Raleigh Boudoir Photographer
Miss C wanted to share with you about her journey since first doing a boudoir shoot with me seven years ago, and then doing her second boudoir shoot with me this year, on her birthday…
“My first boudoir shoot was a gift for my fiancé back in 2009. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, I was 100% doing it for him. I was in a completely different state of mind going into that shoot. I wanted to make sure to look good for him. I was nervous at first but you quickly made things so comfortable. I loved seeing all of the “candid” shots of me laughing and smiling. I remember the day so vividly, and I’m kicking myself for not doing more of these over the past 7 years.
After I found out my husband was cheating on me five years into our marriage, to say I had self-esteem issues is an understatement. It took some time and a lot of self love to start finding myself, and to understand what that really means. When moving recently, I stumbled upon the boudoir photos you took back in 2009 and I didn’t just see myself in a different light, but I felt it. I remembered the feelings of confidence you brought out during the shoot, and reminded myself that somewhere inside of this broken mess is that confident woman. I decided to make the leap and go for another shoot. This time, not as a gift to a guy, but to celebrate the strength and inner beauty I’ve discovered over the past few years, and to celebrate the last year in my twenties!
The level of peace I had with you and Stephanie was amazing. I felt like I was in a spa, and had lots of time to think and reflect, which took away any nerves that were lingering around. I remember looking outside watching the cars and people go by [during hair and makeup] and thinking, I’m so thankful to be right where I am in life. Because I love me for me now, I wasn’t self-conscious in front of the camera about what I previously considered flaws… I can celebrate my wide hips that give me incredible curves and my thick legs that I know are so strong. I just see me in a new light and I’m so grateful you had a hand in bringing that out. 29 is going to be a great year!”
Raleigh Boudoir Photographer
Your body is beautiful all of the time, lady. Promise. Ms. M would like to share with you about her boudoir experience:
“I thought about doing it prepregnancy, and between pregnancies, but ultimately decided that the time my body is this shape and size is so fleeting I wanted to capture this time. And why NOT do a boudoir shoot at 36 weeks pregnant, when your body is pretty much at its most badass and powerful. I love being pregnant and love being a mom and a woman and this will help me remember this time that in the span of my life is so short.
I’m so so pleased with how they turned out and so proud of myself for putting myself out there, especially at a time when many women, myself included at times, just want to cover up.”
I knew that Ms. M and her hubby went on a date night the evening of her shoot, while she was looking all fancy with her hair and makeup, so I sent them a couple of sneak peeks. I got this quick email right back:
“OMG amazing. Thank you so so so much!! He had NO IDEA what to expect but says ‘thank you for helping my wife feel beautiful because she is'”. Cheers to that!
Second Annual See Her Story Event in Downtown Raleigh
The second annual See Her Story event is happening in a week! On April 26th! I can’t talk enough about how much I love this event and how much I love all the ways it’s come to support women.
The heart of it for me is that in my job, I observe year after year how women generally don’t love being photographed. But I do know that the people that love you, woman, want your picture. They want that memory with you, this moment frozen in time with you. They don’t know or worry about what your self conscious about on your body, or with your clothes/hair/makeup/etc when they see your picture, they just know that they adore you and want a precious picture of you. Women are also notorious for not wanting to do something just for ourselves, amIright? So I’m meeting you in the middle. Come be photographed for YOU. So that you have a fresh headshot for work. Or so that your kids have a picture of you right now. Or so that you can work on conquering your fear of being in front of the camera. Come be photographed for OTHER WOMEN. The money and items you donate support women and their children who need support during a really tough time in their lives. Your story is co-mingling with their story in such a beautiful way. And who knows, you might decide to volunteer with InterAct once you hear all the amazing, VERY important programs they offer to women in Wake County (we will have information on hand if you are interested in learning more).
Tell your friends. Come get your hair&makeup freshened up with the ladies of Makeup for Your Day, get your picture taken by the ladies of Story Photographers, eat amazing food & dessert by Catering Works and The Cupcake Shoppe BAKERY, mingle with other awesome ladies while taking in the beauty of the Merrimon-Wynne… all while helping other women. Sounds like an amazing night to me!!!
Want to know more about what this event looked like last year? Read more about my idea for the event, the portraits we shot at the event, and the general outcome of what we collected and the money we raised on the main Story Photographer’s blog.
Raleigh NC Boudoir Photographer
I’ve know this woman since high school, we were in each other’s weddings, and it’s always a special honor when my close friends come to me and ask me to do their boudoir shoots. I was brought to tears by the sweet words she wanted to share with you about the experience:
“Ashley is a true artist and the consummate professional. You would think I’m biased because we go WAY back (I’ve known her since our baby high school days), but I’m telling you, the girl is on her game – she knows her stuff, and boudoir photography seems like second nature to her. She oozes amazing ideas and feminine power.
I thought I would be a nervous wreck taking these pictures. But the second the clothes were off, so were my insecurities. My body has been through a lot this past year, and after 31 years of self-consciousness, I can finally say I appreciate the beauty of this body. Every scar, every pound, every curve – has made me who I am – and I am damn proud of that. I took these pictures for my husband, sure … but you know what? I took these pictures for me too. And I look fucking great. It was as empowering as everyone says it is, and Ashley is the perfect photographer for this artform. She’s incredible at her job, and at being a take-on-the-world, grab-your-life-by-the-balls woman of the world. I would encourage every woman, of every size/shape/age/ethnicity, to book a boudoir shoot at least once in your life. It’s so worth it. And Ashley has made this her passion and it shows in every single aspect of her work. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that after opening his Christmas gift this year, my husband definitely agrees.”
(hair and makeup by Makeup for Your Day)
North Carolina Boudoir Photography
“Doing a boudoir shoot with Ashley was an amazing experience. I originally wanted these photos as a gift for my husband because we spend a lot of time apart due to work. In the past when I’ve tried to take sensual pictures, I always felt self-conscious, awkward, and not at all sexy. It was a completely different experience with Ashley. I fully trusted her to make me look amazing, and I had a blast the entire time. She put me totally at ease, and I left the shoot feeling sexy and empowered. I was blown away when I got the pictures back. I never imagined that I would look so beautiful. I can’t stop gushing to my husband and my friends about how fun and empowering the entire experience was. I want to share the images with all my friends because they are so amazing. My husband loves the photos and thinks that I look gorgeous, but more importantly I feel gorgeous.”
Truly the best part of shooting boudoir for me is seeing a woman become present in her body and truly experience how beautiful she is. We are not encouraged to feel this way as women in America, but we need this feeling. We need to know it’s ok for us to take up space and to be proud of the body that carries us through the world. Find the thing that lets you feel that way.
(Hair and Makeup for this shoot by Junction Salon)