Flashback to 7 years ago. I was in Pennsylvania at a retreat for photographers put on by my friend Jess Lark, and we were goofing off.¬†We were on day three of choosing art over sleep and photographers get a little weird after a while, so…

It started with Jess showing some people who were new to it how to use the liquify tool in Photoshop. Now, the liquify tool is what you think of when you think Photoshop fail or (“those photos on the fronts of magazines are lies.”) It’s a great tool when used ethically- if your bra strap cuts in we can smooth that, if your dress bunches weird, no problem. But you can also do some pretty questionable things with it.

So, we did all of them. And then posted it on a popular but very self-important photography forum and tried to convince people my boobs just grew that way.

Narrator: They did not.

 

The responses were so much fun I think we actually made popcorn while we watched the internet have conniptions. Eventually, though, we gave in and posted the before and after; Jess’s military husband Mike was called in to provide logistical support. Definitely one of the more attractive men I’ve had up my skirt, I must say. We spent a good amount of time “finessing his posing.” ūüėČ

 

So, what’s the point of this post, other than to give you a look at the kind of geeky ridiculousness photographers get up to when overtired, and perhaps a look at a hot man in lingerie? Photoshop is kind of the elephant in the room, where boudoir photography is concerned. When you come for a shoot you want to look spectacular, but you also want to look like YOU. Not a Photoshopped, Barbie’d up version of you. Well, that’s what I want too. I can’t help you fall in love with the body you have if I don’t show you that body. Consequently my editing style is much lighter than a lot of photographers, because at the end of the day I want you to look in the mirror, turn just so, and see a glimpse of what I see through my camera.

Here’s a typical Photoshop before and after from one of my boudoir shoots. If you look closely you’ll see that the light stand in the top left is gone, as is a shadow on her knee, and skin has been softened slightly to compensate for the way that good cameras and lenses tend to emphasize skin texture.

Boudoir Photoshop before and after retouching

Here’s another set from the same shoot. Most good photographers shoot in the “RAW” file format, which means that the photos can come out of the camera a bit dull (I’m not going to bore you with the details, if you’re a geek you probably already know them and if you’re not I promise you don’t care). I’m picky about my colours so I spend far too long getting them just the way I like:

Boudoir Photoshop before and after retouching

Now, some people have scars or stretchmarks they don’t love, or want a bit of a tummy tuck- that’s cool, we can work with that too. But my default is always going to be to show you well-posed, well-lit photos that flatter you without my needing to get crazy with the liquify tool. When you look at your photos, I want you to see yourself- the prettiest, sexiest, most gorgeous version of yourself. I think she’ll amaze you. <3

 

 

Have more questions about how photoshop is used in boudoir shoots? Drop them in the comments!

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s like a pub crawl, but with Edmonton lingerie stores! We’re out to have fun, shop till we drop, and support local businesses. Want to join us?

The Why

Because it’s fun, of course! But more seriously, I always encourage my clients to shop locally for their shoots wherever possible. If we want to continue to have diverse, interesting local businesses, we have to support them!

Yes, it’s easy to buy cheap stuff from China online, but the experience that the best Edmonton lingerie stores offer – professional fittings, knowledgeable staff, and truly delicious, high-quality underthings – aren’t something you can replace with a mail-order experience that ends in lingerie that may or may not fit properly.

Of course, it can be a little intimidating to brave a fancy boutique lingerie store for the first time. And shopping is always more fun with supportive friends! So, as always, we have your back. Also, both my makeup artist Michelle and I have lingerie habits – it’s an occupational hazard – to indulge.

Edmonton lingerie stores event pretty bra

The Plan

We’ll meet up at one of Edmonton’s boutique lingerie stores first thing Sunday morning (you have to contact me to get on the guest list if you want all the details) and form into groups. If you have a minivan and want to be a driver, let me know! Then we’ll head on in and find beautiful, frivolous things to try on. I imagine most of us will come home with lots of lovely things! If you have a boudoir shoot coming up this is a great way to get your shopping done and get a professional opinion on what will look great on camera. We’ll hit as many of Edmonton’s lingerie stores (maybe surrounding areas too if we have time) as we can before we run out of time or collapse into an extremely sexy heap.

Potential stops on our route:

Princess Lingerie (Edmonton lingerie store)¬† ¬†–¬†¬†Night Owl Lingerie (Edmonton lingerie store)

Midnight Magic (Edmonton lingerie store)¬† ¬† –¬† ¬† Dawn’s Bra-tique (Edmonton lingerie store)

Ella Coco (Sherwood Park lingerie store)¬† ¬† ¬† –¬† ¬†¬†Nightshade Corsets (Edmonton alternative lingerie and corset store)

The Aftermath

Be prepared for a lingerie hangover the next day, the danger is real.

Edmonton lingerie stores event_0002

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The Angel at Angel’s Billabong

This photo of Jen Fox is a favourite not just for the image itself (which I adore) but also for the perfect moment of friendship and collaboration it captured. I’m really grateful that even after all these years, I enjoy what I do so much that this is what I do for fun!¬†
 
We created this together after our retreat in Bali, on the carefree days after all the wonderful women had gone home and we were just wandering and shooting and having adventures. We went to the unpolished island of Nusa Penida specifically because I’d seen a photo of this place (Angel’s Billabong, which is a spectacular natural infinity pool) and wanted to shoot there. Nusa Penida was a bit (a lot) less luxurious and a bit (a lot) more adventurous than our time being spoiled rotten in Ubud, and it’s possible that we rescued bloody Russsians (literal) and nearly drowned on a stomach-churning snorkelling trip, but I loved it.
Angels Billabong Bali Photography Nusa Penida
 
Anyway, this was an image Jen had had in mind for ages, ever since she captured an absolutely gorgeous image like it in Charlottesville, Virginia for a client, and she had a perfect vision of what she wanted. But actually doing it was a spur-of-the-moment decision at the end of a day of shooting and exploring and sunbathing and deep-fried bananas, when she looked past the obvious shots and realised that she could probably get me to dangle off the volcanic cliffs above. She knows me very well.
 
So in this photo she’s wearing her bathing suit bottom and my bra, because they were the most neutral clothing we had with us (and our sweet guide, who spoke no English, might have had heart failure if we’d taken off any more clothing) and I’m wedged into glass-sharp cliffs too far up to do more than wave guidance. Colette, our fearless assistant and dear friend, was nearby calling encouragement and praying I didn’t fall to my death (I was actually very secure, unlike Jen during the first version of this shoot).
 
Luckily Jen is a fantastic model as well as an inspiring photographer – the perfection of that leg position gets me every time – so she drifted beautifully back and forth beneath me, wafting her arms gracefully upward, until we achieved the vision she’d described. My only job was to nail the exposure and timing and not die, which I performed admirably.
 
I learned years ago that it’s the stories that make photos unforgettable, and this one will always have a special place in my heart.
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“I’m not afraid of getting naked and having pictures taken by you – I know you and trust you. I’m anxious about how they will turn out, because I know what I look like on camera.” ~ Peggy

Plus size boudoir before and after

It’s not about before and after, it’s about seeing yourself in a new way.

It took Peggy years to find the confidence to book her shoot. We had known each other for a long time, through a variety of different social groups, and she was smart, funny, talented, and… completely lacking in confidence. When she modelled for the Leaving Marks art project years ago, she had basically nothing positive to say about herself and a laundry list of terrible things. Ugly. Unwanted. Fat. Alone. Unloveable. It cut me, seeing how she saw herself.

Leading up to her boudoir shoot she had a lot of fear and uncertainty. We chatted several times, and it struck during one of these chats that this was a conversation that I could have with almost any woman who came into the studio, or even considered a shoot- so many people have similar anxiety. No matter how many beautiful pictures they see on my website, they believe it will be different for them.

I saved what I told Peggy that day, so that I could share it with you here:

“My job is to show you what the people who love you see when they look at you. Your job is to trust me, and to be open to seeing yourself in a new way.¬†Boudoir photography gives you the opportunity to meet yourself again with kinder eyes, and to give yourself some of the love and grace you give your girlfriends. So trust, in this case, also means trusting that I’m not lying to you, that you have beauty and worth, and that it’s okay to love yourself as you are.”

Plus size boudoir pose

She didn’t entirely believe me, of course. Words are cheap. But here’s what she wrote after her session:

How did you feel about your body before your shoot?
I hated it – I’m fat, shapeless and have never been the ‘pretty’ girl. My self esteem is pretty much non existent.

Has that changed since your shoot?
It has – you said such wonderful things about me having natural sensuality, and the words stuck in my head even after I left. And since seeing the pictures on the weekend, I have to say – I have had more positive thoughts about myself this week than I can ever remember having in my life.

Before your session, did you have any worries or fears? What were they?
I was worried that even your amazing skills couldn’t make me look good. I worried that I’d be awkward and prove myself right in what I thought about my body.

What was it like being so vulnerable in front of the camera?
You never made me feel vulnerable. You made me feel comfortable and like being photographed was the most natural thing in the world!

Plus size boudoir pose

How did you feel when you saw your photos?
I was shocked. Utterly blown away. I never in a million years would have thought I could look half as good as that. I looked downright HOT in some of them, which is not something I really ever felt before.

What would you tell another woman considering coming to Acts of Beauty for boudoir photography?
DO IT. Period. End of sentence. Seriously – this is the most positive thing I have ever done for myself. I always thought you were exaggerating when you said a session would change how I thought about myself. You weren’t. I have changed how I think about myself – it isn’t always easy, but it does work!

Plus size boudoir pose

 

Plus size boudoir pose

Plus size boudoir pose art nudePlus size boudoir poses

Ready to find  out more? Click here for more information about booking your own amazing experience! It just might change your life. <3

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Finding the courage to take your clothes off for a stranger is hard enough, but in a society that tells curvy women to keep themselves covered,¬†booking a plus-size boudoir shoot is a major act of bravery and trust. Here’s how to find the courage and make sure you have a fabulous experience.

Find a photographer who loves curves

Check their portfolio. Are there women who look like you? Are they having fun? Testimonials and reviews are also a great clue- look for women who talk about feeling comfortable with their curves. You want a photographer who is experienced with a variety of shapes and sizes, and passionate about making you feel beautiful!

Beautiful plus size boudoir photos

Don’t apologise for your size

You’re beautiful exactly the way you are- that’s the whole point. A good boudoir photographer will be able to bring out your particular beauty in photographs you love, and make you feel confident and sexy while they’re doing it. So no explanations or apologies! We’re here to help you rock what you’ve got.

Find your why

It’s way easier to put things off than to do something scary, but knowing why you want it will help you take the leap. Are you finally ready to love the body you have? Do you want to celebrate a birthday, a life stage, or a big change? Learn to see yourself as sexy again after a tough breakup? Surprise your partner with a sexy AF gift they never saw coming? Whatever your reason, imagine how great it would feel to accomplish it and hold onto that feeling while you contact your photographer.

boudoir poses for plus size models

Buy lingerie you love

There’s no excuse for ugly or ill-fitting lingerie in today’s brave new world. Our studio has an extensive list of fabulous places to buy lingerie of every size- go get yourself something pretty! Don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to spend a ton if you don’t want to, but a pretty, well-fitted bra and panties will make you feel great every time you put them on… and owning a lovely piece of frivolous lingerie is good for the soul.

Fall in love with your body- before, during, and after your shoot.

Before: Take a minute to think about your favourite features. What do you love about your body? Hair, eyes, collarbones, fabulous ass, cute toes… chuck modesty out the window and look at yourself like a friend you love. Feel the texture of your skin. And any time you get a compliment, let it sink in. Believe the person and say thank you!

During: Allow yourself to relax into the moment. You hear that shutter click as your photographer takes a picture? That’s because they saw something they thought was beautiful. Let go of your old expectations and beliefs and let yourself feel sexy.

After: You’re going to walk out feeling like a million bucks. Hold onto that feeling! Memorise it, walk tall, and give yourself permission to feel different about yourself. Confidence and self-love aren’t narcissism, they are components of a healthy life. You don’t owe the world self-loathing. Allow this beautiful feeling to permeate your life.

Beautiful Plus Size Boudoir Photos Pose

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