10 reasons why you should have a couples boudoir session

I absolutely adore couples boudoir sessions.  I believe everyone who loves someone should do a session!  A quick internet search of couples boudoir will generally show you a lot of toned, young, perfect bodies in over the top sexy poses.  To me, couples boudoir is about so very much more than that.  I shoot young couples in their 20's just starting their life together, and I've shot couples in their 70's who were celebrating a lifetime of love and memories.  Couples boudoir is for everyone, regardless of your gender, sexuality, age, body type, marital status.   If you love someone, couples boudoir is for you. 

Why should you do a couples boudoir session?

1) To celebrate being comfortable in your skin. 

True love is the best thing to take away the negative filter we all see ourselves through when we look in the mirror.  It is my goal, at every session, to help you see yourselves as your loved ones see you.  It makes my heart so happy to hear someone say- "He (or she) has helped me to see that I am loved and beautiful, just as I am."   Love doesn't care if your body has scars, or extra pounds, or wrinkles, or gray hair.  Love sees all those things as reasons to love you more, as things that make you who you are, a being worthy of adoration.  

2) You're not comfortable in your skin.  

It is so common for all of us to have things about our physical bodies that we don't like.  Men have as many body image issues as women, it is just not acceptable for them to talk about them. I love showing men, and women, their true beauty, just as they are, and showing that in a couples session where you can grow into loving your bodies together is a wonderful thing.  I love to see the transformation in body comfort from the beginning of a session to the end, in both single and couples boudoir.  Often a guy will say he's uncomfortable with a body part- like his abdomen- and I'll say," it's ok, you'll be the prop that I'll drape your gorgeous partner over," and see him relax a bit.  Then, by the end of the session, he's comfortable enough to do some that are just him, I get to see him owning his body and its worth.  

3) You are celebrating beginnings.  

Beginnings can happen at age 20 and they can happen at age 65, and I've photographed couples at each age who are just starting on their life journey together.  The excitement of starting on a path together is always a joy to photograph.  

4) Celebrating a love that has stood the test of time.  

Love can be hard, marriage can be hard, and being together for years is celebration-worthy, always.  

5)You need to reconnect. 

I shoot a lot of couples who are going through transitions.  It has been my experience that love comes in waves, while it is always there, sometimes it is an overwhelming feeling and sometimes it is a quiet whisper, and that is normal.  I see a lot of couples at sessions who have been through traumatic times together and need a time to reconnect with each other.  I love seeing that spark in their eyes light up for each other again.  

6) You're damn sexy together. 

Society tells us sexy has an age limit, has a weight limit, that it's a small lucky percentage of the population.  You know that's wrong though, because you know there is nothing sexier than the person in front of you who you truly love.  You've come to a place in your relationship where the sexual connection is amazing, where you can be honest and vulnerable with each other, leading to deeper emotional and physical connections.  Perhaps you can let your freak flag fly a bit, and that's a good thing.  It's always an honor to be let into personal aspects of your life that you don't share with the world at large.  

7) You are going through a time of transition.

I work with a lot of couples who are at a crossroads in their life.  Perhaps they just became empty nesters and are adjusting to feelings of loneliness and finding who they are again in life.  Maybe they are anxiously anticipating the arrival of a new baby and wondering how their life is going to change.  Some have endured major medical trauma and are adjusting to new bodies and new lives.  I always love being included as a part of your life,  to document your journey. 

8) Milestones.  

I often see couples when they are celebrating a milestone- a birthday, an anniversary, even a "1 year cancer free" session.  I love that I get to celebrate those milestones with you, and I love that for many of my clients, I get to celebrate new milestones with them every year. 

9) You want to celebrate overcoming adversity together. 

Each of us faces challenges in our relationship.  Each of us has hard times.  Love is worth the fight, and you are willing to fight for your partnership.  No matter what you have faced in life together, how hard it has been, today, you love each other.  And that is all that matters. 

10) Your love is beautiful.  It's as simple as that.  And on hard days, days where it can be difficult to find beauty, looking at photos on your wall and being reminded how beautiful your unique love is can be a wonderful thing. 

Meet Becky- Indiana Boudoir Photography-Boudoir for every age

Hi! I'm Becky, and I've now done two photo sessions with Cindy and I'm already looking forward to a third, a fourth, a... oh heck, can we do a photo session every week Cindy?

That wasn't how I felt the first go round, and it CERTAINLY wasn't the second! Wait... Becky, you just said you loved it but... then... you said didn't? But now you want more?

Contradict yourself much hon?
Hummmmm... Perhaps an explanation is in order?

(Ya think?)

First time round? I hadn't a clue who Cindy was or what her skills as a photographer really were... Oh, I'd heard she was a darn good photographer, but as an at the time, 60 year old woman with a long history of both hating her body and of having seen sooooo many horrid bordering on gruesome snapshots of myself. To say I was apprehensive was an understatement of epic proportions!

Not that I've ever been one to walk away from challenging situations, and I KNEW I wanted to do this, but for all that? Despite my brave front? I was utterly terrified as these unbidden images of a demented hulking female meets Crypt Keeper danced through my head...

But ya know? Cindy made me so comfortable in my skin as we worked together, and the results of that session were simply amazing!

Why... it's... it's... it's me ! And... well... I'm beautiful!

Though in looking back two years later, I still think I'm beautiful in those pictures, but I can sorta see what no one else can... I can see that slight tinge of apprehension lurking just round the edges in those photos... just a bit stiff in em me thinks!

I know, maybe... a second session would fix that!

So... what of this second time? You said you were MORE apprehensive... but you loved it even more?

Do...Wha???

Me, a year older, and with a decade long business collapsing beneath me, tens of thousands of dollars lost, newly divorced and 50 lbs of stress eating added to my already Amazonian frame. Cindy and I met for another session... and no, I didn't say this to her, but once again, I KNEW I was going to come out of it looking something like an overfed and remarkably unphotogenic and generally lacking manatee!

But hey! I wouldn't be who I am if I let a little thing like THAT stop me, so what the hell! We're doing this photo shoot! I am who I am, fat or not, old or not, I'm still me, and even if it's been raining shit for more than a year, by god I'm going to honestly enjoy it this time!

With only a few simple props thrown in to play with, a VERY naked 61 year old woman let go of all her worries and danced with pure abandon before Cindy and her camera! Letting myself become lost in both time and space and forgetting there was even a camera involved... just me and a dear friend enjoying that gorgeous fall day... oh, and yeah, I'm alsonaked...

The result was a collection of photos of me showing a beauty inside myself I've all but never allowed myself to see... A beauty that others have spoken to me of, but still, a beauty I was all but blind to!

The experience and those photos have been transformative, and seeing ME this way has been such a huge help in my walking away from those failures not of my making so that I do have the time and space needed to pursue the goals and dreams that truly do fulfill me!

I am succeeding!

This is for you Cindy!
You're an angel!

Ps,
I'll turn 62 in July Cindy and I think I might just be needing some more

 

 

Indianapolis Couples Boudoir: Intimate portrait session

I've decided to start letting clients talk about their experience in their own words, I want to hear what their boudoir photography session meant to them.  Here are Ms. S's words about her couples boudoir session with me.  Everyone's love is different.  If your love is different, I promise you're not alone.   Celebrating love is one of my very favorite things.   I love her candid words about the beautiful life they have built together. 

"I was once told that if I dressed like that, I’d get in trouble. I was once told “don’t cuddle her like that - you don’t want to look gay, do you?” I was told many times, even young as 6, to “grow up”. I was asked, indirectly, many times, “what’s WRONG with her?” Needless to say, like many women all over the world, I’ve had a rough time falling back in love with my authentic self. The self that had been slowly chipped away with time and with criticism. My mom had boudoir photos back when people called them “glamour photos”. Fuzzy edges, feathered boas, thick earrings. But I was still drawn to the bare skin, the expressive eyes, and the alluring intent that the photos had to them. I wanted that, when I grew up. Fast forward a decade or so. I had been following Cindy’s business for a few months, after having a mini session in the bathtub on a magically muggy July afternoon. I was curious about a couple’s session with my husband, but I wasn’t sure how he would feel. His ghosts are very similar to mine. Ghosts of bullies are worse than the actual bullies; ghosts don’t grow up or change. My husband and I lead a rather unconventional lifestyle, concerning our love in relation to physicality with others. Through a lot of talking and a lot of tears, we’ve unlearned what society has taught us since we first started interacting with other people: that you can only love one person romantically, you don’t cuddle with your platonic friends, and you can’t possibly be sexual with another person while still being crazily committed to a life together with your spouse. Once we established ourselves as non-monogamous, and this might come off as funny to some people, our relationship became stronger than it had ever been before. Our MARRIAGE became a fucking powerhouse. We are completely transparent with one another, and we are one another’s anchors in the sea. Neither one of us is moving from the other, even if we drift one way or another in the action of waves. And I wanted to capture that. I wanted to capture our strength, our passion, our silliness, our magic, and our love. A love that we both felt from the moment we met each other nearly 10 years ago. A love that transcended time and reason. A love that always came back around, even if life got in the way. Our first year as a married couple was not a honeymoon year. It was hard and there were times when we’d overcome struggles or a hard conversation, and I’d be relieved just to come out on the other side in one piece. We’ve made it through. And look at how far we’ve come. I love these photos and their rawness. We were so excited to share them with everyone who wanted to see them. (so basically all of our friends and people in the boudoir private group.) And Cindy couldn’t have been a better audience - I hope she enjoyed the show as much as SHOOTING it. What a thing. What a life. What a love. I’m so glad I stuck around for this."

2017 recap- Indiana family photography

Guess what?  I shoot families too.  I don't promote my family work a lot, most of my families find me through my boudoir page.  I started out shooting families 9 years ago, and I love that it is still a part of my life.  I love relaxed, fun family shoots, getting lots of natural interactions.  I do shoots out at our place, where the kids can meet my goats and run around the fields.  I also love in-home sessions, capturing your every day life where everyone is at ease.  Here are some of the families I had the pleasure of photographing this year.  I'm looking forward to what 2018 brings! 

2017 Recap- Indianapolis Boudoir Photography

Wow.  2017 has been amazing.  I could not be where I am without the help of all you amazing people who hired me to photograph you.  This year, Tyler started working with me full time, and it makes my heart sing to have him near me pretty much all the time.  Thank you so much for making that possible.  This is not a favorites post, because with over 300 boudoir sessions, plus family sessions, weddings, senior sessions, that I didn't even count- my favorites are way too much for one post.  But this is a little recap of this year.  I had the joy of photographing in Thailand, Cambodia, and Scotland this year, as well as many different states.  I have laughed with a bunch of you, and I have cried with quite a few of you as well.  It is an absolute honor to join you in your life's journey.  I love when you come to me for boudoir, then bridal boudoir, then maternity boudoir, then boudoir plus baby!  You've sent your kids to me, your husbands to me, your wives to me, your best friends with me, and the fact that you trust me with your loved ones means so much to me.  I've held hands with some of you in the last moments of a loved one's life, and I've been there to photograph new lives entering this world.  I've celebrated weddings with you, I've celebrated divorces with you.   I've danced with you.  I've had the absolute privilege of being present for intimate moments of your life, where your guard is down and I can truly see you.  I am so very thankful every day that somehow my passion, making everyone feel comfortable in their own skin, has become my everyday job.  I feel like there are amazing things on the horizon for all of us for 2018, and I am excited to help chronicle all of the amazingness for you.  Happy New Year! 

Male Boudoir photography- It's not a joke.

I love shooting male boudoir!  I've shot quite a few guys by themselves, and I've shot a lot of guys as part of couples sessions.  The reasons guys want boudoir photos taken are the exact same reason women want photos taken- to feel amazing about themselves.  

     Whether I am doing boudoir photography for men or women, my number one goal is to show each person they are absolutely amazing, just as they are.  A quick search of male boudoir images on google will show two things- ridiculously perfect male bodies, and shoots that are meant as jokes.  Male boudoir encompasses so much more to me.    It's not just for perfect bodies, it's for everybody, and I will certainly never treat anyone's body as a joke.  

Guys have just as many body image issues as women do, it is just not socially unacceptable for them to talk about them.  As a woman, I can say, "I feel fat today" and my friends will say "no you look amazing!"  If a guy said that?  His friends would say- "fuck yeah you're fat.  Grab me a beer fatass." 

The big question-"But Cindy don't you freak out when you see a PENIS?" 

NOPE

I shoot men and women nude.  I see naked people every single day.  This is my job.  I don't ever look at a client, male or female, in a sexual way.  My eyes go to how the light is falling on them, or how I can turn their body to showcase their beauty in the best way.  My eyes go to the way their nose wrinkles up when they laugh, or the happy tears in their eyes when I ask them to tell meabout the person they love.  I don't look at a penis any differently than I do an elbow or a back.  It's just a body part. Some guys get all the way naked, some don't, just like some women get naked and some don't. 

It's very common for a guy to tell me he's not photogenic, and I just tell him that's bullshit.  Everyone is photogenic, you just need to get comfortable in front of the camera.  I'm good at taking photos, I'm excellent at getting you comfortable.  We'll listen to music, talk and laugh, and sometimes you'll forget I'm even taking photos.  That's how I get to your true personality, and you being you?  That's the sexiest thing in the world. 

Maddison and Carrigan- Indianapolis engagement photography

Yes I take pictures of people with clothes on too!  I love engagement sessions, my favorite thing to do is capture the way two people in love look at each other.  I love relaxed, natural engagement sessions.  I have indoor and outdoor space at my studio in Franklin, Indiana, just south of Indianapolis with settings that are perfect for engagement photos.  I am so excited I get to photograph their wedding this weekend!  All of my wedding packages include engagement photos, it's a great chance for us to get to know each other a bit before the wedding.   

Every girl is beautiful, and beauty is not something to be feared.

    I've seen this over and over, from well-meaning, intelligent friends who are parents.  They'll post a photo of their daughter and say "I'm going to be in trouble with this one!"  The implication, I suppose, is that particular child seems to fit well into society's standards of what is beautiful so more boys will want to date her or she will be at greater risk of being the object of sexual attention?  

     I've seen people say it to a parent regarding one child in front of other kids.  "You're going to be in trouble with her, look at her eyes!"  That other kid over there- the not so pretty one-well that one's going to be easy because nobody will look at her.  I mean, people don't say that, but is that the implication?  How does that make the other child feel- the one who isn't "trouble?"  Also, what about the child whose beauty is being described as a problem, as something that is going to be difficult for the parent to deal with?  

EVERY child is beautiful.  Sadly, EVERY child is in danger of sexual abuse, to imply it only happens to "pretty" kids is absolutely ridiculous, and frankly it is dangerous thinking.  We need to teach EVERY child that their body, their soul, is beautiful and precious.  Every child will find someone who cares for them, who wants to date them, and that is a wonderful thing.  I don't believe we should ever single a child out and say their beauty is dangerous.  We should empower EVERY child, male and female, to make responsible informed decisions about their own bodies, to love themselves just as they are.  To never make them feel as if being beautiful is dangerous, or that not being society's narrow view of "beautiful" somehow insulates them from the "danger"  of attention from the opposite sex. 

     This is my daughter.  She is beautiful.  Not any more, or any less, than any other girl.  I understand the fear- the desire to protect her, body and soul.  I can look at her and see the little girl she is, that needs protected and nurtured and that I sometimes want to sweep away to an isolated island to protect her forever.  But then I can look at her and see the young woman she is becoming, her strength in body and mind, her loving soul, her hope for the future, and I look forward to that wonderful energy pulling others into her life that are like her.  I want her to be adored, body and soul, by someone other than family someday.  Yes,  I absolutely want her to find a partner in life that sees her magic.  And yes- when the time is right- I want that relationship to be sexually empowering and fulfilling for her, a trusting place to explore her body and the amazing bond of sharing your body with someone you love.  I don't want to shield her from that.   I want to show her that physical beauty is just a small piece of this amazing life and is in no way the most important thing.  It's not dangerous to be beautiful, it's not safe to be something less than what society deems beautiful.  That someone will love her not because her body is beautiful- but because her soul is beautiful.  

My daughter is beautiful.  So is yours.  And none of us are "in trouble" because of it.  

Release- fine art nude session: chronicling grief

     Sometimes, boudoir isn't about sexy.  Actually, with me, it is never only about sexy.  There are so many more sides of your personality than that, and it is my goal to capture many sides of who you are.  

     This beautiful lady came to me and told me she wanted to chronicle her grief, the emotions she is experiencing right now.  I'm always so thankful for everyone who gets vulnerable in front of me, who trust me enough to let me in to an intimate part of their soul.  It is an honor to be present for raw emotion, emotion that we often hide from the world.  Editing her photos, I have to admit, I had some tears.  They brought me back to places of vulnerability and grief.  But those moments where she smiled?  She absolutely lit up the room, and reminded me that joy can always be found, even in grief.  

     There was very little direction in this session.  I believe our movements in grief, the way we hold our hands, the way we bow our head, the way we crumple to the floor, are so personal and tell our story.  We put on some music, we talked a bit.  And I took pictures.  Some tears, some laughter.  She told me at the end of the session that it was cathartic to her.  Every year, I pick a word that sort of is my goal for the year, and I didn't really pick one yet.  Inspired by her, my word is now release.  Releasing those things not meant for me to make room for those that are, and to help others release negative feelings about themselves, negative experiences.  

      Thank you, my client and now friend, for the inspiration.  Thank you for letting me see you, letting me into your soul.  And honestly?  That is the sexiest thing ever.  

 

 

    

You be you, I'll be me: a note to photographers on pricing

     If you are a member of any photography groups, I can guarantee you've seen the issue of pricing come up often.  One of the favorite activities of some photographers seems to be analyzing/criticizing how others run their businesses.  It's wonderful to be able to ask for advice in these groups, but unsolicited criticism, or random rants on how everyone else is doing it all wrong and you're doing it right, are never ok. 

     One of the main complaints I see is "you are devaluing my business by charging less than me."  I know, right?  I mean that's a complaint in every business.  I wish Louis Vuitton would quit running all those ads talking about how Target's $20 purses are devaluing their product.  Oh, you haven't seen those?  That's because it's a ridiculous mindset.  If you are going to price your product at a premium, if you are going to charge top dollar, freaking own it.  Be top-notch, be in demand, be the luxury experience that top dollar prices necessitate.  Realize that different people have different priorities, different budgets.  And different in no way means inferior.  There is no way in hell I would buy a Louis Vuitton purse.  My last purse came from Goodwill, it was $3, and it serves its purpose very well.  I would never complain about someone who buys luxury purses, just as they shouldn't shame me for having different priorities.  Some people can't, or simply don't want to, spend thousands of dollars on photography.  And that is ok. Some do, and if those are your prices, you need to work hard to find those people.  

     I've heard often from more expensive photographers, in condemning cheaper photographers, "well you get what you pay for." I mean, maybe, if you're comparing heating/cooling systems for your home?  Or pricing out roofing materials?  I suppose if you see your work as simply another consumer product, you might think that way.   But I'm an artist, and art doesn't work that way.  It simply doesn't.  So many factors go into pricing- demand, trends, popularity, area of the country you're in- that the saying "you get what you pay for" simply doesn't apply.  Pricing does not necessarily correlate with "quality" of art, whatever that even means.  

     Another popular argument in groups is "if you're not doing in person sales, you're doing it wrong.  In fact, here I'm posting a receipt from my latest session so you can see I made $2000."  Um, ok.  I think it's in somewhat poor taste to brag about what you make, I usually don't see people in other professions posting their paycheck on their FB walls.  Also, simply showing the money you brought in has no relevance to actual business income.  Perhaps you have much bigger expenses than I do, so you have to charge a lot, and that's totally cool. But it doesn't mean you're making more money than I am.  Or perhaps it does, and that's fine!  The awesome thing about running our own business is that we get to make our own decision for what works for us.  The mentality of "oh that poor photographer doesn't charge enough" is ridiculous.   I will assume everyone has thought about their own business plan, their own needs, their own expenses, and are charging accordingly to those.  Just like I won't say to someone "Oh my god that's ridiculous you're charging way too much" I would never tell anyone they are too "cheap" either.  Oner of the best local photographers I know doesn't charge a dime for her sessions.  And that's fine. 

     I charge $350 for a boudoir session, includes images with print release.  I think $350 is quite a bit of money.  I am thrilled to get that for a photo session.  I realize most of my peers charge upwards of $1500, and that is awesome that works for their business plan.  For me, I don't want to have once-in-a-lifetime prices. I get to see women who just want sessions for themselves to feel great, then they come back when engaged, then they come back for a couples session, then they come back for maternity photos, then they come back with baby for a mommy and me session, and come back to reclaim their confidence in their post-baby body.  I love being at a price point that makes that possible. I love having other things that contribute to my income, such as amazing client trips and events, so that I can keep my sessions as reasonably priced as possible. I absolutely love what I do, and I love being able to do a lot of sessions.  That is what works for me.  

     I've had people tell me- well if you raise your prices you'll get a higher class of clientele.  What kind of arrogant elitist classist bullshit is that?  I love my clients, thank you very much.  I've worked with stay at home moms, fast food workers, nurses, doctors, teachers, every profession you can think of.  For some, that $350 is nothing, they can pay it easily, and for some, they save for months to have the money for a session, and I value them all exactly the same.  

If your business plan is working for you- awesome!  That doesn't mean you should impose it on anyone else.  And if it isn't working for you?  Look at your own policies, procedures, pricing, service, and adjust accordingly.  Don't blame me. 

You be you, I'll be me.  

 

     

 

Autumn : Indianapolis maternity boudoir

I love maternity boudoir!  I love sharing in your excitement and joy.  We can do a mix of traditional maternity photos that you can share with everyone, and some boudoir style ones as well.  This lovely lady happens to be my friend and my hair/makeup artist.  If you choose to add hair/makeup to your session, you'll get to meet her!  I can't wait to cuddle her new baby girl.  She brought this gorgeous gown to her session and she gave it to me to keep in the studio, so it's here if you'd like to use it! I recommend messaging to schedule your boudoir maternity session early in your pregnancy so I can make sure to get you in right when you want to come.  

Boudoir Plus Baby

I love when my clients come back to me for sessions through different stages of life.  I had the opportunity to photograph boudoir for this beautiful woman, then maternity boudoir, and I was so happy she brought her newborn back for photos!  I don't do posed newborn photos where they are propped up in front of a backdrop- if you want those I know some great photographers I can refer you to.  But I love relaxed baby photos, in their mama's arms, just being a baby!  I can do newborn photos in your home, or in my studio in Franklin, Indiana near Indianapolis. 

Friday Feature- Ms. T- Indiana Boudoir Photography

In her own words:

"I decided to do a boudoir shoot for two reasons.  For myself, and also for every women/girl who has ever felt uncomfortable with their body.  I would constantly give myself hell because I hated the way I looked, but one day I just decided that every body is different, but beautiful.  So, I want every woman to feel that they should love themselves too.  I also did it because my friends always see me as "cute" but I wanted to show them that I'm more than that.  I was nervous before, but during and after the shoot I felt empowered.  I would absolutely recommend my friends to do it.  I would recommend anyone to do it!"  

I loved her sweet easygoing spirit, and I love that she wanted to use her images to inspire others to do a shoot.  I'm happy that women walk away from a boudoir session with me with beautiful images, but I am even more happy that they walk away from their photo shoot with an empowered soul.  

Lindsay and Aric- Indianapolis Engagement Session

These two encouraged me to leave my little happy bubble at my home studio here in Franklin and go downtown to the White River Canal in Indianapolis for their engagement photos, and I'm so glad they did!  It was the perfect setting for their engagement photos, and we just happened to have one of those amazing Indiana early fall evenings where the light was perfect.  I am so excited that I get to photograph their wedding next fall.  They chose this location because it was where they got engaged.  Couples and engagement sessions with me are really laid-back, I love to just watch couples interact and get genuine emotions.  

Friday Feature: meet Beth and Jonathon: Indianapolis couples boudoir

I am so excited to share this week's feature shoot with you!  I absolutely adore shooting these two, and they always have unique ideas that make me panic for just a minute worrying about whether I'll be able to bring their ideas to life, then I just go for it and we make magic!  This time they told me they wanted to play with images of power, with the contrast between Beth's small size and Jonathon's larger frame.  We used the fields and barn at my Franklin Indiana studio, on a misty magical early fall morning.  

     One of the awesome things about this couple is that they aren't a couple- not in the way you might think.  They are "just" friends.  And I hate saying just friends because it relegates friendship to something subpar, something below romantic love, and that is unfair.  I love the easy kind of friendship where you are comfortable baring yourself, body and soul, to another person.  They were so fun to shoot because they would be trying to look at each other super sexy and then just burst out laughing at trying to be serious.  

 I hope you find a love like this.  A friendship where you can laugh, and be silly, and carry each other, and create art together, and be naked with each other.  That love can come from a spouse, a family member, a romantic interest, or "just" a friend.  

Friday Feature: Meet Dawn and Brian: Couples Boudoir

This week's feature is a wonderful couple I had the honor to do a boudoir session for this summer.  Here are Dawn's words:

"We decided to do the boudoir shoot because we were both turning 50 and we were recently married, starting a new life together.  We had both been in nightmare marriages before.  We were both WAY outside our comfort zone,  Brian has always considered himself the big fat guy that is supposed to work.  I see him as a caring, loving man.  When we saw pictures you had taken of others I told him we just need to do this!You were amazing at keeping us at ease and not judging (body images and all), I tell everyone I know about you!"

Seriously.  My hope for every single person who sees this is that you have, or will have soon, a love like these two share.  The way they look at each other just melts my heart.  

Friday Feature: Erica

Friday Feature: Erica.

This is a special one for me.  Clients often become friends.  It's a funny thing, when you get naked in front of a stranger, a pretty quick bond develops.  I am so honored that people are willing to get so vulnerable in front of me.  This is my wonderful friend Erica.  I am going to introduce her to you with her own words. 

"I first scheduled my boudoir pictures to be used as a gift for my fiance.  I remember reaching out to Cindy and telling her that I wanted to make sure things that made me me would remain in the pictures.  At the time of scheduling I was a cervical cancer survivor, had scars from cancer related surgeries and from having a cyst removed from under my arm, had done weight watchers and lost a hundred pounds, as well as had a child.  I had plenty of scars and stretch marks but I didn't want those removed.  They are a part of me and a part of my story.  The day I was scheduled to have my boudoir shoot was instead spent in a hospital.  My cancer had returned with a vengeance, a nephrostomy tube placed because the cancer had grown outside my uterus and eaten away at my right ureter causing the connection from my kidney to bladder to be non existent.  When I tried to cancel the shoot Cindy said no and had me come in a few days later.  (I told her I wanted to do the shoot at no charge for her,) My fiance had to drive me, so it was no longer a surprise.  It became so much more.  The first time I had pictures allowed me to get pictures in my wedding dress with my long hair.  Hair I wouldn't have at the wedding.  The pictures show a piece of my cancer story.  I cherish the pictures with my nephrostomy tube showing, I think it shows people that beauty can come, even with a tube coming out of your back.  

These are not the only pictures I've had.  The first time I lost my hair Cindy did an amazing bald shoot.  Later I attended a retreat and one of my favorite pictures was taken, a picture in the beautiful window showing my port.  As a woman going through cancer, for the third time, I know many women just "want to get through and forget"  I'm glad I didn't make that choice.  I'm thankful to have amazing photographer friends to help me document and celebrate my cancer experience.  The photos Cindy has taken for me have been valuable in another way.  They help me to visually tell my story.  They've been used on my blog, www.tealelfs.com, as well as Cure Magazine, multiple news outlets, on Cervivor www.cervivor.org (a cervical cancer advocacy group I'm an ambassador for) and First Descents www.firstdescents.org (an organization for young adults with cancer). "-Erica

And now I'm crying.  I love this woman.  I am so lucky and happy to have her in my life.-Cindy