Why Boudoir? | Northern Virginia Boudoir Photography
 

I get asked a lot, “Why boudoir? Why would women want to do something like this?”

And I don’t have a “cut to the chase” short answer for that, only because Boudoir photography is so much more than beautiful portraits.  I sometimes say the photographs are actually the souvenir of your experience. An AMAZING souvenir, I must add.

I can’t say enough the importance of self-acceptance.  This doesn’t mean you have to be complacent of who you are and how you view yourself.  That’s an easy way out, sure.  But there’s always room for improvement whether it’s mentally, emotionally or physically, BUT you MUST love yourself along the way.

Changing yourself physically whether through a rigorous workout out routine and diet or going under the knife, none of that will matter until you change how you talk to yourself, treat yourself and view yourself. And being someone whose done all the diets and the workouts and I’ve realized that for myself, the reason they don’t stick is because I haven’t trained my mind to love and accept myself.  And that’s what the last 3 years have looked like for me.

I wrote a post about self-love last year after I went on a trip to Mexico with some friends and how that trip really helped me work through some self-negativity.  I actually wore shorts and shirts without sleeves – something I’ve NEVER done! And something else that stuck out in my mind was this instance I walked with my friend to a little shop at the pool with no cover up coming straight from the pool. I remember standing in that shop with just my bathing suit and feeling so exposed and embarrassed of my gigantic thighs, but there were other people walking freely in their bikinis with bodies like mine. I wasn’t judging them, I was actually in awe of them because of how confident they seemed and I wanted to be that too.

It’s been 3 years of baby steps to changing my perspective. By all means I am still a work in progress, but instead of bashing myself for taking this long,  I have to celebrate the milestones along the way. It’s the journey not the destination, right?

2 years ago, after some self-discoveries and realizations, I celebrated myself with my own boudoir session, big thighs and all, and I never felt so powerful.

All that to say, boudoir is a celebration of YOU, no matter where you are in your life. Women do this to change their negative self-perceptions and to learn to love themselves unconditionally. And to see themselves in way that others see them.  Plus who doesn’t want to get glammed out and where lingerie (or nothing) and feel beautiful?

The first photo on the right page is the photo sneak peek from my photographer and right away, I started bashing and loathing my thighs. But after looking at this photo more and more, I couldn’t help but see a confident, powerful and sexy woman in that photograph and because of boudoir photography, I was able to see that… FINALLY!

I'm so glad I did this boudoir shoot for myself because not only am I look back and remind myself of what I babe I am, but it also highlights a special time in my life and I'll always remember that time with this session. Thank you to my friend and awesome Atlanta boudoir photographer, Sarah of Own Boudoir. 

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She felt like she wasn’t “enough” to be sexy | Washington DC Boudoir Photography
 

Ms. N’s boudoir session in the Washington DC studio reminded me a lot of this quote from C. JoyBell C. I came across:

“There are two things we should always be 1. raw and 2. ready. When you are raw, you are always ready and when you are ready you usually realize that you are raw. Waiting for perfection is not an answer, one cannot say "I will be ready when I am perfect" because then you will never be ready, rather one must say "I am raw and I am ready just like this right now, how and who I am.”

Women often tell they aren’t sexy enough, pretty enough, skinny enough or any of the “enoughs.” And I get it, I catch myself saying these things. What will it take to finally realize that you are enough? That’s it, you’re enough for anything.

Now, I can get super preachy when it comes to a topic like perfection, but I will hold out and save that for another blog post!

Until then, I want you see what Ms. N’s session was like straight from her:

I've always felt like I wasn't "enough" to be sexy. I felt parts of me weren't big enough to be sexy, other parts weren't small enough to be sexy. I felt like I never grew out of the "girl" stage, and even had trouble thinking of myself as a "woman." I thought everyone saw me in one specific way, and I wanted to show there was another side to me, even if I was the only one to know that side existed. I finally realized that I am enough, just the way I am. It's not about the clothing measurements that make you feminine or sexy. I became interested in boudoir a couple of years ago and decided to do it as a 25th birthday gift to myself. It was time to feel like a grown ass woman!

Once I decided I wanted to do a session, I looked into a lot of photographers in NoVA. After looking at Julie's portfolio and reading client reviews, as well as her website in general, I knew she was the photographer I wanted to schedule my shoot with. Other photographer's pictures looked very posed, unnatural, and heavily photoshopped. Julie's photos look as if she captured moments in your very own home. I loved how she explained everything on her website, and I was sold after reading reviews that said how helpful she was walking you through the entire process. Everything from the initial email and consult, outfit choices and posing, to picking up your album is perfectly orchestrated by Julie.

My biggest fear was that my pictures would look posed and awkward. After all, posing in front of a camera can be daunting to begin with, let alone posing in your undies! I was worried that I would let my insecurities take over my session, and that those insecurities would be reflected in my pictures. Julie was amazing because she walks you through every pose along the way (and cheers you on as you do it!) After just a few minutes I was totally at ease, and following Julie's lead. I wasn't worried about if the poses were "flattering" or showing off my "good side," I just trusted Julie's expertise!

One of my favorite parts of my session took me by surprise: the posing! I was worried about looking silly in my pictures, but Julie cheered me along after every picture. I loved when in between shots when I would naturally shift/readjust how I was standing or sitting, Julie would catch it, and say, "wait! I love how you did that! Do it again!" and snap a picture.

My other favorite part was when I first got to the studio and showed Julie what I had brought to wear. I brought a couple of options I liked and some accessories, but I wasn't sure how to pair them. I loved seeing Julie's vision blend with what i had brought when she paired my outfits with stuff she had in the closet of her studio.

Do it for you. If you spend all of your time worrying about this spot or that thing you don't see as "perfect," you'll never see how truly amazing you really are. Don't wait until you've lost x pounds, don't do it for your man's birthday. Do it now. For you. You're stunning exactly how you are. You are enough. There is nothing wrong with wanting to do this for YOU. It doesn't mean you're vain, it means you finally realize you're worth it.

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Professional Makeup Matters | Washington DC Boudoir Photography
 

Makeup for everyday

The alarm goes off in the morning, and usually the around the third alarm, I finally get out of bed and go through my getting ready routine. Typically consisting of:  shower, dry hair, face, get dressed and then I’m out the door to the Washington DC boudoir studio. And I’d say that routine is a whopping 45 minutes, sometimes 30 if I don’t dry my hair. I’m all about maximizing my sleep time. I need all the sleep, y’all!

For my face, it’s literally just enough CC cream to even out my skin tone, filling and shaping my brows with brow powder and pencil and mascara and lip stuff – gloss if I’m feelin’ fancy. 

While this is “made up” for me, it’s not a face that’s ready for camera. Mostly because the camera needs a little more contrast and color to make a “made up” face look like I actually even did anything so I would have to apply it heavier and hopefully with a bit more technique, or just have a makeup pro do it for me instead.

And this is the very reason I include hair and makeup in all boudoir sessions!

Pro makeup for camera

If you’re like me and most clients coming in for their boudoir session, I’d much rather have a pro apply it as they know exactly how to apply for boudoir photography shoots , specifically for my face shape, and they know what colors will look best with my skin tone and outfits. But it’s also apparent that they just do a much better job and I often hear “can I just hire you to do my hair and makeup every day?” Livin’ that Kardashian life, girl!

Pro makeup artists are knowledgeable in the techniques, products, tools and just the artistry of it and that is why I include pro makeup application with faux lashes for every boudoir client. Not to mention, they make my retouching workflow a breeze!

The levels of makeup intensity for boudoir

We all have our preferences when it comes to makeup application and more often than not, most clients want to look like a more glammed version of themselves. So to make sure we’re all on the same page as far as your expectations go, I’ve created a handy guide you will see on the day of your session for you to let the MUA know your comfort level when it comes to makeup application.

Why does it matter?

Because it does! Ha!

No, really, because the work you see in the website, Instagram and the blog all have a specific look that I work closely on with my artist, as I do have a certain way I like for makeup to photograph and also so you feel absolutely amazing with the results. 

I want your boudoir experience to be stress free, so having hair and makeup applied before your shoot leaves out that stress of having to find a makeup artist yourself or you applying your own. Your job is to sit back, relax and enjoy yourself.

So leave the makeup part to us, we got you!

Kristen Stewart Artistry

Kristen Stewart Artistry

Kristen Stewart Artistry

Kristen Stewart Artistry

Renata Lynette Makeup

Renata Lynette Makeup

Renata Lynette Makeup

Renata Lynette Makeup

Hair and Makeup by Renata Lynette Makeup

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