There are certain people you know the universe is providing into your life. As an empowerment boudoir photographer here in Calgary, I get to meet many women which I believe I am so blessed for. There’s certain people that come into your life and you’re like oh yes the universe definitely brought you into my life. From the moment I met Miss D I felt connected to her.
I value this woman very much. She teaches me something every time we speak, she has such wit and humour. She is so kind and caring with a heart so full of love to give others. She is an amazing friend, mother, and boss babe.
I am so proud of her and all the work I’ve seen her do on HER this past year. I feel fortunate to be part of her journey and to keep watching it continue.
My Re-Do, Miss D in her own words
What was your #1 motivator in having a boudoir session with me?: I had a boudoir session with another photographer, and while I do like the images she took, the experience wasn't super positive. After seeing your work and getting to know you, I really wanted to redo it and replace my original experience with a much more positive one.
In 3 words or less, how would you describe your session with me?:
What did you order? Were you happy with the quality of the products?: I've ordered a small album of photos. Have not received it yet, but everything else I've gotten from you has been beautiful and I love the samples you showed me to choose from.
Would you recommend having a boudoir session to your friends?: Yes, absolutely. I have shown friends my photos and recommended you several times.
How often do you look at your images/product?: Weekly
Would you do another session with me?: In a heartbeat.
What are your thoughts about your experience and how it has impacted you:
My body image has always been a challenge for me. I've had issues with my weight and not feeling "good enough" since I was a child. By the time I was in my late 30's, I could barely stand to see photos of myself. I would still let people to take pictures of me because I knew it was important to not erase myself from the family memories, and I did my best to never let my children see how I felt about photos of myself, but I would cry often after seeing them and berate myself for how my body looked. Over the last few years, I have tried to allow myself to accept my body as it is and to focus on the parts I was okay with, skipping over the parts I didn't like. I began to let myself take selfies, and to look at myself in the mirror, purchase clothes that I loved the style and fabric of instead of thinking that I was too old or too heavy to wear what I liked. I made progress that way, not realizing it was incomplete.
Early in 2018, I had a boudoir photo shoot booked with another photographer. I went in to my usual clothing store to find something to wear for it that would help me feel sexy and beautiful, got to talking with the manager, and she told me about Shannon. I joined Shannon's Facebook group just to see her work, and find out more about the body positive activities she planned for women to participate in outside of boudoir. My own boudoir photos from the other photographer turned out okay, and I was content with them, but the experience of it and certain events after it on that photographer's page left me feeling very disappointed and what should have been an empowering experience wasn't particularly special in my mind.
Over the spring and summer of 2018, Shannon's group turned into a place of refuge for me, with women of every shape and size, every background, each with her own story and insecurities and experiences, supporting and uplifting others regardless of how they felt about themselves. These women, so strong without even believing it about themselves, were each so beautiful. I don't mean specifically in their boudoir photos, but every selfie they posted for fun, every vulnerability and flaw shown to the rest of us, every comment of congratulations for happy news and love and empathy when someone was going through a rough time was beautiful to me. Shannon had created a space that allowed for everyone to feel safe and loved and complete simply because of who they are. I've seldom experienced that level of acceptance, and never from such a large group of very different people. I knew I had to redo my boudoir experience with her.
The timing of my shoot was challenging. I was in a very bad place emotionally, stressed out, depressed, and anxious. From the moment I hit her doorstep, Shannon was there for me. Her makeup artist was every bit as lovely to talk to, every bit as encouraging and positive. We all talked, shared our challenges in owning our own businesses, having relationships, being women. It was entirely comfortable and highly entertaining. The process of the photo shoot was so much fun with Shannon, changing outfits, laughing about the poses she was putting me in, the wedgies she would give (trust me, let her give you the wedgie because the result is totally worth it), seeing the look on her face when she got the shot she was after. When she would see me feeling down about something in a photo she would show me or a particular angle, she would stop and talk me through it until I was ready to smile and go again. Not once did I feel any bit of judgement or pressure.
I cried a little at my reveal, in nerves, and then because the photos she showed me actually reflected the whole person that I am, and I am beautiful. I've shown friends and family the sneak peeks that she's sent me (haven't quite gotten my order yet!), and while I still have days where I don't feel like the badass babe in those pictures I can certainly remember that she is still inside me and that it's alright to not always feel like I can take on the world in a teddy. I'm absolutely enough even in a messy bun and houseful of unfinished laundry. Shannon has helped me really internalize the idea that I don't need to apologize for how much space my body takes up or how many emotions I have, because all of it is just life and it's beautiful.