As an Ottawa Boudoir Photographer, I meet many different women from all ages and at different stages in their lives. Meet Miss G! This tattooed beauty (did I mention that I LOVE photographing TATTOOS??), like many others I have been during the past two years specifically, have needed a break from this damn pandemic and needed to feel something positive again – about herself and about life. She came to Je m’adore fine art portraits after doing a pinup session with me 8 years ago with her sister and friends as a bachelorette party! After a tumultuous relationship with her health and her body, now that she’s in her 40’s she can appreciate herself more and what she has accomplished (like 4 kids!) and leave behind the negativity that once plagued her. Here is her story:
Q: What’s going on in your life right now that motivated you to do a session?
Miss G: Currently being in the middle of a pandemic, I do not have much going on in my life other than keeping my family safe and healthy. This being said, I felt that it would be a great distraction and a mental health booster to have a “me day” where I could focus on doing something for myself…kind of like when I get tattooed!
Q: Besides beautiful photographs, what else did you hope to get out of the experience?
Miss G: I was hoping it would help boost my confidence a bit since I have been working on my relationship with my body. I was looking forward to seeing myself through someone else’s lens (pun intended 😉).
Q: How long had you been considering doing a shoot before you booked yours? What was the final push? What did it feel like to finally book your session?
Miss G: I had always wanted to do a boudoir shoot but I kept waiting until I was “in better shape/lost weight” as I didn’t think the pictures would look good otherwise. Now that I am in my 40ies I have realized that if I kept waiting and finding excuses not to book I may never end up booking and then I would have regretted it.
Q: Before your session, how would you describe your relationship with your body, your beauty and your sensuality?
Miss G: When I was younger I was naturally very thin and I never really worried about my body size or shape but after I had my first 2 children with a man who was constantly making comments about the changes in my body since becoming a mother I started having some major self esteem issues. I spent years dieting and exercising and watching my weight fluctuate dramatically mostly due to my underlying physical and mental health issues. Despite suffering many health issues throughout the last 25 years of my life I still managed to have 4 wonderful and healthy children before needing to have a full hysterectomy in my 30ies. I left an abusive relationship in my 20ies and married the love of my life in my 30ies. Once I hit my 40ies I really started to view my body differently and started caring less about what it looked like and focused more on what I had accomplished in this body. I have regained most of my self confidence and even though I still have some dark thoughts about what I look like I am working on being healthy and a good example to my 4 children.
Q: How did doing a session affect how you feel about your body, your beauty and your sensuality?
Miss G: Seeing myself through someone else’s lens definitely opened my eyes to how others see me. I had always been pretty confident sensually, but I have had self esteem issues about my body as described above. I actually can’t wait to show the pictures to my husband and some of them to my friends whereas beforehand was worried I wouldn’t want to show them to anyone.
Q: What were you worried about before your session? What helped to overcome that?
Miss G: I was worried about my age, how my body looked after having 4 kids, about possibly not liking the pictures because I do not have “the perfect body”. I was worried I wouldn’t like any of them because I would see flaws instead of beauty. As I mentionned above, I have been working on my self esteem and how I view my body and felt that booking a boudoir shoot could help with that.
Q: Tell me about your session day: How did you feel on your way over? What were your favorite parts? How did you feel on the way home?
Miss G: I was nervous and slightly worried about how I would look. Once I arrived I concentrated on the experince and not my worries. I loved all of it, from having my hair done to posing. I felt really comfortable with Suzanne as it felt more like we were hanging out for a girls day rather than I the fact that I was getting my picture taken while mostly naked. I was on a high on my way home and felt light, happy and anxious to see the pictures.
Q: What were you feeling when you saw your photos at the viewing?
Miss G: I was nervous and part of me was worried I would be critical of how I looked in the pictures but I was very pleasantly surprised and a little overwhelmed. It is a little intimidating to see yourself on a big screen in your underwear and I did my best to look at the beauty in the pictures and not focus on the little flaws that caught my eye. In the end, I was very excited and can’t wait to show my husband.
Q: Why did you decide to hire me as your photographer?
Miss G: I found Suzanne through an online search when I wanted to do a Pinup shoot years ago. I ended up booking one as my bachelorette party in 2014 with my sister and 3 friends. I was so nervous and worried about how I would look in the pictures but Suzanne made me feel so comfortable and the pictures came out amazing!! This made for an easy decision to book again with her for my boudoir shoot.
Q: If your friend were considering doing a shoot, what would you say to encourage her?
Miss G: I have been encouraging a few of my friends to go do a shoot. I have told them the same thing I told myself, which was that if they keep putting it off they may never end up doing it and they’ll totally regret not doing it for themselves!!
Age: early 40’s