I had such an amazing and transformative shoot with Hannah, so I asked if she would be willing to write about her experience with us. She responded with a Yes, and her writing brought me to tears. Read on for her experience written by Hannah herself!
“I am NOT the type of girl you would expect to put on lingerie and heels and pose for a camera. I am an introvert. I have social anxiety disorder. I am full of insecurities. Despite all this, I can look back at the timeline of events in my life where I was a confident woman who didn’t think twice about putting myself first. I used to feel like such a strong-willed badass which made me feel sexy. Now I barely recognize myself at times and feel guilty when I “stick the kids with my husband” to leave to do something for myself (which is hardly ever). I realize this has nothing to do with my boudoir experience, but I’m getting there, I promise.”
” I recently became friends with this woman who is a confident, sexual, “girls girl.” She mentioned how excited she was that her appointment to do a boudoir photo shoot was coming up. I thought “that’s you, this is me” and no way could I get myself to even want to do something like that. I felt uncomfortable just talking about it, but then she pulled up j.jae Boudoir’s portfolio online. If I could think of three words to sum up what I thought and felt looking through the photos, it would be “artistry,” “connected” and “desire.” These photos were artistic and beautiful. I felt a connection with the photographer’s decor style which made me feel comfortable that she may also understand me. Lastly, I had a desire to do something “big” for myself that I knew I wouldn’t regret. I wanted to do something that would get me back to feeling sexy and confident again. I wanted photos like this of myself to have forever. I scheduled my appointment.”
“I knew this was going to force me to deal with multiple insecurities and get uncomfortable. To start, I was told to show up with no makeup and hair undone. I’m someone who won’t leave the house without at least mascara and a ballcap to hide my undone hair (insecurity #1). I have also never had my hair or makeup done by someone else. I did my own for my wedding! Jaclyn told me to trust the process. I sat in that chair getting my hair and makeup done for the first time ever, letting go of control, and it both felt and looked amazing!”
“I didn’t own any lingerie! I also didn’t own any “sexy” heels, I had to borrow some! Picking out lingerie and seeing myself in lingerie instead of a sports bra was an experience in itself. I was nervous that my husband would walk in and make a big deal about it. I cannot handle being the center of attention (Insecurity #2), so how was I going to be the focus of a photo shoot?! To my suprise, I was completely comfortable during the shoot and now realize how amazing lingerie can make a woman feel. I now look forward to wearing it!”
“The insecurity that I knew I would struggle with the most would be my body image. My legs in particular (insecurity #3). I have always struggled with how I felt about my legs. I remember being a young kid and hoping I would wake up with “normal” legs, like that was even possible. Even if I receive a compliment that my legs are athletic, it still makes me feel insecure. The insults I received when I was young laid the groundwork that they are “too big” and “fat”, so I assume anyone complimenting them now is just noticing how “too big” they are. I realize how distorted that thinking is. Jaclyn asked if there was a body part I wanted to highlight in my photos. I chose my legs, because I wanted this experience to give me the opportunity to see my full self and accept it.”
“Fast forward to seeing myself on the screen, picking out which photos to keep. I am the biggest critic of myself and usually have to take 800 photos before I get 1 that is a keeper, so I did not expect to struggle eliminating photos. I would have kept them all! There was one photo in particular that when it came up on the screen, it forced me to realize that I have such a distorted view of body. Without any control over my emotions I started to cry (good tears!). It was the most revealing photo of my legs with no super flattering angles, and I loved it. I get emotional just thinking about it because in that small moment it made such an impact on how I felt about myself. In that moment I allowed myself to love how I looked, after years of not accepting myself as good enough. I think I was meant to do this boudoir photo shoot for that particular moment, if not for all the beautiful photos. I am so thankful I didn’t shy away from this opportunity. Thank you, Jaclyn, for being so talented at your craft! “
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