When I first thought about booking a photoshoot with Arcadia Boudoir (part of Arcadia Portrait Works) I texted two of my closest friends to share some of my feelings about how the idea made me equal parts excited and anxious and they both surprised me by responding they had always wanted to do something like that but felt too nervous. That convinced me to take the leap, even with my postpartum body (times three!). I hoped that if I embraced my nerves and had a great experience, I could come back at the end and say “you should book the boudoir session because it is SO worth it!” I am happy to share that I did exactly that, and I want to share that feeling not just with them, but with all of you too. Here are six reasons why booking that boudoir session was more than worth it.
- You deserve some time as the center of attention: Mama, you should book the boudoir session because, as caregivers, we are constantly under pressure to put ourselves last. The idea of an hour focused on ME (plus almost two hours of hair and makeup before) is time not taking care of others that feels so rare. I actually think THIS was the part that made me the most nervous. I hadn’t had so much time focused on me since my wedding over a decade ago. I’m used to hiding behind my children in family photos. It felt vulnerable to just have the focus on me, but most of that came from my own ideas I had to challenge about being the center of attention. My photo shoot delivered on the phrase mentioned on the Arcadia Boudoir website “you are an icon” and gave me the chance to rediscover my main character energy.
- You are beautiful right now: Gorgeous moms- don’t wait! You are beautiful right now. You don’t need to pressure yourself or wait until you are back to a magical pre-kids image you have of yourself. Your postpartum body is strong and sexy and amazing and deserves to be celebrated. Friends, I am going to be very honest, I was really nervous the week before my shoot and kept getting side tracked by the critic in my head and wondering if I should have waited until I was happier with certain aspects of myself. Luckily, one of my friends kept reminding me that I was feeling the same way I did before I ran a marathon last year (we continually said “I don’t really want to DO a marathon, but I want to HAVE DONE a marathon). Just like that race, I am so glad I pushed through the discomfort because it was more than worth the pre-shoot nerves. If you are hesitant to do something like this, just remember that you’ll be so happy to have done it when you look back at the experience. (Also, another friend kept texting me a clip from one of my favorite TV shows to remind me that in ten years I’ll be THRILLED I did this now instead of waiting.) Plus, Arcadia Boudoir sent me a questionnaire ahead of time so that we could focus on things I love about myself and accentuate those features. It was so helpful just to think about that and the pictures delivered on accessing those attributes!
- It is NOT the same as a selfie: One of the biggest reasons you should book the boudoir session is that these photos are not the same thing as a selfie- not even close. I don’t know about you, but I have over 3000 selfies on my phone. As a mom of three, most of them are, once again, hiding behind children, or very blurry or in terrible lighting. Even if you are a selfie expert, the angles and perspective you get from a professional photographer capturing you is so different than even the best cell phone photography can provide.
- It is fun! One of my favorite phrases on the Arcadia Boudoir website is that your session is focused on showing “the real you, just a little bit amplified.” That, more than anything, is what convinced me to sign up for the shoot when I felt unsure. A quick google of “boudoir photography” had me thinking “I do not look anything like these women.” Yet with permission to just be me, but embracing a side of me that can get overshadowed in the day to day grind of motherhood, I was reminded that there is no one way to be sexy. Thanks to Arcadia Boudoir making me feel so at ease, I had so much fun once the shoot started I couldn’t believe how fast the hour flew by and even wished we had more time. It is so important for a boudoir shoot that you feel comfortable and at ease so you can let yourself shine. Arcadia Boudoir made sure that was the case for me, and my experience included having some of my favorite candy and a welcome board waiting for me when I arrived for hair and makeup, as well as jamming out to some of my favorite songs during the shoot to make me feel confident. The session also included a lot of laughter, and I love how that was captured in some of my photos because that is definitely a core part of me.
- It will give you an excuse to have a stellar date night: Arcadia Boudoir had an excellent recommendation for me for my hair and makeup (which was oh so beautifully done by Carolyne Ly) and it was suggested I take advantage of my glam look by planning a date night out afterward. I was so happy that we listened to this suggestion and ended up on a double date at one of our favorite cocktail spots downtown that we hadn’t been to in many years. All night I was just glowing with how happy I was and how confident I felt. Speaking of…
- The confidence boost you get will last: The most important reason you should book the boudoir shoot is because the confidence it gives you will last long past your session. I already felt so strong and beautiful walking out of my session, but that feeling has only grown after getting my photos back. I found that I was no longer nervous to share some of them for this blog post, and I actually couldn’t wait to do so. I know I will look back at these images when I need a quick boost of that confidence, and Arcadia Boudoir offers a variety of high quality printing options, including calendars, wall prints, and a beautiful leather or linen album option, so these moments don’t get lost in the twenty thousand pictures you have on your phone! I hope that after reading this post it sparks the confidence to take the plunge and get some pictures you can’t wait to share with your husband, friends, or just keep to yourself for when you need that extra reminder of how incredible you are.
I am so thankful for Arcadia Boudoir for capturing these beautiful photos that remind me that while I may spend most of my days in running clothes and a messy ponytail, the woman in these photos is always a part me.