Another Year, Another Time for Self Love

Every year I make sure I know exactly where my clients emotions are by either working a selfie or having another amazing photographer shoot my session. This year I was honored to have the amazing Elizabeth Zimmerman of Torrid Boudoir shoot a session during our time at Camp Do More.
I have always shot just how I feel. Some clients love high heels, or amazing Agent P attire. Some love full nudes. For me, I love sporty looks, or pretty much ANYTHING to do with the water.

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I called Elizabeth and told her about this blue dress I have had for ages but never found a spot I love enough to shoot in it, until we both said “the lake”. The Lake at Camp Timberlane was one of the most amazing locations not only for shooting, but also for the therapy photographer gained that week during the event.
Like all great boudoir photographers, she understood my hang-ups. But mine are not about my body. They are about my Tourettes Syndrome and that sometimes I need a moment to let is pass. During this trip we laughed, we cried and we bonded over the very thing that brought us to this event. If you are a photographer I encourage you every year to place yourself in your clients shoes and get in front of the camera. Seeing how my clients feel, makes me a better artist. Every year it gets more encouraging and ever year I find a new part of my body I am falling in love with. See that big butt? YEP—I love it. See those stretch marks? Yep-they are from bringing two humans into the world. See that tan line? Yeah well I can’t help that—I live in the water and until the cops stop yelling at me to put clothes on I will have to deal with tan lines.


Point is stop hiding behind the camera and document every year that you exist. Whether it is with me as your photographer or another amazing artist- make it a point to be bold and get in front of the lens. This isn’t about vanity. This isn’t about doing this for someone else. This isn’t about attention. This is about becoming a better artist and better to your own body image.

And to Elizabeth—you were my rock during this trip. I adore your very existence in this world.

Photography by Elizabeth Zimmerman
Makeup by Francis Roberts

I Was Ready to Quit

So yesterday I almost quit.

Well to be honest, I say that I am going to quit a lot more than once a year.

Why? Because running a business is not a piece of cake. What most see is the gorgeous studio (I’ll be honest that studio is pretty damn amazing—it is my sanctuary). They see the images of beautiful women, they see me smiling every time they come in. They see me in the gym or the store and tell me running a business cannot be that hard if I have time to go workout.

But what nobody sees is the time in my editing room, lonely (ok that is an exaggeration—Charlie the dog is always here:) and the 4 pots of coffee to get me through the day.

They don’t see the massive computer issues that go along with it and in turn making sure damage control is kept like I work at Disney and no one will know the difference.

No one knows about the amount of men that think they are the first to ask to be my assistant or hold a light stand during a shoot (sorry fellas- you are not original).

They don’t see the pain in my clients eyes when they open up during a session about relationships, illness and sexual issues.

They don’t see me watching tutorials on master photographers for editing, or even coping mechanisms I can help my clients throughout their session.

They don’t see the tears, they don’t see the sweat and they definitely do not see the pain.

So once in awhile I question why am I doing this if it is so complicated. Why am I getting up at 530 am just to get some work done so I have even 30 min to run the the gym in order to keep me from becoming (as my daughter calls it) a noodle (you are welcome for that visual).

Why is it I am up most nights worried about a client and her relationships more than I am worried about my own? Why do I spend as much as I do on backups for my computer, or software to make sure your images are never stolen?

Well, it is because this was never about me.

I started this business while I was working as a scientist. It was just a part time thing. I wanted to give women (and men) a reason to feel good. I am not the greatest at many things; I'm not the best in sports, Ive never been good at remembering a birthday or names even. I can cook well, if only I remember I am cooking (I get distracted a LOT).

But I knew I could give back to people where I excelled at. That was reminding them how incredible they not only look, but the worth that belonged to only them. I knew if I could show them visually how the rest of the world really saw them, they would believe me. I knew I could do this because I truly believed it myself.

So I started photographing them. It became not only therapeutic for them but for me as well. Over time the business end came into play, and it changed everything. From hard drive failures, to learning business taxes, to hiring employees. It brought on a different ballgame to the reason I got into what I do.

So last night I was thinking, while I was working on a 15 hour work through of a computer issue- why am I doing this to myself if these business parts of the job make it so unbearable. I never remember yelling at my computer this much in my old jobs?

Simple. It was never about me. It was never about if I could get through the day, it was about getting my clients through theirs. Computers, paperwork and all that no so fun stuff can go away at the end of the day. But knowing my clients see themselves as they truly are lasts me a lifetime. In the past month I have had more clients writing testimonials on my page. They open up about everything and I know what I am doing is not just some job. It is an experience.

So if you ever see me around town looking like a disheveled bag lady talking to herself this is why. Because the business part is not glamorous.

But you ladies—oh my heavens you are! You shine when you leave the studio. You grow every session you shoot. You are my reason that I would do all the not so fun work just to know you are happy. I will not stop until my clients are happy. I will not let anyone down if it is anyway possible.

Because the start of this company was never about me. It was always about you.


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Proving to Yourself You are Beautiful and Sexy!

Heather came into the studio with her gorgeous long hair, tall and what I thought was PURE confidence. She just exuded that calm cool confident walk.
However, after reading her testimonials I learned that she was just as nervous as any other clients that has been in the studio. She wrote that she did the session because she lacked confidence in herself. She wanted “to prove to myself that I can be just as beautiful and sexy even at a bigger size”.

I was an absolute nervous wreck! I had plans and ideas for my session, several outfits picked out and had been saving to be able to afford it all. Then life and kids activities took over and all the rest went downhill. I was not able to get any of the wardrobe ideas I wanted, I took what I had that I even considered sexy or possibly bad just absolutely hoped that she would have something that fit and possibly looked good on as well. Things started going downhill so of course I freaked that it would roll over into my session.

Ladies this is SOOOO common. We plan and plan and well, life likes to laugh at us and say “NOPE—I have other plans for you”. Rest assure that I have you covered just as I did with Heather. The studio wardrobe ranges over many sizes from petite to plus.

  • How did you feel during your session?I felt absolutely amazing during my session! Some of the poses made me feel a little funny at first but once I saw the pictures I understood why she did it! Jennifer made it soo extremely comfortable and relaxing. I felt at ease with her and I knew from the start I could trust her and whatever pose she asked me go into. 

  • How did you feel after your session? Oh my goodness! I felt nervous, anxious and excited! I was so incredibly impatient waiting for my images to come back in! Not gonna lie, I would cause myself to overthink and start getting bad ideas but once I’d go back to the page and see all of the other beautiful shots, my worries would melt away. 

  • How did the studio make you feel about your experience? Great! Anything and everything I could have needed was available to me! It really made me feel like I was in the comfort of my own home.

  • What would you like to tell other people who are thinking about having a boudoir session Just freaking do it! You will not regret it! You will absolutely love it and it will truly do amazing things for your confidence levels. It’s also amazing just to have it done for yourself. What’s more empowering than creating some beautiful artwork of yourself for you and not trying to impress anyone else! It’s the experience of a lifetime!

Confessions of a Boudoir Session

Throughout the year I will post a link for a chance for YOU to be featured on the blog. This is a great way to hope others feel at ease about a session and see how it changed you as well. 

Fallon came into the studio and had this very strong presence about her. It all made sense when I learned she was law enforcement. I find these women extremely powerful and in awe of what they do everyday to help the lives of so many they do not even know. 

When I read her testimonial in her blog contact I was so moved that I made her feel so comfortable, and so at ease with her session. But I was SHOCKED to find out she had any confidence issues in her appearance. She is a gorgeous woman inside and out. 

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What made you decide to have a boudoir session?

I decided to have a boudoir session to dig out the confidence I carried within myself in my profession, but felt I lacked the confidence in my appearance that my husband screamed about daily.. Boy did that happen!! 

Was this for a milestone in your life? If so what?

I had worked VERY hard to get into shape and land my dream job as a Police Officer.. My session was just after my 2 year mark and a couple of months after marrying my soul mate. I felt it was time to do something for ME!

How did you feel before your session?

I lacked a self confidence about my appearance that I felt would hold me back from capturing the pictures I had In my head.So to say I was nervous would be a complete understatement. 

How did you feel during your session?

My session was amazing. Words can not express how confident and empowered you feel during and afterwards. 

How did you feel after your session

We as woman wear many hats during a single day.. My session showed me how I can be a woman in a predominantly male profession, wearing an unflattering uniform. Yet I can change hats and turn into a classy, confident woman, Mom and wife!! 

How did the studio make you feel about your experience?

The studio is beautiful!! I forgot I was inside a corner shop in my own town! The studio is so welcoming and private. I never had a concern about anyone interrupting my session. 

What would you like to tell other people who are thinking about having a boudoir session 

I believe this is an experience all woman at sometime should experience for themselves. Nothing I have ever done has made me look at myself and go WOW, like a boudoir session!
 
 

Wedding Surprise!

Have you ever thought about surprising your fiancé with a wild and amazing gift? Bridal boudoir sessions are an beautiful way to show your confidence to your spouse to be. Not only will it be a great surprise but also a way to start your new journey with the empowering self image that is inside of you but might need a little boost!

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Lauren came into the studio excited and nervous. She said she was not sure what to expect with the experience but after wrote it was a breeze and wonderful! 

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"I felt so carefree, relaxed and baying excited of the arrival if my albums and art. The studio was amazing and beautiful. It made me feel so elegant! "

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"If you’re feeling any part of nervous, lose that thought. It is so much fun and will defintely be worth every minute. Jennifer is amazing at what she does and I wouldnt recommend anyone else but her!!! I cannot wait for my soon to be husband to see these!!!"