During the early years of building my boudoir business, I had the amazing opportunity to shoot a model session with Jessica. I stumbled upon her Instagram profile, loved her body image, edgy style and decided to ask if she was interested in working together. I had no idea what I was in for or how much this single photo shoot would shape my boudoir style.
Working with Jessica I learned how to push limits a bit further by showing more passion and confidence with facial expressions, hand placement and emphasizing natural bends and curves in all body shapes. Watching her move and easily express her sensuality in front of my camera inspired me to help all of my clients find that comfortability in the boudoir studio.
To this day, I still find myself skimming her photos from our original shoot for inspiration (see my blog post from her session here: How To Achieve Your Sexiest Boudoir Photos. Needless to say, when she messaged me on Instagram asking if I was interested in shooting another boudoir, the only question I asked was “WHEN?!?” She continued to explain to me that she wanted to show off her newly claimed mom-bod and share with our followers her own experience and challenges in accepting it. She wants to help new moms love their bodies and show them that even though it feels like society looks down on them, that body was earned and it’s here for a purpose. And it’s still sexy as hell.
Working with Jessica again for the 2nd time was no different. This gorgeous woman still inspired me and still amazed me with her sensuality and confidence. The way she moved her hands along her body and gazed over her shoulder at the camera made it hard for me to believe she ever lacked confidence in her body image.
The next section comes straight from Jessica’s written word regarding her experience in struggling with accepting her body after giving birth to her first child:
“I’d dreamt of having a baby my whole life. So I was really confused when during the second trimester of my pregnancy I fell into the deepest depression I’ve ever experienced. I hated myself. I was not coping at all with my changing body. It didn’t make sense. I was making a baby I was supposed to get bigger! I just was getting bigger in ways I wasn’t expecting. I thought I’d get a cute bump and everything else would stay the same. That’s how people always described my mom when she had me. “She just had a cute basketball under her shirt” POOF the baby is born and all is good right? Mmm I don’t think so. My legs got huge. My hips widened like the base of a mountain. The bone structure of my face disappeared. And my boob job went to hell. My confidence died during my pregnancy.
I dreaded having to deal with this mess of a body after the baby was born. But the day came, I gave birth and HOLY FREAKING HELL was I unprepared for what happens to your body after the baby comes out. Ladies we are insane creatures! I passed a blood clot the size of my fist and I bled for weeks!
“I am more woman now than I have ever been”
My daughter was born and all that dread went away. I decided postpartum bodies are beautiful and we need to love them. Wether we are going to work our asses off to change them or we are going to leave them as they are. Society: the world outside, decided what beauty is and said if we didn’t fit in the box we aren’t beautiful and that’s bull shit. I am more woman now than I have ever been and I’m screaming at the top of my lungs how hot I am with these size 11 jeans girl.
Before this second shoot I went on Pinterest and looked up postpartum body photos; looking for some inspiration. Most of what came up was about fixing the postpartum body. My intention isn’t to “fix” it, there’s nothing wrong with it! I want to celebrate it! So with the help of crystals endless knowledge we posed and played and took shots true to the body I’m living in now. We let the belly hang out and we held the belly in. You know one of those “Instagram vs. reality” comparisons.
The internet is an amazing thing, it brings us people who say “hey this is the real me, love yourself the way you are” and it brings us unobtainable expectations. I just want to be a part of encouraging women to love their real bodies. Not photoshop.”
The first set of photos compare post-baby-boudoir to pre-baby-boudoir. We set out with the intent to shoot a handful of the same pose and outfit to directly compare the change in her body. The agreement was “No Photoshopping.” The only things that were altered in these photos were exposure, color and skin imperfections that won’t be there next week. Stretch marks, cellulite, rolls, and bumps were left alone (a great boudoir photographer will light and pose to accentuate your strengths). I hope you can feel her body image confidence through the photos.
To summarize moms, your body and shape are simply amazing. Your body created life. What could possibly be sexier than that? Appreciate your temple. Nourish it. Love it. Give it great food, great sex and great compliments. We are what we tell ourselves. Body image begins with you.
See Jessica’s first boudoir blog post: http://www.crystalmadsen.com/sexiest-boudoir-photos/
Follow Jessica’s journey on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jessicaeffingjane/