Real Women of Rochester | Keri's Shoot Reveal

In case you missed it, here's a link to last week's post on Keri and why she wanted to be one of our RWOR ladies (for the record, in my head I pronounce this "RAWR!"). Today's post details what Keri had to say about the entire experience of her shoot, and what her photos mean to her!

IN HER HEAD BEFORE THE SHOOT: "When I initially called Natalie I was like 'HOLY SHIT. HOLY SHIT. HOLY SHIT'. I saw her ad about 6 times before I called. I showed up to my shoot early because I thought I'd chicken out if I didn't leave my house. When I arrived at the studio I was in a vulnerable state of mind. It's a risk to be taking a lot of clothing off! But from the moment I walked in, the energy was great – they made me feel safe and comfortable. The only anxiety I held onto was knowing that these images would be out somewhere in the world, and I didn't want to disappoint Natalie and her hopes for the project.

IN HER HEAD, DURING THE BOUDOIR SHOOT: It’s like theater. You’re creating a personae. With hair and makeup, false eyes lashes and wardrobe suggestions, we took me to this next level. The makeup wasn't scary or strange, I just looked like the best version of me. The scariest part was the very beginning. I put on the first outfit in the changing room and thought – 'OK....... I’ve got to walk out at some point!' Once we started shooting, it became fun.Natalie would turn the camera around to show me the shots – and I knew it wasn't BS when she told me I looked great. I looked and felt glamorous and beautiful.

HER THOUGHTS ON HER BOUDOIR PHOTOS: I look like I've got my shit together. I look like a boss. It makes me feel powerful. The woman in (this photo, below) is in control of what she's doing, and she knows who she is. It makes me proud. It's the best me. Maybe this is how other people perceive me [editor's note: it's how I perceive Keri!].

When I see these photos it's not “I'm not this”… it's “I AM this”. They make me think about what I am, not what I'm not. It's affirming to think that it's not a fluke.... I looked at 120 pictures, and I liked 90 of them. That's crazy amount of photos where I thought “wow – I look awesome”.

My favorite photos are not when I'm wearing anything crazy or even lingerie, but when I'm in my husband's shirt. This section is my favorite because I love my face and my eyes especially. I feel like this is the most authentic to how I might actually be, when I'm hanging out or goofing around with my husband.

I like that I had a full choice in what I brought, it was all things I actually wear. They didn't dress me in someone else's clothes and tell me what to wear, I picked things I felt good in. In some ways, this type of shoot is subscribing to what society is asking of us, but we also have the choice and I empowered myself by choosing what I think I look best in. This whole process brought out the best me – it wasn't changing what I looked like – It just accentuated my best parts. I also love the simplicity in the images - there are no props. The focus is completely on me, I look very much like 'me'- and I look pretty damn good. I feel proud of my body.

PARTING THOUGHTS: Doing this shoot helped to make me start noticing my attributes, not my flaws. I’ve always struggled with my weight. I would always look in the mirror and nitpick the stupidest things that no one would ever pay attention to. After going through this whole process, I've been able to stop being so critical. I love my eyes, and I can notice them more now. I've started to pull back from so much hate speech towards myself. While I initially wanted to do a boudoir shoot as a gift for my husband, it ended up as a gift for myself. I didn’t even feel this beautiful on my wedding day. I left feeling like I’m a bad ass. It was a natural high. Every women deserves to have a moment where they feel like a complete rock star.

I've struggled with infertility, I can't have children. I've put my body through a lot trying to conceive – hormones and steroids. I've had ectopic pregnancies. You start to think that you are not worthwhile, because your body can't do something that you see so many other women being able to do. It is nice to see value you in myself again. Seeing my body as something to be proud of, instead of something that's frustrating or disappointing. Being infertile 100% feels like my fault. My husband gets upset with me when I say that, but I feel like it's because my eggs are past expiration. It's heartbreaking to expose yourself to that entire process, trying to do everything that you can, and have it not work out. You feel like your body is letting you down, and it's easy to feel less feminine when something very tied to your womanhood isn't working. It's powerful for me to see my body in a beautiful way, and that even though I can't have a child and that my extra pounds are still there, my body is still worthwhile. When I look at these photos I feel like I own my body, instead of being ashamed or disappointed by it. My body is mine, and I am proud of it." - Keri

Boudoir Testimonial

An email from one of our lovely boudoir clients, shared with permission as always!

"I wanted to write and tell you how much I loved the photo shoot and the pictures.  Every year I choose something out of my comfort zone to challenge myself.  In the past it's been tap dancing lessons or cake decorating classes.  This by far was WELL out of my comfort zone.  I saw the ad for the boudoir photo shoot come up on my Facebook news feed a few times before I was brave enough to email for more information.  I was nervous about it; I am far from a size 2 and wasn't sure how I would look in the pictures.  I showed up the day of the shoot and was instantly put at ease.  Chrissy did my hair and make up.  It looked polished, but very natural, and I felt glamorous.  After that I felt so ready for the photo session.  Natalie was amazing!!!!!  Her personality immediately put me at ease, and she knew just how to have me pose to get such great pictures.  I loved how she would stop every so often to show me something she just shot so I could see for myself how great they were.  I had a blast during my session and was a little sad it was over because it was so much fun.  Later, when I saw the photos from the shoot, I couldn't believe it was me!!!!  It was the biggest self-esteem boost of my life - I looked gorgeous!!!  For someone who was so uncertain about the process beforehand, I couldn't wait to show people the end results.  I can't thank Natalie and her studio for making me feel so special and so beautiful!"

Boudoir Testimonial: "You deserve it."

Below is a testimonial from one of our incredible boudoir clients. Not only did she allow us to share images from her shoot on our blog and website, but she was kind enough to share her experience with us in her own words.... thanks, Ellyn!

"I was definitely nervous to make the call to book the shoot, but by the time I got off the phone with Whitney, I was feeling more excited than nervous. The nervousness did come back, however, when I went to go meet Natalie for my pre-shoot consult--I asked myself, "Why am I doing this? I don't deserve it!" But Natalie immediately put me at ease. After meeting her, I told my husband, "I want us to be friends!" The shoot ended up being an amazing experience. Watching Chrissy do my hair and makeup was like watching myself be photoshopped in real life--so surreal! I definitely found myself feeling more confident as the shoot went on, and by the end of it I didn't want to leave! All the women involved create a fantastically warm and comfortable environment. It's easy to talk yourself of out this luxurious experience: "I don't deserve it, I haven't worked hard enough, I'm not thin enough, I'm not pretty enough..." I think EVERY woman who has done a shoot like this has had those thoughts go through her head--which is exactly why every woman should do it! Take the opportunity to see yourself as your loved ones see you--strong and beautiful."

Hair & Makeup by:  Special Occasion Hair Design  Manicure by:  sunless 2 go

Hair & Makeup by: Special Occasion Hair Design Manicure by: sunless 2 go

Hair & Makeup by:  Special Occasion Hair Design  Manicure by:  sunless 2 go

Hair & Makeup by: Special Occasion Hair Design Manicure by: sunless 2 go