J came to my Denver boudoir photography studio to create a sexy Valentine's Day gift for her husband of 30 years. She's 55, proving boudoir is for every woman, including women over 50. Thank you J, for sharing your story and for allowing me to share some of your photos!


I did a boudoir session with Lynn because my girlfriend encouraged me to do it. She also did a session with Lynn, and she told me that it was the best thing I can do for myself. Even though she made a gift for her husband, she realized the session was really for her.


I feel the same way. I did the session now because I made my husband a gift for Valentine's Day. He's 60, I'm 55, and we've been married for 30 years. But when I saw my pictures, when I saw my album especially, I knew this was really for me.


I have never done anything like this for myself. I have never spent money on myself, like this.

I have three kids. They're 28, 25 and 21. We put two through college, and my youngest is graduating this year. Ever since I got married and became a mom, it's always been about my kids and my husband. That's what moms do.


Now that I'm getting older, I'm going to start getting selfish. I'm going to do more things for myself, like this. Hair and makeup was great. I was very pleased with Tiffany, what she did and how quickly she did it. She really made me feel good about myself, really comfortable about getting in front of the camera. She's really talented. I appreciated the care and attention to detail Lynn offers in the beginning, especially with the What to Wear video chat. When we were done, I really started thinking about how I wanted to see myself. I decided to bring my leather jacket, with some black panties and fishnets. I love those photos. They're my favorites.


I admit I was apprehensive when I came to my session, not knowing if I was going to feel comfortable in front of the camera. But because it was just the two of us--Lynn and me--and we really connected, I felt better. When we went over the my outfits at the beginning and put the finishing touches on them, the ones Lynn picked confirmed that we were on the same page. That made me feel more comfortable.


My favorite part was seeing the the end result, seeing the transformation. When I saw the pictures I realized that I should appreciate where I am. It made me appreciate how I look at my age. I don't have to be that stereotypical frumpy old woman. The photos reinforced that I look great, too.


I came in with a budget, and I actually bought a few more photos that I planned to. I just couldn't cut them. What surprised me was that afterwards, I had no buyer's remorse. None.


I think every woman needs to start taking time for themselves and making themselves feel better about where they are in life. I don't think we appreciate how beautiful we really are. I don't think we ever see ourselves like this. I could have never imagined seeing myself look like I do in these photos.

If you are thinking about doing a boudoir session with Lynn, just look at her photos. Her work speaks for itself. I can tell that she enjoys what she does. She has really thought about every little detail about making women feel comfortable. It's a luxury experience, and every woman should consider doing it.



Hair and makeup by Tiffany McCray, Blush Artistry and Company

Photos shared with client permission



Mrs G is a firecracker. Quick to laugh, silly, fun. She was so gracious to allow me to interview her and share two of her favorite boudoir pictures to inspire others (who are not 25 and a size 4) to do a boudoir session with me as a celebration. I’m so grateful! Please read on about what she has to say.

Hair and makeup by Brittany Will of BW Beauty







ON WHY SHE’S DOING A BOUDOIR SESSION AT THIS TIME IN HER LIFE

Within the past 3 years, I’ve lost a total of 72 pounds. Our 10-year anniversary is coming up, so I said doing a boudoir session now is perfect timing.

My husband married me at my heaviest weight, and he always said I was beautiful and that he loves me for who I am inside. I just want him to be proud and say, “That’s my wife.” And I totally know he’s going to do that.

ON HER BODY IMAGE, FEELING SEXY, BEING BEAUTIFUL

Before I gained weight having a child 17 years ago, I’d always been skinny with big boobs. I’d always been confident in my looks. Over the past 14 years of being bigger, though, my confidence level went down. People said things to me, made comments about my body, and my body image went down for sure. But even with that I’ve always felt beautiful … I just don’t know about the sexy part. Feeling sexy may have left because of all the extra tummy and thighs. I probably was not connecting with “sexy” until after I saw my pictures.

It’s true that even though I lost 72 pounds, I can still look in the mirror and not see the difference … unlike other people who haven’t seen me in years.

ON HOW SHE FELT BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER HER BOUDOIR SESSION

Before the session I was nervous as hell. I was really worried about how my “yucky parts” were going to look. At the planning meeting, you showed me a client who was a size 22, and how great she looked. That really brought my nerves down.

My session was a fun day. I look back at it, and I can remember it from start to finish like a movie. All the little things, like how to position my body, helping me pick my clothes, your positivity, your awesomeness, your “pop your booty.” You were so fun and easy going that I didn’t feel self-conscious at all.

I have a new appreciation for models! They work hard! With just our little session, I was exhausted and I was sore the next day.

ON SEEING HER PHOTOS FOR THE FIRST TIME

So when I’m ready to see my pictures for the first time, I’m unsure about what everything’s going to look like. On the day, getting my hair and makeup done made me feel good and confident. Doing the session, seeing the pictures on the back of your camera, my self-esteem is going up and up.

Then I see the finished pictures. I’m in shock, and I’m telling you. And I say this is absolutely perfect, just who I am at this point of my life.

This brought it all back. Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. I am so happy.







ON WHY SHE CHOSE ME AS HER BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHER

Just from reading your website, I knew it was you. You’re so positive and fun. You do this to make women feel amazing and beautiful, not just as a job. You’re doing it legit as your heart and soul.

ON WHY SHE CHOSE TO GIVE HER HUSBAND A BOUDOIR BOOK

My husband is very, very sentimental man. I know this is something that will make him cry because he’s just so happy and proud. He’s not going to be gross and oogle my photos. He’s an appreciative guy like that. I wanted to give him something he can have forever. I know he will cherish this album 100 percent.

ON WHY YOU SHOULD DO A BOUDOIR SESSION

It makes you feel amazing. The whole experience was fun. You have to do this at least once in your life. It makes you think, “Damn!” If you didn’t already have some confidence, you’re going to have some confidence after this.

R

#boudoirforolderwomen #curvywomanboudoir #boudoirphotographerDenver #denverboudoir #denverboudoirphotographystudio #olderwomanboudoir #plussizeboudoir

My sixth boudoir shoot is fast approaching (2 days from the time I’m posting this). I’m traveling to Las Vegas to shoot with my friend and outstanding boudoir photographer, Stacie Frazier of Haute Shots. And, I’m having some thoughts and feelings about the past 6 months since I decided to do another boudoir session.

This is Part 5 of a series about me doing my own boudoir shoot. Read the other posts here:

Part 1: The Journey Starts / Part 2: Setting Goals / Part 3: The Work / Part 4: Shopping

I’m proud of myself and how hard I’ve worked

It took me two full months after I booked my boudoir session to decide I was not going to be photographed in my state of physical health at that time. I had not been that big since after my daughter was born 16 years before. I hurt. I was out of shape. I had high cholesterol. I was exhausted from a few really shitty years in a row. And I knew that I felt to sluggish and lethargic to do anything about it unless I had a reason to.

In December, stared going to the gym once a week. In February, I started going twice. Now I’m getting up at 6:25 am (no small feat for this night owl) to go to a HIIT class at 7 am 3 days a week. Some days I don’t want to go, so I skip and don’t beat myself up and go another day that week. I can do so many things physically now that I couldn’t do on New Year’s Day, such as hold a plank on my toes for 30 seconds, or do 2 real burpees with full push-ups in a row.

I’ve also consistently eaten a moderate fat, moderate protein, low carb diet for the past 90 days. I “cheated” every once in a while, the discovered I feel better mood-wise if I take 1 day a week to “carb up”. It’s been really hard, but the results so far are worth it:

Weight: 211 to 186 pounds

Chest (boobs): 46 to 42 inches

Ribcage: 39 to 35.5 inches

High Waist: 37 to 32 inches

Belly Button waist: 39 to 33 inches

Hips: 46 to 42 inches

Bra Size: 40DDD to 36DD/E (depending on the style/brand)

Shirt size: XL to L

Pants size: Tight 16 to comfortable 12 / XXL to L

When I look at my progress photos, I don’t see the change. I still struggle with body dysmorphia as I have since my teens. I’m guessing that part of it too is that while my body has gotten smaller, my shape has stayed the same so it’s a little harder to see.

I went through a 4-week stall, where my weight and measurements yo-yoed in increments, making me want to say fuck it and quit.

I didn’t quit.

It’s been a long, long, long time since I put my mind to doing something and stuck to it. In fact, I think it was when I left my job to start this business in 2012. I’m really proud of myself. Really proud.

I could not have made this physical progress without booking my boudoir shoot

Isaac Newton, the physicist, described the law of inertia: An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

I was an object at rest, physically, mentally, emotionally. That unbalanced force was paying my session fee when I had no money to pay it with. I booked my flight using precious points, and found a really sweet Air B&B for my session location at the Palms. That tapped out my personal savings.

So I changed stylists–finding someone I adore–to save myself $150/month. I went from salon products to (good) non-salon products. I stopped getting my shellac manicure every 3 weeks. I stopped eating out for lunch. And when my daughter started driving in December, I started saving about $40/month on gas. All told, I stopped spending about $350/month and started putting that money away for clothes, hair & makeup, my prep appointments and anything else I needed.

I had to show something good for these changes, so I changed my eating and my energy exertion. I know myself. Without putting that initial money on the line, I would not be in a size 12 right now.

Prepping for a boudoir session challenging in several ways

I just wrote a post about my adventures in finding my boudoir outfits. (Read it here.) Shopping was the biggest challenge for me because, first, I had no idea what my body would look like on my session day and second, I was going to be shopping online.

Another challenge I’ve encountered is a little flareup of bulimia. For about 2 weeks, I found myself paying a little too close attention to the exact grams of cottage cheese on my plate. I also found myself on my exercise bike when I ate that extra 2 grams (which equates to like 0.002 calories or something). This was in February, which is typically a dark time for me with bipolar depression. Somehow, I noticed I was doing it and made myself stop. This was about the time I switched from high protein to high fat Keto, and that helped my brain stop freaking out.

But one thing I’m still noticing is negative self talk, especially about my stomach, the lines on my neck and my eyebrow/eyelid area. One day, my husband told me that I’m so, so sexy, and I shot back, “Right …” and rolled my eyes.

I’m saying things to and about myself that I would stop a session for if you were saying it about yourself. This is our way as women, right? We are trained, hard, to pick ourselves apart. So I’m back to doing my LOVE exercises in the mirror, which helped me work though bulimia, and it’s helping again. Look at my tummy in the mirror. Say I love you tummy because … because you carried my beautiful, healthy daughter … because your roundness shows my life is rich … because I can laugh deeply into you … because you protect me as best as you can.

Would I be having these thoughts and issues if I weren’t prepping for a boudoir session? Probably. But because I have a hard deadline, I think these issues raged up with more fury.

A boudoir session is expensive

Not only did I pay my session fee and hair & makeup, but also my boudoir outfits x 3. (I actually spent about $1200 on lingerie and sent back $800 of it.) My session is not in Denver, so I had travel expenses. I also needed to do all the prep appointments, plus some extras that I thought would make me feel better if I didn’t reach my goals. Finally, there are my boudoir photos, which I’ll spend around $1800 on.

Session fee + hair & makeup $440

Travel $300 + airfare points

Lingerie & accessories $400

Lash lift & tint $80

Facial with dermaplane $90

Mani Pedi $60

Brow wax & tint, bikini wax $60

TOTAL $1430

I have about $1500 saved in cash, and I’m doing some side-gigs to pay for the rest. My lingerie and travel costs went on a credit card. At least I’ll be getting points.

Final thought: It’s all going to be worth it

I’ve struggled with the idea of being 1 year away from 50. I’m exhausted. I haven’t really liked myself many days. I spent last year telling myself I was lazy and on the way down as a woman, as a mom, as a business owner, as an artist. Getting ready to do this shoot on April 19 is flipping this thought. I’m not longer an object at rest. I’m aware of and working to release my body dysmorphia and self-cruelty (again). I feel more connected to my body. And with my new classic bob haircut–which makes me feel more like me than I have in years–plus new lingerie and being able to do those 2 burpees, I’m feeling sexy again.

I feel proud of myself. And I cannot wait to be in front of the camera.

Want to watch me? Go to my Instagram story on Thursday, April 19!

#fit36 #lingerieforboudoir #costofboudoirsession #boudoirphotographer #loseweightbeforeboudoirsession #HIIT #preparingforboudoirshoot #ketogen #goalsetting

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