One of my favorite things to photograph are intimate portraits of women or, as some would call it, boudoir. Photographing women and being able to make them feel beautiful, sexy, and wanted is such a joy for me as a Columbia SC boudoir photographer. There’s nothing quite like having a nervous lady step in front of my camera and being able to pull her out of that shell as we shoot. And nothing quite like being able to show her how truly beautiful she is, how sexy she can be and how brave she is for letting a camera see her insecurities.
Today I am honored to be sharing with you one of my most recent boudoir sessions with my sweet friend, Kaity. I absolutely LOVED being her Columbia SC boudoir photographer. Instead of me telling you all about our session together, Kaity has graciously taken the time to share her heart and words for this blog post. I’ll let her take it from here…
“The self-love revolution took over the internet in 2017, and I couldn’t ever identify with these people. Self-love to me didn’t include bubble baths and trips to Sephora. Self-love was rarely poetic and practical. To me, self-love was forcing myself to come to terms with who I was, and committing to the fact that I was worthy, regardless of the worth that I was assigned by other parties.
My assignment was forgiving myself for not meeting standards that were grossly unattainable, despite setting them myself. It was understanding that one bad interaction did not mean I was incapable of romance and did not mean that I was unlovable. This was no paved road, it was a backwoods trip to hell… if we’re being honest. Authenticity isn’t always pretty, and mine was no exception. But I was committed to loving myself so fiercely, that there would be no question of what I deserved from someone else.”
Taking the Leap
“I had spent so long living under the “if you just lost some weight” mentality. As if a number on a scale would somehow give me the validation to be respected? I got this idea that I could love myself just like I was, in a body that I swore wasn’t worthy. Acting on the idea was an entirely different venture. I toyed with the idea of boudoir for a bit, but I finally bit the bullet and I’m so glad I did. We’ll disregard the fact that I almost backed out at least 10 times in the 5 days before the shoot, and the 4,000 messages my friends received of me in total meltdown mode. I went through with it, and that’s the point here.”
“As far as the session itself, I could go on for days. I’ll leave it with this – It is IMPOSSIBLE to not feel good about yourself when you have someone standing 5 feet from you telling you what an absolute goddess you are. You cannot beat that feeling. I wanted to bottle the entire experience up and take it home with me.”
“I got a set of my files shortly after our session, and to be honest – I couldn’t open them. So I kind of just sat there for a minute and looked at the link. Kind of when you dial a number and can’t press call. I couldn’t do it. I knew that if I opened them and I hated my body, this would be one big backpedal on all of the progress I’d made, and I was terrified.
BUT, I opened them. I sobbed. I have never, in my life, felt so damn pretty. My eyes didn’t go straight to the parts of my body that I hate. I didn’t automatically start picking myself apart. And I saw that sparkle again, the sparkle I thought that I lost forever. What I saw was my worth. I saw the love, not for someone else, but for me.”
“I’ll say it until I’m blue in the face – if you make one investment in yourself in your lifetime, make it boudoir. The truth is, you don’t have to wait until you lose that last 20lbs, or until you get rid of the cellulite on your ass. Don’t do it for your partner. Don’t do it for valentines. Do it for you.”
A couple last things from Kaity:
Hair & Makeup
– If you are on the fence about professional hair and makeup, do it. DO IT. 1000x over, DO. IT. Don’t drink coffee that week, bring your lunch, whatever you have to do to make it happen. It was so nice to be able to sit back and relax while someone else tamed my mane. I didn’t have to stress about getting my lashes even with shaky hands. So, so nice. I wasn’t rushed, I wasn’t frazzled over something I couldn’t find.
– Lingerie does not have to be expensive, and lingerie doesn’t even technically have to be lingerie. Boudoir isn’t all lace and frills. Wear something that makes you feel like a million bucks, even if it only cost 2.
– Find a photographer that you jive with. It is important to look for someone who doesn’t view you as another post to add to their Pinterest board. Someone who values you as a person, not a dollar. Someone who gets what you are going for, and who loves what they do. Jess is all of those things. To quote my overly ridiculous google review: “I sought her out for her vision, and artistic style, and booked her for a boudoir session. It took 2 messages discussing the shoot to know that it was going to be everything I hoped for and then some. She is energetic, kind, and encouraging, all while making you feel like her best friend.
Whew, I don’t know about you, internet reader, but I know that Kaity’s words brought tears to my eyes the first time I read them! I hope you enjoyed this little peek into a Columbia SC boudoir session with Jessica Hunt Photography, and that you take some time to leave Kaity some love in the comments below!
Columbia SC Boudoir Photographer
And if you’re a woman considering investing in intimate portraits of yourself and this post touched your heart the way it did mine, shoot me a message and mention this blog post to receive $75 off your very own personalized boudoir session!
Location: 701 Whaley
Hair & Makeup: Pretty and Pinned
Salon: VIVID: Cut. Color. Style.
Love Kaity and want to follow along with her journey? Find her on Instagram right HERE.