Thursday, April 3, 2014

Not just a girl in her underwear

For more than a year, I've been thinking about doing a boudoir photo shoot.  I would see others (mostly courtesy of my friends' photography pages) and just think, "Those are so gorgeous!" and "She looks so sure of herself."

And that last part is what really got to me.

For as long as I can remember, I've struggled with body image issues.  I've never thought of myself as beautiful.  Only in the last few years did I decide I'm cute.  And sometimes -- if I put some effort in -- I can look pretty.  And that's actually OK with me.  I'm fine with being cute.  That's not a bad thing in the least.  It's a huge step up from what I used to think of my reflection.

Last summer, one of my longtime friends, Ali, moved to Iowa and brought her photography business with her. As we were talking, she mentioned she'd be offering a Living Social deal for a boudoir session.  I thought about it.  And thought about it.  The price was just too good to pass up, and I figured if I bought it, I'd stop just thinking about it and actually do it.  So I ponied up the cash.

It was several months before I finally booked a date.  I delayed it because I thought I should lose more weight, tone up a little more, etc.  I didn't think my body was ready to be in front of a camera.  But as the months wore on and I was stuck where I was, I realized I just needed to book it.

As the date of the shoot grew closer, I grew more excited but also more self-conscious.  I had pinned a lot of inspiration photos on Pinterest, and I can tell you I didn't look anything like those women.  I also saw other shoots my friend was doing and, again, I knew I looked nothing like those women.  I don't have a flat stomach (and I might never have one since I'm not willing to give up craft beer), my thighs don't have a gap between them, and my arms aren't perfectly toned.  But I couldn't change any of these things in time for the shoot, so I just had to deal with it.  I also knew Ali wouldn't let me look bad in her photos.  So there was that.

My friend, Kim, came over to do my hair and makeup.  While I can handle those things for daily wear, Kim is much better at knowing what will look good on camera.  When I saw my reflection after she was done, I couldn't believe it.  I looked so different.  Side note:  Anyone who wears false lashes on a regular basis has my utmost admiration. They looked nice, but applying them was a pain and by the end of the day, I was itchy.

Ali and I met at our shoot site (the house of a generous friend). After a quick tour of the house, we went through my outfits and props and then got to work.  And when I say "work," I mean it.  My abs and legs got quite the workout as Ali put me in different poses.  I'm pretty sure my knees still hurt from being on the table.  As the shoot wore on, I got a little more comfortable in front of the camera.  (It sure helped when all of the house's inhabitants were gone.)  Before I knew it, three hours had passed and we were packing up to leave.

That evening, Ali sent me this photo as a sneak peek:

I was speechless.  Is that really me?  Is that what I look like?

I shared the sneak peek with friends and they used adjectives like "gorgeous," "stunning," "sexy," and "beautiful." And I believe Ali called me a "sex kitten."  These are not words I've ever used to describe myself.

Here are a few more highlights from the session:




 
This experience allowed me to see myself through a camera lens as well as the eyes of others.  It's easier for me to believe now that someone someday will see me as "beautiful."  Maybe that someone will be me.

For now I'm OK with just being cute though.

All photos are courtesy of Alison Claire Photography.  You can see more of her amazing work on her Facebook page and web site

Have you ever done a boudoir session?  What was your experience like?


15 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Oh Micah! These are amazing, especially the one on the table. Super sexy! You look gorgeous! It makes me want to book a session. I've always wanted to do something like this. :)

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  3. You look absolutely stunning! I'm doing a similar pinup shoot for a friend's bachelorette soon, and I was unsure about doing something like this. This may have helped!

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  4. You look fabulous, I love them!!

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  5. You look gorgeous!! So much more than just a "cute" girl. You're gorgeous!

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  6. I have to echo everyone else: gorgeous! I've never done a boudoir shoot, but I used to model for art classes and it was definitely an ego boost. I've never had the perfect body and the art students would tell me that I had an athletic figure, etc. Ride this feeling, because this is YOU.

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  7. I love that you set a goal and you just went for it!
    Fabulous!
    Also, your hair: amazing.

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  8. Stunning, stunning, stunning. #finalanswer

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  9. beautiful!! i've been looking for a photographer to do mine but i can't seem to find a good one in my area.

    -kathy
    Vodka and Soda

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  10. So, so, so pretty! The pictures are amazing!

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  11. Those photos are stunning. You really are gorgeous!

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  12. I am SO glad you got these done! You look absolutely gorgeous!

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  13. These are seriously beautiful!!! You are gorgeous, Micah!

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