There is one thing that I love so very much about the particular business of boudoir and that is learning about each of my clients life story. It truly amazes me how strong you ladies are! I'm often surprised to hear the struggles that many of you have faced and amazed at the amount of pure tenacity it took to over come them. One of my recent shoots was with a woman named Melanie. She told me about her story, which even though different from my own, still sounded so very familiar. An unfortunate accident had robbed her of her physical abilities. She was couch bound for an entire year. She told me of how she still struggles with chronic pain. As a person with a pretty gnarly back injury, I can relate to this. What I could also relate to was how kick ass her attitude was about the whole situation. She could have let the pain get to her. She could have let the depression take over. But she didnt.
She's tough as nails. Stronger than she probably knows!
This shoot was a surprise for her then boyfriend (now soon to be husband!! Congrats on your proposal, Mel!!) but I think this shoot was also as a celebration for all that she has overcome. A celebration of a new chapter in her life. A celebration of rebirth and renewal.
Its some truly inspirational shit!
Anyways... Here is Mels experience in her own words...I love you girl!!
So a couple of months ago I set out on a personal challenge of which my sister Laura Hepburn encouraged me to try. My whole life I have always been "skinny " and then 40 hit along with a devastating accident in which my neck was broke in 2 places. Long story short I was couch bound for a year and lost myself in a world of depression and binge snacking. I gained almost 30# and it as all right smack in my mid section. I learned to hide it with baggy shirts or sweaters and people still talked about how skinny I was. However how I personally felt when looking in the mirror when I was naked was not good. I hated myself and what I had become. I have this amazing man in my life and I hated the thought of being intimate because of how I felt. Anyways, back to the topic on hand. I did a healthy food challenge and as hard as it was I lost 15# and was starting to feel like myself again. My beloveds birthday was coming up and we would be in the U.K. for it, so was clueless what I should do. Then I saw my friend Kris Williams pics that she had done by Alaynna and I had a brainstorm. That was it ....I would do a photo shoot for him (I have always hated my picture being taken and he complained all the time). So I got in touch with Kris and she put me in touch with Alaynna. Well after a couple of white lies about what I was doing that day I went and did it. I was nervous as hell but that all changed while talking to Alaynna and Mariah whilst having my hair and makeup done. I have never become so at ease so quickly as I did with these 2 extraordinary women. By the end of the shoot I could have walked around butt ass naked and wouldn't have a care in the world because they made me love myself again. Fast forward to his birthday.....he loved the pictures and was completely in awe that I loved him so much to step out of my comfort zone and do this for him. That night at his birthday dinner he proposed to me in front of my whole family. So ladies trust me when I say this is something I started out to do for him and it became an empowering moment for myself. Alaynna, Mariah and Kris I love you ladies and thank you for helping me find myself again!
Hey there! For this weeks blog post I was lucky enough to have a guest writer! Jennifer came to us for a session a few months back and was a blast to work with. We quickly bonded and her entire session was basically a girls day... just with a little nudity!
Often at the reveal my clients are more nervous than the shoot itself! This is where my clients come back to see and select their final images as well as add any products, albums etc, that they may want.
"Why are they so nervous?" you may be wondering...
Because all of the images I show our clients at their reveals are NON RETOUCHED. Nothing is retouched until AFTER images are selected (and even then I retouch with a light hand and I refuse to change a persons body!) Yes, you read that correctly! Gasp!
"But what about stretchmarks, cellulite, bumps, rolls, fat, bruises, wrinkles, pimples, blah blah blah...?" Wow, that was actually exhausting just writing that out.
Well, what about them?
The truth of the matter is woman shouldn't hate themselves if they have any of these perceived "flaws" anyways. If you weren't told by society what was and wasn't "beautiful", do you think you'd look at yourself and your body in the same way? Probably not...
Anyways, I digress, I'm getting off topic.
The reason I show non retouched images is to show my clients that they are BEAUTIFUL RIGHT NOW. They do not need photoshop or the liquefy tool or some filter to be beautiful. Every woman that walks through my doors expects that I do a lot of editing on my images but the truth is that I don't. I make it a point to turn the camera around and show my clients the LCD screen throughout the session to SHOW you how amazing you look NOW. This is no different at the reveal.
So yes, my clients are always nervous when they show up to the reveal because they expect to be the exception to that rule. They couldnt possible look beautiful without some kind of editing, right?
I just smile, tell them to have a seat and watch the magic unfold as they see themselves for the first time.
I mean REALLY see themselves
Because, damn it, its so easy to focus on the things we dont like about ourselves. Do you do that with your mother or your best friend?
Fuck no! You see what makes them beautiful dont you?
Anyways, I rambled a bit there!
So here is Jennifer's story and experience, in her own words. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us!
In May of this year, I was a 46-year-old, divorced woman, coming out of a bad 19 year marriage and sixteen months of brutal divorce proceedings. I was tired, sad, frustrated and feeling pretty bad about myself.
I kept seeing my friend, Kris Williams', photos from Alaynna Marr and GlamMarr Studios and I thought, I wish I had done that when I was younger/prettier/thinner, etc. I talked with Kris about it and she told me how empowering it was to have the photos taken and how good she felt about herself. So......I decided to do it. I figured hey! Alaynna's a professional, she can at least take a couple of photos that don't make me look toooooooo bad. I was really nervous... after having spent years feeling bad about myself.
When I got there, I immediately felt comfortable with Alaynna. She's hilarious and so down to earth. She and Mariah were like a couple of girlfriends I'd known forever! We laughed and talked, joked around and before you know it... I was posing in all kinds of ways I never imagined I would. lol It was actually fun and I didn't feel uncomfortable for one minute. As a matter of fact, Alaynna was adjusting her equipment mid pose and I joked, "well, we MUST be friends now, here I am with my butt hanging out." The entire experience was a lot of fun!
When I went back for my reveal I was also nervous... I don't have the best body image, so I took my friend Jackie with me to give her honest opinion. We were both simply amazed! I thought...... and even said, "WOW! Who is that woman?" These were untouched, unedited photos of ME!!! And...... I looked....... beautiful! I was in disbelief....do I really look like that? Is this the way other people see me? Is this the way I should see myself? Yes, yes and YES! Empowering isn't even the word for this experience!
I'm a case manager, I'm a mom, I'm a daughter, I'm an animal rescuer, I'm a friend, I am many things but I'm also a woman who can be confident in herself and the way she looks! I would pose for Alaynna again in a heart beat and I encourage all of you to embrace your own beauty and sexiness!
Kris is the kind of person we all strive to be. Kind, caring, an animal advocate and a wonderful mother. Kris and I have been Facebook "friends" for the past few years and I've silently admired how active she was in the animal rescue world. You see, you can scroll through her mobile upload feed and its just FULL of cats, dogs and even lizards that she has played a part in rescuing!
I was so excited to work with her and we talked beforehand to discuss the theme of her shoot. We wanted to go a little dark and a little edgy. Kris ended up using all wardrobe provided by GlamMarr Studios! From the super sexy black bralette, the perfectly matched cage bra to accent and a vintage black robe to really give up the goth (esque) sex appeal!
Kris had her own reasons for doing a shoot
You see, Kris had been in an abusive relationship for over 4 years. Even through she had finally gotten herself out, the effects on her confidence were lasting and devastating.
Kris came in the day of her shoot, ready to go, bubbly, and exactly how I imagined she would be! We focused on pampering the fuck out of her and making sure we had a damn good time!
Kris, Mariah (one of our amazing hair and makeup artist) and myself had an immediate connection and we quickly started to bond. We talked about ourselves, life and dating.... and this is when the story really gets interesting!
Kris had mentioned that she wished she could meet a nice country boy. Being in such a tough relationship in the past had left her ready for someone who was loving, tender and everything she ever deserved in a man.
Well, I just happened to know exactly that man (Tim) and one thing led to another and they begin speaking that night and quickly went on a blind date. The rest is history!
Most of the photo shoot was spent laughing, cracking up and capturing the moments in between for truly sensual photos!
So dont worry if YOU are thinking of doing a photo shoot with your partner! Plan on being total goofballs the entire time!
A Story with a happy ending!?
You bet!! Not only did Kris get her groove back but she gained life long friends and a truly amazing partner.
In her own words.........
"I was interested in doing the shoot because even though my abusive relationship was over 4 years ago I still have low self confidence and I really needed the pick me up. When I got there for the shoot I was really nervous but soon after arriving I felt comfortable. When Mariah began fixing my hair and putting on my makeup I started relaxing. I felt more at ease. We were laughing and making jokes and I loosened up quite a bit! You made it extremely easy by telling me exactly how to pose and what to do. Once the hair and makeup was done it was smooth sailing from there! I love how my photos turned out and have never felt more beautiful! Thank you so much! And thank you a million times over for introducing me to Tim! That was the icing on the cake!!"
We'd love to talk to you about your very own dream shoot! While I cant promise that I'll find your soulmate, I can certainly promise that you will have an amazing experience that you'll remember forever!
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship there are places to get help!
In the US: Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE).
Alaynna Marr is the owner and photographer at GlamMarr Studios located near St Louis, MO.
Hello Doll! Welcome to our newly renovated home studio location! I might be partial when I say that we have one of the most unique studios in the St. louis & Metro Illinois areas! We are located in a quiet neighborhood inside the city of collinsville, IL just minutes from downtown st louis.
Our one of a kind studio features an in ground pool (great for outdoor & water sessions in the summer months!) and a newly renovated Victorian inspired studio. Our studio boast a darker atmosphere for truly sexy, moody images.
We're anything but cookie cutter here!
We pride ourselves in making each of our customers images special and one of a kind. We even have wardrobe including shoes, lingerie, stockings, garters, peignoirs, bodysuits, corsets and much more available for each customer to use in conjunction with their own wardrobe.
GlamMarr Studios, Inc has two professional makeup artist that will work closely with you, in studio, to emphasis your best features (because lets face it, you have plenty!!) and really get you ready to embrace your inner sex kitten.
At GlamMarr we are the experts! We have been in business for over 10 years specializing solely in boudoir, glamour, beauty and woman's intimate portraits. We have worked with all sizes from straight to plus and all ages from young to mature.
The experience is one of pampering and relaxation (except when im posing you, then you will feel like you're doing some yoga!!). Its a super laid back environment and an all ladies staff. You'll be guided through every facet of the shoot, so no experience required. Seriously, anyone can do it!
So are you ready to give someone the sexiest gift ever? Or are you ready to just celebrate your own body and learn to embrace it the way it is now!?
Then lets talk!!
Check out our limited time special currently running by clicking the button below.
GlamMarr Studios, Inc is a registered Trademark.