Why you should do a boudoir shoot.

June 3, 2014

I've sat on this post idea for a month.

The main  concern being, "What would people think after I put this out there." I'm far too worried with others opinions. The heart of the post though is completely in a "girl power" sense.

Girl power being the only real way I can describe it without it coming off as some sort of feminism. Female empowerment sounds like there was some sort of oppression at some point, and that's surely not the case.

Maybe female self esteem is a better way to phrase it.

That, even in the most seemingly confident woman, is lacking.

We recently celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary, and after five years of marriage I saw the same cycle. Jeremy sees it too, and if we're totally honest it's a struggle for most couples.

Bedroom things, I can be rather lazy about it after an entire day of work. I want to strip off any makeup I wore and wear something comfortable. None of that is what your husband would like to see in his picture perfect ideal of what his wife coming home from work looks like.

Somewhere around Christmas, in our marathon of driving around to see family, we got on the topic of you know what. It's a topic that I think rarely gets light with us, just because it's so awkward to discuss outside of the moment.

In that conversation though, Jeremy made points that made a light bulb go off for me.

Don't get me wrong when I say this, I know I'm not fat and I'm not fishing for compliments, but I just feel more comfortable with dimmer lights and more covered up. It makes me less self conscious.

That wasn't what he was looking for though. He talked about how visual he is and the look of shapes and what not. Basically, I saw at that moment that he didn't see what I see.

His ideas of what I look like are far from what I believe, and on that car ride home I got the grand plan to do a boudoir shoot as his anniversary present.

There are a million reasons why you shouldn't do such a shoot, I happened upon a nice lengthy article about the subject. In all honestly though, in a healthy marriage, with a healthy minded man, it won't hurt anything. It might actually help.

In fact the gesture is enough to get your point across. Whatever your actual reasoning for a boudoir shoot might be.

If you're not married, I wouldn't suggest doing this type of thing. Trust is the issue there, as well as why as fooling around before marriage. If your husband has a problem with other types of pictures I wouldn't suggest it either, this won't fix that problem.

The reasons why I should do this though, they didn't come until later.

Going into the shoot I wanted to weigh my "Emily just got her wisdom teeth out" weight. That didn't happen, in fact for the 4 months I planned the shoot out I couldn't drop a pound. It was almost as if God was teaching me a body image lesson that I wasn't happy to be taught.

I went into this shoot weighing a good 10 lbs heavier than I weighed at this time the year before, I wasn't happy about it either.

I still went to that shoot, all the extra poundage and all the extra poundage self esteem issues with it.

You'd be happy to know, it all dissipated. I've come to the conclusion it's impossible to have two amazing women (hair and makeup) working on you and telling you how beautiful you are to walk out feeling like scum. Just doesn't work that way.

I then showed up downtown at the loft we were shooting at, to my two favorite photographers on the planet, with my large leather tote full of things I'd been hiding from Jeremy for a good week, with still a tinge of self doubt.

What on earth was I thinking doing such a raunchy thing? Heck, my husband was a youth minister at our last church. What would people think? My ridiculous head conversations never seem to end.

Within five minutes of talking to Katie and Heather about what our plan for the shoot was, and just how risque I wanted to go (which wasn't that much mind you, nothing really important was showing ha!), I had calmed down. After an hour and being allowed to see the back of the camera once of twice I felt like Cindy Crawford.

Any tinge of low self esteem, ruthless self talk about my weight, how I didn't look like I use to, or even that I just wasn't pretty period had vanished.

This present for Jeremy, turned out to be for me too.

I walked out of there having found my confidence again. I felt great, and after seeing the pictures a few weeks later, I was blown away. These four women made me look like the girls I saw on Pinterest when I searched boudoir shoots.

By the time I finally gave Jeremy the photo album I was giddy with excitement. It was very much a "you never thought I'd do that did you" type of thing. After I gave me man the entire low down on the experience and just how much work went into it so he could appreciate that aspect of it, he was a little shocked. We actually took the pics in his hometown and I'll assure you it was nearly impossible to get away for that many hours carrying around as much cash as I had on me (so he wouldn't know who the money went to) and toting this brown leather bag full of lingerie.

I was desperately hoping for that entire week that he wouldn't unzip my bag, I'd have a ton of explaining to do, and probably have to spill the beans on my little project.

In all my talking I feel like I've lost my train of thought, let's just get to the business of why you should do this type of shoot.

1. It'll boost your self confidence, and possibly make you see what your husband sees in you.

2. Let's get the easy one out of the way, he will love it. The idea that you went through all that trouble for him is just about as good as the gift. Just to warn you though, he will likely use it as a catalog of specific outfits... and request that you wear it with that attitude. I honestly fell out laughing when Jeremy requested I have "that attitude", I'm very guilty of not having the right attitude and wanting to just get to sleep. If we're being totally honest here.

3. After 5 years and no kids I thought this would also be a great thing to do as a before we have kids something, if that even makes sense. I've already said that when we're 80 I'm pulling these out to remind him that at one point I was hot! I might even at some point show a granddaughter or two just to prove I use to be pretty. (There's nothing in them that I'd be ashamed to show a granddaughter... and I wouldn't care if someone found it after I died.) I plan on being a little ridiculous in my old age, much like my father's mother... but slightly worse.

I thought I could milk it for a round five, but nope. All I can tell you is that you'll feel great, and he will love the gesture... and the final product.

If you aren't comfortable with it, I wasn't at first, do glamor shots.

I promise you though, boudoir shoots are the married woman's glamor shoots for our generation.