I am a little late getting to Part 2! It has been a bit of a whirl wind since my session. You can catch up with Part 1 here.
Tuesday, January 19th was my session day with the amazing Kelly Stafford of The Boudoir Belle. I met Kelley a few years ago when she came up to Nashville for my workshop. When she signed up for it I was floored because I had been admiring her work since the day I started my studio. Since then we have kept in touch and continued to admire each other's work. When I decided to travel to another photographer for a shoot I knew I wanted to visit Miss Kelley.
First the packing... I had ordered and got in all of my outfits and I purchased three pairs of heels that I most likely will never wear again. I thought...main word, thought...I had it all planned out in my head, until I started packing. I totally understand why my girls bring me 382 outfits. My session included five wardrobe changes. After I started laying pieces out, I bet I had 15.
Did I mention I only needed 5 outfits??
Monday afternoon, after somewhat narrowing down that mess of a bed, my sister and I hopped in the car and headed to Birmingham. We got into our hotel room, ordered room service and spent the evening catching up. The next day I was going to have my picture taken in my panties.
Tuesday morning when I woke up I expected to be overran by nerves. Crazy enough I wasn't. I was calm and excited. We packed up our stuff and headed to the studio. When we arrived, we were greeted by Kelley's uber talented makeup artist Lauren. I laid out all of my wardrobe, put on a comfy robe, got a delicious mimosa in my hand and I put my butt in Miss Lauren's chair.
After about an hour in her hair and makeup chair, Lauren was done working her magic. I got up and looked in the mirror and I couldn't believe that was me! I never have my hair and makeup done and frankly, it always looks like a 5 year put my makeup on me. My hair and makeup looked gorgeous. I looked like an adult. ha!
Kelley and I went through my wardrobe and picked out the five we were going to shoot. I changed into the first outfit. It was now show time. I was about to have my turn in front of the camera. I will admit there were a few butterflies that made an appearance but they were short lived. I was ready. Here we go.
Kelley was kind enough to send me a few sneak peeks from my session to use for this post.
I love this shot!!! It was a bitch to get into but like we say "The more it hurts, the sexier it looks."
I need to go ahead and truly apologize to my girls for some of the poses we put you in. Some are so comfy and others...well, they are not. Kelley literally straddled me and pulled my butt in the air for this one. The words "OMG hurry and take the damn picture" may have came out of my mouth. It was so worth it! Again, I apologize to Kelley for my butt being in your face while you got me into this pose! haha!
We had so much fun shooting! I honestly didn't want it to end. I could have spent the entire day with Kelley shooting, chatting and catching up. She was amazing!
I cannot wait for my Image Reveal to see the rest!
So what did I take away from my session?
I walked away with a renewed outlook of myself. I am 38 (soon to be 39. OMG). I have had two amazing kids that literally deflated my boobs and added a few stretch marks. I have a body that seems to want to shift where it wants to hold weight every six months. I have eight pounds and a baby pooch that has taken up permanent residence. I have wrinkles. I have cellulite, I have droopy eyelids. This is the crap that I see in the mirror.
I walked away with the feeling those little stupid things that I worry about do not mean a damn thing.
My husband tells me all the time that I am beautiful. He loves every single inch of me regardless if I have makeup on, have taken a shower that day, have small boobs, or have an extra eight pounds. On this day....I FELT WHAT HE TELLS ME IS TRUE. We hear it from our boyfriends, our husbands, our friends all the time but when YOU SEE IT and when YOU FEEL IT for yourself, it changes you.
We get caught up in our own heads and allow our selves to focus on the "flaws" that we see. It's called being a girl and it's dumb. When I look in the mirror now, I don't see the extra eight pounds or the baby pooch or whatever else I would tear myself up about. NOW I see a 38 year old woman who embraces herself. A woman that walks around with her head held a little higher.
Sometimes you just have to experience that feeling for yourself to truly believe what everyone says to you is true.
Yes I did the session for my husband. He will have gorgeous images to look at but he now has a wife that now truly believes what he tells her is true. I see it now. I feel it now. I just wish I would have done this 10 years ago.
I could have walked out of that studio never to see a picture from the shoot and feel this way. The images from the session are an added bonus. It's the experience itself that changes you.
I will end this with a big thank you to an amazing photographer and friend, Miss Kelley. I have you to thank for an experience that I will never forget. Thank you for showing me...ME.
Stay tuned for Part 3 after my Image Reveal!
Until next time...