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE. Do I still have insecurities, yes, what girl doesn't. But I can now see myself in a new light after being a part of the sheer beauty experience. I can now see myself as beautiful and sexy in my own skin. I am so happy that I chose to do this and so thankful to Jen for her support throughout this entire experience.
So, if I want to share anything with you sheer beauties about this whole experience it is this:
1) Be courageous, step out of your comfort zone as hard as it might be cause the outcome is well worth it.
2) If you want to do this, DO IT FOR YOURSELF, NOT FOR SOMEONE ELSE.