Every month or so, my boudy friends and I challenge each other to get creative and eventually we will have a website dedicated to our projects, but for now we are hosting them here until 2018! The theme for our most recent challenge was “manties” or male underwear used as panties! I realized very quickly that if I was going to purchase these, I couldn’t just buy ONE pair, no, I had to buy a pack of 6 so if anyone wants to wear these for their shoot, lemme know! Last night, we finally revealed our images to each other and it was so cool to see how each of us created art from the same outfit. It’s so important to stay creative when “being creative” is your job, so these challenges help fuel the fun! It’s interesting because we each have our “thing”…for example, I am a classic overachiever. The goal was to shoot the manties once, but I had to wait for them to get their shoots done and I was bored, so I shot both Kiana AND Raissa in similar, but slightly different styled shoots. Paige kept hers clean and minimalist, with a bit of a cheeky bit at the end, and Steph opted for self-portraits and rocked the shit out of the manties in an intimate lifestyle session! Check out below, for each photographer and how they interpreted the challenge:
Miss J is another of my babely Glambassadors, a babe who struggled for a wee bit to find the woman that had gone missing for a few years. Her submission for the Glambassador position had me in tears and so did her recap of her experience with me. I am going to let her take over now, because she can explain it way better than I ever could, but let me just say that this woman is on a mission to change the way women and girls see themselves and when she talks about it, she sparkles from the inside.
On October 7th, 2017 I went and did something…SOMETHING HUGE!
For anyone that knows me they know that I am pretty much the girl next door. I am not fancy,and pretty simple in the way I wear my makeup and dress. I am a Momma, a wife, a friend… Iam the one that listens, helps, comforts and nurtures anyone and everyone that needs it. That’s pretty much me in a nutshell.
I have been lost for a long time. The woman that I was was long since gone. I don’t know where or when it exactly happened. Perhaps a little bit, day by day, week by week and year by year as little pieces of who I was were stripped away. It took me watching my children grow to start to see how much of myself I had lost.
I knew I wanted my children to grow up with a Momma with a strong sense of self-love and identity. One that is happy, healthy, confident and comfortable in her own skin. Trust me it wasn’t easy to cut out the negative inner self-talk. However, I knew that I never wanted them to hear me utter one word of negativity because it would kill me to hear them speak of themselves in that way. So I made a choice to stop and never start again.
Part of this journey led me to discover Teri Hofford Photography. Being a lover of photography and a passionate hobby photographer myself, I was instantly drawn to her work. She has this incredible way of capturing people. I love how creative her sessions are and how she captured every body type in flattering ways using shadow and light. Shortly after that I discovered her private group and enjoyed watching her share her love of all things positive and empowering. I love how passionate Teri is and how she makes it her personal goal to help women fall in love with themselves again, and strives to build women up by seeing the beauty in everyone.
Anyone that is in the group knows that you cannot help but feel like you know Teri even if you haven’t met her. She just has this way about her. Teri is real…like what you see is what you get, there is nothing fake about her and I love that.
One day, I happened to be online when I saw her posting a search for Glambassadors. She was looking for people to share her brand and message. I think I looked at this posting a half a dozen times before I decided to apply on a lark because “why would she pick me?”. I am just an average woman. I’m not a model and I’m middle-aged. You know, just a ‘Regular Joe’ so to speak. Imagine my shock when I received an email in my inbox saying I had been selected. Seriously, I was like WHAT?! This cannot be right!? I must have read that email a halfa dozen times. Part of me was like shit, why did I go and do that? And then part of me was like YES! This is going to be AMAZING!
The thing I hadn’t realized at first was that as a Glambassador I was to do a session with her. Well, sure I had toyed with the idea of doing one….maybe at some point in the very distant future…LOL. Well… Teri is Teri and when she gets going on a project it goes full steam ahead! In just a short time she had gathered the team of Glambassadors together and she was booking us for our private sessions. Honestly, I still wasn’t sure what hell I had gotten myself into as I sat alongside all of these stunning and amazing women.
Here I was now one month out from my session and seriously freaking the hell out. I must have gone back and forth on what to wear at least a hundred times. I finally messaged Teri and shesaid, just relax, it’s not about the clothes…It’s about you. She told me not to worry and that she would find the perfect thing in the Boudy Closet for me to wear. So, with that being said, I did my best to put my fear aside and let my outfit obsessing go. I put my trust in her.
The day of my session I was a wreck but did my best to hide it. I am sure Teri could tell, although she never said either way. I was still second guessing my decision to do the session even as I walked in the door. It was like an internal armageddon going on in my brain…LOL. I didn’t think I could do it, yet there was another part of me that was yelling, DO IT! I was a bag of emotions, butterflies of excitement and absolute fear.
Teri was her fabulous self, of course, and that put me a bit more at ease. The first thing I did was pull out the possible outfits that I brought with me and laid them out for Teri’s perusal. Then we were off down the hallway headed to hair and makeup with the incredibly talented, Kylie. Seriously, this gal is amazing! Having never had my makeup done professionally before this was quite the experience. Kylie told me she had been instructed to do my makeup like that of a ‘Victoria Secret’ model. This gave me an inner giggle as there is no way in hell I am anything like a lingerie model let alone a Victoria Secretone. When my makeup was done I was blown away. I hardly recognized myself. It was me, only sexier. I was seriously feeling glamourous now. I am not sure why but Marilyn Monroe seemed to keep popping into my mind. I had always loved her sense of style and the confidence she always seemed to exude in photos. Anyways, now, it was time for the scary part…outfits and pictures! Ack!!!!
Heading back into the main studio, Teri and I chatted about my first outfit and the items I had chosen to bring. Teri pointed out that I had brought a lot of ‘Mom Clothing’…LOL, she was not wrong. Upon looking at it again. I realized she was right, but the whole situation was outside my norm and comfort zone. I typically wear yoga pants, tank tops, and activewear jackets. Now in sports terms, this moment would be considered: GO TIME!
It was indeed my GO TIME and I was now moving full speed ahead in my bra and panties, hoping not to crash, trip or make an absolute fool of myself. I swear my heart was beating so fast, I would be amazed if Teri didn’thear it. My palms were cold and sweaty and I kept thinking,“Oh my God, can I do this? Will I beable to pose right? Will I look super weird?”
Seriously, so many stupid things were going through my mind. I knew I needed to focus so I did my best to channel the music that was playing and Teri’s instructions. My goal now was to show Teri that I could do this and do it well. The first few poses started happening. Teri was fluid, she showed me what to do, she guided me, had me relax and breathe, she made me laugh. I closed my eyes and followed her guidance and with each click of the camera, I began to grow more relaxed. Teri was in her zone, her confidence and ease began to become my own.
As the session progressed and outfits changed and clothing disappeared. I didn’t really notice it anymore. Teri was so right, this session was less about the clothing and all about me, my body and love of self. I know this may sound silly and strange but I cannot explain what happened that morning other than to say I changed. I became more and more comfortable and confident in myself, my movements and my body. By the end of the session I was confident, strong and powerful.
Was I feeling scared or uneasy? Unattractive? Unworthy? Was I worried about my mommy tummy, stretch marks, and my scars? The answer was…
No. I had one feeling and one feeling alone…Freedom. I was finally free. Free from all of it.
The emotional weight of all of the mountains of feelings that I had carried with me each and every day for years, the judgment and over thinking, the worry & self-doubt, the wonder of who I am underneath it all. I could finally see ME. I could feel ME. I was there. I was real. I was raw. I was beautiful!
I had finally been found!
Miss J submitted an amazing story to become a Glambassador and after I had the girls in my studio, there may have been some tears as she shared her past with us. This beautiful, brave, strong girl had a story so much like myself and I knew I had made the right decision in asking her to go through this experience. I am going to let her share her story with you because, well, she tells it much better than I ever could.
I remember sitting in the desks at school, and feeling my wide thighs leak over the sides of the chair. I remember being hunched over, grasping my belly into my hands, so mad at myself for being this way. Comparing myself to other girls was something I did every day, and every day I always came up short. I always wondered what I did wrong, why me… why did I have to be overweight. Why not her, or her? I was called fat and lazy and ugly so many times that those words didn’t even register after a while. I remember hating myself.
Throughout the years, I was bullied by everyone, but perhaps in a less direct, more subtle and more painful way. I would hear hollow statements from condescending sympathizers like, “oh, it’s what is on the inside that counts” or “but your face is so pretty” or “maybe if you lost like twenty pounds…” At the time, these comments made me angry, but I directed it towards myself, not others.
I hated being naked. I played sports and was quite active, which meant I had to change in front of others. I remember strategically planning my underwear and bra, to show as little as possible, arriving early to change, and being ashamed if anyone saw my belly. By now, there were bright red stretch marks everywhere. I avoided mirrors and especially pictures. I was good in sports, often considered one of the best defensemen on my Ringette team. I would have moments of excitement and pride, when I was able to stop goals or clear the zone. But that feeling never left. Sometimes I forgot about it, sure enough though, it would rear it’s ugly voice, reminding me that I am not good enough. Too fat. Too big. Too gross. Disgusting.
Years later, my body issues exploded into something far more complicated than I could have imagined. Infertility. Married, and ready to start a family, again, I was left wondering why me… why did this happen to me? I was (and am) so incredibly lucky to have such a supportive husband, who stood beside me, and we walked along my journey of infertility together. Still, my hatred for my body only grew, and never would I think I would be involved in boudoir. I did not like being naked. I hated being in a bathing suit. I did not own one piece of lingerie. It did not change for me until I became a Mom of four children in need of a safe and loving home. My daughter looked up to me, and I never wanted to make her feel like I felt. Over the course of a year, and with the help of surgery, I lost over one hundred pounds. Although this helped me keep up with my kids, I still had the ugly voice in my head, telling me I was not good enough. With a lot of work and support, I began to value myself.
I hear these amazing rewards from my children, when they talk about sticking up for heavier children who are bullied, or seeing a picture of me from before my weight loss, telling me I was just as beautiful as I am now, or that I am the same great Mom I always have been. They probably have no idea how much that means to me.
So when I found myself e-mailing Teri, telling her why I want to be a Glambassador, I honestly never thought that I would be considered. When she chose me though, I knew I was ready. The night before my shoot, I bought my first piece of lingerie. When I arrived, I was predictably nervous and worried. I was convinced I wouldn’t be able to pose properly, or that my face would look awkward. Sometimes it is so amazing to be wrong.
Teri was incredibly warm and welcoming. She explained the poses so well, and was patient when I was struggling to get in the right pose. Teri also said that not every picture will turn out great, but I will not see any unless they are. That really helped me let loose and go for it. It wasn’t long into the shoot when I was fully naked, lying on a bed, having photographs taken, and feeling completely comfortable. More than comfortable, I felt empowered, happy, and worthy.
The following week, I went into her studio again to have my reveal session. Of course I was nervous, not knowing how the pictures would turn out. During my slideshow, two things happened. I could not believe the muscles in my body, and how I looked from a different point of view. I had never seen myself from these perspectives, it was incredible. The second thing that happened, was I noticed my stretch marks. I noticed their white, wiggly lines trace my belly, arms, and breasts. For the first time in my life, these lines were celebrated.
I did not feel ashamed. I loved myself more that day. I continue the battle that most women face, to love themselves and feel worthy. Teri definitely contributed to my self-worth in a fun, creative, and powerful way.
Perhaps the best part, after I went through with Teri which photos were keepers, I got to share them with some of my close friends and my partner. It only gave me more reassurance and confidence to see their reactions, affirmations, and amazement. And just like that, the conversation changed from, “you have a pretty face” to “wow, you are beautiful” to “I am beautiful.” That last leap was in part because of Teri, and her remarkable ability to take women of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, and insecurities and make them feel beautiful.
Miss J opened up big time for her session and she exuded such…confidence and strength in her photos, and it wasn’t because of her body, but rather because of the self work that she has done over the past few years to truly start to love herself for WHO she is rather than WHAT she looks like.
You have seen this saucy minx countless times on my website by now….but probably never like this. You see, Miss S has known me now, for about 3 years give or take and since our first meeting where I apparently told her “you are already beautiful, bitch” she has become the THP Studios cheerleader. This babe had such an inner transformation since her first shoot, but we all know that self love and body image doesn’t get overcome in one day or one photoshoot. So, when she came in for her Glambassador shoot she was expecting the usual hair and makeup we always do for her, but I knew she needed another little nudge (also I needed something different for photos of her). When she walked in I told her we would be doing natural makeup, sticking with pinks and nudes and you could see her panic start up a wee bit….then I broke the other news….we were going to go outside. Miss S had already been photographed in my studio like 4 times, so we needed to shake it up a bit. Well, once makeup was done, she had a hard time accepting her makeup (you will read about it during her part) because she had come to know herself as the red lipped-winged liner babe and we stripped that away. I told her we were on Empowerment Level 2. She graciously trusted me and of course, killed her session….because we all know that sexiness, sassiness, and sauciness is not just found in a lip color, the way we shadow our eyes or in our wardrobe…it is found in our actions, our voice, and our ability to love on the world. Miss S has so much love for the people in her life and literally will do anything for those close to her, she is a true champion of body positivity, and she loves lifting others up….and I needed her to see that those are the types of things that make her sexy and to not be afraid of seeing her natural lip color. Anyhow, I am so proud of this OG boudy babe and I am going to let her relate her story to you because it’s important.
When I walked into the studio, it was a beautiful Friday afternoon and I was excited like I always am when I walk into Teri’s studio. So she looks at me and she has this look about her and she said today we are doing something completely different and I said oh are we going outside ? Her response was sure we can totally go outside but you are going natural and my heart plummeted to my stomach and I am sure the look on my face was pure terror.
What do you mean natural ? Like Natural make up no wing tips no red lips just a natural lip color and natural tones …oh and we are going to shoot in more natural tones for outfits. I wasn’t comfortable at all during makeup I think I questioned Nicole a 100 times on what she was doing.
So then we were shooting I was worried about my small lips , and worried about my skin abrasions I have on both legs , which I have asked every time Teri has shot me to try not to get them. We shot in the studio and I think Teri could sense that I wasn’t as comfortable as I have been in others. I was more comfortable without clothes on in front of her camera then I was without makeup.
Honest to goodness it sounds ridiculous but it was true. We decided to go outside , I was nervous butterflies were intense in my stomach I was going into the public in a trench coat and bra and panties at 3:30. This was liberating, it was crazy!!!
I was happy and had forgotten all about the fact that I was not “wearing my face “. Now fast forward a couple weeks and Ms Teri messages me and says do you want to see your pictures and I responded yes?? As I scrolled the 1st image I saw was my ass and the skin abrasions …she told me that you will see that I left in your spots…to which I replied “I noticed” and I cried.
I still don’t know why I cried …I don’t know if I cried as a release because they are me and I have to love them or if I cried because I wasn’t ready to see the real me, the stomach rolls which I know I have been have never really allowed them to show, or the red dots which pain me greatly. I still don’t know why I cried. Teri reminded me I am beautiful not because of the stomach and the red dots but because of who I am even with the red dots and stomach rolls.
I reviewed the pictures 10 times in 30 minutes and I quickly scrolled past the pictures that show my stomach and I picked about all my flaws in each picture . Teri reminded me to look at my pictures like they are someone else and picture by picture I started to smile . I actually think the red dots are cute. This learning to love myself business is very hard but I am learning to accept ALL parts of me not just the ASSETS ( like really DAT ASS is for days) but also for my perfect imperfections … As she called it empowerment level 2 ….and from here it can only get better …as I learn and grow into the empowered confident woman I am becoming.
For me, it is important that EVENTUALLY women face the reality that is their body. As women we already compare ourselves to other people and the younger, smaller versions of ourselves and it’s bullshit. Usually the first session I will take care to acknowledge your areas of insecurity and what not, but if you stick with me long enough (like Miss S!) Tough Love Teri is going to step in and we are going to work towards accepting all the bits that are unique to you. I don’t want you comparing the body you see in the mirror to the body you see in one of the images I take of you and noticing a huge difference. I need you to SEE yourself, accept it (I’m not even asking for love, just acceptance) so you can start focusing on bigger and better things! (Like going outside and getting naked).
This editorial has no story behind it other than the fact that I loved the wardrobe from Forever 21, missed shooting my girl Chloe, and wanted to do some creatives. This session was inspired by the shift in the weather, darker days, the coziness of fall colors and pumpkin spiced everything. Enjoy!
Mr. D came to the studio ready to kill his session. I mean, can you believe this guy has an eight-year old?? Look at that bod! There’s no waaaaay, he’s had a kid….no possible way. And 31?? I doubt it. He looks so good for his age.
Do we realize how fucking ridiculous that sounds? I have yet to see this shit on a post of a man. While surviving any birthday and the ability to have children are milestones not awarded to many, I don’t think the intent of people commenting these things are thinking of that perspective. I am in far too many photographer groups/facebook groups/and social communities where this bullshit chatter is the norm…in regards to women. Whenever a photo of a woman who fits the stereotypical societal standards of beauty is posted, there is a caption and comments that applaud her for “looking so good after having babies” and “This woman just gave birth and she looks sooooo good”…..ummmm….I am not saying don’t appreciate the women who fall into the societal standard of beauty nor am I saying don’t celebrate the ability of women to have children….I am saying we need to stop saying shit like this and reducing women to their capacity to have children AND maintain a svelte figure. We can appreciate beauty without saying shit like “CAN YOU BELIEVE SHE HAS 3 CHILDREN??? OMG I WOULD DIE TO LOOK LIKE THAT!” It just continues to perpetuate the fallacy that women need to get back to a pre-baby body (which, fyi, is technically impossible unless you are willing to shove your baby back up your hoo ha) Same thing with the age thing….”SHE LOOKS SO AAAAMAZING FOR 65″….MAYBE SHE DOES LOOK AMAZING, BUT IT’S NOT DESPITE HER NUMBER OF YEARS ON THIS PLANET!! When we say things like this, it continues to remind women that they have to uphold a certain look or aesthetic despite having children, getting older, etc. Can we just stop please? Next time you are viewing and appreciating a woman’s beauty, try to refrain from using phrases like that. Next time you are having a chat with your friends, avoid saying things like “Omigod, you look so good for just having a baby” or “You age beautifully” and while people may look beautiful and “so good” you don’t need to tack on the reason why you are SURPRISED they look so good…it’s a shitty thing to do and I assume you are a good human. So, after this ranty post, I urge you to listen to the conversations around you, online and in person, compliment people for their qualities, both physical and not, be mindful of the chatter you are contributing to…oh and enjoy some photos of Mr. D who delightfully shared his life and time with me so I COULD write this ranty post.
Meet Regan, one of our Glambassadors, chosen for her exciteable personality, care for others, and passion for empowering the women in her life. This babe’s energy is so incredibly infectious and when she came to her shoot she came ready to kill it. I am sure there were some nerves there, of course, but she hid them pretty well and during her session we unleashed her babeliness. But I won’t chat too long…I want you to hear how SHE felt during the experience!
“I really didn’t believe I was good enough,pretty enough or thin enough,not tall enough to have a photographer believe that I was.
My experience with Teri was amazing. I come off confident but I was scared of what the outcome was going to be.
I am sooo comfortable taking pictures of myself but I’ve never had a female photographer take pictures of me before so I didn’t know nor was prepared if there was going to be judging.
Right before our session I explained to Teri that I’m not very good at taking directions very well and there she was, Jedi mind fucking me lol. (meaning she was fine at taking my directions) Slowly as the camera started clicking I came to believe that I was at party and didn’t want it to end. I so wanna party again!!
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- Fine Art Nudes
- Get Messy
- guest post
- Imperial Goddess Session
- Inspiration Session
- International boudoir photography
- male boudoir
- Not Yo Mama's Headshots
- Picture Me Perfect
- RAW session
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