My experience as a Boudoir client: part 2

Welcome back to the story of MY experience as a Boudoir client with Teri Hofford!! Today I’m sharing Part 2 as a continuing celebration of my birthday month! 

If you didn’t catch Part 1, you can read it here.

In addition to everything I shared last time, another huge reason my Session was INCREDIBLE was because Teri beautifully documented the first time I shaved my head!

Leading up to my Session, I had a short, asymmetrical haircut which I loved, but ended up meaning that my hair was in my face constantly. I joked with clients all the time that my hair was pissing me off and I was just going to cut it all off!

Over time, the jokes turned into a serious idea, and then something I put on my bucket list. This hair transformation converged with my Session, and it couldn’t have been more perfect. 

I wanted to document these different sides of myself and whatever this hair transformation meant for me, and what better time than with Teri??

I told Teri about how I wanted to shave my head during my Session. She LOVED it and agreed to work it into our time together. To this day, I love these photos of myself so much. They represent when I started to let go of societal expectations, wanted to challenge everything I was told about hair and femininity, and dared to be so bold to see myself with no hair.

Here’s the other thing that came up for me in this whole experience. I wanted to be badass, sexy, and cool in my Session. Also…when I’m nervous, I laugh (anyone else?)

I really thought to myself that I was going to giggle through the whole Session and screw it all up. How could I be sexy if I’m giggling the whole time?!

But once I was in the moment with Teri and she was guiding me, I totally eased into being serious, confident, and sultry (with some smiles too, of course)!

Seeing myself have this worry about sabotaging my photos and then be proved wrong was amazing. It just goes to show—You, as a Boudoir client, have a LOT less to worry about than you think!

The Viewing Appointment:

PHEW! In some ways, it felt like the most intense part of this experience was over. I did it! I got in front of the camera! I shaved my head! Everything felt amazing! 

Then I started to have thoughts like, ”Well…maybe I don’t REALLY need to see the photos…Maybe I was wrong about how good it all felt. Maybe my memory is totally off and in reality I’m horrible and awful!”

The anxious human part of me was saying, “Maybe the photos aren’t as good as you think…” and the photographer part of me was saying, “You ABSOLUTELY need the proof that you did this, you came all this way, you have to see the photos to share with everyone that you did it too! No backing out now!” You can guess which one I listened to!

When it came time for me to sit down and see my photos, I felt everything that I know my clients feel—Nervous, a little anxious, then, “Holy cow, that’s me?! I did that! I’m amazing!!”

It’s no secret that viewing your Boudoir photos as a client is a very HUMAN experience that has you facing your shadows, and then rising above them. 

Initially I told Teri, “My left side is my good side.” Then she told me, “All your sides are your good side!” By the time I was looking at my photos, I didn’t think about my “good side” at ALL. I was too blown away to care.

There were also some photos she took of me that I knew as a photographer were objectively great images—And at the same time, they made me a little uncomfortable because they showed areas I felt self-conscious about. It might be surprising to hear that I made the decision to keep these images.

I knew I needed those images BECAUSE they made me a smidge uncomfortable. 

When there’s something we don’t like about ourselves (visible or otherwise), it has a certain power over us when we continually resist it, shame ourselves for it, or feel afraid that others might see it. It turns into a huuuge deal in our thoughts that we spend a lot of energy focusing negative attention on.

Making this decision to own these parts of me in my Boudoir Session took away the power they had over me. When I saw what I felt self-conscious about featured in my photos, what I saw even more was that I’m badass, sexy, and emotive. 

This was a way of seeing myself that was totally new to me—And my self-conscious areas just happen to be there. I chose to not make a big story about them. They’re just this part of me I had never seen through someone else’s eyes before. And it was such a gift to see all of myself in this way.

Because these Boudoir photos were captured by someone else, I realized I wasn’t censoring myself the same way I would if I took a selfie—Worrying about getting my “good side,” smiling for the camera rather than from my heart, picking apart every little feature, redoing that selfie 100 times.

This was the full expression of me, rather than me hiding behind the judgment of myself. Choosing to honor ALL of me, including the parts I do and don’t usually like.

I still have my album from this Session and still look at it to this day.

It’s a snapshot of this very unique time in my life where I had that asymmetrical haircut, where I was still discovering that version of me, and where I was a total badass and shaved my head for the first time.

If I had to sum up my whole experience in just a few words, it would be: Validating. Empowering. Confidence-Building.

And you know what? Now that I’m in such a different place in my life and personal development, I feel like it’s time for another Boudoir Session!

We’re always growing and evolving. So why celebrate yourself in this way just once?

I hope you enjoyed this “show-and-tell” of my own Boudoir Session! 

All of this to say: Everything you feel in your own Boudoir experience is completely valid, and you might even go on an emotional journey as you expand your comfort zone in this way. I’ve been there, and I know that if I can do it, you can too!

I’m here to celebrate and support you whenever you’re ready for your own Session. Contact me below:

Shirley, MA