Every time I photographed a boudoir session, I always got the same question : “Did you ever do a boudoir session yourself?” It’s a great question to ask. I mean, I preach so often to women how AMAZING a boudoir session is and WHY they should do it but… I had never done one myself. Doesn’t really make sense.
A few months ago, I took the question seriously and decided to plan one!
I did it.. and it was a disaster. WHAT?! HOW THE HELL?!
Yup. It was a psychological massacre and I was the only one invited. Shall I explain?
I REALLY THOUGHT I WAS READY. I had the best team and I have self-confidence. I actually think I look really good with no clothes on. What I wasn’t ready for though, was the MAKEUP. OH GOD. The mmmakkeupppp. I actually should have known that this would happen because, in high school, I had to do a rendition of Notre-Dame-de-paris (dance) and I had a panic attack after they put the makeup on me. MAJOR panic attack… anywho…
For people who know me, they know that I never wear makeup. Like seriously. Never. I don’t know anything about makeup, I don’t own any. I don’t care for it. Not because I don’t think it’s “cool” but, because I like my face how it is naturally and … well, why change it? The only person I really have to please is myself, right? But even though I don’t wear makeup, I needed to get the full Ella Photography experience. So, Janet got working on my face and did a great job… as she always does.
Whenever I got clients that ask to go “easy” on the makeup, I always said the same thing: “Don’t worry, she does a great job. We are here to make you see yourself in a new light. To change it up a bit”. And… before… I actually truly believed that it wasn’t a big deal to make people excited about getting more than they were usually use to. Until I got the worse client possible to man. Myself.
Turns out I wasn’t ready. When I saw myself in the mirror, I didn’t recognize myself. I couldn’t see past the makeup and I cried. Poor Janet. I’ve never seen her so discouraged. And it wasn’t her fault AT ALL. She was doing EXACTLY what we have been doing for years. She was making me discover a “new me”. But i didn’t want a new me. I like me! Everyone loved what they saw but I couldn’t bare to look at myself. I’m sure it was great. And i know it was flawless. But, I went through a psychological break. It wasn’t about the exterior. It was about what I was feeling inside. I had NEVER seen myself with makeup in my 32 years and it was a shock. I felt like the part of me that I actually liked (without makeup) wasn’t good enough and that we had to cover it up.
I’m a stubborn girl. I don’t need people to tell me how pretty I am. I believe it. Not everyday but … most of the time. That’s enough for me. I kinda wish people saw me like I see myself but .. That’s a whole other subject for another day.
I’m such a baby. Yeah Yeah. I hear you. But for me, it was extremely dramatic because, it wasn’t someone that usually wears makeup and we just “enhanced” what they usually did. They are ok with seeing their face with makeup. With me, it was NOTHING to BOOM ! Covered.
Being a women is hard. There’s way too much emotion attached to this body. No matter how often someone tell you that you are beautiful, unless YOU believe it, You won’t believe them. It’s actually the whole reason why I had started photographing women in the first place. Words are NOT enough when telling a women that they are beautiful. You need to SHOW them so that they can start believe it themselves. (men, are you listening?)
Unless you are a women yourself… It’s almost impossible to understand though.
It completely floored me… and not in a good way. The rest of the shoot, I was completely torn apart. I didn’t know how to act. How to be with myself. All I was thinking about is removing this face. The [poor] photographer felt so terrible about everything, that it made her uncomfortable which made me feel even WORSE. Everything just went wrong. I was the worse client. Although very nice (objectively/quality speaking), I can’t even look at the photos. The emotion behind the photos was tainted. I feel embarrassed when looking at them.
It was terrible.
After that session, I didn’t know how to preach to women anymore. I wasn’t able to be genuine in tell them how amazing boudoir sessions are. I wasn’t able to sell the work I was producing. I didn’t believe in it anymore. It ruined my business. How can I tell everyone that they all need this. It applied to people that needed a “fresh start” but what about the people that are doing it because they are simply “Living” ? My philosophy of doing the session because we wanted to make you feel beautiful was a complete LIE! Cause I didn’t feel beautiful at all. I already felt beautiful! I just wanted to show myself off! Have a keepsake for years to come. Show off my confidence and show people who I was. The shoot actually took that away from me.
I know there’s a LOT of women like me. People who are confident, independant, feel beautiful (all on their own) and just want to show off the REAL them. How would I cater to them ? The Boudoir sessions that I do are SUCH A HUGE transformation (inside and out) that, to those women… It just doesn’t work. To me… It just didn’t work.
I stopped shooting for months.
I had a professional crisis. I’m not kidding when I say that I take my job seriously here. I REALLY BELIEVE IN WHAT I’M PHOTOGRAPHING. I don’t photograph just because of money. I work because I believe in the cause.
6 months in, finally, I went to a conference that gave me a breakthrough. The conference made me realize that NOT EVERYONE NEEDS THE BELLS AND WHISTLES THAT A PHOTO SESSION OFFERS. The “experience” of the photo session isn’t everything… Sometimes, you just have to give people what they want. Photographs of themselves, being themselves. I actually always did this for portrait sessions and weddings… but never boudoir. Why? Not sure. One type of photo session can’t answer everyone, all the time.
As a photographer, it’s so important to make the client feel comfortable during a shoot, bring the confidence out of them but, as a client is also important to feel yourself, to allow yourself to “be”. This goes for makeup as well as outfits or style. Don’t force yourself to be something you’re not. Bring out the real you and let the photosession experience (and team behind it) enhance it! That’s the true goal of a beauty shoot! Don’t know who the real you actually is? Theennn we can totally help you so that we can find out TOGETHER.
I understand now. Everything makes sense again.
Friends, I built the photo session that I would model for ! That I WILL model for. A boudoir session for the women that doesn’t need to be seen in a new light. That doesn’t need to be told that they are beautiful. The new Boudoir session is for the women that want to show off WHO THEY ARE, right now! Attitude, sexiness, fearlessness. The women who doesn’t want to apologize to want awesome photos of herself. Doesn’t need a new awesome start. It’s your own hair… your own makeup… your own outfits… your own HOUSE. We don’t guide you or show you who you really are… you TELL US WHO YOU REALLY ARE and we photograph it.
My boudoir session was an incredible [dramatic] eye opener and I feel like my message is now refined and stronger than ever. Can’t stay mad at that.
I will still be shooting my regular sessions in studios as I feel like they are very rewarding to the women who need it. What I realized is that the mission around them was distorted. Not false. Because of this experience, I was able to separate a vague message into two stronger ones. As of now, those sessions will be called the TRANSFORMATION SESSIONS. A photo session to discover a new you! I’m very happy about this clearer path.
And the new ones? Well, I’m very excited about them. It’s blunt and it’s real. Just like me. They are a session that TRULY represents me. So, as of now, I will be offering two sessions. The website will be launching soon with more details about them. Want to book now? Yes, you can.
so here goes: Introducing … This is me. The new boudoir session by Osolovelyboudoir.com
As well as the popular … Transformation Session. A session to discover a new you.
Feel free to let me know your thoughts.