So recently a segment on boudoir photography was featured on the Florida news station WPTV. I’m sure you are thinking… well that’s great… but what does a Florida news station have to do with your Connecticut boudoir photography studio? Well, it’s a long story so I’ll give you the short version!
A colleague and good friend, Renee Zona of Spotlight Sexy in Boca Raton, Florida was approached by WPTV to do a segment on the rising popularity of boudoir photography with women in the past few years. The reporter was interested in learning more about why women are seeking sexy lingerie photos of themselves and what the “behind the scenes” looks like for a boudoir photo shoot. Renee was excited but then it occurred to her that she was going to need a client who was willing to allow herself to be filmed throughout the whole process… even before makeup! She had photographed me the year before while I was working in Ft. Lauderdale just for fun and to try out some new lights and techniques and we had such a blast! When she called and asked me if I wanted to be her “stand-in” client for the day I was incredibly excited… for about 5 minutes… then I was SCARED. LOL!! It suddenly occurred to me that I was going to be in my underwear on TELEVISION. No Photoshop, no skin smoothing or arm slimming… just 100% me. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a moment of panic.
Then, I instantly felt like a hypocrite. I tell my clients every day that they are beautiful. And I mean it. I tell them they are perfect right this minute and just as they are. Not 10 pounds lighter, not with a tan, not with a new haircut or Botox or a pair of Spanx. I ask women to be brave and bold and trust that I am going to make them look and feel beautiful and confident and strong. But… but… BUT… I made every excuse for myself… the reporter will be filming me from different angles than the photographer and there will be imperfect lighting and there won’t be Photoshop and what if I look bad… or what if I look fat or what if my butt looks awful… or you can see my stretch marks… or… and this went on for days.
Commence crash diet and obsessive lingerie shopping for outfits that would flatter every inch of me no matter what the angle (and before you go typing that into Google… it doesn’t exist. If it did, I would have found it, lol!). Then, as suddenly as it started, it stopped. I decided I could embrace the experience, be excited, and put all of my trust into Renee… or I could continue to worry, fret and obsess my way into a bleeding ulcer. I stopped worrying, stopped counting every calorie that went into my mouth and found pretty lingerie that I liked and thought suited me the best it could. I’ve had 4 kids. I have stretch marks and extra skin on my belly. I break out and get zits on my face and dark circles under my eyes from not sleeping enough. My butt is flatter than I would like, even with the 100 squats I do every day. AND SO FREAKING WHAT? It is what it is and just like I have things about myself that I don’t care for, I also have things that I love, both physical attributes and non-physical ones as well. I decided I was going to embrace the whole experience and love every minute of it. When I was little my grandmother always used to tell me that every situation in your life is what you make of it. If you decide to be unhappy, you will be. If you decide to happy, you will be. I decided to be happy and embrace the opportunity to do something truly once-in-a-lifetime!
I’m sure some people sat in front of their TV that night and belittled me… not only for my flat butt or few extra pounds or big nose… but for being willing to put it all out there… to go on TV in my less-than-modest lingerie and not apologize. And you know what? That is okay with me! I won’t please everyone and that’s fine. Maybe one woman watched it and said “Hey, if she can do it, so can I!” and then maybe she did. And maybe she got the rush and the empowerment and the confidence from taking a risk and letting herself feel sexy for a day! And maybe she’ll have those photos for a lifetime and treasure them forever just because I was brave enough to be 100% me on TV.
Take a look and if you feel inspired to be pampered and beautiful and empowered you know where to find me. 🙂
Renee, you were amazing. Thank you for everything and for inviting me to share this opportunity with you. I am so blessed that our paths crossed in life. And thank you also to Ashleigh Walters, the most wonderful, sweet, kind reporter I’ve ever had the pleasure to know! Your reassurance and final edit made me feel safe and beautiful and like a star!