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MEGHAN HEMSTRA

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Vancouver Boudoir Photos

Jan 14, 2016

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When we first started talking about potentially hosting a boudoir marathon I was excited, but also a little bit nervous. I was really looking forward to sharing my perspective on boudoir photography, and excited to host what ultimately would be a fun girls weekend. But as I started getting feed back from people I was stunned by how many negative reactions there were. So many of the women I spoke with had what I would describe as an almost involuntary negative reaction to hearing the word boudoir.

The negative responses varied in intensity, but the same themes repeated themselves over and over again: I’m not in a relationship, I’m not sexy enough, I don’t have anyone to do that for, I’m not a model, I wouldn’t be caught dead in lingerie, I don’t have the body for that, I could never look like that.

So when I simplify these statements further, I’m basically hearing two commonly held beliefs: that women not only think they’re not beautiful enough for boudoir photos, but they also think that they’re too single for them.

AND NEITHER OF THESE THINGS ARE TRUE. 

And just to clarify, I’m not talking about the women who genuinely don’t want to participate, or the women who find that boudoir sessions are out of their budget. The reality is that not everyone is interested in boudoir, and not everyone can afford it. And I completely understand.

I’m talking about the women that perhaps would want to participate, but to put it simply, don’t think they’re good enough or think they need a relationship to book a boudoir session. So I have a few things to say:

Yes, a gorgeous little boudoir album for your significant other is a wonderfully romantic and sweet idea. I’m 100% for it. But I also worry that so many women think this is the ONLY reason to book in for a boudoir session. What about doing it for yourself?

Boudoir should make YOU feel good about yourself. By the time you’re done your boudoir session you should feel like you’re ready to rule the world. Boudoir should be empowering, heartwarming, confidence building, and on top of all that it should be an incredible time of supporting one another and building each other up. It’s like a girls night out, a spa treatment and a photoshoot all rolled into one. Your photos should serve as a reminder of how gorgeous you are, but more importantly they should remind you of how great you felt that time that you cut loose, took a risk, and danced in your underpants on a 60’s gold Wingback. Vancouver-Boudoir-Photos-10Giving the result of that awesome experience as a gift to someone you love is a bonus, but it’s not the main prize.

And why do we think that the only way to do a boudoir is to get into the tightest, shiniest, boob boosting corset we can find, and the highest and most dangerous shoes we can get our hands on? Don’t get me wrong, these outfits are badass. For some women, that is the perfect boudoir outfit. It speaks to them. And by all means, if you want to waltz into my studio in stilettos and a bondage suite then go get it girl. I’ll put Beyoncé on the stereo and we will rock that shit AND HAVE SO MUCH FUN DOING IT.

In reality though not every woman wants to wear that outfit, but I feel like a lot of women are under the impression that this is the only option.

There is no set way to do boudoir, and this is where we run into problems, because so many women think there is a rule book for it. So many women think they need to look a certain way, dress a certain way or act a certain way to participate in a boudoir shoot. And this is a lie. Do you want to wear a v neck t-shirt and high socks? Do you want to wear lace and flower crown? Do you want to wear a onesie and a Pokemon headpiece? A skin tight leather catsuit? DO IT. Boudoir is about YOU, and what you as an individual feel good in.

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And this whole thing where women feel like they’re not beautiful enough for boudoir? It’s crazy talk. It’s crazy talk that I 100% speak, but it’s still crazy talk.

Every woman has insecurities. Maybe it’s your butt, boobs, love handles or stretch marks. Maybe you hate your upper arms or your ankles. Maybe it’s a scar or a shitty tattoo. The reasons are endless, but I’m telling you right now there is something so empowering about embracing your body and not allowing those insecurities to define you or keep you from really positive experiences.

So let me tell you how I really feel. Let me tell you what I want to holler from the rooftops:

-You don’t think you’re sexy enough? YOU ARE.
-You don’t have anyone to give it to? Screw that. DO IT FOR YOURSELF.
-Don’t know what to wear? WE’LL HELP.
-Don’t know how to pose? DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT. That’s my job.

If boudoir truly isn’t for you, I totally understand. But don’t NOT do a boudoir session because your fears are getting the better of you, or because you’re not in a relationship. My point at the end of this post is to encourage you to see boudoir in a new light. It can be super fun, confidence building, and empowering. Plus you get to sip on champagne, hang out with some super cool ladies, and get dolled up with hair and makeup for a day. And in what world does THAT not sound fun?

Vancouver-Boudoir-Photos-07So without further ado, here are some frames from Julia’s boudoir session this past weekend in Vancouver. It was incredibly fun and I’m incredibly proud of Julia, but also grateful that we stumbled into each others lives. 2015 was a great year that brought amazing opportunities and introduced me to incredible people. Julia is one of those incredible peeps. We asked her a few questions about her experience with boudoir, so if you’re wanting to hear a first hand account you’ll find a brief Q&A dispersed between images at the bottom of this post.

Julia’s makeup and hair were done by Ashley of Wedded Bliss (sooooooo talented and so kind, sweet, and wonderful to work with). Her wardrobe is from Jackson Rowe, and you’ll see some styling touches by the newly minted Hunt & Gather Collective (Their website is coming soon. Keep an eye on them, cause you’re in for a treat).Vancouver-Boudoir-Photos-05

Also. SHE’S SO HOT. LEAVE HER SOME LOVE IN THE COMMENTS EH? 

Our Winter Boudoir Marathon is next weekend and we’ve still got a few spots available! We’ve got boudoir sessions starting at $540 which include hair and makeup by the wonderful and talent Wedded Bliss and photography by yours truly. We’ll be popping some bubbly, cranking the tunes, and basically just making a badass girls weekend of it!

Want in? Ya you do! Send us an email for more information and to book in: info@meghanhemstra.com or visit our contact page to send a message.

Megs

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Julia, what was your initial reaction when you thought about a boudoir shoot?

“I was terrified! I felt like I am way too awkward and that it would show in the photos. Also I am super uncomfortable in front of the camera and I didn’t know what I was going to do or how I was going to stand.”

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What were your biggest insecurities going into the boudoir session?

“I feel like I am the least sexy person in the world. I had no idea how to make a ‘sexy’ face! I am also really insecure when it comes to my body and I didn’t feel comfortable showing my tummy. Lastly, I’m 35 so I thought only hot young girls do this kind of thing.”

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What made you decide to do the session?

“To hang out with Meg for the day, and to have an opportunity to style a set” 

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What surprised you about the session?

“I HAD A BLAST!!! I actually felt a tiny bit SEXY!” 

What was your favourite part of the session?

“Dancing around, feeling pretty, getting my hair and makeup done”

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How did you choose your outfit?

“I wanted to focus on the body parts that I felt ok about. I am more comfortable with my lower body than my upper body. As long as I chose an outfit that showcased my favourite parts of myself I thought I could give it a go”

Vancouver-Boudoir-Photos-38Vancouver-Boudoir-Photos-39What advice would you give to those considering a boudoir session?

“Everyone should try it once! You need to break out of your shell and try something that scares you. Just go for it, let loose and have fun!”

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comments +

  1. Jackie Neal

    January 14th, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    Firstly, what a great blog post. I must admit when I saw the word ‘boudoir’ I had negative thoughts too such as ‘why would I want to wear a corset’, ‘I would never feel sexy trying to pose in my undies’…. It goes on. Then when I saw the beautiful photo of Julia in your post, there was a mismatch for me (the photo and the article about a boudoir session didn’t go!). So after seeing more of the fantastic photos you took of Julia and reading your fab article on what boudoir session can be, I have a whole new appreciation for this type of photography and I think it’s a fab way to encourage us women to stop scrutinizing ourselves and find a way to be comfortably sexy! Fabulous! Just fabulous!!!
    And Julia, these pictures are so beautiful, I can see you found a comfort zone and you look sexy in your own way. Such great shots!! You have a great body to be proud of. Well done Meg on the amazing photography work as always.

  2. mhemstra

    January 14th, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    Jackie thank you SO much for your kind words. I know the whole team, and the gaaaaawgeous Julia really really appreciate your positive feedback. You’re a DOLL. I heart you. xo

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