2nd Time is a Great Time

I often have clients come for their boudoir session, the first time, in nerves and anxiousness. The amazing women I meet are typically pushing themselves out of their comfort zone, but also come in seeking to be lifted, seen, empowered, and valued. To reignite the fire within themselves that is often only smoke. We get to start their self love journey together, and it is just that - a journey. Life often isn’t a destination, it’s got ups and downs and we go through our or own specific and unique journey. Often when we work through one level of our self & body image, we hit a high or even a plateau, leaving more to be worked on as you worked through the first layer. Or sometimes triggers occur and we do that common dance of 2 steps forward 1 step back.

Motherhood is often a journey that has these ups and downs, which starts when you are pregnant. A typical smooth pregnancy and birth (though it doesn’t always go this way of course) is most definitely a rollercoaster. Glee of finding out you are pregnant, fears of what ifs and how you will do. Typically with body image wise, women sport a baby bump and love their bodies for the first time they have in a long time if ever. They marvel at this miracle that their body is doing. By the end we feel worn out and exhausted and ready for baby to arrive, body image often goes down and many self derogatory remarks are made by mothers in the last 1-2 months of pregnancy, as baby gets bigger and the belly becomes larger. It often goes from “look at how cute my bump is” to “I feel like I’m as a big as a whale”. It’s natural and normal as baby gains their last few pounds so that they can be their healthy selves. Birth of baby comes, we feel high and elated as we get to hold the baby and hold their incredible being as we fall in love completely. The whirlwind becomes all about baby, how to care for and keep this babe alive with all of their basic needs. While our society has been working on having mom and her needs also taken care of, we have a long ways to go. Mothers give birth and then often are left with the trauma (and yes even a smooth birth is trauma to the body). We do not speak to them about what happens after birth, how their body will change and settle. We do various checks for Post Partum Depression (PPD) at the beginning, but often a few months later this takes a back burner (though PPD can be late onset). Many women in fact hide that they have PPD because they are feel guilty or feel shamed. We leave this gap in motherhood, where as mom is learning her new life, we forget that she needs healing and support as she goes through the changes that she’s never seen before.

Now let me put this in a different perspective. If I get into an accident and lose my leg there is care in the hospital, physio to help me recover, there is a prosthetic given, and counseling so that I can be sure I am stable with dealing about my lost leg. Mothers don’t get that simply because we think that childbirth is “normal” we are still left with body changes and an empty tummy that was full before. We are left with our body settling in different ways than it once was, and often permanent changes from pregnancy. Our every move is looked at through a microscope, the how we are interacting with baby, but no one takes the time to truly explain and be there for the emotional support well after the birth.

Mrs M was one of my clients who came in for that 1st session. She was nervous and anxious her first session, proud of what her body did only 3 months before I met her. She killed that shoot, threw herself into the session with no fear holding her back. She was proud and owned the images.
Her journey has changed a lot since then, medical issues from pregnancy arose during post partum. The microscope and others opinions occurred. PPD occurred. Her journey since the first time we met has been full of ups but also downs. As her body changed to keep her alive (that’s always our bodies number one priority, staying alive) her body changed. We have spoke about this a few times together. She appreciated her body for doing that hard work which I am proud of her for, but it doesn’t come with it’s own turmoil.

I am beyond priviledged to capture Miss M through her journey, not once but twice, and hopefully more times to come. These images aren’t about 1 celebration of yourself, you’re worthy of celebration always, through all the ups and downs of this journey. We often put our lives on the back burner when we become moms, and I want to see that change, I want to see more mom’s filling their own tanks, investing in their happiness and joy, and celebrating themselves unapologetically.

Miss M in Her Own Words

What was your #1 motivator in having a boudoir session with me?: I had so much fun in my first session with Shannon and loved how beautiful and empowered that I felt afterwards. I wanted that feeling again, especially as I continued on this journey of accepting me and my mom bod and the wonderful thing that my body has done.

In 3 words or less, how would you describe your session with me?: Fun, Loving, Beautiful

What did you order? Were you happy with the quality of the products?: I ordered the 10 page album . The first time I ordered the 20 page album and absolutely love it.

Would you recommend having a boudoir session to your friends?: Absolutely!! I believe that these sessions are about accepting you and learning that you are absolutely beautiful, inside and out. Our society so often has women feeling bad about the way they look, yet I found Shannon to be the most positive beautiful person who allowed me to see myself as being truly beautiful (which, I am!) I found myself leaving the session on a high that follows me to this day.

Tell me your thoughts about your experience and how it has impacted you: When I first booked my session my Shannon, I was scared shitless! I had recently had a baby, and was diagnosed with having postpartum depression. I felt that I wasn’t in love with my new body and that I wasn’t really in love with me. I was being very hard on myself, forgetting that my body had just done this miraculous thing, and that I should honour and cherish my new curves and stretch marks. Shannon helped me to see myself as a woman that needs to be accepting of what I’ve accomplished and of who I am, a mom. 

While at the shoot, I found Shannon to be so caring and open and honest. She had me laughing within 5 minutes of the shoot, putting me at ease. We started chatting about being a new mom, having a dog and about our families being in Saskatchewan. Throughout the entire shoot, we continued chatting and having Shannon putting me at ease. Only at the very end of the photo shoot did Shannon learn that I actually knew another client and that is how I learned of Shannon’s art. 

When I had my reveal with Shannon, I still remember seeing one photo and saying “Wow! That photo looks like the cover of a magazine!” And even when I used that photo as my Facebook profile, I had family members tell me they thought my account was hacked as they didn’t recognize me. I absolutely loved the feeling I had from the shoot and the reveal, that I just knew that I had to book another session! 

The second time that I had a session with Shannon, I knew more of what to expect. I was prepared and not as nervous. I was still anxious, especially about my mom bod as it was still changing, and I am still having problems in accepting me for me. I was feeling a bit under the weather during my second shoot, yet still had fun with Shannon. She still worked with me and got some AMAZING shots. So much so that i had troubles picking just a few photos for my album. She helped me to feel like the fierce amazing woman that I am! (Trust me when I say if you get a chance, wear the pink fur coat! It’s the best thing ever! ) 

I’m definitely still working through a few things in my mindset about who I am and how my body is amazing, however, I know that Shannon will always be there to help me to realize that I am a fierce, beautiful, confident woman. If you’re thinking about booking with her, just do it. I’ve loved every minute I’ve had with Shannon.

Artist Shannon Smith, Calgary Boudoir Photographer, Calgary Photographer, Calgary Body Positive, Calgary Photography Studio, Calgary Luxury  Photo session, Calgary Body Positive, Plus Size Boudoir
Artist Shannon Smith, Calgary Boudoir Photographer, Calgary Photographer, Calgary Body Positive, Calgary Photography Studio, Calgary Luxury  Photo session, Calgary Body Positive, Plus Size Boudoir
Boudoir, Calgary Photographer, Artist Shannon Smith, Empowerment, Portrait Photography, Fine Nude Art, Body Positive Boudoir
Boudoir, Calgary Photographer, Artist Shannon Smith, Empowerment, Portrait Photography, Fine Nude Art, Body Positive Boudoir
Boudoir, Calgary Photographer, Artist Shannon Smith, Empowerment, Portrait Photography, Fine Nude Art, Body Positive Boudoir
Boudoir, Calgary Photographer, Artist Shannon Smith, Empowerment, Portrait Photography, Fine Nude Art, Body Positive Boudoir
Boudoir, Calgary Photographer, Artist Shannon Smith, Empowerment, Portrait Photography, Fine Nude Art, Body Positive Boudoir