Sarah Malone
4 min readNov 15, 2021

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Pondering Boudoir Photography — Mission Accomplished

It’s done and I did it!

I, who hates having my picture taken, have stripped down to my dainty underthings in front of a stranger, with a camera, and went searching for my inner goddess.

After the initial “click” to book my session, I had a few angsty weeks of trying to find suitable apparel (referred to as wardrobe, but stretching the definition of same as there is very little of it).

There is a plethora of lingerie available out there in the internet world; sexy, cute, daring, barely there things. How does one choose? Well, let’s just say that Amazon probably thinks I have an obsession with lacy, velvety, naughty things.

The models shown for all these lovely concoctions look nothing like me. I’m definitely not petite, nor am I plus size; I land somewhere in between. Too busty to be without support, enough tummy that mid rise panties are essential. Thongs = uncomfortable. The options start to diminish.

The sizes offered don’t necessarily fit as you might expect (as evidenced by bag #1 on the bedroom floor). The fabrics/colours are not quite as pictured (bag #2 on the bedroom floor). This was an experience in of itself, as I went from zero to lingerie queen in under 3 weeks.

And then came the shoes. I am a sneaker girl. A sandal girl. A barefoot princess. In heels, I am like that 2 year old toddler, struggling to stay upright wearing my mother’s dressy shoes. I was instructed to bring a pair of shoes with a minimum 2" stiletto heel — black, pointy, can’t walk in them, feet pinching torture devices. Thank goodness Amazon also sells shoes, the sizing is bang on and delivery is quick.

Chosen footwear, with something lacy for contrast

So my choices were made and laid out for the photographer to take a look at prior to my shoot, via video call. My picks got the thumbs up, so now I just had to wait for my day. Bag #3 was packed and ready to go.

I woke up on shoot day, an anxious ball of nervous energy and body insecurity. I showered, shaved my legs, moisturized everywhere, gulped down my coffee and a breakfast bar, grabbed bag #3, added 2 bottles of water and headed out.

By the time I arrived at the studio, I was literally shaking. And sweating. And nauseous. I put every breathing exercise I knew into practice and went in.

First step — make-up and hair. The make-up artist was warm, friendly and incredible. After an hour and half in her chair, I had curls! and the person looking back at me in the mirror was beautiful. Still me, but beautifully different. My eyes popped. The dark circles under my eyes were gone. Her talent definitely won that morning. That was the easy part.

The next phase was getting dressed, or undressed, for the camera. That was not so easy. How do you celebrate yourself when you don’t feel worthy of a celebration? You pick a great photographer, which I lucked into doing.

The first 15–20 minutes was ridiculously tough; I wavered between feeling embarrassed, exposed, nervous and shy. It was really hard to let go of all the inner voices that tell you you’re not sexy, sensual, pretty or desirable. I am quiet, introverted and prefer to be invisible. You can’t be those things when rolling around on a bed in your underwear. It just doesn’t mesh. My hands and legs trembled. I felt out of place and uncomfortable. I had to take a mental break, and start again. I had to remind myself why I was here at all:

“It appeals to a certain part of me — the part that yearns to be empowered and proud of who I am, and how I look. The part that believes that I am sensual and sexual. The whole “I can love who I am” thing that I’ve never quite been able to get behind. And I think, yes, I should do this, if for no other reason that I would like to feel empowered, proud, sensual and sexual.” Me — Jan/20

And then something clicked. I could do this, and all the things I wanted to accomplish with these pictures started to be possible. For the next 2 hours, I projected everything I wanted to feel, to be, at the camera. I took directions and ran with them. I smiled, then I laughed. I had fun. I had freedom.

In those 4 hours, my inner goddess rose, played and cavorted. She was coquettish and sexy, a little wanton, a little coy. She flirted with the camera, batted her eyes and strutted her stuff. She had an amazing adventure, and one heck of a workout (being “natural” requires very unnatural poses).

At the end of the day, it was everything I wanted it to be, and an opportunity to see myself differently, and it felt really, really good.

Now, the goddess and I wait to see how the pictures turned out.

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