As an Ottawa Boudoir Photographer, I meet many different women from all ages and at different stages in their lives — each of them with different inspirations or incentives to do a boudoir session. Meet Miss W! Like many women, Miss W wanted to do a boudoir session for a wedding gift for her husband but it didn’t quite work out. So she made the decision to commit to a boudoir session AFTER her wedding, before starting a family. In fact, she has already planned to make this a 3-part story with Je m’adore fine art portraits: newlywed boudoir, maternity boudoir & then post-baby boudoir.
Here is Part 1 of her story (as the newlywed boudoir client):
Q: What’s going on in your life right now that motivated you to do a session?
Miss W: I recently got married and had the idea to do a 3 part boudoir series! I wanted to capture a few of the most important milestones of my life (and my body) – my wedding, my first pregnancy, and my postpartum body.
Q: Besides beautiful photographs, what else did you hope to get out of the experience?
Miss W: Aside from getting some beautiful photographs out of the experience, I wanted to experience myself through someone else’s eyes! Sometimes that’s all you need to see yourself in a new light and it can make all of the difference. I also wanted to be fearless in front of a camera because I am typically more comfortable behind the lens or behind the scenes at events. I wanted to show up for myself.
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 W: I have always wanted to do a bridal boudoir shoot. I pictured myself gifting an album to my husband before our ceremony, but as a COVID bride, of course plans changed. I ended up booking my first session after our minimoon instead, and I’m glad I did. I put a lot of pressure on myself to get into great shape for our wedding. After the wedding, I worked out less frequently, so my boudoir session captured what my body actually looks like most of the time. That was both a terrifying and freeing experience!
Q: Before your session, how would you describe your relationship with your body, your beauty and your sensuality?
Miss W: Being of mixed decent, there was very little representation of people like me in the media growing up. I had a hard time understanding why I didn’t (couldn’t) look like my friends or the models I’d see on TV or in magazines. I became anorexic in high school and I had a terrible relationship with my body. By the time I could count every bone in my spine and ribs, I knew I needed to change my outlook. I wanted to be a badass business woman – and I couldn’t get there if I didn’t treat my body with respect. I slowly started to change my outlook, and by University, I was one of the most confident and sensual women that I knew. Being a part of a sorority was a game-changer and I found a group of incredible women who built each other up on a daily basis. I’m happy to say that I now have a great relationship with food and with my body! However, I also know myself enough to acknowledge that, while this may be the case now, I may struggle again in the future. That’s why I want to document myself at 3 key stages of my life so I can appreciate the changes my body will go through and feel sexy and empowered at every stage.
Q: How did doing a session affect how you feel about your body, your beauty and your sensuality?
Miss W: If I’m being completely honest, I felt on top of the world the day of the photoshoot! I felt so powerful, so beautiful and so attractive!
Q: What were you worried about before your session? What helped to overcome that?
Miss W: I was worried about being on time for my session! Aside from that, I can honestly say I was nothing but excited. I really looked forward to it!
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 W: I was really excited for my session! I had some regrets over not working out enough before the session, but I reminded myself that this was a good thing. That meant the session would capture what my body looked like most of the time and force me to look at myself in ways I wasn’t used to, and definitely wasn’t used to having others see. The session was SO FUN! It truly felt like a girls day – like preparing for a night out with your friends! Suzanne and Ariana made it such a wonderful experience and I enjoyed every minute of it. On the way home, I was ready for a greasy veggie burger and fries, for a bath and a nap! I was so excited to see the final product.
Q: What were you feeling when you saw your photos at the viewing?
Miss W: Leading up to the viewing, my self-image was having a hard week and I knew that the session would cheer me up. Sure enough, it did! My dirty little secret is that I am notoriously picky with photos of myself, so I was so pleasantly surprised with how many photos I genuinely liked. Some of them even felt like they were part of a magazine editorial shoot! I barely recognized myself and yet they were 1000% me! However, I was also more critical of myself than I had anticipated, probably because of my headspace that week. Upon review, I wasn’t a fan of particular angles, even though I felt so great while the photos were being taken. I was disappointed in myself that I felt that way, but it was also a great exercise for me to keep those thoughts in check. I also remember being so happy with how Suzanne directed my poses, as usually I’m picky over small details like hand placements, and wish I could have been behind the camera to tell myself what to do. I had zero regrets thanks to Suzanne – she’s so talented!
Q: Why did you decide to hire me as your photographer?
Miss W: First of all, you SEO was really good! I originally found you because of your Google ranking. Having worked in the events space, I wanted to work with someone I didn’t yet know personally so I would be more comfortable with this style of shoot. I also love editorial-style glamour shots and vintage glam! Dita Von Teese is one of my idols and many of Suzanne’s sample photos reminded me of her. Her style aligned perfectly with my vision, and we vibed really well in our consultation!
Q: If your friend were considering doing a shoot, what would you say to encourage her?
Miss W: DO IT. Even if no one but you ever sees the photos, you should do it for the experience. It’s such a fun confidence boost! You get to see yourself in different poses and at different angles you would never see in real life and you start to see yourself through your partner’s eyes. If you don’t have a partner – do it for future you! Live without regrets!
AGE: late 20’s