A Plus Size Boudoir Photo Shoot

If someone would’ve told me two years ago that one day I’d describe getting undressed and having my picture taken as “liberating,” I would’ve thought they were insane. Thankfully, I’m not the same girl I was two years ago. As a special Valentine’s Day gift for my husband I stripped down for a plus size boudoir photo shoot. Little did I know that experience would become one of the most invigorating and confidence building moments of my life!

Disclosure

Eighteen months ago, as I gave birth to my son, I ended a very long and unhealthy relationship with my body. While I always exuded confidence I was also ashamed of my body. Years before my son was born my sweet husband bought me a massage gift certificate for one of our anniversaries. He thought it was a great gift. I thought the idea of getting naked in front of a stranger and paying them to touch my body was anything but a great gift! So I told myself, “When you get under 200 pounds, you’ll allow yourself this pleasure.” A year later he found the gift certificate crumpled under the bed when we were moving. Following my transformative birth experience I ended the self-hatred and stopped depriving myself. For my very first Mother’s Day celebration I asked my husband for a massage gift certificate. The experience was divine and therapeutic. I slowly continued to come out of my shell and even started posting pictures on Facebook that actually looked like me!

If I thought my birth experience had given me a whole new appreciation for my body, I was sure in for a treat by pushing myself to do something I would’ve never considered doing before: a plus size boudoir photo shoot. A mutual friend connected me with an up-and-coming photographer, Grace Castellanos, who did a guest post for my blog. When she promoted a boudoir photo shoot for Valentine’s Day, I was really interested but scared out of my mind.

Before I knew it, I had signed up to do the photo shoot with five other women, two of whom I had never met before. The day of the shoot I was full of nerves. When I arrived I was immediately greeted by a room full of half-naked gorgeous ladies. Boy, was I out of my element, but they were so welcoming I couldn’t help but be a wee bit excited. As I was unpacking my bag I realized I had left my bra at home. The main element to all of my outfits: my incredible plus size push-up bra! I was frazzled but the girls were so awesome and gave me their bras to try on.  I kept telling them nothing would fit but they were so encouraging. Sure enough they were right and we actually found a bra that fit and worked great! I was back on track and got all dolled up with hair and makeup.

When it came time to get dressed I needed a little help and the two girls I had never met before were kneeling on either side of me tugging and pulling on my stockings while we all giggled. In that moment I knew I was in a room full of loving and supportive women. After that I let my guard down and felt so confident. Okay, I’ll admit a mimosa or two also helped to make me feel like the next Mia Tyler.

We rotated between having our picture taken, costume changes and mimosa refills. When it was my turn to have my photo taken, Grace immediately confirmed my new role as a sexy plus size model. I let go of my inhibitions and Grace made the experience fun! She has this way about her that makes it seem as if you’ve been girlfriends forever as she stands behind the lens bringing out your inner goddess. I wanted to keep my arms covered but she wanted to see more skin. I loathed my legs but she thought they were lovely and looked sexy in my stockings.

For six long but exhilarating hours she kept up an incredible pace and enthusiasm for all of us girls. She captured our inner divas! We spent the day laughing, dancing, encouraging one another, and learning to love our bodies a little bit more than we had just a few hours before.

“This photo shoot was more than I ever expected. It became something momentous in that I saw myself as this sexy goddess like woman I knew I was in there but had forgotten. I found myself pushing my boundaries and loving the skin I live in. As a luscious, plus size momma of four, I was floored and delighted by the result. Sure, my partner loved the photo book I made for Valentine’s day, but this was about me!”

“This photo shoot was more than I ever expected. It became something momentous in that I saw myself as this sexy goddess like woman I knew I was in there but had forgotten. I found myself pushing my boundaries and loving the skin I live in. As a luscious, plus size momma of four, I was floored and delighted by the result. Sure, my partner loved the photo book I made for Valentine’s day, but this was about me!”

redhead boudoir

“Doing this photo shoot with such beautiful, fun women was so empowering! It made me feel young and beautiful and brought me closer to my friends.”

 

"For me, the photo shoot was a way to reclaim my body and be proud of it. I have been going through a mental and physical transformation over the last year and the photo shoot was a way for me to honor myself and the changes my body has gone through and will continue to go through. The main thing it reinforced for me was if I don't love my body for the way it is now- I won't love it later, even when I've reached my target weight."

“For me, the photo shoot was a way to reclaim my body and be proud of it. I have been going through a mental and physical transformation over the last year and the photo shoot was a way for me to honor myself and the changes my body has gone through and will continue to go through. The main thing it reinforced for me was if I don’t love my body for the way it is now- I won’t love it later, even when I’ve reached my target weight.”

“The other great thing about the photo shoot was everyone there encouraging me on. I always have thoughts in my head telling me I'm not pretty enough/good enough etc etc... and my friends there cheering me on and telling me how beautiful and sexy I am completely drowned out those voices. I think about that a lot when the negative voices want to creep back in and get me down and instead I remember that I am courageous and gorgeous and I have secret boudoir photos to prove it.”

“The other great thing about the photo shoot was everyone there encouraging me on. I always have thoughts in my head telling me I’m not pretty enough/good enough etc etc… and my friends there cheering me on and telling me how beautiful and sexy I am completely drowned out those voices. I think about that a lot when the negative voices want to creep back in and get me down and instead I remember that I am courageous and gorgeous and I have secret boudoir photos to prove it.”

"As a plus size woman I was really nervous about doing a boudoir photo shoot. As soon as it started I realized every woman, no matter their size, has her own set of insecurities. When you find the right photographer, who you can put all of your trust in, and surround yourself with encouraging women the results are spectacular! I walked away from this experience with gorgeous photographs and a whole new love for my body!”

“As a plus size woman I was really nervous about doing a boudoir photo shoot. As soon as it started I realized every woman, no matter their size, has her own set of insecurities. When you find the right photographer, who you can put all of your trust in, and surround yourself with encouraging women the results are spectacular! I walked away from this experience with gorgeous photographs and a whole new love for my body!”

The final product exceeded my expectations; but more than the pictures it was the experience that was the real gift. Being treated like “one of the girls” and not “the big girl” was priceless to me. The act of letting go and allowing someone to photograph my body as a work of art was truly empowering. I know I’ll look back upon these photos when I’m no longer in the prime of my life and thank myself for taking a risk and recognizing that a number on a scale doesn’t dictate beauty or self-worth.  I’m one sexy liberated lady!!!

Lingerie suggestions for a plus size boudoir photo shoot (the items pictured below go up to 3XL or larger)!

    

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Take a moment to learn a little about the creator of these stunning photographs…

“I have definitely experienced some nerves on my journey to being a photographer. My thoughts before every shoot tend to be, “Will the client like me? Will the photos turn out well? What if they aren’t happy? Am I biting off more than I can chew?” A boudoir shoot probably brings out these nerves more than any other kind I’ve done. A group of 6 women who had never met me were trusting me with a very intimate part of themselves and I wanted to honor that and show them a side of themselves they didn’t know was there. As soon as I met these women, I knew that the experience would be a great one! They were enthusiastic, open, and supportive. They encouraged each other and many of them pushed past personal comfort levels because of the positive environment. I was grateful to be capturing this empowering experience for them. It turned out to be just as empowering for me. These women were beautiful inside and out and the photos reflected that. I was so impressed with the bravery shown by this group of women. I was reminded that the support of women like this can push you to achieve so much more than you would have expected and I’m honored to have met them.” Grace Castellanos, Acoma Street Photography

Would you do a boudoir photo shoot? Share your thoughts within the comment below.

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