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!
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!
Kiana is a gorgeous curve model who popped by the studio for a test shoot with myself. I fell in love with her via her instagram and knew we needed to do a session together, so we pulled together some metallic pieces for the shoot and got down to business. The babe brought the curves, but she also brought THE FACE. This girl can turn it on and off like you won’t believe! Not only is she a fab model, but she is also a fierce makeup artist!
Miss Liz is probably one of my favorite people in the world. I have only seen her in person twice in my life, but each time it’s like no time passed between. Another beauty brought to me courtesy of my colleague and friend Lindsay Rae Photography, Liz has been our curve model on 2 seperate occasions! The first was in Vegas, the first time I attended WPPI and played in the desert, the second time was just recently in Florida, where Lindsay and I hosted our Florida Curves Workshop, inspiring and educating photographers to improve the diversity in their boudoir portfolios! Just like in Vegas, Liz never disappointed. She got crazy with us, letting me put her in the pool, going skinny dipping with us in the ocean, and making us delicious dinners.
A crazy part of being a creative entrepreneur is that you need an outlet and the opportunity to try things you have never done before in an effort to keep you alive and passionate for the work you create for your clients. It’s helpful to have an amazing team available when you need to get an idea out of your head and onto paper, film, computer, and this particular project was no different. I told Nicole, my fab makeup artist, to come to the studio because I had 3 ideas to play through and it was completely different for both of us from the makeup to the styling to the posing….definitely not my traditional boudoir. That being said, it turned out exactly the way I saw it in my head when I purchased a pair of nude panty hose. I am now inspired to try this same concept with multiple colors in the future, so it may be an ongoing adventure! In any case, here are the results of Look #1 (which cost me approximately $8 for the entire “outfit”)
- body image
- curvy boudoir
- 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
- Vendors We Love