My journey to boudoir

 

Hello! I’m so glad you’re here. Maybe you’re curious about boudoir photography or maybe you’ve never heard of it before. Maybe you’ve always wanted to do a boudoir session, but just haven’t gotten around to it yet. No matter the reason that you made it here, thank you for visiting.

I want to take this opportunity to talk a little bit about myself and my journey to boudoir photography.

I’ve always been a photographer. In the ’90’s and early 2000’s, I could frequently be found toting around a point-and-shoot film camera. I actually used to leave a camera in my car because you just never know when you’re going to see a shot. Looking back… I have a lot of photos of clouds (lol). But I also have some gems and a lot of memories.

Fast forward a few years and I’m an undergraduate with NO passion for the conventional subjects of math, science, medicine, public health… and really no idea what I wanted to do with my life. So. I went into art. During my time in school, I mostly focused on film photography and worked in an analog darkroom. It was very artsy fartsy and most of my work was totally abstract. I still make art and try to bring as much of my artsy background into my current work as a portrait photographer.

After graduation, I had no idea what I was going to do and didn’t think I’d ever use my degree in Fine Art and Art History. I worked in retail for a couple of years and rose to the top quickly as a store manager at a successful music store. Then in 2013, I was asked to photograph a dance performance. It was my first real gig. And I #nailedit. From there I very quickly began photographing couples, musicians and second shooting weddings. I still shoot weddings. But I really wanted to incorporate my love for artistic and moody images back into my craft. So I started to branch out a bit.

In late 2016, a close friend of mine asked me to do a boudoir session for her significant other. We had a blast! No timeline, no pressure, just two gals supporting each other–me supporting body positivity of my close friend and my close friend supporting my dream to do something DIFFERENT and use my talent for capturing beauty.

But that’s not the end of the story…

Through this photographic journey, I’ve learned a lot about my own motivations and confidence. My choice to become a photographer really stems from my desire to stay behind the camera and out of the spotlight. To make my life about art and to focus my attention on others. I spent my 20’s trying to grow up and do adult things, which is really the opposite of what you should do in your 20’s. I struggled with knowing who I was and what I wanted in life. I got married when I was 26… And divorced when I was 30. I’ve struggled with weight, self-confidence and a positive body image since long before puberty. I really didn’t start to feel comfortable in my own skin until my late 20’s around the same time that I realized I’d married the wrong person whose path was quite divergent from my own. Needless to say, I’ve struggled with loving MYSELF first.

Back in my 20’s, I’d never even dreamt of doing a boudoir session. Mainly because I didn’t feel sexy or skinny enough or confident enough to embrace that aspect of myself. Honestly, I didn’t think that feeling sexy was that important until around the time that I left my ex… someone who I wasn’t very attracted to and who didn’t inspire me to feel sexy. However, what I learned from those years of depriving myself of the delight of feeling attractive was that loving yourself as you are right now might be the most important thing you do in life and for yourself. Because you will ALWAYS want to be better and ALWAYS have something that you want to change. That’s the beauty of being human… there’s infinite possibility for improvement of self. But you cannot let that stop you from enjoying who you are right now.

So I learned to embrace who I was and will probably continue to try to get better at loving myself every day for the rest of my life.

Before I started to get into boudoir photography, I booked a session with a close photographer friend of mine. It wasn’t scary. It wasn’t awkward. It was FUN! I got to pick out fun outfits, do my makeup all dramatic and smoky-eyed, and show off who I was. Seriously. So much fun.

The reason I share all of these things is that I want you to know that I understand the hesitation of getting in front of the camera and the struggle of loving yourself in the moment no matter what you ate last or the workout you skipped yesterday to snuggle on the sofa or the desire to live in yoga pants. BUT I swear to you, doing a boudoir session will make your day. It’s a massive “treat yo’self”.

I hope that now you know more about me and even if you don’t book a session, I want your takeaway to be that you should love who you are everyday just a little bit more because it’s the best thing you can do for yourself, your friends and family and the world.

Until next time… xoxo

~Ashley

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