When I was super-duper pregnant with my second son, I thought to myself, “You know what I need right now? Photos of myself (almost) naked!” But, wait — plain old boring me? Do a sexy boudoir photo shoot? Do I dare? I then spent the next few weeks flip-flopping between trying on lingerie looks in the mirror and crying into a box of Girl Scout cookies in the dark. Let’s face it. When you’re not feeling your most beautiful or confident, it can be tough to celebrate yourself or want to share yourself with the world.
Despite my trepidation (I was scared out of my mind!) I decided to go through with the boudoir shoot, belly (and butt and boobs) and all. While I was a bit shaky at first, by the end I felt amazing. I will be forever grateful to myself for taking that leap and memorializing my beautiful, round, HUGE body. Sometimes the most rewarding experiences are the ones we fear the most.
This phenomenon is no secret to Liz Hansen, founder and creative force behind Chicago Boudoir Photography. She has crafted her Winnetka business around empowering women to celebrate their beauty, even when it intimidates them.
“I quickly realized what a gift boudoir was to the women coming into the studio.” Liz says. “After seeing their photos, women would say to me, ‘I didn’t know I was beautiful!’”
And I get that. A boudoir shoot is so much more than getting professionally dolled up and donning some gorgeous lingerie (although that part is pretty fun, too). A boudoir shoot is an intimate experience, a safe space to be vulnerable and honestly, refreshingly yourself. I found that I couldn’t hide behind anything, and for a change, I didn’t want to.
At Chicago Boudoir Photography, Liz has created a sanctuary for people to be themselves. She built her lush, light-filled studio with love, and with her clients in mind.
“Some people think that boudoir photography is taboo or even pornographic, but I see it as an opportunity for women to celebrate their own unique beauty and to feel confident in their own skin. I use posing and lighting to make every woman look beautiful, no matter her size or shape,” she says.
Seeing images of yourself after a boudoir shoot is revelatory. No matter what your reservations were going in (My cellulite! My knees! My many, many chins!), they all melt away when you see those beautiful images of yourself. And then, if you choose, you get to share your photos and all that magic with your loved one(s), so they too can revel in your beauty, your power, and your confidence.
If you are looking for an amazing way to show yourself some love, I can wholeheartedly, 100 percent recommend a boudoir photo shoot. A little bit of vulnerability goes a long way.
This is something that Liz hears from clients every day: “By far, my favorite part of being a boudoir photographer is hearing women tell me that they are better able to celebrate their bodies and their relationships after a boudoir shoot.” Liz says, “ I wake up every day excited to empower women through beautiful portraits. I still believe in the magic of photography!”