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3 Unexpected Things You Should Do Before Your Boudoir Session.

Most boudoir photographers, myself included, provide their clients with a prep guide to help set expectations, share lingerie resources, and make sure each woman who steps in front of the camera is physically prepared for her session. It’s important to keep your body nourished and hydrated, and avoid tanning beds at all costs. But you want to know something? That haircut, manicure, and wax appointment aren’t all that necessary. Of course, it's fun to indulge in the pampering aspect of a boudoir session, and just like the early stages of a new relationship, we want to look our best when we strip down in front of someone! But mentally preparing supersedes anything you could possibly do to physically prepare for this. In a relationship, hanging out with your insecurity dragon keeps you focused on just that, your insecurities, which can lead to less than mind-blowing sex and a lot of unmet expectations. A boudoir session can be a similarly vulnerable experience, which is why I’ve found it highly beneficial to ease my clients into the process from a more internal perspective.

When we're bombarded with memes and articles shaming us over everything from our hair, clothing, makeup, and bare faces, to our age, weight, and shape, it's difficult not to have insecurities about our appearance. More important than our outward appearance, though, is our internal dialogue. Maybe your body has changed drastically over the years or refuses to change despite all your efforts, but no matter the circumstance, there is always, always a reason to have appreciation for it, and that starts from within. That probably sounds ridiculously cliché, but it's the truth! Shame is an internal battle that takes a lot of self discipline to overcome, and constant self awareness to keep at bay. Today, I'm sharing 3 things that have helped me do just that.

1. Affirm Yo'self.

Manifestation is no joke, girlfriend. Repeating positive affirmations to yourself every morning not only sets you on the right track for the day, but it can actually set you up for long-term success! There are a bajillion resources out there, from YouTube videos, and blog articles, to Instagram accounts, books, and cards. I'll be the first to admit, it can be really uncomfortable to start doing this, especially if you've been rooted in negative self talk for years. But your mind is a trainable muscle that you alone, literally have the magic words to strengthen. Everything you tell yourself, be it positive or negative, will find its way into your life through the law of attraction. Going into a boudoir session telling yourself you look like a pond monster will not allow your most radiant self to shine, and it'll actually warp how you see your images. So get out that lipstick and write, "I accept myself" on your mirror and read it every single day, because even if you don't - you can train yourself to.

2. Spread the love

When was the last time you gave another woman a genuine compliment out of the blue? I don't know about you, but I think spreading love to other women is one of life's true gems. We're all out here just trying to do our best, as society tells us to compete with each other, and yet no one's giving us a rose or writing us a check for being better than another woman. It's fear that breeds competition, and love that breeds acceptance, so hang out in the love camp and choose to compliment a woman you pass on the street, tell your daughter all the ways she inspires you, ring up a friend you've lost touch with, or lift someone up who may be struggling to accept herself. Empowering other women in our lives will manifest itself in some truly magical ways!

3. Detach from toxicity.

This is a big one because it's so easy to get caught up in the toxic world of social media. By manifesting healthier habits, it becomes easier to identify the things you no longer want to hold space for. While it's absolutely amazing, our ability to stay connected with people from every corner of the globe, it's equally exhausting to scroll through endless accounts of highlight reels, unhealthy rants, and self-serving posts. We ALL do it, and we ALL indulge in it to a degree, but don't be afraid to detox the toxicity from your life. You have the power to decide what stays and what goes, so if a person or page makes you feel less than, or brings down your joy, than Marie Kondo that mess! Staying 'connected' doesn't mean you're expected to manage triggering, damaging or draining social media behavior. Self-awareness is also key here, which I say from personal experience because I've had my share of destructive patterns over the years. Becoming aware of it, though, allowed me to start changing the behaviors that weren't adding to my mental well-being. It isn't easy to do, but here's the thing about self love, it isn't about accepting your own toxic behavior - it's reserved for personal growth. You can be a walking disaster, and still love yourself, of course! But having a "take it or leave it" life motto only feeds your ego and stunts your potential.

You are capable of empowering yourself in countless ways, girlfriend, and these are just a few things I've done for myself after spending waaayyy too much time with my insecurity dragon. It's okay not to feel 100% every day, it's okay to fall into old habits from time to time, and it's okay to need a reminder that you're doing a fabulous job at not calling yourself a pond monster today. Coming into your boudoir session with a healthier mindset will only make the experience that much more kickass! There's no better time to start being better than right now.

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