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I have wanted to do boudoir for a few years now but have always been hesitant because I’m not Gigi Hadid or Kendall Jenner small. I’ve always put it on the back burner because in my head I just had to be the industry standard of perfection. I couldn’t have stretch marks (hello my beautiful girls). I couldn’t have love handles (hello baby weight). I had to have a flat stomach (hello stress eating).

A friend of mine invited me to the Elevation Boudoir group on Facebook and the images blew me away as well as the tribe of supporting women. I was shocked at how beautiful and strong the women in the photos looked. And they were everyday women just like me. They weren’t the Gigi’s and Kendall’s of the world. But I knew I had to book a session one way or another.

Fast forward to the day of my session, Justin and Rachel welcomed me inside like we went way back. It felt as if I was catching up with friends I hadn’t seen in a while. They made me feel so relaxed and comfortable, and being spoiled with amazing hair and makeup wasn’t half bad either. My nerves melted away once I got in the studio and immediately seeing some of the raw images boosted my confidence that much more. I felt truly empowered and beautiful. And I’m not one to see myself in that way. I have a very difficult time accepting compliments. I might think something I wear looks good, but to tell myself I look pretty or beautiful doesn’t happen. I’ve had two kids via c-section, I’ve had a breast reduction, and I was at my heaviest point in life, and those feelings of inadequacy and insecurities were nowhere to be found that day. The scars and stretch marks that I stare at daily and want to remove day in and day out were gone.

I wouldn’t admit this to Justin and Rachel, but the day of my reveal I was holding back the tears once I started to see my images. Even now as I write this there is one specific photo in mind that makes me tear up. I cried telling one of my friends about the experience and how this one specific photo has brought me to tears multiple times. It captured everything I’ve ever dreamed of about beauty, grace, and strength. And it was me. Through years of fighting some significant anxiety and depression, losing my identity as a person, and fighting the battles of motherhood I can tell you that this experience has been better than years of therapy for me. I honestly never thought I would see the day that I joyfully cried over photos of myself and I think every woman needs that moment at least once in her life.

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