Body Love

When You're Confidant | The Power of a Boudoir Shoot | New York Boudoir Photography

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We all want happiness. Even the most seemingly “put-together” women have their own narratives taking place behind the mask that challenges their livelihood. 

When I first started shooting boudoir, I didn’t quite realize the impact it could have on my clients. I loved the idea of working with women, taking beautiful portraits and creating a photography career that didn’t involve weddings or infants. But as I started photographing more women I started to realize the bigger picture in what I was doing. Upon seeing a sneak peak of their session, either on the back of the camera, from the teaser image they get the day after their shoot or at the photo reveal itself, inevitably the woman in front of the lens would say, “Wow! I didn’t know I could look like that!” And THAT is why I shoot boudoir. Because every woman should be able to look at a photo of herself and go wow, that’s really me? And feel GREAT about the fact that, YES! Yes. it. is. 

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Boudoir, to me, means confidence and inner beauty. As much as it seems boudoir photography is all about outer appearances, the truth is, it really doesn’t matter what you look like. Boudoir isn’t about being the perfect size, the perfect shape – I mean, what even is that?? It’s about having confidence in yourself. When you have confidence, it oozes out of you. It touches everything you do, and it’s something you can’t fake. This is hard for a lot of people, and leads to excuses like “I’m not thin enough,” “I don’t see myself like this,” “This type of session isn’t for me.” And the personal attacks and excuses go on and on and on…

You have it in you. I know you do because I see it come out during my sessions every single time. Need help getting there? That’s ok! It’s my job to bring that confidence out of you! When you are confident, you are beautiful, stunning, fierce, unstoppable. And really, you could have clothes on and still gain the same experience out of this photo session. What you wear (or don’t wear) doesn’t matter – it’s just the icing on top. What matters is finding it in yourself to feel like you are feminine and ENOUGH.

Ms. T., whose images you see here, was one of my favorite sessions from last year. This amazing business woman almost had to reschedule because — and get this — she is a motorcycle racer amongst many other things and had a spill a week before her shoot. She was scraped up but, as she was traveling in from Texas, and that she is a super badass, we went ahead with her session as planned, working around her injuries.

You would think that being such a beautiful woman and #badassfeminist she would have all the confidence in the world. But the cover is not always the book. Like so many of us, she had her own struggles with self-acceptence, and I’m just so so happy I could be a part of her journey towards loving herself just as she is.

Ms. T said:

Just WOW. I can’t express what a gift you’ve given me. As someone that’s struggled with a lifetime of negative self talk, convinced I’m always going to be either too much or not enough, to finally exhale and have the opportunity to see myself with a fresh perspective through your lens and be proud of who and what I see…

And it goes beyond just the gorgeous images — it’s the experience you create from start to finish that’s helped me learn to celebrate myself and simply be comfortable in my own skin. Thank you for the confidence to finally own my value, my worth and to know that I am enough.

^^^^ THIS! This is the reason why I LOVE being a boudoir photographer. Women need more love and self respect in this world. Many of us feel the need to compare and judge ourselves based on other people’s “highlight reels.” We go to the grocery store and don’t share a smile with the people we pass. We don’t compliment the woman with the nice shoes or who looks like they did their hair extra nice today. Why?

Boudoir to me is extending my light and my confidence to others. I have the skills and the means to show women they are beautiful. I have the courage to give them an experience unlike any other. That’s why I became a boudoir photographer – to extend compassion instead of comparison and to show you the truth about yourself: that you are enough.

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So if you’re feeling like a boudoir session ISN’T for you — be assured that each session in our studio is unique and all about you! Show a little, show a lot -- but either way, I believe that every woman deserves to see how beautiful, sexy and unique they truly are. Every body is beautiful and you should be comfortable in your own skin regardless of where you are in your journey in life.

XOXO, Stephanie

Ready to find YOUR confidence? Contact me and let’s chat!

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Fresh-Faced Beauty | Portraits for the Modern Woman | New York City Photographer

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Here at Brooklyn Boudoir, I work with a talented team of hair and makeup magicians on hand for the clients who choose to use them. However, it’s my firm belief that you don’t NEED a “makeover”. 

You’ll see I never post “before & afters” because to me that’s not what your boudoir shoot is about. You aren’t a “Before.” You are you, and my goal is to capture you looking and FEELING your best — after all, feeling good and looking good are inextricably linked. I never want to capture anything that isn’t authentically YOU.

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In a world that is constantly telling us to look younger and smoother and slimmer, my clients often tell me that in their “real” lives, they don’t wear too much makeup. I certainly don’t. Many feel like they should probably go a little more glamorous for their photo shoot...because it’s a photo shoot and that’s what you’re supposed to do, right? 

Not necessarily. Even the lightest of full faces of makeup can be intimidating to someone who doesn’t wear much on a regular basis...and I want you to look like YOU for your session. Not what you think you *should look like for this experience.

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For some women, that may mean a full-blown glamour transformation, and that’s cool too.  But if you’re the type to not wear a whole lot more than concealer and mascara, I encourage you to ROCK that bare face for your session. Yes, we’ll still take out any blemishes and do some gentle “zzshushing” with retouching, but your natural face is YOU, and that’s who I love to photograph and that’s what I want you to love and appreciate.

Because I love it so much, I did a model call for past clients recently and them come into a studio to be photographed fresh faced and (gasp!) DRESSED! ;) I am absolutely over-the-moon obsessed with the results.

Can you have a makeover? Of course! Having your hair and makeup done is fun and pampering, which is partly what this is about. Get your hair did, have my amazing makeup artists perfect your skin and give you a little “I just woke up like this” glow. But you don’t NEED a full-on makeover to have a boudoir shoot. I will capture your personality and your beauty regardless of what you choose to put on your face or your bod (or not put on). 

So if you have an upcoming session with me and are thinking you might want to go au natural, YOU SHOULD. With the right lighting and the right photographer (eh hem), a natural face can photograph even more beautifully than a fully made-up face.

The point is, you can absolutely wear a full face of makeup if that’s your jam….just know that you don’t need to in order to look beautiful.

I plan on hosting a past-client event later this year celebrating fresh-faced beauty, so keep an ear open and sign up for my newsletter (on the side bar of this blog) to be the first to know about it.

xoxo, Stephanie

Ready to be photographed looking good & feeling great? Let’s chat!

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A Changed Woman | Ms. W's NYC Shoot Experience | Brooklyn Boudoir Photographer

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Ahhh this photoshoot has a soft spot in my heart. At Brooklyn Boudoir, your photoshoot is customized to my client’s style, and THIS was one of my proudest moments as far as that customization is concerned. Ms. W flew in from across the country and we had been planning our shoot for quite some time. She had mentioned in our pre-shoot consultations that her dream shoot would resemble the Brittney Spears “Toxic” video… which I just happen to LOVE. We had a lot of ideas on how to make this happen together — we even looked into having one specially designed for her! It seemed like a long shot UNTIL I met the AMAZING Beth Claire, a fellow boudoir photographer / magician who specializes in fantasy shoots and has a closet full of incredibly beautiful custom pieces she’s made herself. I told Beth about the “Toxic” idea and it just so happened she had something that would work perfectly for our needs! Ms. W and I were elated — I couldn’t wait to photograph her in the amazing piece (and I may or may not have also taken some self-portraits in it because SEQUINS JUMPSUIT)!

Besides the amazing wardrobe, we shot in the most beautiful hotel suite with a 180 degree view of Manhattan — it was truly breathtaking!

Said Ms. W:

My session was tailored perfectly to me, from setting, to hair and makeup, to music--it was incredible. Stephanie is friendly, enthusiastic, encouraging and so fun to shoot with! I felt like I was hanging out with one of my BFF's the entire time! I can't imagine shooting with anyone else. I was pampered from the moment I arrived to the location. My makeup artist was incredible and so sweet. I feel like I gained two new friends after this shoot.

Of course, our shoot was a whole lot more than a Brittney Spears fantasy. Ms. W and I… well we are kindred spirits. Even though we live in different cities, even though she is an avid hiker, and that I barely own a pair of proper sneakers, we had an instant connection — it was like 2 long lost friends spending the afternoon together, and I was just so so happy she was able to come to NYC and have this incredible Brooklyn Boudoir Experience.

More of Ms. W’s words:

I have never been super body-positive, or really enjoyed much of my body -- apparently all I needed was a photo shoot with Brooklyn Boudoir. I have never felt so beautiful in my life. I have never felt so empowered in my life. My newfound confidence kicked in the second Steph started shooting and it's still going strong. This experience was absolutely life changing for me! One photo by Brooklyn Boudoir, and I am a changed woman. One. That's all it took. One photo by Brooklyn Boudoir, and I see myself with a completely new set of eyes...unlike I've ever seen myself before. Thank you so much; I will always hold this experience close to my heart. <3

^^^^ THIS!! This is what it is all about. Ms. W is a strong, intelligent, creative, spirited and BEAUTIFUL woman who completely deserves to see herself the way the world sees her. I felt so grateful that she found me and that she was able to make the trip to NYC and for the friendship we made. Love you, girl!

XOXO, Stephanie

READY TO SEE YOURSELF WITH A NEW SET OF EYES? LET’S CHAT!

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Dear Big Booty | A Love Letter to My Most Prominent Feature | Brooklyn Boudoir Photographer

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Dear Big Booty:  

In contrast to my breasts, which took their time to arrive (and did so with little fanfare), you showed up front - or should I say, *back* & center - early in the sixth grade, along with your sidekicks, wide hips and cellulite.  You sabotaged my aspirations of becoming a ballet dancer, and filled me with body image dysmorphia and self-doubt.  You had outgrown most clothes and the kids at school would tease that they could see you “hanging out” of my skirts despite my best efforts to cover up. Even my mom affectionately called you "BB" for "big butt" as a teenager.  (Et tu Brute, MOM?! )

While you're fun to shake on the dance floor, we both know life isn't always a Nikki Minaj video.  The low cut jeans of the early 2000s bordered on the obscene for me, offering a bulls-eye view of my undies (and more) when seated. In middle school I quite literally wore my mother's jeans, and my favorite accessory was a flannel shirt tired around my waist to block you from view (note from the current me: It was the 90s, so this look was somewhat acceptable at the time, and while I’d love to take credit for the mom jean trend, truth be told I wasn’t that cool or forward thinking.) By the time I was 15 I was on the receiving end of cat calls nearly every day. It was before the “Me Too” movement and I am ashamed to say I believed the unwanted attention you brought was inevitable because of my shape, and I accepted it as “just one of those things.”

When I got my first job, I realized I had to be careful not to look unintentially sexy at work.  Pencil skirts were a staple for co-workers, but boy did they push the boundaries of decency whenever they graced my rear.  There was even one summer when I was so fed up with the unwanted attention that I cloaked you in peasant dresses. But then... peasant dresses.  

I wish I could say I came to terms with you on my own, but it took 90s heroin chic ending and figure-hugging Versace dresses coming into fashion for me to accept my own apple bottom jeans. Somewhere between J. Lo and Beyonce, I started to realize that -- hold up -- a round butt was perhaps a GOOD thing. Or at the very least not something to regret. My college dance troupe celebrated my curves and we worked my shape into our choreography. Eventually those booty-shaking moves became my trademark and I got the courage to stop hiding you altogether.  It was truly life-changing to FINALLY accept my body as it was. Flat chest + little waist + big booty = ME (and I could work it).

As I grew my boudoir business, I took many self portraits to beef up my portfolio, and to this day, my favorite shots are those of my derrière. Do I still have cellulite?   Yes.  Do I wish I were one of the 10% of women out there who don't have cellulite? Sure I do.  But I've learned how to pose and use light to flatter my curves & make them look beautiful in photographs.

Now that I'm getting older, my bottom - while still strongly resembling a lower case "b" - is slightly less rotund, and frankly, I miss it!   And perhaps the most shocking revelation of all as I near the big 4-0: a bit of cellulite is fine!  We are women, a lot of us have it, and it doesn't take away from our beauty or power one bit, so long as you don’t let it. Your beauty isn’t tied to a few dimples here and there, the same way it isn’t tied to the number on the scale, or the numbers on your birth certificate (says the woman whose birthday is in six weeks!).

And so, Big Booty, while I don't need to accentuate you (you need no help from me there), I no longer want to minimize you either.  I embrace silhouettes that emphasize my waist (hello A-line skits and high waisted pants) and found a tailor who helps show off my assists while still leaving plenty of room to sit down.  You are a part of me, and I dare say that sometimes I even like some of the attention you bring my way.  It took me years, but my dewdrop shape finally has the love it deserves, and my overall self is so much better for that loving acceptance.

xoxo, Stephanie

Need some helping loving YOUR shape? Let me show you how beautiful you really are.

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Standing Straighter and Smiling More | A Client Review | The Brooklyn Boudoir Experience

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I’ve written before about how I love the way my job lets me cross paths with women who for whatever reason - where they live, age differences, lifestyle differences… I wouldn’t otherwise get to meet. Ms. B is one such woman. She lives on the upper west side (about as far from Brooklyn as you can get while still being in the city) and she’s 10+ years younger than me. And get this: despite being in her 20s, SHE’S NOT ON SOCIAL MEDIA OF ANY KIND. And I mean ANY kind! Amazing, isn’t it!! Needless to say, she is a unique women who is smart, thoughtful, and walks to the beat of her own drum. She and I sat for SO LONG at our reveal just talking about life, challenges, families… and after she gets married this winter we plan on double dating with our SOs. Funnily enough this isn’t that odd of an occurrence — I like to believe that I am my client and my client is me, regardless of the other details of their lives. They come to me specifically for a reason, and these women truly become part of my ever-growing tribe.

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I’d love to write a witty blog explaining more about her and her experiences, but what she wrote to me after her photo reveal was so beautiful, it made me teary, so I’m just going to let her do the talking for now:

“Like an average woman heading into a boudoir photoshoot for the first time, I was a bit apprehensive and concerned by the whole concept—I’ve never had the best self-esteem, and I’ve always been self-conscious about my body for as long as I can remember. Stephanie allowed all of that to melt away immediately with her calming, reassuring presence, willingnes to literally show me pose by pose what she was looking for, and inherent ability to connect with me through the camera. She encouraged and coached exactly as much as she felt I needed while leaving me space to express my personality. 

The experience left me feeling confident in my own skin for the first time in a long time; I could literally feel myself standing straighter, smiling more, and just owning my own presence walking around the city afterwards. I said to both Stephanie and others that it didn’t even matter how the pictures turned out—even if I didn’t like them, or most of them flopped, the entire photoshoot was so good for me that I didn’t need the pictures themselves. 

Of course, once we went through the reveal, I was speechless. It is stupid how good these pictures are. Stephanie is a deeply talented artist, and her ability to capture the essence of a person in the frame is astounding. She found the exact right balance of abstract shots, genuine moments, and sexpot bombshell images that made me look every bit as confident and gorgeous as I had felt. I am so thankful for her gifts as a photographer and as a person that allowed this experience to be so much more than I could have hoped for.

No matter how loud the voice inside your head might be, telling you you’re too insecure to handle something like this, do it anyway. This was easily the most confidence-building, self-esteem boosting experience I’ve ever had. Stephanie has a borderline-magical ability to help you feel completely comfortable, beautiful, and sexy, even if (especially if) these are words you wouldn’t use to describe yourself. There isn’t anything else I’ve encountered that is quite like a boudoir photoshoot, and with Stephanie, it was as positive an experience as I could’ve ever hoped for.

Sincerely, this was perfect. Stephanie was prompt with all our interactions, gave a wealth of information about what to expect up front, and made the shoot feel comfortable, laid back, and calm. Every aspect, from the initial outreach to the shoot to the reveal, wildly exceeded my expectations.

You are a kind, true soul, and the sort of genuine, honest person that is increasingly hard to come by in NYC. I’m so grateful for this experience with you, and will very sincerely be in touch in the future for some more bonding and booze.”

^^^^^^^ THIS!! You can see why I teared up at it! THIS is what it is all about for me. A boudoir shoot is ALL about you doing YOU — taking time for yourself, being yourself, not dressing up in costume, but allowing your personality to shine though, while looking your best. I’ve said it before - when you FEEL good, you look good, and looking good often makes you feel good, so let’s keep that cycle up!

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There is nothing better to me than showing a women how amazing they are, and giving the gift of walking a little bit taller. My hope for Ms. B — and all my clients — is that she carries those feelings with her every day from now on.

Ready to start the new year off right? Shoot me an email and let’s chat about YOUR boudoir experience!

xoxo, Stephanie

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Four Reasons You SHOULDN'T Have a Boudoir Shoot right now (spoiler alert: you actually should) | Brooklyn Boudoir Photographer

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People have a lot of preconceived notions about boudoir photography. Things like who might have one, how that person might be, the reason one might have one, etc. Many women are curious about it, but not many believe it’s for them. Well, I’m here to tell you that boudoir is for everyone! Here are the top 4 reasons why people have felt that a boudoir session is totally not for them, and why they are wrong (if I don’t say so myself) ;)

1. “I would love to do a boudoir session! I just have to lose these last 15 pounds first…”

She almost cancelled because she didn’t feel “camera ready”… and ended up buying nearly life-size prints of her images!

She almost cancelled because she didn’t feel “camera ready”… and ended up buying nearly life-size prints of her images!

First of all, I guarantee that you don’t really need to lose 15 pounds. And if you actually do, Girl (not to get too real on you), but how long have you been working on losing those last 15 pounds for?! I have been saying that I was going to start working out really hard and losing the cellulite on my legs since the eighth grade, no joke (it’s still there and I’m turning 40 this year). Let’s be honest, those “last 15” are less of an actual weight loss goal and more of an excuse not to put yourself out there. It’s a self-esteem thing. Believe it or not, a boudoir shoot can actually help you overcome your insecurities. But here’s the thing about a good boudoir photographer: The single most important goal of the session is to create photos that are YOU. 15 pounds plus or minus don’t definite who you are, and they are not going to be the focus of your images. Good boudoir photographers know how to pose you, use shadows, light, and good editing to create photos that you can’t help but find yourself being (maybe surprisingly) in love with. Boudoir is for EVERY body. So seize the day! You can always come back for another photoshoot when you lose the 15 pounds.

2. “Boudoir is always so sexy and I’m THE LEAST SEXY PERSON I KNOW!”

She’s a mom of 2, and claims she isn’t sexy.

She’s a mom of 2, and claims she isn’t sexy.

Yes, boudoir photography is “sexy” but that’s because women — all women — are inherently sexy. Even you! Don’t feel like a sex goddess?? Totally fine! “Sexy” is about a lot more than pouty lips and bedroom eyes. I never want my clients to feel like they are dressing up as someone else, so we will celebrate what is sexy about you — quirks, laughter, silliness… it’s all sexy to me. Overall, my style is more “effortless cool girl, I just woke up like this” sexy without trying too hard. I once heard the phrase, “Imperfect works” and I think about that all the time in my art. I LOVE imperfections. They are what make you unique, and in this time of social media influencers, to me there’s nothing sexier than someone who isn’t like everyone else. So bring everything that is YOU to your shoot, take a deep breath, and allow yourself to be led by your photographer. Like I said in #1, I will pose you, direct you, and inspire you in such a way that you will be giving all of the facial expressions and body language we need for a badass shoot. You may not even realize it! All you need to do is be yourself, have an open mind and trust me and the rest will unfold beautifully!

3. “I don’t have any reason to have boudoir photos… it’s not like anyone but me is going to see them anyway.”

She flew to NYC and did it for herself!

She flew to NYC and did it for herself!

Great, who better to celebrate you than you?? Single, married, divorced, widowed, doesn’t matter. There’s many amazing occasions in which a boudoir photo shoot would be perfect for you… even if you never take home one photograph. I of course, encourage you to take lots of photographs and firmly believe that every woman should have a casually displayed photograph of themselves looking their very best somewhere in their home. Believe me when I tell you that you will feel amazing every time you see that photo. You can be fully dressed, you can be anonymous so no one else needs to know it’s you, but you will love it and be so happy to have it. As we get older, we as women tend to put our energy towards others more than ourselves — we have our jobs, our significant others, our families, and five million other responsibilities that we take care of before ourselves. People are demanding of our time and are needing our energy almost 24/7, so it’s no wonder that while we’re busy making it our business to be interested in everyone else, that we end up forgetting to make time to stay interested in ourselves! To me one of the the beautiful things about boudoir photography is that it allows you a unique experience to see yourself with curious eyes again, and that is an invaluable gift to a woman who hasn’t been engaged with herself for a long time now. So by all means, take the photos and keep them to yourself if you want to… though I feel pretty confident that once your get your photos, you’ll find that you won’t want to keep them to yourself!

4. “Boudoir photography seems like a waste of money.”

Valuing YOURSELF is priceless.

Valuing YOURSELF is priceless.

Sure, I get that… and so is going out to eat, going to concerts, buying yet another pair of nude pumps that look almost exactly like the other 5 pair of nude pumps you already have, and so is paying for a Spotify account when the free version will do just fine! New Yorkers of ALL people recognize the value in things that seem otherwise expensive, otherwise we wouldn’t live in New York (am I right?) I wrote a whole blog post about the value of a boudoir shoot — check it out here, and realize above all, YOU ARE WORTH IT. And of course, I realize a boudoir photoshoot is a luxury experience, so if it still feels out of reach, save for it the same way you would anything you want but feels out of reach. I’ve had clients book their session nearly a year in advance so we could arrange a payment plan (which we can) and so they could budget accordingly.

Boudoir photography is not only for people who have disposable income, have perfect bodies, have a significant other to gift it to, or for those that are super confident in front of a camera. It’s literally for everyone…. including you! Be prepared to have some fun and to realize that so many of our limitations are really only rooted in self-doubt. You are a brave and beautiful person. We all see that, but now it’s time for you to see it too!

Tackling Your Insecurities Through Boudoir | Brooklyn Boudoir Photography

Last week, I guest blogged for the amazing Melissa, aka The Lace Appeal.  I am so impressed with this woman.  She is traveling the world finding the best brands of lingerie and sharing her wisdom with us.  Here is the piece I wrote, along with some photos from our shoot this past winter (who else wants a faux fur coat after seeing these photos?!) 

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As a boudoir photographer, I spend my life making sure that women see all the amazing things about themselves. I preach a lot about self-esteem and self-love but even so, I too sometimes lose the fight against my insecurities. I think all women do to a certain extent. It is so easy for us to look at other women and see their perfect figure, gorgeous hair, clear skin, etc… and yet, we have a really difficult time paying ourselves the same compliments we extend to others. We worry what other people think about us, we worry if we’re attractive enough, we worry that we’ll fail, we worry that we’re not good enough... Why?

Women have been conditioned to constantly think we need improvement or need to look a certain way to be thought of as beautiful. We’re threatened by “the big 4-0” because we’re afraid of being "past our prime." “Mom jeans” subtly communicate we’re off the market sexually. We’re told it’s undesirable to be larger than a size 6. With so many of these messages being thrown at us, it’s no wonder women internalize unrealistic physical expectations and struggle with self-image.

What I love about boudoir photography is that it's about more than beautiful & sexy portraits. It’s about celebrating yourself, embracing your womanhood and allowing yourself to be proud of the person you are – no matter where you are in life or how many pounds plus/minus your “ideal" weight you're currently at. So, while it may sound counter-intuitive, a boudoir shoot can help you overcome your insecurities. Let’s take a deeper look at how:

Boudoir photography focuses on the positive

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It’s so easy to focus on what we wish were different about ourselves, but what about showing off what we LOVE ?  It’s more difficult, isn’t it?  And also not something many women feel they have “permission” to do — we are taught it’s not polite to brag, after all.  But at your boudoir shoot — BRAG GIRL!  Tell me what you love about yourself and let’s capture it!  It can be your eyes, your laugh, the small of your back… anything!  Remember your positive qualities, because keeping those at the forefront of your mind is the key to heathy self-esteem. 

When we are on set, I have a very strict “no negative self-talk” policy.  Before we are in the studio, however, you can tell me if there’s anything you are self conscous about and I will be mindful not to feature it too prominently in your shots.  This doesn’t mean I won’t photograph it.  To the contrary, always try to capture at least one fantastic shot of that feature you’re not in love it… just so you can see how beautiful your so-called flaws really are.  

Boudoir photography embraces who you are

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Every one of us has “flaws" - even models and celebrities.  A great way to boost your confidence is to embreace these flaws.  This can be really hard to do, but bear with me.   What makes you different is what makes you interesting.  Hell, it’s what makes you YOU.  Your smile lines are remnants of the happy times you’ve had.  Your stretch marks may represent a pregnancy.  Your scars tell the story of a challenge you overcame.  Why would we want to erase those things?  Embrace all the parts of you, freckles, lines, jiggly bits and all, and see the beauty in them. They are what make you who you are, and they are wonderful.   And anyway, perfection is not only impossible, it’s boring. Trust me on this one: imperfect works. 

Get zhushed up a little

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The same way standing up straight or smiling can make you feel more proud and more positive, the way you appear in your mind affects your confidence.  This is why when you feel you look good, you tend to feel good.  That is what a boudoir session is really about: FEELING good. Taking care of yourself makes you feel better, leaving you with fewer low confidence days. Of course, it doesn’t mean becoming obsessed with appearance, but some me-time, a blow-dry, and your favorite pair of jeans goes a long way in improving your headspace.  It’s not about what others think… it’s about what you see in the mirror. 

Take a compliment

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Instead of saying “thank you” when we get a compliment, women tend to shrug it off or disagree. If someone says “how did you get that flat stomach?” we’re more likely to respond with “it’s not flat, I have a jelly roll,” rather than saying thank you and moving on. It’s as if we’re embarrassed to be proud of ourselves.  When I am shooting a boudoir session, I can’t help but tell the woman in front of my lens how beautful they are.  A lot.  Maybe that’s tough for some popele to hear, but it’s completely sincere.  I truly believe that all women are beautiful, and I take real pride in bringing that beauty out.  So when I, or anyone else, pays you a compliment, I challenge you simply to say "thank you" and leave it at that. No follow up statements or caveats.  You’re welcome. ;)

See yourself through someone else’s eyes    

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What would you tell a friend who was worried about some new wrinkles or a few extra pounds?  You would probably tell her that she’s beautiful in spite of that stuff!  We are always our own harshest critics.  When you start to feel down about yourself, try to think of how you’d talk to a friend, and try to extend that same kindness to yourself.  Give yourself assurance, give yourself compassion.  At photo reveals so many of my client say, “I can’t believe that’s me!”  Seeing yourself through my lens can help you take a step back from your insecurities and see yourself in a new light, as if you are looking through a friend’s eyes. 

Fight the fear

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How exhilerating is it when you conquer something you’re afraid of — like a rollercoaster or jumping off the highest diving board?  You feel like you can take on anything!  THAT is the feeling a boudoir shoot gives you.  Getting photographed in your skivvies might sound like a classic Freudian nightmare but believe me when I say it is so much less scary than you think it will be.  Even my most nervous clients warm up within the first 5 minutes, and end up having a blast.  If you’re thinking of boudoir for yourself and you have some insecurities with your body, think of why you DO want to do a shoot for yourself, because ultimately the “Why I want it” should out-weigh the “What I’m scared of.”  Consider it an adventure!  If it both excites you and scares you at the same time, then I say jump in with both feet!


Choose your photographer wisely and then trust them

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While I do believe every woman should have a boudoir session, this doesn’t mean they should run out and have a shoot with the first photographer they find. It’s important to find a photographer that sees you for you and who makes you feel comfortable, because as much as a good photographer can boost the self-esteem, a bad photographer can be damaging to it, so DO YOUR RESEARCH.  Do the women on their website look comfortable?  Can you talk to the photographer ahead of time?  Do they have the same philosophy on retouching as you?  These are all important things to think about when choosing your boudoir photgrapher. 

And once you select your photogaher, go ahead and trust them.  Remember we are professionals in this area for a reason.  We are experts in styling, lighting, and other things to make you look your best.  Don’t know how to pose? No problem!  It’s my job to show you!  It may feel awkward, but I promise you I’ll make you look great on camera.   

Every woman deserves to feel beautiful.  And here’s the secret: you ARE beautiful, with all your so-called flaws, just as you are.  You won’t find perfection or happiness by losing a few more pounds, because that’s not where you self-worth lies.  Real beauty is much deeper than that.  

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Ready to tackle YOUR insecurities?  Contact me and let's get you in for a shoot!

xoxo, Stephanie

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Boudoir + Body Image | The Effervescent Ms. L | Brooklyn Boudoir Photographer

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I've been holding onto these photos for quite some time, partly because I've been crazy busy these past few months, and partly because I really want to do this woman justice.  She has an important story to tell, and we had a really special connection, so I really wanted this blog post to be RIGHT. 

I think many of you will identify with Ms. L's story. So often we hear about plus-sized women who are having a hard time feeling comfortable in their own skin. The less-told story is that of the thin girl who ALSO struggles to feel good about her body.  Body dysmorphia has nothing to do with how you actually look -- in fact, people who struggle deeply with their looks often CAN'T see themselves as they really are.  So when a thin woman is judged by her size and shape, told to "eat a sandwich," told that her insecurities are ridiculous, that she should be grateful to have such a tiny frame... frankly, it's hella disrespectful.  We have no idea what other women are dealing with on the inside, and any comments about another person's body, unless it's "you are so strong & beautiful" are in my opinion, unwelcome and unnecessary.  

OK, rant over (for now).  

Ms. L is absolutely beautiful, sassy, outgoing and real... she is the woman you could become instant best friends with (like I did).  You would never peg her for someone who struggled with her looks, but like so many of us, Ms. L has struggled with body issues.  She wanted to have a boudoir shoot to challenge her negative thoughts and try to gain more appreciation of her body, and I am so, SO honored I was able to be a part of that journey with her. 

In her words:

This was by far the most incredible, empowering experience I have been through and one that holds the most special place in my heart in NYC. To not only feel comfortable in my own skin, when most times I do not, but to form a friendship through this photo shoot truly means the world to me. Life is too short, though all the negativity and anxieties in life, it is so necessary to have a positive outlet. Going through this experience with Stephanie leaves me speechless in the best way possible.  I LOVED receiving the "teaser" photo within 1 day of the shoot. I actually had tears because it was so beautiful, and it made me view myself a way I have never viewed myself before. 

PHEW. Are YOU misty-eyed?!  I am. 

I'm no psychologist, but while it may seem counter-intuative to have a boudoir shoot when you're not feeling the best about your body, I would say it's actually the PERFECT time to reset your thoughts, shake things up and give yourself permission to feel GREAT about yourself.  I'm not saying you will be cured of all that ails you.  But I can promise you that you'll walk away from a shoot with a new pep in your step and appreciation for your own fierceness.  By seeing yourself through my lens, my hope is that you will be able to see yourself more clearly and understand your true beauty.   

I'll be writing more about tackling your insecurities through boudoir in other posts.  In the meantime, the moral of the story is, OWN IT. Celebrate yourself.  YOU DESERVE IT.  Ms. L did....and as you can see the results were S T U N N I N G. 

xoxo, Stephanie

Ready to lose the negative self-talk and see yourself in a whole new light?  Email me at stephanie@brooklynboudoir.com or hit me up here.  

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Single This Valentine's Day? Celebrate YOU! | Brooklyn Boudoir Photography

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Women choose boudoir photography for all sorts of reasons. It’s certainly a popular gift for a significant other, but at Brooklyn Boudoir, I say, do it for your own.damn.self.  You will get beautiful images of yourself, yes, but it’s actually so much more than that.  It can be a meaningful way to mark a milestone birthday, a pregnancy, the arrival of a baby, or to celebrate a recent improvement to your life.  Most of all, it’s about celebrating and embracing your womanhood and capturing yourself exactly how you are at this very moment. Oh, and it’s also a hella lot of fun.  So this Valentine’s day, I urge all the single ladies out there to celebrate themselves with a boudoir portrait session. Need some convincing?  Here are a few reasons why you should consider a Brooklyn Boudoir photo shoot:

Celebrate Your Single Life
Valentine’s Day can be tough on single people, but it doesn’t have to be. Toss out the pre-conceived notions of what makes a good Valentine’s Day —you don’t need candy, flowers, or a fancy dinner to feel appreciated.  Why not celebrate being a strong, single woman and relish the terrific, rich life you have built for yourself?  Even better, gather your single women friends and book a group photography session!  I’m about to do this myself in New Orleans with a group of women I have known for 20 years.  Believe me, you’ll leave feeling like you can conquer the world, and you might just be the envy of your non-single friends. 

Banish Your Body Issues

Society has twisted the concept of beauty into something virtually unattainable, and our collective body image has paid a steep price. EVERYONE has insecurities, and we often spend too much time focusing on what we don’t like about our bodies. Instead, why not focus on what you love about yourself?  As a boudoir photographer, I sincerely see beauty in every woman -- that means YOU!  You are perfect just as you are. Not on a “skinny day,” not after you get in shape.   My hope is that by seeing yourself through my lens, you’ll be able to see yourself in a way you perhaps never have before, and that in itself is a reason to celebrate.

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You’ll Look & Feel Amazing

Who doesn’t love getting primped, and how often do we allow ourselves such a luxury in our busy lives?  Part of the fun of a Brooklyn Boudoir Experience is getting pampered by my amazing hair & makeup team, which offers a chance to unwind before the session and indulge in a real treat.  Prefer to do your own hair & makeup? TOTALLY FINE!  Don’t wear makeup, period?  I fully support you!  I want you to look like the best version of you, not to feel as if you are playing dress up in someone else’s eyelashes.  Makeup or not, the sudden surge of self-confidence you’ll feel after your session will make you want to go out and celebrate how amazing you look and feel.  

Embrace Your Inner Goddess

OK, “goddess” isn’t a word I often use, as overused as it is right now.  BUT hear me out.  A big part of boudoir photography is, of course, the sensual nature of it.  I am proud to be a sensual being and encourage all women to embrace and celebrate the sensual and yes - sexual - expression of themselves, however you choose to express that. If you don’t engage that aspect of your personality very often, it can be very powerful to remind yourself of it.  You might find that the photography session reignites a spark within you that you can carry with into many other aspects of your life. You think Beyonce looks at herself in the mirror and tells herself she is anything short of a goddess?  My bet is she doess’t, and neither should you. 

Do It Because It Scares You

We easily fall into certain habits in our daily life, completing the same tasks at work or wearing the same hairstyle or outfits. Comfort and routine can make us stale; it can kill productivity and imagination.  Sometimes it’s good to take a leap of faith, even if it terrifies you. We grow as people when we’re challenged, and that includes trying new things. That’s why it’s important to sometimes engage in something that makes you feel a little uncomfortable.   When you stretch yourself and try something new, you’ll find a new appreciation for life again. Imagine the terrific sense of self-confidence and empowerment you will gain from your boudoir session!  

It’s Fine Art
Under the care of the photographer’s trained eye, boudoir photography is much more than just sexy pictures. It’s a work of art, worthy of hanging in a gallery, and you play the starring role. Every grown woman should have a photo of herself looking her fiercest casually (or not so casually!) displayed in her home.  Plus, you have an amazing keepsake of your experience and a lifelong reminder of how beautiful you are, inside and out.

Ladies, boudoir is having a moment right now, and for good reason.  DO IT FOR YOU — and there is no better time than now.  Want to learn more?  Hit me up!  

xoxo, Stephanie

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Loving Yourself | New York Bridal Boudoir Photography

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On this second day of the new year… the day that we all have to get back to the “real” world, I’d like to share a little inspiration and practical advice regarding the most important and meaningful love of your life…

YOU.

Loving yourself can seem like a vague idea, indulgent or even unnecessary. But it’s vital. Putting self love into practice and creating habits that fill you up is key to a fulfilled life. Daily self love will make you a better human, mother, wife… a better you.  It’s like going to the gym. (I think. I don’t go to the gym, so I don’t really know.)

I’m fortunate enough to have photographed amazing women who have become friends – mothers, entrepreneurs, single ladies, working ladies… all loving, nurturing, evolved humans who value the art of self love.  Ms. M is one of them women who really captured my heart in 2017.  Smart & successful but also sensitive and emotional, I saw a lot of myself in her.  

Ms. M initially contacted me a few months before her wedding.  Yes, there would be the extra added benefit of gifting her groom a beautiful and personal gift, but she more importantly wanted to have a boudoir shoot to have fun and gain confidence while in the midst of the wedding-planning craziness.  As many of us know, the wedding industry can often do a number on women — setting unrealistic expectations of perfection and bringing a lot of stress to a time that should be nothing short of joyous. I mean — not many of us mere mortals look or dress like Megan Markle and — *news flash* — that’s ok!  Imagine how sad it would be to look back on yourself as a 90 year old and only then realzie how beautiful you were.  The thought breaks my heart.  Ms. M wanted to have a boudoir shoot to give herself a day off, have fun and remind herself that she is beautiful and sexy exactly as she is now, in this moment.  And THAT to me is the crux boudoir photography.  There is no need to wait for some arbitray goal - you are allowed to love yourself and appreciate yourself just as you are today, and every day!

We shot at the William Vale, one of my favirite Brooklyn hotels in Williamsburg, which overlooks the New York City skyline.  We wanted to capture Ms. M looking sexy, stylish & fun, and Ms. M really went for it.  She pushed herself outside of her comfort zone, and was game for anything I suggested.  It was a late summer day, the light was gorgeous and we captured Ms. M looking beautiful, bold, confidant, and sexy as hell.  

After her shoot, Ms. M said: 

Thank you again SO much for such an amazing experience. … I had fun and felt fabulous every step of the way and that was due in large part to your creativity, careful guidance, and boundless energy.  I really cannot say enough about what this whole experience has done for me and for my confidence going into my wedding/the rest of my life in general -- you are an absolute gift and I feel so lucky to have met you and had a chance to shoot with you!

What can I say, this was a total lovefest of a collaboration.  I really could have photographed her all day — luckily she had the stamina to shoot for almost 4 hours with me!  I think we both needed a massage the next day but it was so worth it!  We had a blast together and hearing I applaud Miss "S" for not only stepping out of her comfort zone, but for proudly sharing these lovely photos with the world to encourage other women to embrace the experience for THEMSELVES. 

I told Ms. M that I would happily photographer her again for he 1 year wedding anniversary and I am very much looking forward to that day!  

xoxo, Stephanie

Ready to celebrate yourself in 2018?  Let's chat! 

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