YOU ARE PERFECT AS YOU ARE.
Firstly, I just want to say that you don't need months in advance to prepare for your boudoir shoot or any shoot for that matter. The general message I hear from women who inquire is that they book months in advance or want time to work-out. I totally understand, empathize, and struggle with this as well. But I am also not an advocate for crash dieting, over-exercising, or putting yourself in a place where you may cause more harm to your body than good. You are beautiful right now in this exact moment and don't need to change a single thing. *Don't roll your eyes at me* I believe we need to do more work inwards than outwards and that particular introspective work will last a lot longer than any fitness program, it will carry you forward in life with more strength and happiness. Our bodies wax and wane like the moon, be kind and aware to this natural cycle.
Fun Fact: I did my Boudoir shoot on a total whim! I didn't have a fitness program in place, I was just doing my usual routine. I didn't change my eating habits, it stayed the same except I was drinking more water. I didn't even get my hair done (hello roots!) and I had minimal make-up on. It wasn't glamorous and honestly I didn't even plan anything in advance. So the number one thing I am going to tell you is this: Nothing needs to change. How anti-climatic? You could do your session tomorrow and it would be amazing! Interestingly enough I have found this 'imperfectness' to be absolutely perfect because as I look at those photos I think there is a sense of realness there that is more beautiful than any force could outshine.
BUT, WITH THAT SAID- I do love to prep but in a more mindful way.
5 INTENTIONAL WAYS TO PREP FOR BOUDOIR
O N E - V I S I O N
Vision is first and foremost because without vision we have no guidance. I have a Boudoir Questionnaire for all the lovely ladies who work with me that walks them through what they are envisioning for their session. But there are other questions you should ask yourself like, 'Why am I doing this session? Who is it for? (yourself? someone you love") How do I want to feel? What is the over-all feeling tone or aesthetic that I want to create?'
Are you wanting to do something organic? raw? deep and spiritual? Are you wanting to do something light-hearted, feminine, airy? Do you see black and white images only? Do you see something a little more sexy or risque? Partial nudity? Linens? What type of lingerie are you excited to buy? What make-up look do you want to create? How do you envision your hair? Your expression? Your movement? Day-dream, scroll through pinterest boards, get inspired and hone in to this: how do I want to feel?
T W O - S H O P
Probably one of the most fun parts of getting ready for a Boudoir session is the shopping! There are so many wonderful resources for cute lingerie (and fun accessories) that is outside of the general stores you find in your local mall. Once you have a vision you can start shopping for the pieces that help bring that vision to life. What is the aesthetic you are trying to achieve: Bohemian? Modern? Bridal? Casual? Sexy? Pin-Up? There are so many avenues of expression you can create based off of the pieces you collect. This is why VISION is number one, so you don't go over-board and buy pieces that don't go with the look or feel of the shoot you want to create. Try to set a budget for yourself too because once you start, you will be amazed at all the cute things you can find!! (and will want to buy.)
*If you are ever looking for inspiration, check out my Pinterest board!
T H R E E - M 0 V E M E N T
Now, you have your vision, you ordered pieces that inspire and excite you! Now, it is time to prepare movement. I'm pretty sure no one actually tells their clients, please lay or sit in front of a mirror and have fun. But I am going to do it!! Mirror-work is not only fun but incredibly beneficial! I have found doing mirror work has made a world of difference in my confidence as a subject but also more confident as a photographer as well.
I literally just want you to play. Sit on your shins, crawl on the floor, arch your back, and look at the shapes you are creating and find the ones that make you feel good. Feeling good is the intention here. What this does is give you a framework to work from in your mid. A good photographer will of course guide you and help you find movement the day of the shoot, but I find when you have a general idea of "oh that felt good" - you will feel really confident in your body and mind. This will help you shake off the initial nerves and make you feel less out of your element and also gives you an idea of what the photos will look like. Its like when professional athletes mentally envision themselves winning. Mental envision yourself owning yourself, your body, and feeling totally enriched by the experience.
F O U R - I N T U N E
Eat and drink things that make you feel whole, healthy, and revitalized. Don't restrict yourself from pleasures, don't start a cleanse or crash diet. Really get in-tune with what your body is needing to feel more radiant. Honestly, I like to ask myself, "what's going to make me feel all glowy?" because that's what I truly desire; to radiate health and wholeness in spirit, in mind, and in body. I know when I tune in I can get really clear on what makes my whole body feel good. Example: Soy lattes make me feel terrible. So I stopped drinking soy lattes and have noticed a change in my mind and body within a few days.
I highly recommend checking out my friends website, Healthy Hits The Spot, if you are interested in learning more about being in-tune with your body and would like to actively take steps to eating intuitively, reach out and talk to Paige. She is such a lovely human and her story is super inspiring. Her free e-book and her blog has already encouraged me in so many amazing ways and a great place to start.
F I V E - R I T U A L
The day of your shoot. Get quiet. Close your eyes. Take deep breaths and get still. Offer up a prayer, set an intention, or bring a talisman to remind you of why you are there. Remember your divinity, your grace, your beauty, your worthiness, your unwavering goodness and infinite love that you posess. Hold on to a stone. Read a poem. Sing a song and get amped up. Have a dance party. Shed a few tears. Make it a ritual. Make it MEANINGFUL to you, whatever that looks like. Do what you need to do to make it sacred. Be authentic. Be luminescent. Unravel your fears and embrace your peace, your strength.
I'm going to leave you with a poem from Danielle Laporte (whom I love and share pieces of her wisdom all of the time.) It's called you are more.
. . .
you are more than your name
more plenty than all that you have
big big wishes
you are even bigger
and you are more
you are gone gone gone beyond
the beyond of what
started This All
I pray you
desire temples of peace
and benevolent tsunamis of love
and that you realize your size in relatedness to the Yes
you are the that and the and
the core and the more
that is ever expanding
- Danielle Laporte
to being bold, brave, and beautiful,