Alex originally contacted me back in 2015 interested in doing a boudoir shoot. We chatted a lot via Facebook and she decided it wasn't the right time. We chatted again in 2016 about a session for her. She was really interested It was something she knew she wanted to do, but as anyone who's never done a session knows, she wasn't sure. Again, she decided it wasn't for her.
I'm not sure how many times we chatted about a session for her, but we talked enough through text and phone and Facebook, that we became real-life friends (at least on Facebook) . I began to notice a trend or theme if you will with her posts. For one, this girl had a majorly unique style - which made me even more sad every time she decided not to do a shoot. Second, I noticed a lot of fitness and progress posts, so I'll admit, I dug a little and realized how far this girl had come in the last few years.
So when I received her application for my model call this summer and on the question about why I should choose her, she gave a very standard response - I immediately reached out to her and told her to re-apply with her REAL story. We went back and forth a LOT about the angle we wanted to go with her shoot and why I felt it was so important for other women to see her in a boudoir shoot and hear her story. And after two weeks of negotiations she was sitting in the purple hair and makeup chair in my studio.
At this point, you would feel like we had made it - right? But she still wasn't convinced that her story would be powerful. That it would be moving. That her "look" was what the rest of the world would want to see in photos like this. And when she was getting ready to leave, I felt like she still really didn't BELIEVE all the things I had been telling her during her shoot about how amazing she looked and how awesome her photos were. So she left, and I sent her a sneak peek. (I have a pretty strict rule that I NEVER send sneak peeks, but this time it NEEDED to happen) So I sent her two. Just two. And that's all it took. She FINALLY saw all the things I had been telling her.
Here's her take on her boudoir experience:
Q: Why did you apply to do a boudoir model call?
A. I had contacted Angela in the past for pictures and I backed out. I saw her advertise this model call and…I really don’t know. I think in the moment it was a “Hell, why not! I never win anything anyways!”
Q: What do you think made your story stand out above others who applied?
A: I think the majority of people (especially females) spend a huge chunk of their life trying to follow a plan. They try not to make waves and tend to stick to what’s expected. I think some never truly know who they are.
I could not be more opposite [from the girls you usually see in boudoir.] I do not like dresses. I do not understand a thing about make up. I prefer to lift over doing cardio [unlike a lot of girls.] The more muscles the better. I believe strong isn’t just sexy - it is mighty and conquers all. And as of this past year I have embraced my androgyny and I have never been happier.
I think my story made me stand out because I am unique and although everybody is unique in their own way…it’s hard to figure me out. An anomaly, if you will.
Q: What did it mean to you when you were chosen for this shoot?
A: Honestly, I was terrified. I did not know if I could fill the huge shoes Angela put before me. To inspire, encourage and ignite passion is difficult. I originally backed out. Poor, Angela.
Q: What were your feelings preparing for and going into the shoot?
A: See above. Terrified. Anxious. I am such a shy person when it comes to being the center of attention. I hate it. But I just kept reminding myself how many people out there are just like me and what it could do for them [for me] to step out of my comfort zone and let my whackyness shine through.
Q: What were your feelings during the shoot and then after?
A: Angela and Mindy were fun. They made me feel really comfortable. One of my biggest fears was ‘showing too much skin’ and that ended up being a null point because I got to wear MY clothes which was super comfortable.
My second fear was …I know absolutely nothing about make up. Seriously. If I apply mascara it is a huge achievement. I know a lot of people will say this but I mean it. I don’t even own lipstick. I respect those girls like Mindy who make it an art form but it scares the hell out of me. I have no interest in figuring it out either. So I was afraid it would be too much. That I would lose myself under the make-up. But that was totally not the case. Mindy respected my androgyny and I respected her skill and instinct and was over the moon with my make-up. She nailed the make-up, nailed the hair. I looked like me. Just more colorful and bad ass.
Q: Is there anything that has lingered with you since your shoot?
A: It just reinforced me discovering myself. I got to know myself a little more. And, honestly, I gained a little confidence in the process.
Q: What advice would you give to other women?
A: It wasn’t until the past year I have slowly embraced who I am. I have tried SO HARD to be ‘more girly’. I’ve reached out to friends to help pick outfits for me and put on my make-up. I end up going out feeling awkward and uncomfortable when, literally, I feel way prettier in a backwards cap, jeans, and a t-shirt. I thought that meant I wasn’t the ‘right kind of pretty’.
I know not everybody will understand me or even like me and you know what? That’s cool. This is life. My daddy always told me that you can be the best peach in the whole world and somebody still won’t like peaches. It took me 29 years to figure out what he means.