My future husband is pretty damn lucky!
To write this, I have to openly admit some judgment I am not too proud of. When a friend told me she was doing a boudoir shoot, I thought it was a little odd that she’d spend money and given them to no one. Well, that was my initial (
Fast forward about eight months and here I have done it for myself now. Funny how life plays out, right?! I felt like such an asshole for judging her for exactly what I did. This is that whole process of learning and un-learning myself. I see the flaw and I’ve learned from it.
All that being said, I’ve been following Olin on IG for a long time. I’m assuming I started because she is part owner of Giggle and Riot photobooth company. Somehow, someway I finally realized she offers and specializes in boudoir too, so I started following that IG page too. She posted a special around Christmas time and I inquired about it.
A few things to note. Boudoir is NOT cheap. It really isn’t, it truly is an investment. However, Olin chooses to offer specials, which makes it affordable for the likes of everyone. So, although I didn’t originally plan a shoot when I first reached out to her, I decided to take advantage of her Valentine’s Day special.
Old Me: Why would you waste your money on a boudoir shoot if you have no one to give them too?
Updated Me: Why NOT schedule a boudoir shoot to challenge yourself and as a bonus, you have the photos for your future husband too?!
A second thought I had when I first reached out to her, was what if I made it a group thing. Not the pics, you pervert. But in an effort to help more friends feel comfortable and relaxed, I thought it would be fun to grab a handful of gals and make a day of it. Each girl would do their own shoot, but we’d all get ready together and be there if someone wanted moral support (or more booze)! I actually posed this idea to a few friends, but most shied away from the idea. Reasons ranging from not wanting to spend money to others thinking their husbands would laugh at the pics. However, the underlying tone that I felt was uneasiness. Why is it so hard for women to embrace their sexuality in front of a camera? I get it. It’s not for everyone and I placed no judgment on their decision to not participate or like my idea.
However, after going through this experience, I wholeheartedly encourage EVERY woman to do this. For herself, before any other reason! It was beyond empowering and there is no more organic way to feel beautiful and sexy than to be this vulnerable with your physical self.
Before you read on, this I wanted to share a disclaimer – I was not paid nor reimbursed for any of this. I am sharing Olin’s information because I believe in her skills and company. I paid for all of my services rendered from Olin.
My choice to go with Olin was the right choice for me. Her team is so freakin’ organized, it is insane. They are on top of scheduling, calls, and every single detail. They have the process dialed in and have cultivated a way to digitally understand who you are without being overbearing or over communicating. They asked me to fill out a survey before my shoot, which asked intimate questions but made sense. They asked what body part you like and what you don’t like. They ask other questions to learn more about you and what I came to find out, were so Olin could chat with you and get to know you while shooting you (naked-ish).
They offer a full brochure of services and pricing. Please sit down when you look at it, the prices will stun you. Well, they shouldn’t since I already warned you. Buuuut! Boudiour is an investment. Keep repeating that to yourself. It doesn’t come cheap and is almost laughable I did this ‘for fun!’ But I did and Olin has options that make it budget friendly.
Leading up to my shoot date, it was always a thought in the back of my brain, but I was trying not to pay too much attention to it. Because I could feel the anxiety level rise when I did think about it. It is very unnerving to think about getting photographed in such a vulnerable state. I didn’t tell many people. I didn’t want to talk about it, I just wanted to get it over with. Not the most healthy mindset, but I did know and recognize that this was a good personal challenge to overcome.
Thankfully, with all the organization, Olin and team send tons of tips before the shoot. Like amazing little tips, we wouldn’t think about. They also added me into a private FB group which is all things empowering for women and our sexuality. After I booked the shoot, I decided I should figure out what I was going to wear. I have stuff, but none of it felt right. Nor was it something I wanted to wear. So, of course, I went online and looked at VS. Things that never originally crossed my mind, were to go completely naked or wear some type of other clothing with nothing under it. Both of which are great options. I’m not bold enough to go completely nude, and I wish I would have thought about the second option more thoroughly. Since I booked a mini-shoot, I didn’t have the option to bring multiple outfits. But after doing the shoot, I would have totally loved to do some pictures in a giants jersey! Or, as they suggest, an oversized men’s button up is really cute too (they have examples and I loved them).
In the end, I purchased a beautiful wine colored, delicate piece to wear. There weren’t too many options on the VS website, but I actually loved the deep burgundy color of my selection. I could have looked elsewhere, but I was too lazy too. I actually ordered two similar styles and ended up keeping one and returning the other.
Again, I was being cheap about this whole thing, so I wasn’t going to spend money on makeup and hair. While I was exchanging the
They suggested you get everything done — waxing, nails, hair, and makeup. I totally understand this suggestion, especially if you are investing in the larger package. For me, that is later in my future, not for this shoot specifically.
Let’s talk about the shoot. Their studio is NOT in the nicest place of town and they warn you about this. It is literally near Loaves and Fishes. Despite the very interesting area, I easily parked and walked in with no hassle. I was greeted and taken back to wait until it was my turn. Their studio is huge! They have everything here. Olin focuses on pet pictures and boudoir, but their business also does weddings, portraits, and lifestyle photos too. Also, they have a photobooth company too. They literally do it all. Their kitchen is huge and the entire place is decorated so cutely.
While I waited, it was suggested I look over her pricing and examples of her work. WOW! Some women are so comfortable with sharing their naked bodies. I wasn’t expecting that. Probably because I’m projecting how I wouldn’t want my lady bits out there. But, kudos to them. It’s great for Olin too, because it lets her show her actual boudoir work off. It was interesting to see the different angles and positions. It definitely sparks some thought and
I had a lot of nervous energy, but I was reminding myself not to get anxious about this. This was supposed to be fun and working on my self-love/self-care. Finally, it was my time! Olin finished up her previous client and came in a met me. From the moment she introduced herself, I was at ease. She is even shorter than I anticipated and the nicest Asian woman ever. I don’t think I expected her to be Asian, she doesn’t post a lot of images of herself on her personal IG page.
We walked up the narrow stairs together and we chatted. She was super sweet and said that she really liked why I was there. She really took the time to read my survey answers. That in itself made all the difference in my level of comfort with her.
There were two small rooms we used. She asked me to lay out what I brought — shoes and clothing. She also has basic black pumps in all sizes, just in case, anyone should need them. Even if she doesn’t shoot the shoes, the height gives good booty angles! She was so cute. I brought a back-up, more conservative outfit, and she told me I was not wearing that. Not in a bossy way at all. But in a fun, ‘Girl, you told me you are here to challenge yourself’ type of way. We both laughed and I said, ‘I know, I got chicken at the last minute!’ So once we picked out my outfit, she asked what kind of music I liked.
She turned on some R&B and I got dressed.
I was still sporting the nervous energy. I wasn’t displaying it, but it was there. In my skin, in my blood…and definitely in my thoughts. Normally, neglige is for my romantic partners, not a photographer. I felt comfortable with her though. I didn’t feel judged, ever! And for that, I am grateful to her and her business acumen.
For the next thirty or so minutes, I was at Olin’s mercy. She is such a professional and really knows how to hit the angles to make the most out of your curves and arches. I really should have stretched before the photos. I was so stiff it was embarrassing. I also started sweating a bit, cause the angles were hard and I was nervous, combined I was starting to sweat. Luckily she didn’t make me feel gross or awkward and she just laughed it off with me.
Within a short time frame, we were able to take a variety of angles and poses. I was almost surprised when it was finished. What I did learn is that I’m happiest when I’m smiling. Those ‘try to look sexy’ poses and faces are not my thing. Again, probably a lot of self-judgment, but honestly they just don’t look as natural as when I am smiling. I think Olin agreed too. The best advice she had to keep reminding me was to breathe through my mouth. That’s the secret to the sexier photos looking so good.
I sat in my car, relieved. Glad to have done it…now waiting to see how the images would turn out. The next cycle of anxiety setting in. Not really, but I was antsy to see the images.
I knew Olin was heading out of the country for a vacation, so I wasn’t sure if she’d get to my photos in a timely manager, but she did. Donna sent me an email to set-up a time for my boudoir reveal. Yes, that is a thing. They make you come in and they make a whole show out of it. It was silly, but I get why they do it. I don’t want to spoil this special moment, in case you decide to do a shoot yourself. But it is slightly car salesman, but you are so distracted by looking at yourself in such a vulnerable way, you kinda don’t notice.
I told myself to just look. Don’t anticipate buying any photos. But then you see yourself and you can’t help but be in awe that she captured you in such a way. Some of the photos were extremely flattering, some were fun, and some I just did not like. She makes sure she has bright images, as well as contrasting darker images. She doesn’t touch them up too much, because she wants them to look like you, not some up photoshopped doll. I totally appreciate that.
Again, plan to spend some moola! Lots of it, because you’ll want too after your reveal. Professional photographers are worth the expense! I picked out my complimentary 5×7 and then we favorited the ones I liked for future use. Here, they give you a link to your library for fourteen days and then the library disappears. To access, you have to pay a $100 fee to get those pics back. But we found a workaround by saving my faves for if I ever want to go back and order images at a later date, I won’t need to get them through the could system.
I was happy to share them with a couple of close friends and family. I preferred to share the online album when we were together, versus sending via email with the password. They were all so supportive and encouraging of the entire process and the final product. Despite the anxiety of it all, I loved the experience. I am comfortable with myself, but not at the level of consciousness and comfortability I’d prefer to be. I’m getting there and this was just another exercise to be the woman I want to be.
I think it’s a great gift for a SO, but really it’s a double gift; one for you and one for them. You walk away with something intangible for yourself and tangible for them (or yourself too).
So, now I have a 5×7 image that I’m not too sure what I’ll do with at the moment, but it makes me smile to have it around in its
Self-confidence doesn’t always come naturally for me, so when it does I embrace it. Olin caught some of it on camera and I’m excited I have it memorialized in images as a reminder. Boudiur isn’t solely for my partner, it’s for ME too. Something I had to learn through this experience. My friend told me this, but it wasn’t until I experienced it firsthand, did I truly understand what she meant by this. I’m not here to change anyone’s mind about paying for a boudoir shoot, I just wanted to share my experience.
There is nothing sexier than a woman who is confident in her natural skin.