Boudoir | Savannah

Boudoir

February 13, 2021

Boudoir shoots are something that can certainly raise eyebrows and I am looking forward to this blog post because I’m hoping to place it in a different light.

Sure, the word “boudoir” is derived from a French word meaning “private salon,” and boudoir sessions are generally meant to be more intimate and sexy in nature, but there is SO much more to boudoir than pretty women in sexy outfits.

Last year, I went through HELL. 2020 was supposed to be a really hopeful and bright year for me, and in a lot of ways it certainly was, but in a few it really just wasn’t. I was supposed to be wrapped up in the excitement of planning a wedding and when I ended up shattered in pieces and calling said wedding off I really entered into a dark place mentally.

My confidence, self-worth and truly feeling proud of who I was were all really called into question for me. I found myself looking around, playing the comparison game and feeling pretty low. As time grew closer to my would’ve-been wedding day plans I started to find my strength. Sure, cancel the bachelorette weekend… actually, let’s just give it a new name and HAVE THE TIME OF OUR LIVES. Which is exactly what we did. Bridal portraits? How about boudoir photos?! Ugh, something I didn’t even know I needed, but MAN how I did.

My good friend, and fellow photographer Kam (Kam Goodrich Photography) spent the day with me while I got all dolled up with professional hair and make-up, the whole-nine-yards, and took the most breathtaking pictures of me during my boudoir session. I literally cannot put into words for you all just how much it did for my confidence. My mental game. The questioning who I am, lacking confidence, self-worth… those things were OVER. I know it sounds a little crazy that a photo session can be so impactful, but I felt so amazing that day and once I saw those images, I just felt so strong and confident. It was like looking at me from the outside and seeing who I wanted to be! My own personal experience changed the game on boudoir sessions for me and lit a passion inside of me to help other women experience that for themselves!

When I think of boudoir sessions I think of strength, confidence, willpower, courage and beauty. I think of my personal hell and my renewed freedom and independence. I think of women that have walked through body changes through illness, pregnancy, health journeys…

It’s not just women in sexy clothes. It’s women showing up, pushing themselves out of their comfort zones, digging into their inner strength and letting their confidence and beauty shine as bright and strong as it possibly can.

I’ve wanted to put a “face” to boudoir for so long. I want to put a “voice” to boudoir. I want to obliterate the negative stigma that can surround the idea of boudoir sessions and I want the positives to far outshine those things.

On my mission to do this I decided to find what I call a “boudoir spokeswoman” – Someone who embodies the qualities that I believe boudoir sessions to be. Strong, confident, courageous… Savannah was a perfect fit for those things!

She is a beautiful, successful woman that lives to empower and encourage other women to be confident, healthy and happy. She strives to radiate positivity and confidence and does a darn good job at that!

She shared with me (and gave permission for me to share) that she is an anxiety warrior who battled PPD after her second child, PTSD after the sudden loss of her dad and is not ashamed to say she takes medication to help. In her words, “I really believe that exercise daily is necessary for my mental health and clarity! It is like my mini therapy sessions daily and I honestly don’t know where I would be without finding my passion for helping others in similar situations to navigate life and lead healthy, happy and fulfilling lives!”

Savannah is a mom of two kids and is married to her high school sweetheart (who she has been with for 18 years! <3). She is a Beachbody coach that started her business in 2014 and ran full speed into it after leaving her corporate America job in 2020. She has a true passion for fitness and for helping others lead healthy lives!

She was Mrs. Chesterfield for a year and spent time shining her light in other pageants as well!

Honestly, she was pretty hesitant at first when I approached her about the shoot. She has since said “the pandemic had gotten me into some bad habits with my nutrition and like I always say, you can’t out work poor nutrition, So I didn’t LOVE the extra pounds, but I aim to be confident and empower other women to do the same so I reluctantly agreed.” When I asked her about her goal from the shoot she said, “I wanted to feel comfortable and confident in my own skin, and to embrace the new curves and those things I saw as flaws… to show other women out there that we need to love our bodies and ourselves in ALL seasons of our lives.”

I think she KILLED it!

People like to beg the question, “what will you say to your children about these images?” or “what kind of example are you setting with those types of pictures?” Savannah’s response to this was amazing! Here’s what she had to say:

“The days leading up I would say things to myself like I am in control, I am beautiful, I am healthy, I love myself, God has blessed me and this body as my temple… And just really mustered up the confidence within myself to not only embrace my new curves but to rock the shit out of this session and lead by example… it felt good… it felt empowering… it wasn’t ‘a present for my hubby’ (though he will like it). It wasn’t just about helping a photographer out with images because truth be told she could have chosen anyone… it was for me more than anything, and it felt incredible! So, yes I did show my daughter, and I will continue showing her for years to come! If there is one thing I want her to understand it is that self love is not selfish and to love yourself through all seasons of life, through all of the different shapes and sizes, all of the failures, the ups and downs, and to walk in confidence… That the world is her stage and to dance across it daily and empower other women to rise with her… THAT is what I want her to know.”

I asked her to tell me what she would say about her experience and she said it was EMPOWERING. That sentence alone is everything I want women to feel.

Michal with Beauty by Michal worked with me on this shoot (and many many others before this) and once again did an amazing job on hair and makeup! Savannah said she made her feel beautiful and SO confident!

She said, “I felt like a movie star having someone fix my hair in each pose. I loved how encouraging Ashley is and I felt so comfortable. She would reassure me if I felt uncomfortable in a certain position and made sure to respect anything I wasn’t comfortable with. It was a superstar experience with the hair, makeup and beverages, and just overall kindness that I received that day!”

If I could say one thing to women about boudoir shoots is that you deserve to feel as strong, confident, beautiful and courageous as I aim for you to feel during and after your shoot!

Considering it? Do it for YOU – You deserve it!

Thanks for following along and always supporting me!

XO,

Ashley

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