Client Journal Entry, Angela C. - Port Angeles Boudoir

I have always been one to follow the typical beauty standards of society. I get up and put on make up ever day...I can't even leave my house without it! I usually spend time fixing my hair and routinely have my hair cut and colored. I polish my nails every couple of days. I try to monitor my calories and work out routinely, but I do slip, have snacks and treat myself. I have a hard time looking at myself in the mirror without make up or dressed in something that accentuates my body. I have even gone through plastic surgery augmenting my breasts and have considered going back for larger breasts. I try to fit the beauty ideal that is seen by society, but it is exhausting and really takes a toll on my self esteem and confidence. I feel bad when I overeat, I feel bad for not wearing make up, and I feel bad having a pajama day...things that I shouldn't feel bad about. Everything should be done in moderation and I should not hate looking at myself in the mirror without make up.

The hardest part about the photo shoot was showing up raw, without any make up on. I had recently had company and have been overindulging in food and therefore about 5 lbs heavier than my normal weight, which on small frame makes a difference, or when you are overly critical to your body makes a difference. I try to embrace that where I am at physically is where a lot of women strive to be, but there are days this is difficult. I don't want for anyone to think that I am lazy or not dedicated.

Even though I came with no make up and didn't want to look at myself, I was put at ease with Jen and Kim. They were welcoming, warm, and put me at ease. I couldn't have asked for a better situation. I instantly felt comfortable with both of them and enjoyed our conversations. They discussed how things were going to happen and instructed me along the way. I had an excellent time taking pictures, despite never being a photogenic person. I think not always having to look at the camera made a difference with taking pictures. Both Jen and Kim were so complimentary and I enjoyed getting to see a couple of pictures after Jen took them.

I just had my reveal and I was excited to see the pictures! They turned out better than I could have ever imagined. The make up look amazing and all the poses were complimentary to my body! It was a difficult process going through the pictures to decide which ones I liked the best, but Jen was so helpful. My boyfriend also looked on toward the end to help decide which pictures he wanted for the accessory pieces. He loved all the pictures that he saw! I can't wait for him to see them printed, where he can really take a look at them. I am so happy I did this photo shoot, as I am able to see myself in a different light. I think day to day duties, tasks, and work can get in the way of how we see ourselves. I think doing something out of your comfort zone and of the ordinary is a good thing. I appreciate how my body looks even more after seeing the pictures. I can see myself as beautiful and sexy in those pictures! They are memories that will be cherished and I would for sure do it again!

I would encourage any woman to shed their insecurities to try to enjoy something for themselves. The finished product is remarkable and is a work of art. We should realize that our bodies and ourselves are a work of art in which we can find the beauty.

Jen Needham