Boudoir Myth #03: Boudoir Photos Are Just a Gift for Someone Else
Only you can get the full benefit of this experience, and that's who it should be for.
Sure...the end product can be a fantastic, saucy little surprise for a significant other...but the images are just a small byproduct of a life changing, and truly self expanding experience. A gift that you deserve for yourself.
More Than Photos
It can sound cheesy, it can sound over-said but it is true...it just is. Every part of this experience, from the moment you inquire to the day you open your finished gallery, is an important part of the experience. Every single step requires space, time and energy that you are prioritizing for yourself and some of them require a little bit of reflection. I'm always surprised at how impacting just the styling and planning portion is when I am going through the experience myself. I don't know about you, but I often rush through or plan things "half assed" when it comes to doing things for me, so taking the time to specifically style each aspect of a session ends up casting quite a bright light on my own beliefs of worthiness. I'm worth taking the time for...I'm worth caring about the details. It can be repetitive, but I am going to continue sitting in that discomfort until I believe it to my core. The entire process is healing.
Not To Be Dramatic
I can get pretty passionate about the issues I've faced (and most women I work with have faced) having to do with self confidence and worthiness, but it's because the changes I've experienced have actually changed my life. Trust me...I'm not "changed and done," it's ongoing and takes practice to retrain your brain or break away from believing lies about yourself. But if I can share, encourage and help women who have felt the same way even the tiniest bit, then it is all worth it.
I enjoy that these sessions are equal parts dramatic, soul searching, lie-breaking empowerment and whimsical, self-expressing, art-creating freedom. It's crazy, it's deep...it's so much fun!
The Truth About "Treat Yourself" Guilt
It's real. I'm not talking about indulgent, overspending and buyer's remorse, I'm talking about the guilt that many women seem to feel in doing anything for themselves (moms...I'm looking at you). You know...when you choose to tackle another endless chore over taking a shower...when you stop making time for that life-giving hobby...when you justify why your needs don't matter as much as other's. I'm not saying that booking a boudoir shoot will solve your problems, but if you are one of those women who would happily spend "xxx" money on their kids, friends, spouses and not themselves I just challenge you to ask yourself why. That's all.
There are plenty of very real, practical reasons to think through big purchases and investments, but guilt that seems to only surround the time and money you allocate to yourself has deeper roots. You're just as worthy of being celebrated. You're just as worthy of being treated. You're just as needing of time for recharging, refilling and reflecting. And you can't pour into others what you don't have for yourself. So give yourself the 15 minutes to enjoy a cup of coffee...buy the clothes that fit properly and make you feel good in them...take the class you've been eyeing...and if a boudoir session is one of those "wow, someday I wanna do that" experiences...book it! But don't be afraid to do it for you, that is plenty enough reason.
You're just as worthy of being cared for, poured into and built up...without the guilt.
The Gift That Keeps On Giving
I already mentioned that every single part of the process is important, but one of my favorite things about how these experiences are structured is how I have created three specific moments that invite excitement, confidence and a moment of "holy shit...I'm stunning...is that actually me? Are you sure I'm not a professional model?? Someone get me a manager stat..."
I mean it, it happens over and over again and words close to those will come out of your mouth!
Your Session This is the most obvious and expected. Throughout your session you're going to gain confidence and any nerves you start with will slowly melt away. I end up showing you the back of my camera multiple times throughout the shoot, because I get so over-excited at how good you look and you just have to see it! You inevitably leave with a glow and confidence that makes you strut a little through the rest of your day.
Gallery Viewing We usually schedule this for a few days later (depending on schedules), and this is where you get to see the culled gallery of unedited images. I highlight the word "unedited," because at some point it gets mentioned and my clients lose their minds. "Wait?! This is straight out of camera?? I just look like that?! You haven't even done anything to it yet?!?!" - direct quote from many clients Not only do you get to see all the beautiful magic that we created during your session, but you get to relive the excitement and empowerment you first felt. It's like redoing your entire session...except in sweats with a fancy coffee in hand.
Gallery Delivery And finally! Your gallery delivery is where you get to swoon over the final images chosen/purchased at your viewing. This is the product that gets shared with girl friends and significant others. You not only get to relive the feeling all over again seeing the final product, but again and again whenever you revisit those beautiful moments we captured. I said there were three specific moments, but it's actually endless. It's a constant reminder that you can bring that energy into every day of your life if you want.
So with all that said...you wanna surprise a special someone with a spicy little polaroid deck or gorgeous leather album? Do it! But remember that this is your session and your experience before anything else.
**Plus, coming in with that attitude creates even more epic art ;D