We all know that four months ago I got the confidence and soul boost we all long for in life to accept our bodies. (If you are new here- read this blog!) Since then, I have started doing things I have always wanted to do but been to afraid to do or just didn't have the energy for- wear crop tops, take time down, spend more reading and relaxing, teaching social media basics to people- my purpose and actions were aligning! But there is one more thing I have wanted to do for YEARS: a boudoir shoot.
I had even been gifted a free session with a photographer two years ago but I was too terrified and unsure of my body to actually follow through with it. All the regular thoughts: I'm not sexy enough, I'm not thin enough, who is even going to want to see them? I never went through with booking.
In early April, when I got that high dose of body positivity from the clothes, the team, and my company, I really switched into a 'love ya self' mode in full sense. I started feeling sexy- for MYSELF. I started taking photos of myself for ME! I had for a while and I do have some self portraits that make me go 'damn' every time I scroll my camera roll. I have been less likely to care what people think of what I am wearing and doing and more likely to think 'how much do *I* love this outfit?"
I was chatting with my friend who does all my product photos for me and we were talking about a stylized shoot to show off my new attitude when someone added me into their shopping group without my permission- something I post about once a week not doing and how I will never shop with you if you do it.
It was Jamie of Bluebird & Lace. I had connected with her previously as someone had added me to her boudoir group without my permission. I honestly was annoyed and it was a thorn in my side but she truly didn't seem like she ever meant any harm, she just maybe didn't know. So I clicked around. I saw she was selling luxury wigs (and if anyone wants to get me a birthday present next month.... that is an idea...) and I somehow ended up over on her like page viewing a bunch of her photography work. THIS is where her true magic lies. I was wowed. I saw she was having a special because of Covid madness and I sent her a message saying how I wish I could afford a session with her as it is my 27th birthday in August and blah blah blah, whine whine whine. You get the picture. She was booked all the way out through September at that point, but she would message me and see what we could do if she had a cancellation.
Guess who had a cancellation for 7/15?
I took the booking and opportunity to collaborate before I could change my mind. And as soon as I did it, all the voices flooded my head again. So I did what any sane woman does- message her friends to spill what she did. And they all freaked out with excitement and those voices went away again.
Over the next two weeks I worked on doing things to excite myself. My friend and owner of Titania's Wardrobe made me a custom crown for the Spring and Summertime and I knew it would be perfect for photos. I messaged my friend who is a cake decorator and showed her the crown and asked if she could make a cupcake to match- she was more than happy to. I gathered up props and things around that I knew I would want in photos- like my big pink faux fur baller jacket, a strand of glitzy pearls I had, and a pencil skirt from the new company that I just loved that made me feel so sexy. I looked at images on Pinterest, focused on body positive affirmations, and drank a TON of water. Most importantly, I focused on the excitement over any other emotion.
So many obstacles blocked the way from me being able to do it- child care, having someone watch the puppy because he just had become a eunuch, my own self doubt, you get the picture. The universe was truly trying to see 'how much do you want this?'. I wanted it BAD. It all worked out with the amazing help of a friend and I was on my way, driving a hour south for my close up.
I listened to the Classy Bish Playlist the whole way. Skipped some songs, turned the volume up on others so loud I am sure the cars around me on the highway were listening too, and just let my nerves and mind melt into music. I jammed for the full 50 minute car drive and it was the perfect final step to prepping for the shoot.
(Well, besides the oatmeal I stopped and snagged at Starbucks really quick to feed myself some power food)
When I arrived I was SO NERVOUS. Jamie and I had talked but she is a busy mom and business owner herself and my social anxiety set in as I parked. WHAT WAS I ABOUT TO DO?! AM I REALLY GOING TO GET NAKED AROUND SOMEONE I DON'T EVEN KNOW?!
The answer was yes, yes I was.
I gathered up my goodies and headed into the birds nest.
I was greeted by a beautiful woman, masked up, who was so warm and welcoming and excited to do this! She was bubbly like me in the way that makes you feel comfortable, not annoyed, and started talking about the ideas we had discussed and so excited to see the crown and cupcake. I was immediately at ease. I love that she had a good size client wardrobe, all these different spaces set up for different shots, and had some examples of her work set up. Not only that, there was a sign to welcome me and she let me know I should choose a face mask to start everything with. Once Jen, the makeup and hair artist arrived, we were good to go.
We spent the next hour and a half having 'girl chat', talking about our families, life happenings, our businesses, picking out my wardrobe, doing my makeup and hair, and just having a good time. By the time I was dolled up and ready to go, I felt like I had hung out with them so many times that what we were about to do wasn't weird at all. Jen departed, and Jamie and I got to work!
She went over the weird things I could expect, like how sometimes when I would open my eyes on '1' she would be behind a plant or really close up in my face and just go with it. Oh and that she would say 'I need my f*cking stool!* a lot (she did, it was hilarious). I really like that she said this too: this whole process IS NOT SEXY. The end result of your pictures will be, so just trust the process.
With that I let go. I focused on having fun and not having a face like Chandler did for his engagement photos. I listened to her tips from the rundown and adjusted and flowed with it all. I knew what I wanted prop wise and she took it and RAN with it in a way I couldn't have even imagined.
We did photos in the body suit I had brought, with the crown, with the crown and cupcake, with my faux fur jacket and my sunglasses I had accidentally brought inside but so happy I did. We did photos with a ton of her items, a crown she has, confetti, her shower photo set up. I honestly could have stayed there all day taking photos with her. It was so much FUN. It was so EASY to hang out and laugh and just enjoy myself.
The whole time, my body and how it looked never even began to cross my mind. I was feeling that amazing and confident from the makeup, to Jamie, to the ways I had amped myself up. I didn't want to leave. But sadly, once we got about 300 photos (I think Jamie was having fun too....), I had to hustle home to let my kids dad leave and relieve my amazing friend who had come to sit with the puppy. I was on such a high the rest of the day (I also found out I was #2 in sales with my coffee company!!) and I was so ready for the next week to go by to be able to get my photos. I felt so amped and wanted to share with EVERYONE.
I think I annoyed her enough that she sped up editing (do not recommend to do y'all!) and she agreed to move up our reveal. We actually ended up starting Monday out going over my album. The cover photo of my album had me GASPING.
I looked SO BEAUTIFUL.
I know I am stunning (I say as I sit here with an acne breakout, my hair up, and just a la jolla top and my underwear because it is hot as balls). But having someone else capture you and get such great photos... It does something for you I can't even begin to explain.
It's like I fell in love with myself all over again. Which I think we should do as often as we absolutely can.
I looked sexy. I looked sassy. I looked like a fucking queen.
And then I saw the photos of my rolls. I saw the photos of myself sitting criss cross. I saw photos that scared me. And the voices were there 'told you so'. I had the choice: do I let those images that shook me of my whole body derail the amazing feeling or do I just scroll over them?
I went for the latter. When there was an image that made my throat tighten from the automatic 'you look so big Kate', I would scroll on to the next ones. The shower images were something I was really apprehensive to do the day of the shoot and I wasn't in love with them right off the bat.
I probably went through my album of photos three or four times. Each time I would spend a little longer on the photos I wasn't too keen on. Why didn't I like those? What was there not to like about the images? If these shots were of someone else, would they encourage me and empower me to have my own shoot or would they repel me away from doing it?
That last question hit home to me. Still being the wary person I was, I showed the pics to my best friends and when one of them said that my 'roll' pictures were her favorite of them all and I should get THAT one printed, I started to enjoy them more.
That was a day ago. Since then I have been opening up the browse and looking at all of the photos to choose from. I can't get over that the woman in these photos is ME. She is so beautiful and confident and sexy and overall stunning. She is who I want to be and feel like everyday.
The fact that I now have these photos to remind myself what a badass bish I am whenever I need is a boost of self security and confidence in a way I didn't know I existed. It is an amazing tool and reminder!
I am so truly thankful to Jamie and her amazing artistry, her set up, and everything else she does to make the experience super luxurious and fabulous.
If you think this is my last shoot with her, you are wrong! If I had endless amounts of time and money, I would be booking with her once a month! I highly encourage you to go get on her calendar NOW as she is booked into next year! Tell her that Classy Bish Kate sent you and prepare to have a tool to love your body all the time!
When you take this next step, spend some time on Pinterest and looking at Jamie's work- what do you like and don't like? Is there a prop you for sure want to have? Bring it up with her. Make yourself a power playlist (or just use mine!) and jam to it. The month leading up to your shoot, look in the mirror everyday and compliment three things about your body! Say body love affirmations every time you see your reflection or a photo! If you do all these things before your shoot, not only will you feel prepared, you will really start to love your body!
You are an amazing beautiful bish and deserve to see and know it.
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