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“I cry every time I look at the pictures” | Client Interview | Orange County Boudoir Photographer

A message from Leslie: 
“To give you some context, I’m Sara’s (Previous client) mom.  I’m 46 and have worked for the Court for 15 1/2 years. It’s a conservative environment, but it’s where I work, not who I am.

 

About 10 years ago, I lost 50 pounds, and I’ve mostly kept it off. I exercise regularly and have learned to love my body, stretch marks, love handles and all. I take Mae West’s advice and embrace my curves. ‘Cultivate your curves. They may be dangerous, but they won’t be avoided.’

 

Eight years ago Sara’s dad and I were divorced after a 19-year marriage.  I embarked on my life’s journey alone in this world. We taught Sara to be independent. She didn’t leave me in the dust or anything, but she’s her own woman and lives her own life. I’m incredibly proud. She has been an example to me to do the same.

 

Over these past several years, I’ve discovered that I’m smart, funny, loyal, loving, adventurous, courageous and even bold at times. In 2012 I endeavored to go back to college. I earned a BA last year and an MA on August 1st. I’ve learned I’m only limited when I limit myself.

 

When Sara told me she was going to do a boudoir shoot for her fiancé as his wedding gift, I thought, ‘She does have a little of her mama in her.’

 

I’ve always wanted to do something like this, not to show off or because I think my next career is as a super model. I want to do it because I love who I am.  Flawed as I am, I love the way God made me. I’d love to have these photos for posterity and for those moments when I need reminding of all the things I love about myself.”

 

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1.  How old are you? 
I am 46 years old, five months shy of 47.

 

2. What do you do for a living? 
I am a court reporter and long-time employee of the Court. I recently earned an MA degree.

 

3. What made you decide to take a leap of faith and do a boudoir session?
Boudoir photos were always a “bucket list” item of mine, but I usually do not like pictures of myself…not for the same reasons as most. I have horrible vision. My eyes don’t work together, and with my glasses off, I have a lot of trouble focusing. My daughter found Alyssa and her team, and I decided to treat myself as a grad gift. Yes, I was still hesitant, but my desire to have some amazing photos and do something unique and special for myself outweighed any fear I was feeling.

 

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4. Did you have any obstacles or fears about boudoir?
Honestly, after my daughter’s glowing review, I had high expectations, and they were all met. I loved everything about the session. All the ladies were really honest with me about my ideas and thoughts and how I looked in the pieces I wanted to wear. I love pure honesty given to improve any experience in life. They lived one of my body suits, but when I came out with a different one, they all said, “Nope. This one instead.” I totally needed that.

 

5. Was the session different from what you expected it to be?
My favorite part was having my hair and makeup done and listening to all the ladies chat about their lives, etc. Reminded me of being with my daughter and her girlfriends. Made me really comfy and relaxed.

 

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6. What was your favorite part about the entire experience?
My favorite part was that my ideas were embraced, discussed and tweaked so I could have the best photos possible.

 

7. How did you feel when you saw your photographs?
Like I said, I often don’t like photos of myself. I was pleasantly surprised. Those of you who watched my video might not think I had a good reaction, but I was totally mesmerized by what I was seeing. I am in awe of myself and of the photographers.
8. Any advice for women interested in their own boudoir session?
My advice is to do it for yourself. Not that wanting to do them for your partner is bad. It’s awesome, especially if it’s a gift he/she will really love. I have no one to share them with but this group (which includes my daughter, some of her friends and two of my nieces), but I cry every time I look at the pictures. I can’t wait to have my album!

 

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9. Did anything change about the way you see your own beauty as a result of the session?
I think I have average body confidence for a woman my age who’s had the life experiences I’ve had. I’m real with myself. I’m thick, not in a bad way. This made me see that even the parts of my body I least like about myself are beautiful and support the rest of my body, mind, heart and spirit the way they should.

 

10. How did you like working with Alyssa Michelle and her team?
I loved working with Alyssa and her team. I can’t wait to be 50 and do it again. I plan to do it every five years until I’m dead!

 

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Megan’s “why” | Orange County Boudoir Photographer

Every inquiry I receive, my first question to my clients is: “I would love to learn about the motivation behind you wanting your own boudoir experience”

 

I love to learn more about my clients, who they are, where they are in life, and why they need / want / crave this experience.

 

This is Megan’s “why”:

 

“Hey Alyssa!
I’ve been in this group for probably about a year now and I’ve always wanted to book a session with you, but for various reasons I held off.

My ex boyfriend was (oddly) very uncomfortable with the idea of me being photographed in a way that he felt he should only see me, even by a professional, which held me back for a long time even though it was something I really wanted for myself.

I’m 21 and fully financially supporting so for a long time I was not in a position to be spending money on things that weren’t necessities. However, I’m no longer seeing him and I’m a bit more comfortable financially now, and the last 6 months or so has really been a period of my life where I’ve been exploring myself and experiencing a new kind of self love and respect, so I think now is as good a time as any to have this experience with you that has seemed so fulfilling to so many women.I am a huge supporter of female empowerment, self love, and embracing ones’ sexuality , so doing a boudoir shoot seems like something that would be really up my alley and I’m in love with your work. That is why I want my own boudoir shoot.”

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Megan’s feelings AFTER her boudoir experience:

1.  How old are you?

21

2. What do you do for a living?

I manage a coffee shop (:

3. What made you decide to take a leap of faith and do a boudoir session?

When I saw that there was a session up for grabs on my day off!!

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4. Did you have any obstacles or fears about boudoir?

Money and a relatively possessive ex, but as far as the actual shooting I felt comfortable from the second I got there because you guys were all so friendly and welcoming!

5. Was the session different from what you expected it to be?

I try not to set much of an expectation for anything, but I did notice that going fully nude was not nerve-racking which was surprising, and I only felt so comfortable because of how great both Alyssa’s were for the first 3 outfits and how comfortable and supportive you both were all throughout the rest of the shoot (:

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6. What was your favorite part about the entire experience?

I’m torn between how cool it was for me to feel so comfortable doing the nude shoot and also how amazing of an experience the Viewing and Ordering appt was! Also how supportive and body positive you guys were while we were looking at the photos was really awesome. I left feeling really amazing.

7. How did you feel when you saw your photographs?

I was blown away and overcome with excitement! I have never gotten to really see that side of myself. Also, I pride myself in my being a confident woman, and being able to see how well you captured that and seeing it shine through in the photos was really amazing.

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8. Any advice for women interested in their own boudoir session?

JUST DO IT! Money will always work out in the end, and I’m pretty sure that’s the only valid excuse not to give yourself such a great experience and life long gift.

9. Did anything change about the way you see your own beauty as a result of the session?

Yes! I have felt pretty comfortable in my body and skin for a while but I really believe that I got to see a new side of myself that made me feel so stunning.

10. How did you like working with Alyssa Michelle and her team?

You guys are amazing!!! You made me feel so comfortable the whole time, while also making me feel pampered and beautiful. I will never forget this day.

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Sara Chavez - OH MY GATO!!! sooooo good!

“Alyssa, do you only photograph models? Or do you photograph ‘real women’ too?” | Boudoir Photographer in Orange County, California

First of all – I get this specific question more times than I’ve ever had someone tell me stop eating all of the chocolate chip eggs waffles. And trust me, I couldn’t tell you how many eggs waffles I’ve consumed demolished in my lifetime!

I’ve never understood why ‘real women’ and ‘model’ were so different and can’t be formed to make one phrase.

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All of my clients are real women models. My clients gave me permission to share the shit out of their photographs because they feel proud, sexy, sensual, beautiful, and most importantly confident.

My clients walk in a real woman, and they graduate to real women models once they leave their sessions. Why? Because they now feel empowered, like a model.

I’m completely flattered when someone mistakes a session for a modeling gig – but my clients are so much more than that, they are Doctors, Attorneys, Sex Therapists, Speech Therapists, moms, a woman who don’t need no man, Bakers, Business owners, Athletes, and overall – HUMAN.

If the result is that they end up feeling like they could have a solid career change to Supermodel, then great! The goal, however, is for my clients and you, to see their own beauty in a way that they never have, or thought possible.

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CLIENT BOUDOIR EXPERIENCE – “Honestly, I’ve never felt sexier in my life” – Orange County Boudoir Photographer

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1. How old are you?
23

2. What do you do for a living?
Nanny / Supplement Store Demo Girl

3. What made you decide to take a leap of faith and do a boudoir session?
As a figure (bodybuilding) competitor, I am constantly critiquing my body and having others critique it as well. That being said, I have NEVER really felt sexy or comfortable in my own skin. My fiancé is constantly telling me to love who I am, to love my body at any weight (in season or off season), and to embrace being sexy and feeling beautiful, but I always shrug it off. I have a hard time not judging how I look… Until now. I wanted to do something completely out of my comfort zone and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so.

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4. Did you have any obstacles or fears about boudoir?
YES, I definitely did! I have always felt very uncomfortable in front of the camera, and to be photographed in lingerie, what was I thinking?!

5. Was the session different from what you expected it to be?
COMPLETELY! From the moment I walked in the door, I felt like I fit in. I was welcomed with open arms, treated like a princess, and never felt uncomfortable. They are VERY professional women, respecting your personal space and also giving their professional opinion when asked. And with posing, I thought it would be SUPER awkward. But not even! Alyssa gets on the bed with you, laughs and smiles the whole time, and guides you where she wants you to be. Honestly, I’ve never felt sexier in my life.

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6. What was your favorite part about the entire experience?
Is it even possible to pick a favorite part?? I swear everything is my favorite, especially Alyssa saying that she’s “vomiting rainbows” lol. But seriously, I think my favorite part was how respectful Alyssa and her team were. You can tell they LOVE what they do, they’re professional, but they also like to have fun! They are the ones who make the experience unforgettable.

7. How did you feel when you saw your photographs?
SHOCKED! The woman on the screen was NOT me! I have never felt, nor looked as beautiful and vulnerable in my entire life. I kept saying over and over again, “this can’t be me, I swear this isn’t me”. The lighting, the poses, the outfits, the hair and makeup, everything just fell together so perfectly and the pictures made me look like a professional model!

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8. Any advice for women interested in their own boudoir session?
Don’t let small body insecurities or lack of money scare you away from a boudoir session. I have never been in front of a professional camera before and Alyssa and Alyssa made me look like a professional model. I also personally don’t have very much money, a small amount in savings, and I make enough just to get by. But there is ALWAYS a way to make it work. I don’t regret spending money on myself because I see myself in a WHOLE new way and it was 110% worth it!

9. Did anything change about the way you see your own beauty as a result of the session?
I am a sexy and beautiful woman who should rock her body at any weight! I would have NEVER EVER said that before my session. I see myself in a whole new way and I am damn proud of who I am.

10. How did you like working with Alyssa Michelle and her team?
AH-MAZING! From hair, to makeup, to photography, everything was PERFECT. Each woman is professional, very beautiful, kind, and you can tell they love what they do. They’re the kind of girls you want to be around because they genuinely care about YOU. A beautiful group of women and am truly honored to have met.

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