When I asked Kristi if I could share her portraits and her story she was an enthusiastic YES! She and I both agreed that if I had asked her that prior to her session, she would have been a definite NO!
Kristi, is a career woman, divorced and remarried with a blended family. She has been with her husband Bernie for 15 years. They work together in business and have a very solid friendship and marriage. She told me that Bernie had been after her years to do a photo shoot like this. “He is always telling me how beautiful I am, but I just don’t see it”.
Kristi appreciated all of the love and compliments, but it was hard for her to believe them. “I know he thinks I am perfect, but all I see are my flaws”. So when their 15th wedding anniversary was coming up and Kristi was facing her 50th birthday, she decided to go for it and book a session. “Bernie is going to be so surprised! He will never expect this from me.” She told me on our phone conversation. “But I am scared, no actually petrified!” She shared with me that “It took everything I had to make the call to you.”
She told me that she never felt beautiful..like EVER in her life. She told me that she is very critical of herself and rarely likes what she sees in the mirror. She told me that she wanted to do this for him. She told me she wanted to look sexy for him.
The more we talked the more she shared that she wanted to be a good role model for her daughter, and she wanted to be able to instill confidence in her too.
When we met for our in-person consultation and lingerie fitting, I saw before me a stunning woman. A woman who takes great care in looking put together, fit and healthy, natural and beautiful. This was not the woman I was expecting to see based on our phone conversation.
As we began the lingerie fitting, she began to warm up and start to see herself differently. “I don’t ever wear lingerie” she told me “So this is really going to be interesting!”. I started with some more conservative outfits, and then we started to branch out to more provocative. She was liking what she was seeing, but I was still having to redirect some negative comments she was making about herself. I asked her midway through if she was enjoying this and she said “Actually I am. I really never thought I would look good in these kinds of outfits, so I am shocked, and I am having fun!” We had many fabulous outfits to choose from that she looked amazing in and together we selected her top 3. She was getting very excited..I could see it in her eyes and she was ready for the next step..preparing for the session! I went over my beauty regime which seemed very natural to her and we had her session booked within 2 weeks’ time.
The day of the session came, and she walked in and said she told me she almost backed out. She felt excited but very nervous. “I am not a sexy person, so you really have your work cut out for you!” I reassured her and welcomed her to the studio and introduced her to my team and whisked her off to put one of my robes on and sit in the hair and makeup chair. From there my hair and makeup artist Michele, began her transformation. We cued up her favorite music on Pandora, poured her a glass of champagne, began to chat about life, family and fun and she began to relax and get into the groove of the day.
I let my hair and makeup artist Michele do her magic as my studio manager, Rebecca, and I got to work setting up her first outfit bedroom set. I kept checking in on her throughout the process and I could see that she was loving this experience. “I never wear makeup, so this is so amazing.” “I can’t believe that’s really me! Can I take you home with me?” She asked Michele. We all said we’d love to take Michele home with us and keep her in our pocket. We all laughed, and I could tell her nerves were relaxing and she was beginning to trust the process.
When she was ready to come on set, I gave her my usual pep talk about “feeling” and not “thinking”. It’s so important to stay out of your head during these kinds of shoots. This is sometimes the hardest part for most women. But it came fairly natural to Kristi. She was relaxed and feeling good. I showed her back of the camera on one of the first shots of the day and she was floored. “Holy crap..is that really me?!” “Of course, “, I said, “You are so beautiful”. That was it, she was all in now and fully trusting me to guide her through the rest of the day. The more I genuinely complimented her and encouraged her, the more relaxed she became and the more I could really “see” her and capture her beautiful inner light.
When we got to the last look, the most sensual of all, she was ready for it. Happily moving with my guidance, stretching, arching and posing until it hurt. Laughing and staying in the moment. Feeling pampered and special, fully feminine and beautiful. I know this because she got very emotional in her testimonial video. (See below). She wasn’t expecting to feel this way, after all she came in to please her husband. Turns out, she needed this more than she realized, and it came upon her like a wave of emotion. She was falling in love with herself again and it was a beautiful thing to behold. When someone is touched to the core of their essence as a woman with this experience, no matter what the age, it is what I love to be able to do. She trusted me with the process, and she was able to experience something she will never forget
After a brief respite, we had our reveal and selection appointment, and she was staring at the screen. She was speechless. Finally, she said “I still can’t believe that is me! I look flawless. I have never said that about myself or even felt that way. I look beautiful”. Finally, I could tell that she was beginning to truly believe it. She was no longer focused on her flaws, but on her own beauty. “You ARE beautiful” I said, “And this is without any Photoshop or editing. This is all you. Right out of the camera” She shook her head in disbelief, but her eyes were glued to the screen. “You’re going to have to help me narrow it down because I love them all!”
So we did and I helped her choose 48 portraits that she couldn’t live without. 48 glorious and gorgeous portraits revealing her true self, her beautiful flawless self. Since this was right at the beginning of COVID and the shutdown, I couldn’t get the album printed quickly for her anniversary. All of the professional photo labs shut down. But I figured out a way to get something printed for her anniversary. She couldn’t wait to show her husband…she couldn’t wait! When her real album finally came, I brought it to her house and was able to deliver it to her and see both of their reactions to it. It was so very touching to see how much her husband loved it and to see how she loved it too. We all had tears. It’s such an honor and privilege to be able to bring so much love and joy to people with boudoir photography. It is WAY more than just a pretty picture
Interested in booking a boudoir experience with us?
Come join our private women’s only Facebook Community!
Our women’s only Facebook Group is all about women uplifting each other. We share our hopes, dreams, inspiration, successes and losses. We are a sisterhood of strong women willing to lend a helping hand to each other and enrich each other’s lives.