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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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