Okay, I’m not a pro…
…BUT I do have some tips I would have liked to hear before I went into my session. Although Olin + Co. does a great job prepping us, I think these tips would have helped me.
Before I even share my tips, I do hope you have chosen a photographer that you feel comfortable with. I even suggest you an email, call, or chat with the photographer beforehand, especially if you have any reservations. With Olin, I didn’t really need too, because I’ve been following her social for so long. I also knew she knew some intimate details from the survey I completed. I trusted her. And we hadn’t had a conversation at that point. This might not be for everyone, but it worked for me. But it should be said, I’m not the shyest person. This does not mean that I walked into this confident and feeling myself, I just didn’t let it really get to me. I will remind you, I did have some pre-shoot anxiety, but it had nothing to do with trusting my photographer.
Do some yoga right before, stretch, just move your body. It was so uncomfortable to start hitting angles and poses with muscles and my body feeling so stiff. Honestly, seems so silly, but do ten jumping jacks, do a couple of push-ups, just get moving. Stretch into relaxing positions, honestly anything that warms your body and lets your body flow more easily. You will be contorting your body in various, interesting ways, many of which feel really uncomfortable, but turn out amazing. I had so much faith in Olin, but I even told her while posing, I wish I had warmed up before we started. She laughed but said it was a great idea.
Pre-Model Your Outfit(s)
So, your shoot is booked and you need something to wear. Or you don’t. Your choice. I prefer to wear something. Just remember to think about your timeline, especially if you’re ordering your outfits online, shipping can ruin your life 😉 But, don’t wait to try them on at your shoot. Try them on as soon as you get them. For the keepers, I’d suggest you move around in them and see how you like how they look when you’re standing, laying, and sitting. Olin sends a great email with ideas of what to wear. One that I love, is wearing a men’s overside button down with cute underwear. It’s sexy, casual, and could mean a lot to your partner if it’s his/her shirt. And because I’m a sporty gal, jersey’s are extra awesome in my book. But bring options and don’t pigeonhole yourself into just one outfit. Even if you shoot only allows for one outfit, bring two or three to consider. Olin likes to see what you bring and offer advice, it was so helpful. She also reminded me why I was there, to challenge myself, and she basically threw aside my most covered up outfit. We both laughed and went about the shoot.
Glam it Up, Baby
Olin highly suggested it and now I fully agree. Get your make-up done. Pay for it or use the route I did, which visited my fave counter at Nordies. I still buy a product, so I’m essentially paying for it to get done, but then I have a product that I need anyways. Win, win! If you decide to get your makeup done, just make a firm decision if you want to go dramatic or not. Either way is beautiful, but honestly, decide which look you want and go with it. I chose to go more natural, but I still had a lot of makeup on. You don’t want to look like someone else, which is why I SO appreciate Olin didn’t photoshop the heck out of my photos. She did here and there, but I still looked like me. It is also another reason I disliked one pic of my fave body part, my legs. I was thinking, can you touch up the dimples there?! But that is ME and I have to embrace that and be okay with that. So, again, just be consistent with the look and feel you want. And one more random thing, if you are doing these for a partner, they love YOU. They don’t want pictures of someone that kinda resembles you. Glammed up you are gorgeous. Natural you are gorgeous. You are gorgeous.
Pinterest is a great resource to get you ready for your shoot. There are tons of posing, outfit, and setting ideas. I’ve created a Boudoir Behavior board to save things for pinspo for my future shoot. The hands! It always feels awkward to know what to do with them. Its a fine line between looking delicate and looking like a t-rex.
Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
Quit putting pressure on yourself. I know you probably have some anxiety or nerves about your upcoming shoot. That is completely normal. Even women with the most self-confidence probably walk into these photoshoots self-conscious and nervous, at least a little. You’re human. But I guarantee you will leave that session feeling more sexy, bold, and confident that you have ever felt (or close to it). It has nothing to do with anyone else but YOU. I hope you allow yourself to get vulnerable and just rest into the uncomfortableness of what you are allowing yourself to do. It took a couple of pictures, but after a few minutes I forgot about how self-conscious I was, I forgot about the dimples on my thighs, and I was just enjoying the moment and trying something so unnatural. I owe a lot of it to Olin, as she is so professional and so talented, I felt at ease with her. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind she wouldn’t get some good shots. I guessed she’d give show me more than I was even ready to buy.
Funny thing is, as I was finishing this blog post, I received an email from Olin (and team), stating some of the very same things I’ve shared. So, it may not be such bad advice after all 😉
I get this isn’t for everyone. But for those who decide to go for it, I hope these five tips help you feel at ease about your decision and investment. Honestly, the investment goes beyond the photos — digital or prints. It reaches an intangible part of your womanhood. The part that likes to tell us we aren’t good enough, we aren’t sexy enough, we need to do more, look different, and not love every once of who we are. It reminds you that you are perfectly imperfect. At that moment I hope you forget about all of the societal and personal pressures you put on yourself and embrace your body. That will be the investment you can’t put a price on.
Get it girl!