“Boudoir photos … not something I ever dreamed of doing. I’ll be 64 years old in a month, and have been overweight for most of my life. My husband of 26 years died 6 years ago, and I was fortunate to find another man who loved me as I am. I’ve lost some weight, and my body isn’t what it used to be. Okay, let’s be honest, it never was the kind of body that would pose for boudoir photos
So when Liz invited me to do a boudoir photo shoot, my first reaction was to run. But my mouth didn’t agree, and before I knew it, I said yes.
On the day of my shoot, I shaved my legs (first time in a year – menopause has its perks!) and showed up for the photo shoot. I was NERVOUS. So much so that I was actually perspiring, even though temperatures were in the 50’s. I was wishing I was in my 50’s too … what am I doing here? I’m not sultry, I’m not sexy, I’m definitely not glamorous, I’m none of the words that would describe the girls/women who have “those kinds” of pictures taken.
Liz’s studio is a sweet place, clean and beautifully decorated. There’s a little room where you sit in a movie star chair to have your makeup done, and another little room that’s filled with pretty dresses and blouses and sparkly things you can wear. All around me are images of beautiful women. Some from magazines, some from photos Liz has taken herself. There’s a pretty pink upholstered chair and a mattress on the floor with white sheets on it. Liz tells me that will be for me. Oh my god, why did I say yes?
Mimica, the makeup and hair artist, arrives, bringing with her a whirlwind of energy. She has a suitcase full of makeup and brushes and eyelashes and hairbrushes and flat irons and crimpers and before I know it, she’s working her magic on my face and my hair. I’m surprised to see someone who looks rather pretty looking back at me in the mirror. We are chatting about life and love, like old friends, and we’ve known each other all of 30 minutes.
Liz asks me to put on a black silky robe and has me stand in front of a window. She’s off to the side of me, snapping photos, telling me how to move my head, place my hands, stopping to fluff up my hair, carefully positioning the neckline of the robe as it’s draped around my shoulders, making it look like it accidentally slipped down behind me. I feel kind of silly, as if I would stand in front of a window, eyes lowered, looking out, with my hand “just so”. Click, click, click. Liz looks down at her camera and says “Oh wow, you’re not going to believe these pictures” and she shows me one. I stop for a moment because I’m secretly wondering who is that gentle, pretty woman in the photo. It’s me.
Wardrobe change time, Mimica is helping Liz adjust furniture and light and backdrops, also reassuring me that these photos are going to be gorgeous! Liz asks me to change into a big oversized pink sweater, and asks me to sit on the edge of the beautiful chair. I comply, following every direction she gives me. I’d learned to tilt my chin down and hold the phone up when taking selfies, but the direction Liz was giving me was so much more. Just a tiny bit down, cock your head to one side, minute adjustments, until I’m right where she wants me. Click, click. More ooh-ing and ahh-ing from Liz, as she admires what she’s capturing.
Another wardrobe change, this time a crisp white men’s dress shirt, embellished with long strings of pearls, over my strapless bra. I tell her I don’t think that shirt will fit me and she laughs her sweet easy laugh, explaining we’re not going to button it up. She plays with the collar, getting it to look just right, as if I’d casually thrown it on. What’s this feeling I’m having? Is it, could it be, a little bit … sexy? Oh wow, that’s it, and I like it!
We continued on, with Liz choreographing every nuance of the position of my face, my hands, my shoulders, capturing the sunlight while it was still at the perfect angle. And then it was time for the bed. I’m (almost) feeling ready, so I lay on my stomach, propping myself up with pillows so I can lift my head just so. Liz continues to direct me. She’s sometimes on a ladder shooting down, sometimes sprawled out on the floor herself, to get the angle she wants. My hands are carefully positioned for every shot, the tilt of my head just so. And then we are done.
The pictures are ready in a few days and I can’t wait to see them. I’m thinking they are going to be good, and they ARE. Each one prettier than the last. This is me? This is ME??? Damn! I can’t wait to share them with my husband, who ogles them (nicely!) and says, “Yep! I get to sleep with HER!!!”
Were the photos for him? Originally, yes. But now they are for ME. They are a reminder of the beauty others see in me, of the woman I am becoming, every day, as I continue to mature and nurture myself. I’ve come a long way in my almost-64 years. I like what I see. And I’m excited to see what’s next!”