Boudoir Photography Pittsburgh, It is okay to like your body

I think the vast majority of the boudoir community would agree that we often hear, "I am interested, but..."(Enter the destination happiness here.)

I lose 20 lbs. I get my boobs done. I have a boyfriend. I gain 10 lbs. After I workout for a few months. When I can justify spending the money on myself. When I get married. After I grow my hair out. Get a tan. These pimples dry up. 

We don't have time for me to sit here all day and have me wane on about the somedays I have heard over the course of shooting Boudoir photography in Pittsburgh for eight years. 

 

If you begin to tip toe into having a better relationship with your body the first thing that will come up when you search The Google, will be workouts to reshape, diets to restrict and garments to constrict. I am all for working out and eating as well as you can. Move it or lose it, sister. Foods and movement affect far more than your appearance. Mental health is tied to everything you put into your body as well as how you move it. Sleep habits are impacted. Sex drive is effected. Taking actual physical care of yourself is vital. But what if the relationship you have with your body could be greatly improved by just changing the way you view it?

You are allowed to like your body. Heavier, thinner, curvier, leaner, fuller, thicker, tighter.......

Just because it doesn't fit a norm, someone else' ideal, look like your body 6 years or 6 months ago doesn't mean there is something wrong with your body. You are allowed to like it. You are allowed to like your body and still want to treat it well and accept the changes that come with it. As a woman, your body changes from the day you are born till the day you die. Hell, it changes every freaking month for petes' sake. That is impossible to keep up with. You are not your body. I have as many clients tell me that there are in fact things they like about their body but they feel ashamed to admit it because they don't look conceited or overly confident. The physical implications of shame are numerous. Anxiety. Digestive Issues. Chronic shame can cause increased inflammation and risk for infection. When looking at it that way, you are putting your overall well being at risk because you are either. A. ashamed for not liking your body or B. ashamed for liking your body. Neither is worth it. Neither will get you to that destination for "When..." any sooner. Which brings me to my next thought.....

Timelines are bullshit but timing is everything. Timelines are manmade. Timing is divine. No one likes to hear that everything happens for a reason because it is incredibly hard to understand some of the super shitty circumstances people encounter but there is a lesson in everything. I opened my inbox this morning and without divulging too much of what one of my client's wrote, she said "I can’t explain it, I just don’t hate myself as much. Like, seriously." There is even a lesson in a boudoir shoot and I don't feel ashamed to admit it. It isn't vain for you to say you have great hair or a great ass and it isn't vain for me to say that that I can help you change your relationship with your body while battling my own issues.  I have never qualified my people by their sizes or their shape but instead of how they have made me feel so why do we try to measure our own worth by a different standard than by which we measure others?

If you can like something about yourself, you can learn to love something about yourself. There is no actual destination. Well, death. That is the actual last stop. You telling yourself you will be happy or do something "when" is the Mom equivalent of "maybe". We all know maybe is a 95% No but the 5% leftover  is just enough hope to keep us going.  I can't math but I suspect that if we gave ourselves 95% hope and 5% maybe we'd all be far better off in every aspect of our lives.

Today's lesson. Release the shame.  Do your best to forget about timelines. Toss your destination out the window.

Pittsburgh Boudoir Photography, How to ruin your boudoir session, Pittsburgh Boudoir

*******Disclaimer! Even though the headline is dramatic, I want to be clear that she had an insanely awesome shoot. She did not ruin her shoot by any stretch of the imagination! She did everything right! So can you!

This might ruffle some feathers, I am ok with that. 

  1. A shitty attitude

Believe me, people do show up with a shitty attitude. Shitty attitudes aren't nerves. The main difference between a shitty attitude and regular ol' nerves, is hope. Nervous clients are hopeful. They want the full experience. Nervous clients are invested in the outcome and want nothing more than to see themselves in photographs and for once, to love them! Shitty clients hold some pretty deep insecurities that they are looking for me to prove wrong. But I can't. A shitty client is daring us to tell her she is wrong. A nervous client already realizes that what she sees or thinks about herself might not be authentic and is HOPEFUL about the outcome. A shitty client thinks she knows what she is doing. A nervous client knows she knows nothing about what is about to happen. A shitty client might be doing this for her partner. A nervous client is doing this for herself and her partner. A shitty client thinks she is doing me a favor by walking through my door. A nervous client is hopeful this experience will change her. We are living in the time of the motivational meme y'all. So what I am about to say will be familiar and more importantly you will understand; Your vibe determines your tribe. Please don't come to us with a shitty attitude. I check out the second you walk through the door with your bad energy. I can feel your hope from a mile away and I will give you every little bit of my abilities. Dessa spends her entire time 2 inches from your heart and your head, if I haven't picked up on it, she will. A shitty attitude is a waste of your time. Come with an open heart and an open mind and be open to creation! I want to collaborate with you not play tug of war. 

2. Telling me what looks best on you

Pointing out what images you don't care for and all the reasons why. What we see in the mirror is not an accurate representation of what we look like at all in any other point in our day other than what we look like when we look like in the mirror. Yet, we let that reflection dictate how we feel, how we function, how we move.......and how we do or do not want our photographers to photograph us. I have had clients scroll through our 'gram and point out why certain shots won't work for her. I will audibly roll my eyes. Yep, you will here them knock against the back of my head. You only see what you see in the mirror. You partner sees you in so many amazing ways that you will never even be able to grasp. I can see you that way. So I can show you what he sees. If you don't love what you see in the mirror, why would you would trust that image to be best there is? You've never seen yourself through the eyes of your partner when you roll over in the morning. You've never seen your bumbum when you are climbing into bed.........

3. Talking but not listening-moving but not responding

I don't mean in the classroom sense of the word. I am going to struggle to explain this but hang in there with me. I hope this makes sense in the end. I am your one stop shop photographer. I model for you, I verbally direct, I demonstrate the facial expression, I coach you through your entire session. If you have ever taken a yoga class, you have been implored to set your intention. This is the same idea. The flow is also very similar. You will ride the wave with me. In order to do that, you must listen more than you talk, you must not just move but respond to my words.  As I demonstrate what the pose you will be in and as I verbally direct you through and I emote for you, your body language is mimicking mine, your face is copying mine. I move myself more than I will move you so there will be conversation points during our session but that isn't what I am talking about. I love talking to my clients!! I mean lot's of "ok's, got it's, yeps....". For example,

Me--I am going to have you bring your right arm across your body, let your fingers graze your hip...... You--OK! Me--take a deep breath.....You--(cutting me off) OK!

I've not completed my direction, you've not actually performed what was directed......you were busy talking but not responding. The response is in the demonstration of the followed direction. This makes your session more smooth, produces more consistent photographs, more dynamic images. Every word that is being said and physical direction has a purpose; an intention. I do not need affirmation that you heard me with a verbal "Ok!", I need to see you moving and breathing with the directions being given.

4. Bad wardrobe

I don't really think there is wrong wardrobe. I want you to feel pumped to wear what you bring but fit is a big big deal. One size too big is always better than too small. Shape is more important than color. Fit matters more than style. If something feels good on your body, you will will move with more confidence and perform with more ease than something that has to be constantly readjusted. Just because you own it doesn't mean it you love it. Better to bring less wardrobe that you love than a bunch of items you are lukewarm about. 

We provide so much info about getting ready for your shoot that I don't encounter these types of situations often but when I do, I feel like I have these clients down. I do not want to affirm your insecurities by tiptoeing around your rules, your attitude, your choices etc. I do however want to show you what possibility looks like when you let your walls down and you trust us. 

-xo

 

Pittsburgh Boudoir Photography, Boudoir Photographer Pittsburgh, Who to bring

This is a first for The GFE Boudoir blog. Which is a huge shocker to me but for some reason over the years, I have never blogged a session with multiple women. Yet, we get friends who come in together all the time. Sharing that you are having your own boudoir shoot is strictly off limits for some gals and that is just fine. For some women they feel more secure having her friend there to support her. Either way works for me but I do have some rules for your friend.

This beautiful pair both wanted shoots and it seemed logical for them to come in on the same day. This is the ultimate! You can shop together, prep together and get excited together. This is something they will look back on as something they had a blast doing together, which is what friendship is, enjoying as much as your life as you can with your best loves. On their shoot day, they decided who would go into styling first, as this is the first client to be photographed. The second woman is in styling while the first is being shot so you don't have the pressure of feeling like you are being watched; if that scares you. The first client almost always asks her friend if it is ok if she is in the shooting area while she is being photographed. There is coffee shop right downstairs, you can go grab a drink and a cookie and come back up and get cozy under blankets on one of the sofas while your friend is being shot, if either of you feel uncomfortable with extra eyes on you.  You can do this together but never really see one another if that is too much. Some girlfriends have traded off days, where they come to support one another but have their own shoot on a separate day. That works too!

Some things to considerate if you think you want to bring your bestie along!

A. She must be a cheerleader. No Debbie Downers or Negative Nancys. Some best friends bicker like old married couples and if your friend might ruin your vibe, or mine, best to leave her at home. 

B. I don't care if she has been shot by another photographer. All photographers work differently and the experience she had must not have been all that rad if you are here with me, so if she wants to say, "My photographer did this...." she could be asked to leave. It just isn't helpful. It will make you anxious. Basically, it is like going on a date and talking about your ex. So,.....

C. Is she supportive? Honestly supportive? Does she get excited for you when good things happen? Is she helpful when you need it? Would having her around make this experience even better for you?

 

I love when best friends come in together who are really excited to be there and really excited to do this along side their friends. I have asked just a few girls to step out, but these are the friends that come as pure support and aren't both being photographed on the same day. If you are both having your boudoir shoot that day, this will be one of your best memories together!

Pittsburgh Boudoir Photography, Boudoir Photographer Pittsburgh

She almost called and cancelled the night before her  boudoir shoot. She almost didn't leave her house that morning. She was damn near tears when she got out of the car. She wanted to run away as she climbed the stairs. Between you and me, I don't know how she didn't. We are grown women and so many of us have done incredibly hard things like surviving abuse, beating cancer, divorces and burying loved ones. And yet we are sometimes still surprised by how hard making certain moves and taking certain actions can be. For each moment of doubt she had, it is my hope that I gave her one more photo. For each of her thoughts that she tried to talk herself out of this boudoir experience, I hope I gave her one more photo. For every second of fear, I hope I gave her one more....

 

Every moment each of you shares with me, I hope I am able to return the love to you. For every one of those exchanges, I do my best to pass that along to the next woman that walks through my doors. Your stories, your presence and your hearts continue to inspire me and drive me; and may be to some, having boudoir photos seems like a frivolity. But those that move through this experience know that coming face to face with your beauty, humility, power, sexuality and grace can be so impactful in every other aspect of your life. 

Please, in your next moment of feeling weak just remember, you are able to do incredible things.

"Breathe. You’re going to be okay. Breathe and remember that you’ve been in this place before. You’ve been this uncomfortable and anxious and scared, and you’ve survived. Breathe and know that you can survive this too. These feelings can’t break you. They’re painful and debilitating, but you can sit with them and eventually, they will pass. Maybe not immediately, but sometime soon, they are going to fade and when they do, you’ll look back at this moment and laugh for having doubted your resilience. I know it feels unbearable right now, but keep breathing, again and again. This will pass. I promise it will pass."

— Daniell Koepke

Pittsburgh Boudoir Photography, In Her Words Client Testimonial, Boudoir Photographer Pittsburgh
best boudoir pittsburgh

What was your motivation to seek out a boudoir photography experience?

I decided to do a boudoir shoot kiiiiiind of last minute as a 1-year "paper" anniversary gift for my husband (because photo paper counts, right?). I wasn't going to do it because I had done a pin-up shoot the year prior as an engagement/wedding gift and had made a calendar from that shoot. My husband started bringing up how he was sad that his calendar would be running out, so I finally said "Screw it! I'm doing another calendar!" I knew I wanted to do something more intimate and less character-like for this gift, and that boudoir photos would really surprise him. 

pittsburghboudoirphotography

Choosing your studio/photographer is super personal, why did you choose The GFE?

1 - The qualify of Steff's work is undeniable. I kept looking and looking at different photographer options, and always came back to hers because I loved (and still love) her work so much.

2 - After joining the private Facebook group, I knew the GFE energy was the kind of energy I wanted to surround myself with - positive, encouraging, empowering, with an emphasis on self-love and sharing that love with others.

the girlfriend experience boudoir

 

Leading up to the shoot what were you most concerned about?

Mostly wardrobe, and being "sexy enough." I don't really consider myself a sexy lady. I've always tended toward the goofy, light-hearted side of myself. As a performer, I've always been stronger in comedic roles, or roles in which I'm playing a boy, so I was really nervous about doing this intimate, sexy shoot. 

best boudoir pittsburgh

 

What was your favorite part of your boudoir experience?

What wasn't my favorite part? Seriously. I can't pick just one. From getting dolled up with hair & make-up to the shoot to the reveal - I learned so much from the experience as a whole and had a blast. I can't ask for much more than that.

boudoir studio pitsburgh

 

Is there anything you would change or do differently?

Stress less about it? Haha! I was so nervous and I didn't need to be. I over-prepared in terms of wardrobe and working out/eating/not eating - the latter honestly got a little unhealthy and it just wasn't necessary. Everybody (and every body) can and should be celebrated as they are. Steff knows exactly what she's doing, and makes you feel totally comfortable - no need to stress!

thegfeboudoir

 

What would you tell other women about your experience, would you recommend doing something like this for themselves?

I'd say "It's absolutely incredible. 10/10 - highly recommend. Would do again." I don't think you really need a specific reason to do it, either. Mine was for an anniversary gift, but it ended up doubling as a gift to myself in terms of its affect on my self-love/appreciation. 

bestboudoirpittsburgh

 

Do you view yourself differently since your session? Do you appreciate your body more? Are you kinder to yourself?

100% yes to all. My photo reveal session was actually really emotional for me. I couldn't believe I was looking at myself. I have struggled with body image my entire life - my husband evens quasi jokes about my "girl in the mirror" syndrome where what I see in the mirror is NOT what anyone else sees when they look at me. So there I was sitting in the studio, looking at these photos of myself, and I thought, "Wow. What?!?! Who is that strong, sexy, empowered woman?! That's really me?!" My session helped me see myself in a way I never have before - or maybe I have, but have never been convinced of it. Either way, I came away from this session with a newfound sense of self that has started to transform my life in a variety of ways, and I cannot thank Steff enough for the part she played in that.

best boudoir pittsburgh thegfeboudoir
Pittsburgh Boudoir Photography, Boudoir Photographer Pittsburgh, Walkin' the walk..........

The past several years I have written a year end review. Shared some unseen boudoir images and waxed poetic about what the year meant to me. Not that I don't have plenty to wane on about, I wanted to try something a little different. I do plan on reminiscing about all that 2017 held and all the beautiful women I have met, in our private Facebook group so I can share even more photos and even more stories. If you aren't a member yet, come join. 

Being photographed is one of those things us non celebrities, may never get used to. Clients ask me all the time if I have every had my own boudoir experience. Until this year, the answer to that was, "Not really." I carried a lot of guilt about that. I wasn't walking the the walk.I wasn't ready to see how someone else saw me. I wasn't ready to face body issues. I wasn't prepared to be vulnerable. I wasn't willing to take the risk. I have been asked by other photographers if they could photograph me and up until this past year, the answer has always been, "No." Even though I was flattered and very curious. I wasn't mentally prepared to see myself from the outside. ....

"my weight goes up and down all week all the time, after i get my braces off, my face swells when I get stressed, my skin is sad from having my kids, I can't find anything I want to wear, nothing looks good on me, I don't know why someone would want to photograph me, what if the photos are awful, I don't have anyone to give the photos to"... I had all these stories I was telling myself. 

Then one day... I still had all those stories. I also had a realization. If not now.....literally the youngest, I will ever be....when? If I don't at least try, will I regret it? How can I hold the hands of my clients and not understand what she is going through on the day she comes to me? I am an empath and this shit just didn't sit well with me. So I decided to start saying yes more, but not yes to everyone. I still wanted to feel in control. I want photos to feel like a collaboration whether I am the model or the photographer and this my goal for my clients as well. 

I am sharing a little over a year's worth of photos I have had taken by other artists. All at different places in my life, every single session at a different weight (something that would have been a big reason for me to say no previously), some without makeup and hair.....

All so I can  confidently say that I understand exactly how you are feeling....

dessathegirlfriendexperienceboudoir

The above photos were taken by Dessa. God how talented she is. This was the start of it all. I asked her to take these. We work so closely and she understands me and the way I work that these images are the closest thing I could image to what it would be like, if I were the photographer. 

denisebirdsonmodernlovephotographyboudoir.jpg

Ahhhhh Denise Birdsong of Modern Love Photography. A little concept shoot that was years in the making and over before I knew it. Hands down, an enormous honor for me. I knew this could be a once in a life time opportunity and I would not tell her no know no matter how far she pushed me. When she asks if she can tape your nipples, you don't tell Denise no. 

terihoffordphotography

Teri Hofford Photography is a goddamned force to be reckoned with if you are a photographer you know her name. She came to stay with me this summer along with our gal pa, Paige Rynberg of Fearlessly You Boudoir. We bounced all over the studio, came to my house and ended the afternoon under the hose in my backyard. What she can create in the shortest amount of time is staggering. 

thegfeboudoir
the girlfriend experience boudoir
thegfeboudoirhanes.jpg

The GFE Boudoir. ;) Yes, selfies!! Along with Paige and Teri we run a monthly challenge with one another where we shoot something chosen by someone else or from a collective list of off kilter ideas. Boudoir selfie are no joke. As much as I wanted control, being the model and the eyes didn't work as well as I had hoped. With no makeup and no hair styling, in my usual busted ass jeans, I tried to make some lifestyle boudoir happen at a home. If you want to see the rest of the series and the all the images from each of us, visit here https://www.terihoffordphotography.com/2017/12/08/manties3-girls-1-challenge-winnipeg-boudoir-photographer/

Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer, Boudoir Photography Pittsburgh, 5 tips to make your boudoir shoot easier

You have gone and done the damn thing. You have made up your mind that this is your time. You aren't waiting any longer. You have booked your boudoir shoot. You've paid your deposit, signed your contract, set your date and you've found wardrobe you love yourself in. But, now it is really, real! I am going to give you 5 tips to make your boudoir experience more seamless!

 

1. Have our Day Of email ready, it will include a clickable link for our address so it will pop up right in your GPS. My personal phone number will also be listed incase anything happens, like traffic accidents, spilled coffee, getting lost.......

2. Have breakfast, drink some water and take an Advil. Part of my ass whispering involves twisting you up like you have taken a yoga class. While you're at it, stretch. It can never hurt. 

3. Make sure your hair is clean and dry. Wash and dry the night before or the morning of. If you are prone to getting oily, put some dry shampoo in when you blow dry. If you show up with greasy hair we aren't able to wash you and dry shampoo can only get us so far. 

4. Download the Go Mobile PGH app and take a photo of your license plate.  We have free on street parking if you're a lucky duck but if you don't snag one of those spots, you will be at a meter.  Paying at the meter is fine but if you are with us for more than 2 hours, you will need to feed the meter again and doing so from the app doesn't eat up your shoot time. 

5. Take a hard last look at your wardrobe. If there are any items that when I go over your wardrobe with you, will make you say, "I don't know why I brought that, that doesn't fit, I saw it on Pinterest or I bought it 100 years ago...." Toss it in the trash. Your time is valuable and wasting it in bad wardrobe is more expensive than you realize when it comes down to images you love versus anything else. 

Boudoir Photography Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Boudoir photographer, In HER words, client testimonial

What was your motivation to seek out a boudoir photography experience? 

 

Originally the whole idea stemmed from my boyfriend being deployed. I thought what would be a good thing to send to him while he’s away. I came up with boudoir photos. And I could never have imagined that this sexy surprise for my boyfriend would turn into such a beautiful gift for myself. 

 

Choosing your studio/photographer is super personal, why did you choose The GFE?

 

-I do a little photography on the side and so I was just doing to set up all my camera settings and have my friends do it for me. Then I came across The GFE. I fell in love with Steff’s style. The beautiful way she photographed women from every walk life, and made their most beautiful attributes the center of attention. The way she made women of every shape and size feel amazing in their own skin. So I thought, What the hell, it’s worth it to just email her and see what is all involved. And boy was a pleasantly surprised. I instantly knew by her welcoming, charming, and passionate response that I had found the perfect place. 

 

Leading up to the shoot what were you most concerned about?

 

-Right after making the decision to book my shoot, I was most concerned about what I was going to wear. After reading a lot from previous clients and their experiences I kind of let that part go, because I was going to end up naked anyway! The worries then became, I couldn’t possibly look as good as these other beautiful women featured on the blog. I’m going to be the one who looks a mess. I can’t make a serious sexy face without looking silly! What was I thinking when I booked this shoot! Once I was in the studio in the makeup chair with Dessa and Steff chatting about normal everyday things, just like friends I have known all my life, all those worries just faded away. And, a little secret... Steff knows the trick to the smoldering sexy serious face 

 

What was your favorite part of your boudoir experience?

 

-My absolute favorite part of the girlfriend experience is the feeling that completely swept over me during and after my shoot. I felt sexy in a way I never felt before. In a way that completely 100% came from me and not anyone else. Don’t get me wrong, I still have huge insecurities about my body and things I would change in a heartbeat but I learned that to me, I’m at my sexiest when I’m completely myself, relaxed and laughing. 

 

My second favorite part was the two fabulous women who made this experience possible for the women before me and who make it possible for all of the women after me. They are truly amazing at what they do and have created such a fantastic place for women to pamper themselves, whether it be their sole motivation at the beginning or not. 

 

Is there anything you would change or do differently?

 

-I walked into my shoot with no expectations. I knew I was going to have a great time. I went in, taking the advice that most women before me gave, completely open to the idea of getting naked. Even still, knowing that I was going to do whatever Steff asked, because she’s the professional, it was still very surprising when she told me to shed everything. My only wish is that I would have been less stressed through the implied nude/nude set. More relaxed. 

 

What would you tell other women about your experience, would you recommend doing something like this for themselves?

 

 

-100% YES! Whether you do it just once or, like myself cannot wait to go back and do it again. If it even gives you a fraction of the confidence every woman should have it’s worth it. Not even taking the finished product into account, the experience itself, with Steff is soooo much fun. So laid back and soooo WORTH IT! I can’t say it enough! 

 

From the moment I stepped into the doors of The GFE, and even before, I knew I had come to the right place. I would recommend Steff and Dessa, one million times over!!!!!! 

Pittsburgh Boudoir Photography, Boudoir Photographer Pittsburgh

We are not running any holiday promotions for our services. Throughout the entire month we have been offering decreased deposits and payment plans on our services. To increase the incentives we already offer year round, we are giving you no deposits due until January 3rd for shoots booked in 2018. If your deposit is not paid by January 3rd with a signed contract, your session will be cancelled with no questions asked. 

 

Fill out the form below, an invoice and contract will be sent to you with a due date of January 3rd. Please indicate which shoot you desire. 

The Delicate our shoot featuring 2 wardrobe looks $275 with a required deposit of 150 or The Classic our 4 look shoot with styling included, $550 with a required deposit of $200. The Delicate does not include styling but can be added, just ask. The Classic does include full hair and makeup styling. 

Name *
Name
Phone must include. No phone number no return messaged *
Phone must include. No phone number no return messaged

DISCLAIMER PLEASE READ *******No deposit due until January 3rd. Invoices will be sent on December 31st, 2017. You choose your shoot now, we get your name on the books after your deposit is paid, IF your deposit is paid. You can say YES now and change your mind. No questions asked. 

You must use the form on the website. You must sign a contract and return your deposit invoice by January 3rd. If you pay your invoice you will be contacted to schedule your shoot. If you don't, no hard feelings. The timing isn't right and I am a big big believer in timing. 

This is not for Valenetine's Day. Shoots with the delayed deposit will be booked between March 1st and June 1st. 2018

Pittsburgh Boudoir Photography, Boudoir Photographer Pittsburgh, Client Testimonial

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I asked this lovely client if she would allow me to feature her Pittsburgh Boudoir experience with us and she graciously said YES! I love this session, it is one of my favorites from 2017 and even though this was months ago, I would fall all over myself to go back to this day! Without any further adieu...)

First, let me start by saying that up until my wedding day last week, my boudior shoot was probably the most fun I've had in a LONG time.  It was one of the best days of my life.  I've never felt happier, sexier, or more confident. 

I've struggled with my weight my entire life.  I've always been the "bigger friend".  I never really let it hold me back, and I always had great friends and family.  I was lucky that I was not subject to much "bullying".  When I got to college, I found myself in a place with little to no security blanket.  I had to make all new friends, and it was scary.  My weight suddenly bothered me more than ever before.  So,  I met with a surgeon and set myself up for gastric lap band surgery.  

I lost some weight and was feeling great.  I had tons of confidence and was for the most part, happy in my own skin.  My senior year of college I met Adam.   I quickly wooed Adam with my confidence and curves.  I was younger than him, I was fun, energetic and sexy.  I knew he was mine when he took me on a trip to Washington D.C. and told me he loved me. 

Over the course of our relationship I gradually got "less fun", bought less lingerie, spent more time focusing on finding the right job (had some stressful jobs that weighed heavily on me).  I put on weight and had less energy.  

 When Adam and I got engaged, I knew I wanted to do something special for him before the wedding--- and for me too! 

A girlfriend at work told me about her shoot with GFE.  I saw some of her pictures and heard about her experience and I KNEW this was what I needed to do.  I immediate emailed Stephanie, booked a shoot, and started shopping for outfits.  I knew I wanted to keep this as a surprise for Adam on our wedding day.

I was concerned about how I would photograph.  I've always had confidence to think I was attractive--- but never once had seen myself in a picture in underwear let alone less than.  I was self conscious about stretchmarks, scars, cellulite and varicose veins.

5 minutes into the shoot all of my fears vanished.  First of all Dessa made me look stunning!! I wish she could glam me up every single day.  If I had not had my wedding make up artist pre-booked, I would have booked Dessa.

Stephanie made me BEYOND comfortable-- picking out my outfit, coaching me every step of the way.  My favorite part was how she taught me to make the infamous "sexy/serious" face.  I had never been good at that and always looked like I had resting bitch face when I don't smile.  

If I could change one thing it would be TAKE MORE RISKS (i know everyone says this).  I wish I had shown off more of my body, worn less clothing, and not taken so long to warm up to the camera.  The night before my wedding I gave my photo album to my now husband.  He was more that grateful and said it was the best gift he could have ever asked for.  His only wish is that there were more pictures and MORE of my body showing.  

I would 110% recommend anyone do this.  For yourself!!! I was in such a rut where I got wrapped up in wedding planning and new jobs that I forgot to be sexy and love myself.  Doing this shoot has put things into perspective for me, given me back tons of confidence, and made me want to be sexier for me and my husband.  My husbands a great guy and he deserves the fun college girl he fell in love with.