In your search to find your perfect boudoir photographer, there are some important questions that should be asked. This isn’t the kind of photographer that you want to just pick up off the street (for obvious reasons!) and it’s important to vet the person thoroughly and make sure that it’s a good fit. I’ve outlined 11 questions to ask your boudoir photographer before you book a shoot and have also included a few questions that you’ll need to ask yourself. I want to set you up for success and make sure that you not only have gorgeous images, but an incredible experience!Read More
Spring has finally sprung and it’s the perfect time to update those family photos! When WAS the last time you had family portraits taken anyway!?
I’m offering a locals, off-season special on May 18th & 19th: a 30 minute shoot, 5 high resolution & edited digital files, an online gallery of images and a print release for $250. That’s a $700 value - what a steal! As an added bonus, I’m including a “what to wear” guide and an opportunity to pre-order all of your session images at a discounted price.
I’ll be hosting the shoots outdoor at a location TBD in Aspen. If you have any additional questions, please reach out to me. If you’re ready to sign up, jut click the link below and choose your day and time!
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!).Read More
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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)
We live in a world where everyone has a camera that goes with them everywhere, takes and stores infinite amounts of pictures. I’ve got about 4000 shots from the last couple of years sitting on my phone as I type this. Having 24/7 access to a camera is an amazing thing – something that was unheard of 15 years ago – however, with this amazing tool comes an ungodly amount of images that become “out of sight, out of mind” and the candid moments and memories along with them.Read More
I created a fun little playlist for my upcoming Aspen boudoir photo shoots and thought everyone might enjoy this little dose of super sexy self-love, girl power, take no shit, playlist.
I’d love to hear what you think! Is there any artist or song that I should add?
The cornerstone of my business is believing that every woman is beautiful and deserves to have the experience of feeling and looking like a model for a day. When a client walks away from her shoot feeling a 100% more confident and seeing herself in a new, bright light, my heart explodes with a sense of accomplishment and purpose. THIS is what I am here to do. THIS is my soul work.
I want to help all women improve their self-esteem, and clearly, photographing every single woman in the world is a crazy goal. So I decided to create a gift. The 30 Day Confidence Challenge is something that anyone, anywhere can sign up for at any time and do it at their own pace. The emails aren’t spammy or trying to sell anything. They are a series of 30 short challenges (plus one intro email) that incorporates a daily quote (you know I love quotes!) and sometimes a bit of research to back up the homework (which will take 15-20 minutes).
If you find that you’re constantly talking down to yourself, can’t find the nerve to tackle a goal (that you know deep down, you’re dying to go after), or hold everyone around you in higher regard than you hold yourself, this challenge is for you.
I believe in this (and you!) so much and I would love to create a supportive community around this movement by using #30dayconfidencechallenge, sharing with friends and family, tagging me with your thoughts (@sarah_chatham) or sending me a private message or email to share your thoughts and progress. I’m here to offer support and lift you up, and I can bet that the other women participating in the challenge are too.
I can’t wait to hear from you.
Move my body & focus on how it serves me in my everyday life. My ability to ride a bike as I commute to work, lunch hour nature walks, hike up a mountain, de-stress with yoga... all the things that my body does for me on a daily basis that I take for granted. Why am I focused on what my body looks like when it is capable of functioning in such AMAZING ways?
Research diet culture and really investigate why I feel the need to look a certain way. I have been influenced over the last 25-30 years by magazines, commercials, family members etc. regarding how to feel about my body shape, size and appearance. The belief that the thinner I am, the worthier I am of love and belonging is not something that I was born with, it is a belief that was imposed upon me.
Go through my closet and get rid of items that don’t fit, aren’t comfortable, and don’t bring me JOY (a la “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”). Hanging on to my “skinny” pants thinking that one day I will fit into them does not bring me joy, squeezing into pants that are a size too small does not make me feel confident, and seeing these items in my closet on a daily basis feels like I’m setting a bar for myself that I’ll never reach.
Once I’ve pared down my closet, I go on a little shopping trip for a few staple items that fit perfectly and make me feel like a confident goddess. I know shopping for jeans sucks… but when I find the pair that fits perfectly, its like the heavens open and the angels sing. And then I buy 3 of the same pair! Owning clothes that fit you now- just as you are, is a total game-changer. Trust me.
Practice a full body meditation. You can find audio versions online or practice just as easily on your own: Stand (or sit if that is more comfortable) place your feet hip width apart and allow your hands to rest at your sides. gently close your eyes and relax your breath. Bring your attention to your feet, feeling them rooted into the ground. Slowly move your attention up your body to different parts and spend some time with each area. Notice what comes up, if there is any tension, send your breath to that spot : your ankles, calves, thighs, belly, hips, core, chest, back, shoulders, arms, hands, fingers, fingernails, neck, jaw, eyes, forehead, hair… etc. I love this practice because it allows me to see and feel into my body in a spacious, non-judgmental way and helps me to appreciate every inch of myself!
I’d love to hear what you think of these, if you try any and how you felt afterward OR if you have anything to add to the list! Please share in the comments below or send be a message.
Mrs. A had a couple of reasons to book an Aspen CO boudoir photoshoot. She wanted to surprise her hubby for their 10 year wedding anniversary, and in the 3 months prior to her session, she transformed her diet... and her bod! She booked two separate shoots, one when there was still snow on the ground (and she bared it all to get the perfect shots in 40ish degree temps!) and the other at the beginning of summer to shoot among the Aspens and wildflowers.
Part of the fun of a boudoir shoot is the anticipation leading up to the session! It's important to plan ahead of time to ensure that your time in front of the camera goes as smoothly as possible. The more prepared you are, the more confidence you'll have! I've been a boudoir photographer for 10 years and during that time, I've had a few clients that didn't prep in advance... which resulted in us scrambling during the session to make it work. Let's avoid any stressful moments during your day of pampering; here are my top 7 tips to set you up for success:
1. Practice "Smizing" in the mirror. The #1 question I hear from clients is "what do I do with my face?!" I coach my clients throughout the entire shoot and guide them through different facial expressions, but if you can get a head start and channel your inner Tyra Banks, why not!?
2. Moisturize EVERYWHERE. Dry skin can be distracting and beyond difficult to alleviate the day of your shoot or in post-production editing. Begin moisturizing at least 2 weeks in advance of your boudoir session, every day, everywhere! Leave no area untouched and you'll arrive at your shoot with beautiful, glowing skin! This facial moisturizer comes highly recommended by makeup artists and I've been loving this Sea-Tox Body Cream that quenches even the most scaley areas!
3. DO NOT SPRAY TAN - Please, please, please do not get any kind of fake tan prior to your shoot. I know you want to have a nice healthy glow, but the reality is that bottle tans photograph orange, are a photographer's worst nightmare to edit, and are close to impossible to fix in post-production. It's actually easier for your photog to give you a little warmth in post than it is to remove that god-awful pumpkin orange tint.
4. Prepare and lay out your outfits in their entirety a few days before your boudoir photo shoot (including shoes, jewelry, hosiery, etc.) This way, you don't forget anything in the inevitable rush to get out of the house, you can see everything together and add to your outfits over the span of a few days.
5. Make sure to arrive at your shoot with a clean face, clean & dry hair, and loose-fitting clothing. I highly recommend going commando while you're being pampered to avoid redness and indents in your skin.
6. Don't make any big changes to your appearance right before your boudoir session. Haircut/color come to mind from past clients who had botched dye jobs hours before their shoots. If you're planning to make a dramatic change, make sure to allow at least 2 weeks to ensure that a) you like the new look and b) allow time to revert back to your old look or heal (in the case of tattoos, surgery, etc.)
7. Remove any body hair that you don't want visible in photos. It's worth it to take the time to do some landscaping prior to your shoot - just make sure you don't do it the day of to avoid redness, irritation, and cuts/knicks.
I'm thinking ahead to my 33rd year and reflecting on who I want to be and how I want to show up in the world. Birthdays are a great marker to take account of my life and figure out what’s going well, what to keep doing, what to stop doing or what to change.Read More
My dear friend Amy. She’s the epitome of “wild and free” with her wanderlust, spontaneity, and fiercely loving heart. She’s the badass babe that can always pull me out of a funk (not the disco kind) and pushes me to do the things that I didn’t think I could accomplish (this most often happens when we are mountain biking). Always the encourager, a breath of fresh air, an adventuress with a passion for living – I’m so thankful for you and our friendship. Here’s to so many more #GabChatAdventures
I love shopping for lingerie. It feels decadent and feminine, even if I never wear it, shopping for lingerie makes me feel like a gorgeous woman. "What should I wear" is the #1 question that my clients ask and because (most of the time) I can't shop with them in person (although I always make myself available as a virtual shopping buddy!) I give my ladies a ton of suggestions and I'm sharing my top 10 must haves with you!Read More
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.Read More
Anyone who is friends with me has definitely heard me utter the phrase "you should listen to this podcast!" on more than one occasion. I'm a self-proclaimed podcast enthusiast…Read More
A few days before their Aspen photo shoot, I had to text Aaron to follow up on their wardrobe choices "I had a dream that you and Luisa showed up in your downhill mountain biking gear...I think my subconscious is a bit concerned..."Read More
This is a bit of a throwback to my snowy Colorado photo shoot with Keli, Braulio and Norman before Baby E came into the world!Read More
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!Read More