Boudoir Photography in Colorado | My Favorite Things

Boudoir Photography in Colorado | My Favorite Things

Shopping for pretty lingerie, searching for gorgeous makeup looks, and creating the perfect photo shoot look is one of my favorite things to do.  I love to create private, collaborative vision boards for all my clients where we can collaborate on ideas and what we envision the final product of the shoot to look like. It’s such a great way to visualize how all the different intricacies will come together and get organized in advance (if you know anything about me, you know I LOVE to plan!).  

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How I Empowered Myself When My Life Felt Out of Control | Boudoir Photography in Colorado

 
Female Boudoir Photographer in Colorado
Cancer Survivor Self Portraits
I am so beautiful, sometimes people weep when they see me. And it has nothing to do with what I look like really, it is just that I gave myself the power to say that I am beautiful, and if I could do that, maybe there is hope for them too. And the great divide between the beautiful and the ugly will cease to be. Because we are all what we choose.
— Margaret Cho

I still remember how it felt to be incredibly uncomfortable in my own skin. I didn’t feel like my body was my own, strangers would stare so unabashedly that I felt like a circus freak at times, and I began to hide and shrink myself in order to make others more comfortable around me (a lot of people get really uncomfortable around cancer). I wanted to take back the power that I had given to others in allowing them to have so much influence in how I felt about myself, so I took control and sought out beauty in my bald head and scarred chest. 

My cancer self-portraits launched me into my love of photographing women. I felt first hand, what it is like to transform from a girl who felt uncomfortable and (I hate using this word) ugly, into a strong, confident, “I don’t give a fuck what you think about me,” woman. The confidence and strength really were in me all along, I just needed the experience of photographing myself in order to remove the barriers that had built up around my true self. I believe that every woman should have the opportunity to know herself in this way, and have an empowering experience that changes the way that she sees herself. 

These portraits gave me so much courage: to stop wearing my wig, to stare right back at the ignorant people that didn’t know any better, and to give myself permission to take up space and be my authentic, imperfect self (something that I’m still working on and learning). I shared these images with everyone I could – in a hospital art display, at my college gallery, and online – not because I needed validation and approval from others, but because I was so proud of the woman who was staring back at me. 

Self-confidence and self-knowing will forever be an ongoing process for me. I love that I have these images that I can revisit if I need to tap into that strong, powerful, courageous woman who may get a little lost at times – but she’s always there. 

READ MORE about my personal journey with cancer.

Cancer survivor photography
Cancer self portraits

Why You Don't Need to Lose 10 Pounds Before Doing a Boudoir Shoot | Preparing for Your Colorado Boudoir Photo Shoot

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The body is the only home you have to live. Nurture it, honor it, love it and respect it.

I can’t tell you how many times a client has told me this. Most women are constantly striving to mold themselves into the “perfect body.” We’ve been doing this since we were as young as 12 years old because we have been taught that our worth lies in our appearance, and according to society and the media, we will never measure up.

Will you love your body more if you lose 10 pounds? OR (and more likely) will that turn into another 10, and then another 10 and then another…? OR maybe you never lose the weight and then what? You’re never worthy enough for the experience because you don’t look like Gieselle Bunchan? I call bullshit.

Unfortunately, and not surprisingly, 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and only 5% of women have the “ideal” body type portrayed by the media. I firmly believe that a boudoir shoot is not something you do once you’re 100% happy in your body, it’s a tool to help you love yourself just the way you are. If everyone waited until they were content in their own skin, 91% of women would never set foot in front of the camera!

Everyone has hangups and areas that they want to camouflage or de-emphasize. I work with my clients to learn what they absolutely love about their bodies and accentuate those attributes while downplaying features that they don’t want photographed. This is done by thoughtfully choosing flattering wardrobe pieces, coaching clients through poses with these features in mind, and using lighting to highlight or downplay different areas. In very rare and client-requested situations, I will use Photoshop to do some digital nipping & tucking. However, I refuse to alter a client’s body into a size that she is not, make her look unnatural or unrecognizable.

A boudoir shoot is an experience that will teach you how to love the body that you have now. It’s not something that should be delayed for when you’re “perfect” - we all know that perfection is an illusion and we’ve all spent too much time and energy hating and trying to change the only home that we will live in for the rest of our lives.

Always Remember that You Are a Phenomenal Woman | Valentine's Day Gift in Colorado

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Phenomenal Woman

BY MAYA ANGELOU

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.

I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size   

But when I start to tell them,

They think I’m telling lies.

I say,

It’s in the reach of my arms,

The span of my hips,   

The stride of my step,   

The curl of my lips.   

I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,   

That’s me.

I walk into a room

Just as cool as you please,   

And to a man,

The fellows stand or

Fall down on their knees.   

Then they swarm around me,

A hive of honey bees.   

I say,

It’s the fire in my eyes,   

And the flash of my teeth,   

The swing in my waist,   

And the joy in my feet.   

I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered   

What they see in me.

They try so much

But they can’t touch

My inner mystery.

When I try to show them,   

They say they still can’t see.   

I say,

It’s in the arch of my back,   

The sun of my smile,

The ride of my breasts,

The grace of my style.

I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

Now you understand

Just why my head’s not bowed.   

I don’t shout or jump about

Or have to talk real loud.   

When you see me passing,

It ought to make you proud.

I say,

It’s in the click of my heels,   

The bend of my hair,   

the palm of my hand,   

The need for my care.   

’Cause I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

Maya Angelou, “Phenomenal Woman” from And Still I Rise. Copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou. 

Source: The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou (Random House Inc., 1994)

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Boudoir Before & Afters | Colorado Boudoir Photographer

Boudoir Before & Afters | Colorado Boudoir Photographer

Women are bombarded every. single. day. by images of Photoshopped women caked with makeup. We are fed the lie that these models and celebrities just wake up looking like the definition of perfection. LIES! We know what we look like when we roll out of bed, but most of the time, knowing that about ourselves doesn't translate to knowing that about every other woman on the planet. Not even the most beautiful women in the world look the same in their "before" images as they do in the final magazine-quality retouched photos. It just isn't reality.

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Aspen Colorado Portrait Photographer | Snow Day!

Aspen Colorado Portrait Photographer | Snow Day!

I don't know about you, but Inspiration tends to come to me right before I fall asleep. It's that moment as I ask, "should I pick up my notebook and pen and write this down, or will I remember it in the morning?" Heads up: ALWAYS write it down!

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