I've avoided this for almost a month. She was next, she had just sent me her responses. Every time I've opened the website to blog, I closed it down. She was such a passionate woman and I didn't get to know her for long enough. Just a little over a year but the impact that she had will last forever. I remember on a really bad day, we were texting and the next thing I knew were were having beers and she was hugging me to make the bad go away. She was an epic hugger. She hugged like my mom. The kind that pulls you so close you could feel her pushing her love right into you so you know why I fell in love with her instantly. I am going to share this because, she was a soul sister of mine. She supported me endlessly and no one could say "Fuck it, Fuck Perfect, Fuck you" any better than this woman.
What was your motivation to seek out a boudoir photography experience? I wanted to show my (then boyfriend, now fiancé) that I believed him when he told me how beautiful he thought I was. It didn't seem fair to keep negating his opinion for the sake of mine, so the photos were an offer of gratitude to him.
Choosing your studio/photographer is super personal, why did you choose The GFE? First came the blind Google search. Less than 1 minute after I typed "budoir photos + Pittsburgh," I stumbled upon GFE and my decision was immediate. GFE's portfolio is full of women who look like me, who don't look like me, who have sass and boobs, who are shy with no boobs....you get the idea. It was instantaneously clear these women were not just getting professional-level camera work; they were getting encouragement, support and a hell of a lot of casual swear words where needed. I was hooked!
Leading up to the shoot what were you most concerned about?
Girl, please. I was a cellulite-judging, hungry, sleepless, second-guessing hot mess about everything.
What was your favorite part of your boudoir experience?
Let me tell you something. I have NEVER - EVER - in my lifetime walked into ANY room and been made to feel so immediately loved, welcomed and celebrated as I did showing up to Stephanie and Dessa on a cold Saturday morning. It was like walking into a room filled with only the people I'd ever loved most who inarguably knew me the best and with whom I had NO sense of competition or worry. Fuck the photos (PERFECT as they turned out to be); after 32 years of insisting I HAD to be smart because I'd never be pretty, in these girls' company I got the most honest, genuine self-esteem boost conceivable and breathed the most confident breath I'd ever taken. I will love them for the rest of my life for that.
Is there anything you would change or do differently?
I'd drink SO much more water (it makes a difference) and for the love of all things holy, I would eat! Starving for a week prior only made the donuts cramp my stomach and my guilt button soar - and for nothing!
What would you tell other women about your experience, would you recommend doing something like this for themselves?
Do it. Just. Effing. DO it!!!!! Do it for every calendar holiday. You will not regret it; you have my word.
Do you view yourself differently since your session? Do you appreciate your body more? Are you kinder to yourself?
All day every day. "Life-changing" is not nearly a strong-enough cliche to describe the difference.
Also, feel free to add anything. I just want to hear from you. Toss my questions out the window if you want!
I love you so fucking hard!