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I have been a boudoir photographer for over five years at the time of this blog post. And without fail, at nearly every session, I was asked, “Have you done a boudoir shoot?”

Shamefully the answer was always, “Not yet…” It’s not that I purposely avoided doing my own boudoir shoot, but… I definitely did! Just like everyone else, I badly wanted to see myself as beautiful, but the idea of getting down into my skivvies riddled me with anxiety. Would all my lumps and bumps show? What about my belly? Would my photographer know how to pose me best to reduce the things I felt self-conscious about?

Plus, I am used to being behind the camera, not in front of it.

I finally took the leap in October 2021. I drove four hours back to my hometown of Chesapeake, Virginia and threw my trust–and anxiety–in an old friend’s hands. Ross, owner of Luminous Boudoir along with his wife Jessica, has been a friend of mine since 1990 when I moved in next door to his family in grade school. He and Jess are two of my closest friends, and it only made sense that I turn to them for one of the most vulnerable moments of my life.

I’ll never forget Jess asking me if I was nervous leading up to my boudoir session, and truthfully I never felt that. But the moment I put on my first outfit, a gorgeous emerald green bodysuit from Victoria’s Secret, I realized, “Wow my entire ass is showing. Ross is going to see my whole butt!” Y’all, he’s like my brother, so the realization of this suddenly hit me. And then I creeped out from behind the curtain on tiptoe like a jerk hahaha!

They set my nerves at ease almost immediately, and to be honest, I became so busy following their directions that I forgot to be afraid. There was no time to think, only “push your butt over here” or “bring this elbow back.”

And then suddenly, we were wrapping the session and I was changing back into regular clothes again. How did it go so fast?!

If you are on the fence or think you can’t do it, trust me YOU CAN. I was getting in my own way for so long, I didn’t realize how cute I was. My butt really looks like that?! My eyes! Damn, I have a nice rack!

It is okay to love yourself. In fact, I encourage it! Since my shoot, I have felt so good in my own skin. Before, I didn’t have a lot of confidence and it’s a bit humbling to admit that. Turns out, you don’t need confidence to do a boudoir session. In fact, confidence is often born from them instead.

Now, it’s my turn to shamelessly show off. Check out my favorites below!

[Want to know how I prepared for my shoot? Check out my 25 Things To Do Before Your Boudoir Photoshoot]

Hair by Flawless On Site and makeup by Blushtones

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Jennifer James, Jacksonville Florida Portrait Photographer

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