Before I actually had my Boudoir shoot I already had it in my head of what this blog post was going to be about. I was going to share my pictures and talk about how this was a birthday present for me and it was something out of my box. After the shoot and after learning about the company and seeing that a boudoir shoot actually makes women feel empowered, beautiful and more confident with their outer appearance, I changed my entire post and decided to write about what I learned about myself and Pepper’s Boudoir.
I remember when Pepper’s Boudoir reached out to me to collab. I had gotten up in the middle of the night and of course checked my emails and all social media platforms. I read the email and was intrigued, but thought, “Boudoir is kind of like porn so it’s not for me.” I went back to sleep and couldn’t stop thinking about it. I looked at their site and saw some really beautiful and tasteful pictures. Not porn at all. I decided I wanted to do it especially because I had a “big” birthday coming up that I wasn’t feeling great about.
After emailing back and forth with owner and photographer Nicole, and asking her several questions including, “I don’t have to get naked do I?” We set a date for my shoot the day before my birthday. I was super nervous and excited at the same time.
Over the next few weeks I was very impressed with the number of emails regarding the shoot Nicole sent me. Emails about what to expect, telling me not to be nervous and a detailed survey asking everything from what kind of makeup look I wanted to how much skin I was planning to show. Me? “Hardly any,” I was thinking! After all I grew up Mormon and posting a bathing suit shot of myself was a big deal.
As it drew closer, I planned on wearing two looks. A beautiful white lace chemise and a basic white sheet, which to me is so sexy without showing anything.
The day of the shoot I was super nervous. I’ve always been very modest and never thought of myself as sexy so I wasn’t even sure I could pull it off.
The shoot took place at a hotel in Costa Mesa, because the Pepper’s studio was being remodeled, and as soon as I walked in I felt at ease. Nicole was hanging out while Tatiana, makeup artist, was doing a client’s makeup and Carlie, stylist, was doing her hair. Nicole greeted me and offered me champagne. She then gave me a piece of paper shaped like a heart and told me to write something down that I love about myself. I sat there and thought, “no one has really ever asked me to do that before.” The second thought was, “if I say something like I love my eyes is that considered conceded?” It’s so stupid that women think that way. After all we should be proud of what we love about ourselves. After thinking for a couple minutes I wrote down, “I love that I have a healthy body and can promote that to other women.” Nicole then took the paper and put it up on a mirror along with other ones so each woman could reflect on it. I absolutely loved this little touch that allows women to focus on something that they are proud of and feel beautiful about.
It was then off to hair and makeup, something I love to do for myself and always welcome. Because I already said in the survey that I wanted beachy waves and a natural look with a somewhat smoky eye, Tatiana and Carlie started doing what they do best and before you knew it I was finished and VERY happy with my hair and makeup look. I then changed into my first outfit, and headed into the bedroom. I had no idea what to expect. With my regular fashion shoots I do all the posing with minimal direction from the photographer. I can also use “props” from outside like a tree, stairs or a bench to help with my poses. With this shoot it was basically me and a bed.
Immediately Nicole, who is so professional and knows how to position a women’s body to make it look sexy, started telling me how to pose. She knew what she was doing and while I had told her that I didn’t want to pose too sexy, poses where I was touching my boobs etc., she used my eyes or had me lay down and look at the camera for a sexy, but still tasteful shot. It went so fast and it was so fun, I literally loved every minute of it! It’s funny because at one point Nicole said, “are you sure you’ve never done this before?” commenting on how comfortable I was. Something that Nicole says happens a lot once women start the shoot.
If you saw my Instastories right after I left the shoot, you know that I spoke with almost adrenaline in my voice and couldn’t wait to see the pictures. It really made a nice start to my birthday weekend.
Four days later I met Nicole at a local Starbucks to review the photos. I WAS STUNNED! I was looking at the images of myself thinking, “who is this girl? I’ve never seen myself captured like that and I loved what I saw! I felt like the images captured my confidence and that to me is what made them so beautiful and sexy!
After choosing my favorites I talked to Nicole about Pepper’s Boudoir. What I found out amazed me and actually gave me chills. She started doing Boudoir photography after a stint as a photographer who did wedding and kids photography. After doing her first Boudoir shoot for a friend she was hooked and knew she wanted to help women of all shapes and sizes feel beautiful. While Boudoir is definitely popular for brides, couples and women gifting the pictures to their husbands and boyfriends, she also does it for women who get divorced, loose a lot of weight, recover from an illness such as breast cancer and maternity shoots. This is where I got the chills as she spoke passionately about her job. She told me that a women who go through a divorce can feel ugly and broken and feel like they’re no longer desirable. Through Boudoir, she wants them to feel renewed, restored and empowered again. She wants women to see past their stretch marks and the fact that they’re not the same size before their kids and see that no matter what, THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL.
But that’s not where the story ends. Nicole has also set up a Facebook page, a kind of support page, where she posts inspirational quotes and everyone who has ever done boudoir shoots with Pepper’s can share their experiences.
My experience from start to finish with Pepper’s was phenomenal. I went into this not really knowing to expect, but knowing that it was something definitely out of my comfort zone and they made me comfortable every step of the way. The shoot experience was perfect from makeup and hair to posing and smiling/laughing the whole time. That’s because it’s three women, three friends, who want to impact the lives of other women.
If you’re in the Orange County, San Diego or Los Angeles area and you’ve ever thought about doing a Boudoir Shoot, choose Pepper’s Boudoir. Nicole recently upgraded from shooting in a hotel room to a beautiful in-house studio as well as adding a Stylist, Marquita. Click HERE to get more info and to book your free consultation today!