A Brides of Long Island blogger was convinced to do something she never thought she’d do!
For anyone who has talked themselves out of doing a boudoir shoot – stop right there and just book it! Whether you call Shari at Maven Jade, Samantha at Seaweed & Diamonds, Alli at Alli Murphy Photography or Anne-Marie at Anne-Marie Kristin Photography – all Brides of Long Island Preferred Vendors, it doesn’t matter because the whole experience will change your life!
Trust me when I say, I never thought I’d do a boudoir shoot. I’ve struggled with weight over the years, putting on almost 20 pounds since my wedding. Never in a million years did I think I’d get half naked – or almost naked – in front of a stranger. I’d read comments from all of you confident brides who braved the camera. But I still wasn’t convinced. Until one day, I was interviewing Shari for the BOLI blog and by the end of the interview we were scheduling a shoot for a week later! After I hung up, I thought, ‘eh, I’ll buy a few cute outfits and just go. If I don’t like the photos, I never have to show anyone.’ I started to get nervous though, as Shari rattled off a list of things I needed to do – including my hair and makeup! I did my own makeup at my wedding! This was never going to work, I thought. But I booked all of the necessary appointments and took the day off from work. Afterall, I turned 40 last year, and wanted to try new things that took me out of my comfort zone. Well, this was certainly going to be it!
When the day arrived, I was a nervous wreck. But I was prepared with way too many outfits, props such as golf clubs and an Islanders jersey and what little confidence I could muster up. Once I got my hair and makeup done by Stephanie and Francesa at Victoria Elizabeth Official, also a BOLI preferred vendor, there was no turning back and I was starting to feel a little more confident.
Once I got to Shari’s Plainview studio, she had me lay out all of my outfits and went over how the shoot would go and each different scenario and area we’d be working in. She also gave me a short, 10-minute lesson where we went over different poses I’d be doing. I made my own Spotify playlist specifically with songs that would pump me up, that Shari gladly played in the studio for the entire shoot. Pretty soon, I was posing with my Emmy statue in just my panties without a care in the world! The time flew by and as Shari showed me some photos throughout the shoot, I couldn’t believe that it was me. Who was this confident, sexy woman?
I walked into that studio timid and shy, and I walked out with such confidence. I wanted to shout to everyone what I had just done! When I got back, even though I was trying to surprise my husband, I just had to tell him what an amazing experience I had! It was like I was a changed woman. And once I got the photos back, I wanted to show all of my friends – who were shocked that I would do something so risqué. But it’s 100% not a sexual experience. Sure, you feel sexy in the lingerie and heels. It’s more than that though. It’s looking at yourself in a whole new light.
It’s all about empowerment though. Any boudoir photographer will tell you that when their clients come in, they say the photos are for their significant other. And by the time they walk out, they realize they did the shoot for themselves. That is exactly how I felt. Did my husband love the photos? Absolutely. But I think I loved them more. They made me feel like I could do anything. That is how all boudoir photographers want you to feel. They want their clients to feel empowered.
Owner and founder of Brides of Long Island Heather Cunningham agrees. She says when she decided to book a boudoir shoot, she had no idea what she signed up for. “I thought, ‘OK, he’ll love some sexy photos of his soon-to-be wife,’” says Heather. What she didn’t realize was how it would change her life. “It changed the way I carried myself for years to come.” And while she is the first to tell you that the nerves are real, all of the photographers are experienced and professional, and always make sure you leave the studio feeling like Beyonce!
“I gained confidence, empowerment, bragging rights and a book filled with the most classy, beautiful photos that I am so proud of.”
I am so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone. I feel 100% more confident walking around in a bathing suit or bikini now. I walk around the gym and the office with not a care in the world because I secretly know what I did. I no longer care what anyone thinks about me or my body. I love me and I love my body. And whenever I feel down about my body image, I just have to look at those photos and remember how awesome I felt.
The moral of all of this is to just do it! Pick up that phone, send that email and book your shoot. It’s a bonus to get you away from all of that wedding planning! You’ll gain the confidence you need to wear that beautiful gown on your wedding day too! “I promise you, it will be one of the best things you ever do for yourself,” says Heather.
After you’re done booking your boudoir shoot, head to the BOLI Store to pick up some cute clothes for yourself!