Every boudoir session is different, this is true. And every client is their own unique, beautiful being. No two are exactly alike. But very often, I do hear the same fears, concerns, or questions over and over again. No matter how different we are, we usually have very similar struggles and worries in life.
About 90% of first time clients walk through the door and answer my question, "how are you feeling today?" with "I'm nervous/scared/totally freaked out/almost couldn't bring myself to walk through the door." I always tell them that it's completely normal to be nervous, and once we start shooting, any nerves that made it through hair and makeup will fall away entirely. Here are a few more things I wish my clients knew ahead of time, before even booking their date.
You don't have to look any certain way to book a boudoir session.
I've worked with so many different people, body types, stories, and circumstances, and every single one of them have slayed their sessions. I've worked with women, men, and non-binary individuals. To list the immense differences between all of them would take hours, and become really monotonous to read. Suffice to say, there's nothing you can bring to me that I'm going to judge. There's nothing about your physical body that is going to make me throw in the towel and say, "Nope. We can't do it. Too gross." You might not believe it, but the beauty in your images is really going to come from the way you light up from the inside out when you realize that you are worthy of this experience.
You don't need to keep yourself from smiling in your photos.
Nothing, and I mean nothing, is as alluring, beautiful, show-stopping, or breathtaking than genuine happiness. You don't need to look "pouty and sexy" at all times. You're allowed to just...be you! With your full range of emotions and self.
You are my only client for the day.
That's right. One client/day. No more. Your session date is TRULY all about you, and the last thing I am willing to do is split my attention between two clients, or worry about one session running over into another. I take pride in sessions booked with me being a truly luxury experience, from beginning to end. You deserve my full concentration, effort, and time on your big day.
You WILL be sore the next day.
It's weird, but all that posing and stretching will absolutely have you feeling like you got involved with an overzealous personal trainer. Not only that, but the session itself will take a lot out of you on the big day. Even though you might think you're "just posing," I promise you--that massage afterwards is going to be well earned.
Nope, it's not just a photo shoot.
Forget that professional hair and makeup services are included. Forget your private green room with refreshments, a personal closet, and a hype up wall. Forget that you have an entire client closet with couture items at your disposal. Forget that you get a 90 minute in-house massage with a licensed massage therapist after your session. Even without all those amenities. this is sooooo much more than just a photo shoot. You could get a photo shoot anywhere, with anyone. The experience we provide, I'm proud to say, you can only get here. I guide my clients 100% through the process from the initial consultation, to posing, to the post-session self love homework. Booking with Boudoir by Michele Zee is the difference between booking a session, and booking the session.
The image reveal will likely be emotional.
I try to remember to have the box of tissues ready these days. I've heard from clients that they weren't expecting to see themselves like that, or that it's strange to see themselves in a "sexy" light. You might have trouble really seeing the person in the images as "you." I've had clients wonder aloud, "How could I have spent so much of my life being so cruel to this gorgeous woman?" One recent client, who oozed confidence and badass babe vibes, cried while viewing her gallery and told me, "I wasn't expecting to love them this much." There are a whole range of feelings that can come up when you see your images, and because you see them the same day as your session, the day itself brings up a lot of emotions.
It's okay to feel whatever you do during your image reveal, but it's also important to remember that it's all part of the self love process. Allow yourself to feel everything that you do, and don't forget to use the post-session homework to help navigate the other side of your journey.
You're going to want products.
Oh, yes. You're going to want sooooo much more than digitals. After all, this is more than a photoshoot, and you're going to want more than intangible files to remember it. Part of the allure of our studio is the high end albums, folios, and wall art we offer. One client put it this way:
"I'd so regret not buying any of my images!!! Need a little confidence booster--I just pick up my album and remind myself, 'there she is. Don't lose sight of her.'"
Another client (a threepeater!) said that to her, the albums are like "nostalgia in a box," as every one represented a significant point in her life. She also advised that writing a note to yourself about how you're feeling at this point in your life and what you're going through before and after your session would be an amazing keepsake.
There's so much more to discover about how a boudoir session impacts you.
As one client put it, "it's like being part of a secret club for women just looking to let their inner selves out." It's one of those things that you don't really understand until you've been there. I love that analogy. Because this club is uplifting, empowering, and truly for everyBODY.