Milwaukee Women Boudoir Stories: Chapter 1, My Story | Milwaukee Empowerment Photography
Guess what internet world? I am a boudoir photographer! Yes, I take those kinds of pictures of women and I couldn’t be more proud of it. Because here is the secret to those kinds of photos: the experience has very little to do with outward appearance and everything to do with a woman’s inner strength. I have first hand knowledge…I have had boudoir photos taken of me on two separate occasions and I plan to keep doing it. As a boudoir photographer, I have heard some of the most amazing stories behind the why women have these photos taken of them. Their stories are so inspiring and I am incredibly honored to have been chosen as their photographer. As you can imagine, most women are reluctant to allow me to share their intimate, beautiful photos from our sessions. So instead I asked them if they would allow me to share their stories. A few agreed and I am starting a blog series to tell those stories. I determined it was only fair if I shared my own first and here I am. The women (and me) also posed for two additional photos to add as a visual component to their story. The first is them sharing their why and the second is them telling me how they felt as a result. This series is nothing short of empowering and I hope you will enjoy.
“While many woman have boudoir photos taken to give to their significant other, they always find (as I have) that a boudoir session is such a personal empowering experience. This style of photography celebrates a woman’s beauty, her sexy and most importantly her confidence. It is such a gift to see yourself from a new angle, new light and new perspective.” – Chrissy
The first time I hired a photographer to take these intimate photos for me, I was motivated by needing a gift for my husband. I have a photographer friend that I trust who was offering up sessions, and I decided to go for it. As I shopped for sexy things to wear, I constantly doubted myself. What was I doing? I was in my early 30s. A mother. Not thrilled with how I looked in a bathing suit. I still needed to loose 10 lbs. — all the usual self-deprecating excuses we all have. But I shied behind a few hidden veils as well. I was two years into premature ovarian failure, which meant I could not have any more children and my body was in the throws of menopause. Yes, menopause — that word that most people do not understand and women don’t worry about until well into their 50s. And I was in it at 31 years old. It was a heart breaking and life changing blow. And a blow I mostly dealt with internally and always privately. I was living this very foreign reality of mother to a small child, feeling super hero-esque for carrying, birthing and now raising such a beautiful being… to suddenly my body betraying me and feeling like a foreign shell of disappointment, pain and weakness. And while many women of traditional age power through menopause with grace and poise, I was in no such position. I suffered from terrible hormonal imbalances and depression. And worst of all I felt disconnected from my body and completely out of any comfort zone I could conjure. So what was I doing? I was regaining myself. I was having someone capture me from an outside point of view so that I could look at those photos and say “oh there you are” when I looked at them. And I wanted to make myself proud. For putting myself out there in such a vulnerable way after going through so much. I was terrified…would I even recognize myself? And the truth is, I didn’t. I did not recognize myself at all. But it ended up being a great thing. Because the person I saw and the person I felt as I was participating in the session was way more badass than I imagined. Parts of who I am that I had overlooked or forgotten about came through in that session and in those photos. I was silly and spontaneous. I was brave and open-minded. I was confident and fierce. I was beautiful. And all those reminders stuck with me…through the week. Through the month. Through the year. And still today. Now I can say and feel, I am silly and spontaneous. I am brave and open-minded. I am confident and fierce. I am beautiful.
I have come to understand even in my young 36 years on this planet, that often times I learn the most about myself and what I am made of by stepping outside my comfort zone and putting myself to the test. It is always scary and sometimes emotional, but also so profound. So my why: to make myself proud. And as for how I
felt feel: BADASS!
Make-up here is done by the talented Samantha Kalkopf
And yes, I did self portraits…these were taken by me alone in my studio. Kind of feeling badass about that too.