One of my favorite memories was one Thanksgiving when my mother and I sat down together to look through old family photos. We held photographs of my mother and father's grandparents and great aunts and uncles on their wedding days. We admired an old sepia portrait of my great-grandmother when she was a beautiful young woman close to the turn of the century.
When people waver between having photographs professionally printed or only having digitals, I think back to this memory and how grateful we are to have tangible photographic evidence of our beloved family members, and how special it was for me to sit with my mother and look through the photographs together. That’s what portraiture is all about - documenting a moment in time. Digitals may seem like a good idea now, but instead I encourage you to consider how you would like your photographs to be viewed 10, 20, or 50 years from now.
Imagine you’re in your 90s, readying yourself to exit a life full of fantastic memories. An elderly parent who is able to leave their loved ones with photographs of their life becomes such a powerful thing. Giving the gift of an heirloom is precious, but giving the gift of a photographic heirloom can become priceless.
I only imagine what memories are lost through a person’s lifetime. Having that evidence that yes, grandma was once a vivacious, beautiful 30-year-old, and allowing great-grandchildren to hold that evidence is undeniably tear-worthy.
This is why beauty portraits and boudoir shoots with women are so meaningful to me. I want you to share a moment with your own children one day, to look back and say 'Wow, she was gorgeous.'
I chose to do my first boudoir shoot with a bride-to-be in 2013. She wanted to give her husband a wedding present he wouldn’t forget. We rented a room at Magnolia Plantation Bed & Breakfast in Gainesville, excited about the tasteful, yet romantic photos to come.
She had the typical nervousness of a new boudoir clients and I’ll admit that I was, too, nervous for my very first boudoir shoot. But after a few minutes, we both started to loosen up a little bit. It became really fun once we were comfortable with each other - giggling away at how silly it all felt, forgetting about the end result and just having fun.
My favorite part about beauty and boudoir photoshoots is seeing the client’s face once they’re done. When a woman’s face lights up and says Is that me?, that’s when I know I’ve done a great job. Some clients just don’t know how beautiful they are, or that they can be that “kind” of beautiful. It's also important to note that very little editing goes into the photos! I'm not sitting back, letting Photoshop do all the work. It's all about flattering poses to bring out the unique beauty every woman possesses.
There’s this photographer named Jen Rozenbaum that I really admire. She focuses solely on boudoir photography and she’s got this campaign called #ShamelesslyFeminine. Showing women that they can be feminine without necessarily being “girly” is extraordinary for women who want to feel beautiful but don’t have an affinity towards pink.
Sue Brice is the reason I got into beauty photography. An inspiring campaign she created is #ExistInPhotos. Many times women and moms are so busy taking care of others that they forget to make themselves included in photos. Sometimes women think that now isn’t the time to take boudoir photos. They’ll wait until the baby weight is gone, or until they get a facial, or whatever they think needs to be “fixed” before they go in for a shoot. What I want every woman to know is that those things are not necessary! It’s my job to make you look and feel beautiful. I’m trained in using the best possible poses to make you look fabulous, no matter what size you are.
Teresa. I don't even know how to describe her... Kind, generous, a leader in her field, goal driven, fun, down to earth, and sweet. I was honored to be able to work with her and I am honored to call her a friend. :) Be sure to check out the last photo for the before and after!
Want more? To see Nicole's Real Women Session click here!
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Nicole is an aesthetician and a mother of a lovely six year old daughter. She's also been a hip hop dancer, a stylist with Vidal Sasson in Paris, and a traveler. She found a connection with the culture of India, has an eye for fashion, and she has a quiet strength about her. It was a pleasure getting to know Nicole and to create beautiful photographs just for her.
Thanks to Jessica Harjani from Michele Renee Studios for Nicole's gorgeous hair and makeup! Be sure to check out the before and after photos at the end of the post :)
Before and after:
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Enjoy this very cute vintage shoot with the lovely model Heather Jones and the fantastic stylist Sarah Bremseth. :)
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