For many of our clients, a boudoir shoot can be a body-positive experience that helps them feel sexy, empowered, and confident. It’s a chance to feel good about their looks and their bodies, sometimes after having a new baby, after a divorce or breakup, after a life change, or just because they want to have some “me” time. But it’s important to remember that your boudoir shoot is just one part of a process of self-empowerment and self-love.
Not A Magical Fix
A boudoir session is a three hour shoot that can produce some great photos that celebrate your body. And while the session and the end result can be uplifting and empowering, it’s not a cure all for body dysmorphia, and negative perceptions you may have about your body, your “flaws,” and your self worth.
Self-love isn't a byproduct of just one day deciding to think good things about yourself, and then vanquishing years of self doubts. Self-confidence and self-love are the results of an ongoing process that you may need to work on every day. A boudoir shoot is just one aspect of that ongoing work.
A few hours in the studio isn't going to heal years worth of negative self-talk or trauma. Much like therapy requires a lot of work from a patient, a photoshoot requires you to be open to ideas that are going to improve your self-esteem.
Only you can let go of your negative thoughts about your body and no one can do that for you.
What Do We Really Look Like?
One of the things that you can do to get more from your boudoir photo shoot is to take some time to actually look at yourself.
No, not the pictures you have on your phone. Not the pictures you post to social media that have filters that smooth your skin, plump your lips, remove blemishes, or change the color of your hair or eyes. Too often our self perceptions are clouded by how we see ourselves with Instagram or TikTok filters.
Actually look at yourself in the mirror. Your entire body. Now stop focusing on the “flaws” or what you don’t like. Aging is normal. Wrinkles are normal. If you don’t look like the filter it doesn’t make you ugly or less worthy. Look at yourself and start changing the narrative in your head about what beauty and attractiveness really are. They’re not what society will have you believe that they are.
Once you become more familiar with the real you, and start embracing what you really look like, you’ll be happier with the idea of taking part in a photo shoot, and happier with the end result.
Surround Yourself With Positivity
Self love is really hard when you constantly have to protect yourself from those around you. Surrounding yourself with people who are supportive of you, and who treat you with respect, can have an amazing impact on how you feel about yourself.
That energy around you definitely matters. No, you probably won’t feel beautiful just because someone tells you that you are; that’s not going to erase your self doubt. But it definitely helps to have people around you that are not constantly bringing you down. Being aware of how your self perception is impacted by friends that you have, or people you spend your time with is important to the process of self love.
Another thing we suggest that can help you get more during your journey to self love, is daily affirmations. Remember, those doubts and self perceptions are taking up head space. Start to replace them with positive affirmations.
You can Google affirmations based on any topic, and you can find those related to self love or positive reinforcements. These “I” statements can be very powerful if you make it an everyday exercise.
Case in Point
We had a client who came in at a point in her life where she was just leaving an abusive relationship. She was told that she was ugly all the time, she was belittled and beaten down. When she saw herself with makeup on she cried and said, “I didn't know I looked like this” and other similar comments. She hadn’t really looked at herself in a long time, and certainly didn’t have any self confidence but she desperately wanted it.
At first she wasn’t happy with the pictures. And that’s ok! For some clients, it just takes time. She came back a few weeks later ready to see the photos again and loved them! She also went on to do another photo shoot. With time and personal growth her body image has improved so much that she’s even confident enough to post photos wearing a bikini, which she never would have felt confident doing during the time of her initial shoot.
YOU have the power to change the narrative in your head.
A boudoir photo shoot is a great opportunity to have your hair and makeup done professionally, and to have professional studio photos that will make you look your best. It’s a great opportunity to invest in yourself, and can make you feel sexy, beautiful, and confident. But only if you’re willing to actively take part in that process of learning to love yourself. Self affirmation, surrounding yourself with positivity, and truly looking at yourself on a daily basis, can help make you ready to take the next step in celebrating yourself.