“It’s more than just sexy pictures, it is an empowering experience for any and all women”.
Growing up- I was always the tomboy. I had a core group of girl friends who were beautiful, skinny and the guys would line up just to be dating them. Then there was me…..the girl who was more comfortable with her hair up in a messy bun, a t-shirt and sneaks, and some type of sporting equipment. Sports over beauty was my thing. That made dating for me in high school almost non-existent. Sure, I had a boyfriend or two, but nothing major until the summer of my junior year. An older guy in school that had toyed with my emotions earlier in the year decided he really wanted to date me and I ran with it. We were together from that summer on and we eventually got married. Our relationship in total lasted 17yrs. However, those 17yrs were not all flowers and rainbows. He tested my emotions, made me question what little bit of confidence I had left in myself, and brought me to one of the darkest moments of my life.
Yes, I know you are asking, “Why would you stay w/someone like that?”…but as I said earlier, there were never lines of guys waiting for me to be free. The high point of this relationship was the birth of my son-my greatest accomplishment. The body that I was never really proud of had created and grown this amazing little human!!! I even thought that having him would be the change my then-husband needed to grow up, but instead, the mental and emotional abuse continued, and he stepped out on our marriage- multiple times. The constant lying and cheating brought me to my darkest place. I remember comparing myself to every woman that I had found out he had been with. I would look in the mirror and would poke at what I felt were my imperfections.
Telling myself if I had only worked out a little harder, if I had lost just a bit more of my baby weight, or if I was just a tad prettier this wouldn’t have happened to me. I was ashamed and alone. For a while I settled on the fact that it was going to be just my son and I from here on out. I began to accept that I was meant to be alone and I was just the “un-pretty” tomboy that I always was before. Then one day out of nowhere-Troops (my nickname for my boyfriend) walked into my life. He allowed me to let my guard down. He changed me without even knowing it, and has made me feel beautiful inside and out on a daily basis. He never questions what I am wearing or comments on my weight. Just someone who tells me that he likes me just the way I am…..which is what lead me to do this photo shoot. Not only am I doing this for him as a thank you, but as a giant FUCK YOU to anyone who saw me as anything less than beautiful, including myself.
My girlfriend tagged me to like and join the LRP group and I am so glad that I did. I signed up that same day to do a session. Keep in mind there was 5mo. between from the time I signed up until my actual shoot and every single day I would go and second-guess my decision. The women in previous posts were beautiful, fierce and strong. It again made me question if I WAS BEAUTIFUL enough to do this?? Would I get the same response to my pictures as these other women did? The day before my shoot, I had even typed up an email to Lindsay telling her that I was cancelling.
I signed my name and began to re-read what I had written, and for some reason I hit the delete button. I drove to my shoot the next day trembling in fear. It took all the guts I had to get myself to even walk up the stairs to the studio. As I sat in the makeup chair that morning, I still questioned what I was doing there. How was I going to be able to let complete strangers take pictures of all of my “imperfections”? Cue Erin, the beautiful makeup artist with the body and face that most women would kill for. As she is doing my hair and makeup, we get into talking about her past shoots with Lindsay. She begins to tell me about her insecurities and what she has always judged about herself. It was at that exact moment that I realized I was in the right place. The women in the studio that day brought out the best of me. They made me realize that all of us have flaws and imperfections, but those same things are what make us beautiful and unique. I can’t thank Lindsay and her team enough for making me feel as comfortable and confident as they did that day. This is an experience I will never forget!”
Someone near and dear to me once said that when life throws you a curve ball, you have one of three options: run away from it, let it smack you in the face, or knock it out of the park. In the last two years, I’ve been thrown a slew of curveballs and according to my friends and family, I’ve apparently knocked them out of the park with poise and grace. But… what happens when you don’t feel like you live up to that image?
What do you do when you feel like you’re not worth what everyone else thinks you are? I found Lindsay and her work in the middle of all of that, and her idea of self-love hit home for me. I had learned how to love my physical self, but I knew what I was struggling with was learning how to love all parts of myself. In reading the stories of the incredible women she’s worked with, I started to see parts of myself in them all. I bit the bullet and booked a session, and I’m convinced the deposit is what kept me from chickening out!
My day being pampered by Lindsay and Erin and the images from the shoot showed me what everyone else sees in me; I am strong, I am fearless, I am worth something. Self-love is a journey that you can’t put a timeframe on, and putting pressure on yourself to lose the weight and then you’ll be happy, or change this and then you’ll be happy will make it harder to reach that point. I’m forever thankful for Lindsay and the incredible community she’s created.
Calling her sessions “Body Love Experiences” may just sound like clever marketing, but I assure you, it is fact. My session was the closest I’ve ever felt to being a celebrity. I showed up in lounge pants and a tank, with a bare face and floppy hair and was immediately made to feel like a queen. I was treated to a boozy cup of coffee and sparkling water and we laid out my outfits. Then Erin put on some amazing music, had me hop up in her chair, and she got to work on my makeup and hair.
I felt like an honest to goodness model. When I saw her gorgeous artistry on my face, I could hardly believe it. I looked like I’d stepped out of a magazine. I slipped into my first outfit and Lindsay got me all set up on a beautiful sofa with a faux fur throw. It felt very Game of Thrones and I was loving every second. Lindsay makes you feel like a rockstar. You feel sexy and confident and I wasn’t nervous for one second. She completely puts you at ease and coaches you during each pose. I could tell there were not going to be any “bad” picture of me, because she knows her shit so well, she was going to make sure I was radiant in every frame. When we were done, I was sad to leave! It felt like the coolest girl party ever. Before I even saw my proofs I knew I needed to tell every woman about this. As I type this my husband has no idea I’m about to pick up my art.
I’ve managed to keep all of this a surprise for months, but in reality, I did it for me, not him. Yes, it will be a really fun surprise, but really this experience was completely for me. Here’s what I would like to get across to you…you are worthy of this experience. You deserve to feel this amazing too. As I’ve told women about this I have heard, “I’m too old.” “I’m overweight.” “I’m not sexy enough.” And so on. I hate to break it to you, but you are dead wrong. I’m about to turn 37 and have a son who is almost 13. I have stretch marks.
I have crows feet and laugh lines. I’m currently at my heaviest, non-pregnancy weight. I’m super curvy. I had a C-Section with my son so my lower stomach has never fully recovered. I’m short with short legs. I’m generally fairly awkward and not sexy. But none of that mattered! I have followed Lindsay’s work for awhile and one of the reasons I chose to work with her because she does have such a diverse clientele and everyone looks so stunning in their photos. I look like a goddess in mine. I’ve shown some friends the proofs and they were blow away.
A friend of mine even booked her own session after she saw my “teaser” pics. There is never a “wrong” time to have a session like this. You don’t need to wait until you’ve lost 20 pounds, or until your kids are older, or until you are married, or some other arbitrary thing you are telling yourself. Decide you are perfect and worthy enough right now to capture yourself at this moment in time. I cannot wait to keep doing this again at different points in my life. Yes I’ll have more wrinkles, and some grey hair, and all of that, but who cares? My body is amazing and carries me through life every day, so why not celebrate it? It’s never too late to truly love your body.
This took me a long time to write. I would like to say that I was busy (which I kind of was) but the truth is I had no idea where to begin or what to say. I wanted to write something that was deep and meaningful or witty and funny. I landed on writing something honest and hoping that at least one person found it interesting enough to look away from the current Snapchat filter of the day and read til the end. Let’s start by saying this, I am not a model. I am not even a person who likes to post gratuitous selfies in my bathroom mirror. TBH, that is partly because I don’t like taking pictures of myself and partly because I live in fear that someone will notice how long it has been since I cleaned my shower.
But nonetheless, I went on this boudoir journey. I found Lindsay through a friend of a friend on FB and decided that I wanted to see if she could make me look like the obviously professional models she had already shot. I hope you, reader, know I am kidding. Lindsay makes everyone look like the goddess/model they truly are. It is incredibly difficult to be a woman these days. If you are strong and outspoken, you’re bossy… a bitch. If you are quiet and understated, you are uptight… a bitch. And don’t even get me started on the thin line we have to walk between slutty and modest. With all this in mind, I felt like I needed an excuse to take the pictures.
They would be a gift for my future husband! Tada! See, it’s not really for me, it’s for him. The running dialogue in my head was that it was completely narcissistic and conceited to spend money on myself. And then to have pictures of myself hanging around my home?!?! I’ll never live this down with my girlfriends. In retrospect, I should have worn my decision with pride. There is no joking about the experience the day of taking the pictures. Not that it isn’t fun or even at times funny, but I don’t want to make light of it. Lindsay and Erin are warm, kind, generous and completely comfortable with someone parading around in stilettos and little else.
Their generous nature made me feel so comfortable that I was almost able to ignore my inner neurotic, trying to scream through the whole time. She broke through only a little when I couldn’t stop a slightly quivering lip. Lindsay assured me the camera couldn’t see it and she would make sure any glimpse of my nerves would be edited out. Once I was done I left feeling accomplished and excited. I also left with a full face of makeup and my hair done so I was feeling good and looking even better. Insert the raise the roof emoji here. Then, I slowly deflated. I had seen Lindsay’s pictures and I couldn’t possibly look as good as those women. Could I? They were skinnier, prettier, professional, more confident. I am so glad Lindsay does the reveal.
I can honestly say that I almost didn’t recognize myself at first. Not because the photos didn’t look like me but because I couldn’t visualize myself to be as beautiful as Linsday had captured me. Lindsay assured me it was, in fact, me and that was the person she saw. Let me just say, if I had all the money in the world, I would have wallpapered my apartment with those pictures. I’d put them on my dishes so I could find me staring back from the bottom of my cereal bowl after my fruit pebbles were gone. It is not gratuitous and narcisstic to go through this experience. It is empowering.
I stopped making the excuse that I did this for my husband. (Although he thoroughly enjoys the photos, as well.) I did this for me and for every burger and ice cold beer I continue to consume. I don’t need to be a certain size or have a certain skill level to look like the women Lindsay shoots because I am one of those women. I am in the company of a group of women who have made the conscious decision to love themselves and to surround themselves with photographic evidence of their beauty. Thank you Lindsay and Erin, you are truly special people with amazing gifts. I know I may joke, but this is worth EVERY PENNY. In fact, I am sure that if we did the math, I owe these two more. They have given me an invaluable gift. The gift of self-assurance and confidence in my own body. I am not sure I could ever repay you. – XOXO
The internet is a funny thing…one day you’re watching dog videos, next thing you know you’re making friends with people you never knew existed. It’s through one of those friends that I came to know about LRP.
When I first saw Lindsay’s work I was in awe. I had never given much thought to the concept of boudoir photography. But as I clicked through her photos something resonated within me. These were all regular, everyday, HUMAN people. In some very open and vulnerable positions and they all had one thing in common. The looked confident af. I wanted to be like these women.
I come from a household that does not value the human body. While it was never shamed it was certainly not celebrated. I was more likely to receive a compliment on being intelligent than beautiful. That is a concept that has shaped a lot of who I’ve become as a person. I can be painfully shy, I tend to avoid direct eye contact and I keep up walls. When someone pays me a physical compliment I am quick to brush it off. I am NOT vulnerable.
I decided to sign up with Lindsay to help me break my own walls…and she helped me smash the shit out of them.
There was little hesitation before I took the leap and signed myself up for a session. From the very beginning something about working with Lindsay was empowering. The vibes she threw off were like little electric shocks of positive energy. She was pumped up and in turn – I was pumped up too.
From the moment I arrived, with my bag of lingerie in tow, Lindsay was quick to greet me with a warm smile and her sweet demeanor. It was as if I was visiting an old friend.
Between getting glammed up by Miss Erin Marie, listening to some kick add music and following Lindsay’s expert direction I was shattering years of built up self doubt.
I left the shoot feeling like a mother fucking rockstar. I felt unstoppable. The walls that I had spent so many years building up had begun to crumble. It was simply amazing.
When I returned for my reveal, the real magic happened. I saw myself. I really SAW myself. Vulnerability and all, and it was beautiful. I had finally allowed myself to be deeply seen.
The most important thing I learned about myself when anxiety finally pushed me into therapy in my early 20s was that I have a powerful need to be good enough for everyone around me. Full disclosure: I was adopted as an infant…it was the classic tale of adoptive parents told that they couldn’t have a child and birth parents who were too young to raise one. It’s never been a secret…my parents have always made it very clear to me that, while I’m not blood related, I am no less their child than my two sisters, who unexpectedly came along later. Consciously, I’ve always believed that they truly mean that… But as many adopted children can understand, the subconscious abandonment issues are not fully engulfed by any amount of love given by adoptive families, friends, lovers…not even our own children. And so I spent the first half of my life so far doing anything and everything I could to prove to my parents that they were right to “choose” me…
I busted my ass, stressed myself to the max, overachieved in everything I took on. Obedient child, check (for the most part). Academics, perpetual honor roll. Big sister, solid role model. Softball, star pitcher. College, academic and athletic scholarships. And everything in between. My stress back then was productive…it motivated me to reach my end game.
Unfortunately, on the flip side of that coin were my “failures”. I went through a rebel phase (not by today’s standards, but for my perfectionist self in the 90s)…and although I was an expert liar (sorry, Mom & Dad!), the guilt inside started to eat me alive. Of course, in adulthood, there are increasingly larger challenges, which lead to more satisfying successes…and also more debilitating failures.
Among my most consistent failures were relationships. I was always the jealous, clingy girlfriend who needed constant reassurance that my partner loved me enough to stick around. For those who stuck around long enough to try to convince me that I was loved, I often found myself seeking affection from other partners (again, really good liar). I was incapable of believing that I was good enough for anyone, no matter how many times anyone told me that I was. Picture my anxiety (and as it happens, my blood pressure) skyrocketing.
I met my husband when I was just turning 22 and he was 32. I was a hot mess emotionally, but was able to play the part of the fun, carefree, no-strings-attached kind of girl. Until I wasn’t. My insecurities started to trickle out, and then the floodgates eventually opened. Our first five years together were rocky…I was trying to navigate my emotions, he was walking on eggshells. Now we’re 16 years in, with two beautiful daughters. He reminds me every day how much he loves me, and that our babies are lucky to have me as a mom. But I never fully believed it…in fact, I’ve often felt like motherhood has been my biggest failure, and that my my girls deserve so much better.
…Enter the LRP crew. “Self-Love Experience” sounds so empowering, but it’s still somehow an understatement! What Lindsay, Erin and Randi did for me was a game changer. Having originally booked the session as a gift to my husband, I walked into the studio with very little self-esteem and my trusty anxiety (we go everywhere together). What happened in the studio transcended the physical…I had pushed myself to do something that was so far out of my comfort zone, and nailed it; I felt brave. Lindsay was so passionate about capturing these moments and so encouraging; I felt beautiful. I held some pretty impressive poses (she’s not kidding when she says streeeetch!!) for longer than I thought I could; I felt strong. I realized that even though the end product was intended as a gift for my husband, the real gift was mine; I felt relaxed.
I felt worth it.
It’s now been two months since my session. I can say with absolute sincerity that, for the first time in my life, I believe my husband when he tells me I’m beautiful. I believe him when he says he loves me. I believe my parents when they say they’re proud of me. I believe that I’m doing the best that I can as a mother, and that my girls don’t expect perfection. I’ve spent my entire life trying to be good enough for every single person that I care about…except myself. I am brave. I am beautiful. I am strong. I am worth it.
I AM ENOUGH.
I’ve never felt comfortable in my own skin. I’ve never felt that I was pretty or beautiful. I always tried to wear clothes that wouldn’t show my body. I would look for anything to cover myself up with. I’ve always been a plus size girl who didn’t like what she saw in the mirror. I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2015. After struggling with my weight and body issues, the symptoms of this disorder brought many more. It seemed like I could never love myself. On top of my weight, now I had to worry about facial hair, acne, and anything else that would come up because of this disorder.
I wanted to shut myself away forever. Then, in early 2016 I got engaged to my high school sweetheart. I had started eating better and doing some work outs. I tried coming out of my shell, even though I didn’t want to. The minute I got engaged, I knew I wanted to do a boudoir photo shoot for fiance as a wedding gift. He has always made sure I was comfortable. He always reminded me that I’m beautiful, that he loved me for me, flaws and all. Lindsay Rae Photography kept popping up on my Facebook page. And I would go through her website and look at all of the beautiful women on her blogs.
I loved her work, and what she did. But I never thought I could do it. There was no way that I could be that gorgeous! But I convinced myself to reach out, and once I reached out, I agreed to do a shoot. I cannot even begin to describe how nervous I was to do this. I’ve never worn lingerie in my life! I almost cancelled multiple times because I just couldn’t accept myself. But I kept my appointment, and I am so glad that I did. My heart was pounding in my chest as I walked up to the loft. The second I entered that room and met Lindsay and Erin, every fear that I had melted away.
It was like I had known them forever. Suddenly I wasn’t afraid to show so much of myself to another person. I was comfortable just being me. The photos we took that day have literally changed the entire perspective that I have of myself. I’m a beautiful, sexy, curvy woman. I’m so much more than my body. Who would have thought that a single photo shoot, and two amazing people could change someone’s life so much?
Self love is a journey. It takes people, especially women, years to overcome. Even when most of us control the all elusive feeling of self love, there is still a small thing here or there that we would change. If we could so easily take moments to truly love ourselves, we would, because when we are confident, we can conquer the world. Since the age of 15, I remember struggling with my weight. I was born in the 90’s, so as a teenager, I was gifted (joking) with social media. Myspace to be exact.
I remember the first time I realized how viscous girls can be about body image, and how self conscious I would become in an instant about how I looked. My father had recently re-done my bedroom, and in my closet he installed shelving. I was beyond excited. I took tons of pictures of all my belongings perfectly laid out. Each shelf was meticulously organized by clothing item; tops, sweaters, pants & in color order. I specifically remember my “jean-shelf” being my favorite, because all the folds were exactly the same and the blues made a beautiful ombre.
After posting a picture, I will never forget the first comment; “no ones wants to see your disgusting size 11 jeans”. Immediately my heart sank and began beating out of my chest, because how can I rebuttal this. I, of course, commented how they were only size 9, like the size difference mattered. Even though, in reality they were a size 11. I did not want to delete the comment, from the fear of looking like a baby and being effected by what she said, but I was also SO nervous at how my classmates would react to the size of my jeans. From that day forward, I pelted myself with the constant notion of how “fat” I was. Fast forward to 11 years later and I’m engaged to be married. I had been with my boyfriend at the time for 5 years, and he had always loved me the way I was.
I had gained weight after college, when we met, simply from less exercise and constantly eating out, and even though he always made it a point to show me his love, I was very unhappy. As New Years rolled in, I vowed that not only for the wedding, but my own mental stability, I would work to lose the weight. Slowly but surely the pounds started to come off. I was physically feeling so much better. My stomach did not hurt constantly, as it once had, I was easier able to get around, and I mentally felt refreshed. I was finally doing something I had wanted to for so long. As I got into the thick of wedding plan, I knew I had to pick the perfect gift for my husband. Something he would never expect. That is when the idea for a Boudoir photo shoot came to mind.
I did my research and found Lindsay Rae in Troy, which is where I live. It was perfect. I reached out about the date and of course scheduled it as far out as I could, in order to make sure I had lost as much weight possible by then. I worked my ass off and by the time the date of my appointment came around I had lost 52lbs. I felt great. I was more confident than I had ever been in my life. That morning, I got to the studio with all my outfit options, ready to go. When I arrived, there was champagne waiting for me and a makeup/hair artist ready to doll me up. It made me feel like I was actually a Victoria Secret model. I stretched naked in the bathroom to prepare and after working with Lindsay on all the various shots, what outfits to wear for them, which poses looked best, 2 hours later we were done. Losing the 52lbs was a great feeling, but leaving her studio was even better. After all those years of struggling with body image and weight loss, I had never felt more confident and happy in myself than in that moment.
Of course I was closer to a weight goal then ever before, but the feeling Lindsay imposes on her model, is not a feeling you can simply get from losing weight. I felt beautiful, sexy, perfect. A few weeks went by before I got to see the photos, and when I met her at her home to view them, I was stunned. As I walked in, her television screen was set up in a slideshow to view all of my photos, set with music & quotes. I kept strong, but I have never wanted to cry harder in my life. She had given me something I searched for, for years. A pride & confidence in me. Not only were my photos absolutely stunning and my book of beautiful quality, but I look back on that day often and think of how great I felt. I look at my book more than my husband and think how this was genuinely more of a gift to myself. Lindsay is not only an artist in photography, but she is an artist in self love. She taught me how to find the true beauty in myself, and to understand that everyone can be the strong, confident person they long to be.
Up to my wedding I continued to lose another 11lbs and was thrilled, of course. Since then I have maintained a lower weight and worked my butt off at the gym. Even though the scale isn’t quite the same, I have stayed at a consistent number and have really come to love the way I looked. And even though I am months from the wedding, and there are moments I slip in my confidence, I continually think back to the day I met with Lindsay. Something I have never ever forgotten or had buyers remorse on. I think about how awesome I look in those photos and it truly brings me peace.Self love is a journey.
Doing something for myself is a rare opportunity. With two small kids, “self” time is few and far between and I always put myself on the back burner. I spent years going back and forth with doing a photo shoot with Lindsay and Erin. Being Erin’s cousin, I’ve had the opportunity to watch her and Lindsay work grow and transform. I would always say “next year I’ll do it” but of course never did.
Then my son came along, and a short 18 months later my daughter. I lost myself in the daliy routine of 2 small kids and wife duties. During one of their nap times I was scrolling through the latest of Lindsay’s work and decided. “I really want to do.” I had some close friends encourage me and I finally booked a shoot. Being months off, it was on the back burner of my brain. Then a few days before the shoot I started getting cold feet. I kept asking myself why should I do it? Did I really need to do it?
But I didn’t cancel and I’m so grateful I did not. Seeing myself through the lens of other was the eye opener I needed to remind myself I am worth my time to take care of myself. That my body is beautiful and amazing for carrying now 3 blessings and I should own my curves. Hearing your sexy or beautiful from your significant other can sound like a phrase that is just said, but at my reveal I felt all those things he told me. I felt sexy, strong, beautiful and still felt like it was me. I’m so glad I took this opportunity and put myself first. This momma got her sexy back!
I absolutely love my photos!!! I’ve been a bigger girl my whole life…. I know I had sexy in me but dayum! Lindsay and Erin immediately put you at ease when you are most vulnerable and exposed (literally!). It’s easy to shy away from doing something like this because it’s out of your comfort zone, but let me tell you, the way I feel seeing those photos has me wanting to flaunt all that I have… flaws or not!
We are always our worst critics … I won’t lie during some poses I thought “there’s no way this is gonna look cute, my rolls must be hanging out and I’m about to fall off this couch!” Haha but then I look at that exact picture and it became one of my favorites of the whole shoot! Am I vulnerable?! Hell yes!! But am I stronger for doing it?! Hell yes! Am I proud of how all my “flaws” are actually sexy as hell?!
You better believe it! Between the amazing art Lindsay has created… and Erin’s makeup prowess y’all have me looking like a BOSS and I plan to own that and make this feeling right here a part of my every day life! NOTHING is sexier than a woman with confidence and y’all have given me that through this experience. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I remember weighing-in at the start of each new school year in elementary school. In the gym. With the entire class. Boys and girls. An old-school medical scale and the nurse getting our height and weight and calling out the numbers to the gym teacher who wrote everything down. Year after year, I was the girl who weighed the most in my class, and the entire class knew it. And it mattered. It mattered that I was not just “A” big girl, but that I was “THE” Big Girl. Needless to say, I developed an unhealthy level of anxiety about my body and a deep sense of self-loathing before I was ten-years-old.
The summer before seventh grade, I grew four inches—and my weight stayed the same. On the outside, I appeared confident and I was getting a lot of positive attention. Inside, however, I was still The Big Girl. I decided I needed to fix this body that I hated, and I would do that by exercising more and eating less. I would eat just enough so no one would ask questions or be concerned. And I would be in dance classes several hours each week. And in the pool at the YMCA several hours each week. And this is how it went until I graduated from high school. College.
Lots of studying and semi-regular all-nighters preparing for exams and writing papers. And eating. And parties. And not being quite so active. I gained the Freshman 40… the standard 15 plus the 25 pounds I probably should have had all along. For the first time in my life, I liked myself. Grad School. See “College.” I did the same thing in two years that I had previously done in four. Another 40 pounds. And I still liked myself… but I didn’t love myself. For the next decade or so, I suffered from horrible anxiety and I became an emotional eater. Food became a comfort and it got me through whatever was going on. Through this part of my life—while I was struggling with my relationship with food and was trying to figure out who I was in the world—I had in-laws that regularly commented about my weight and my size. It all came flooding back… once again, I was The Big Girl. It was a painful and dark time for me, but I got through it.
I got through it because of having incredible friends and an absolutely amazing family. Throughout my life, whether I was a size 2/4 or a size 24, my family and friends have supported me and loved me for me—I am so grateful. I have spent the past nine years with a man who is my soulmate and my rock. A man who truly appreciates that there is more of me to love. A man who has never made a negative comment to me about my body or my weight or my size… quite the opposite, in fact. My love for him and for our relationship is what led me to reach out to Lindsay and ask about booking a session. I booked in May and my date was in December… and I couldn’t wait to do this thing for “him” and for “us.” On the day of my shoot, Lindsay, Erin and Mikey quickly helped me realize that this experience was about ME.
While the “him” and “us” were relevant, that wasn’t the real reason I was there. I spent that day being taken care of and taking care of myself—in so many ways. My hair and makeup—flawless. My body—strong and sexy as hell. My mind—relaxed and focused. My heart—full of joy for meeting three badass women who “got” me and embraced who I am without judgment. My soul—just… full. We had so much fun, together—sharing stories and singing and laughing, like we were old friends. So, while the art we all created will be for “him” and for “us,” it’s for ME, first and foremost. For the first time in a very long time, I did something that ended up being all about me—and it was mind-blowing. I have come so far since those horrific days in the elementary school gym.
I am a highly successful professional woman with a kick-ass career. I am a loving and caring daughter, sister, aunt, niece, partner and friend. I have a very healthy sense of self-worth… and I wouldn’t change any part of the journey I took to get to this place. This place where I am no longer The Big Girl. This place where I am a beautiful, vibrant, intelligent, voluptuous, sexy, seductive, confident and incredibly strong woman. This place where I truly love myself. This place where I am The Fucking Queen.
To my favorite photographer,
Where to start, well it began after seeing your work from a friend of mine. The way you captured her sexuality, confidence, and beauty, I just had to sign myself up! My initial inspiration to do it sooner than later was it is my 20th anniversary this year and frankly I am just about out of ideas, so I thought this is something I have never done, and he will love it. So it started out as a gift for him. But as time went by, and after watching the fantastic documentary, Embrace” I decided, yeah, I will give him the book, but I am doing this for me too! When I arrived for the session, fabulous music was playing, champagne was chilled and the first thing you said to me was,” You as so pretty’. If only everyone would greet me that way.
I immediately felt like I was hanging out with two girlfriends, out in NYC for the weekend. I opened my suitcase which was filled with any panties, bras and lingerie I could dig out of my drawers at home. You asked me to choose my favorites and to my pleasant surprise they were also the ones you said would photograph best, then you said, “ You did good” Just another boost to my confidence! Next, I was transformed by Erin to a “Supermodel” with stunning hair and makeup, then made a quick change into “outfit #1” You so easily explained how to get into each pose, and to this day wish I could remember what you said to make me laugh, where you captured my smile in what ended up being one of my favorite photos, it was so natural. So the shoot goes on, easy, fun, relaxing, I never thought about how I was almost naked in front of two near strangers.
To stand on a balcony in a bra and panties in downtown New York City and have your photo taken is one experience I will remember forever, and it was so empowering. So after a short two weeks, the “teasers” arrive in my inbox. I was going to keep the final product a surprise for my husband but I was so excited I couldn’t wait. His reaction, “Is that you?” I took that as a compliment. I found myself at stop lights opening the email to stare in amazement at the photos. It wasn’t a, “Look how hot I look”, well it was a little, but it was the whole thing, the art of it, the beauty of the light, seeing myself in a different view. Two more weeks passed and I had my reveal session via Skype. We had fun narrowing 200+ photos down to about 40.
There was a particular photo where I am in a handstand against the glass window. I went to mark it as a “no”, and you with all your wisdom said, “Are you sure, that is one of the photos you will look back on and say look at what I did at 44 years old” And I was sold! Today I received the final proofs, and as I went through them, I was thinking, oh, I don’t like this, or don’t like that, then I realized, I was looking for the flaws, I wasn’t looking at the whole photo, the light, the background, the sexiness of the pose, the experience, and then I no longer saw the flaws and only saw one of the best experiences of my life.
As a trainer and nutritionist I make a living sculpting, shaping and nourishing the bodies of amazing women every day. I absolutely love what I do and am so passionate about teaching women how to find their own self love through health, fitness, taking care of their bodies and finding their own passion for a better lifestyle. Confidence thrives when a women feels beautiful in her own skin. But until they can learn those tools we can certainly be our own worst enemy. I meet so many women everyday who pick themselves apart, compare themselves to others and believe that in order to live this lifestyle you have to turn to unhealthy measures.
This couldn’t be more of a myth and my goal is to teach women the tools to find balance a healthy relationship with food, exercise and how to truly embracing themselves. I was once the girl who struggled with self acceptance, and what was physically appealing. Maybe part of it was the fact that I was a fitness competitor and was being judged on a specific way that my body should look to a judging panel. No matter how amazing my body looked leading up to a show something was still missing and I had lost the confidence in myself because I could only see my body as a frame of work.
I was forgetting that it was all of my perfect imperfections that made me beautiful, strong and confident and not the opinions of 10 judges and my super lean physique. I had to find my own self love and acceptance again first before I could ever get back on stage and let other people tell me how I should look. No one but you should ever be the judge of your physique. It wasn’t until I started to love myself, my body, my soul and all of my “flaws” that I gained a whole new sense of empowerment and confidence in myself. Enter Lindsay and Erin… In a very similar field to me, empowering and giving women the confidence to step outside of their comfort zones and create an experience for women that truly states where they are in that point in time. For me, this was about turning 30 (1 more month), being a business owner, a wife, and now opening up my very own personal training studio.
So many amazing accomplishments that I was so proud of. People doubted me, questioned me, and criticized me but I never let them see me crumbled or take me down. I stayed strong and true to myself, my beliefs, my goals, and only surrounded myself with people who believed in my goals, passions and dreams. I finally cut out the people who were toxic and eliminated the toxic energy. Why waste your time on anyone who has nothing better to do then to questions your goals and life choices. I had finally got to a point in my life where I didn’t care what anyone else thought. I was confident, motivated, loved and I was embracing it all! I love all my curves, imperfections, and have finally found balance in my life and couldn’t have been more proud to have the confidence to do something for me again! Without a judging panel.
Never feeling more confident, beautiful and sexy in my own skin, because I am a real women. I eat, I drink, and I truly live and love this healthy and fitness lifestyle that so many people think you have to take unhealthy measures to get to. My goal is to teach other women the same. To empower them and give them the confidence to own their goals, their mindset and how they feel every single day. No matter how young or old, how big or small, everyone deserves to love themselves, their bodies and be truly comfortable in their own skin. I am so proud of the women I am today and I cannot wait for what the future holds for me, for my amazing clients and for GetFit with Alexa Jaye ?
In my heart I knew I needed to have this experience… I had gone through some loss, heartbreak and had lost my identity as a woman. Hell… I didn’t even feel like a woman anymore. I watched the blog and page for a long time…everyone’s stories rang true for me… and I knew I needed to experience this for myself…. Or the self I thought i would be in a year. Oh i was going to Lose weight for my session! Be in the best shape of my life!! You know the drill. Well a month before the session, i was the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life! I thought about canceling. I freaked out and cried convinced I ruined this opportunity. I had scheduled a styling session with Randi and Lindsay at the boutique. I thought they would see me and give me clothes that would Cover the train wreck of a body I saw in the mirror… I was so ashamed.
They were so welcoming and set me at ease. They showed me some gorgeous pieces… but I was so scared to even come out of the changing room… these were beautiful, sexy, classy and revealing pieces. No way I could do this. Out Of the changing room I crept… totally flushed with nerves and insecurities. But they made me feel so gorgeous… i started to feel for the first time in a long time… sexy! The day of the session I had come to realize i needed to embrace the experience. I truly didn’t think I’d even buy any pictures…I went in thinking just the mere experience would help me open up. I listened to Lindsay and Erin’s encouraging words, the show tunes we had blaring and tried to push myself a bit. It wasn’t until Lindsay showed me a quick shot from Her Camera that It hit me… that face staring back was beautiful, confident. I couldn’t believe it was me (and after Lindsay had to reassure me a few times that yes It was truly me) I teared up.
I had never seen myself that way. It was a revealing and humbling experience. Since the reveal, I’ve never felt more at peace with myself and my body. I respect the woman I am and am Proud to Honor my true self. I realize am enough and worthy… and that is a priceless revelation. I treat myself more kindly and feel empowered. Seeing yourself through Lindsay and Erin’s eyes is an experience every woman should gift for themselves. I am excited to have this art displayed in my home to remind me every day.
I’m not sure what I’m about to write or the direction it will take; but what I do know is that I am excited to share a little bit of me; what this experience has meant to, and done for, me; and the emotions that have run through my body since the moment I stepped through Lindsay’s door.
I have a tattoo on my back that means self-confidence, I got it to remind me there’s no reason I shouldn’t feel confident or secure in my body and with the person I am, but there are many times since I got this that I have…too many times in fact. However, this experience has reminded me of why I got it and I can honestly and wholeheartedly say I have never felt so strong, confident, happy with who I am, and proud of the person I am and the way I look. So much so that I want to show it off to the world.
I took a few big steps in doing this shoot, some I knew I was taking and some I did not realize I was.
For me to share personal feelings about myself is one of those big steps. I have a tendency to keep things inside. I don’t want people to know the bad or struggles I face or see the insecurities inside. I was always worried I’d be seen as weak or ridiculous for feeling how I felt. But when something makes me feel as incredible as my session with LRP has I want to shout about it from the rooftops and share everything with everyone.
A boudoir shoot is something I have wanted to do for a very long time, no one knew this, it was just one of those things I knew I’d love to do someday…someday when I felt I was physically ready to. No doubt I was ready physically at other times, but not in my eyes. I’d even pose in the mirror and envision myself doing it, but never actually made the leap to do it. I know partially because mentally and emotionally I wasn’t ready and also because I hadn’t found the right person to entrust and expose myself to both physically and emotionally. When I found Lindsay and looked at the work she and Erin do I was instantly in love; I felt they themselves and their work were breathtaking. After reading what all the incredible women were feeling and doing and the journey’s they had been on to get there themselves, it put a fire inside me. I had to be part of such an amazing group of women. I had found the people who could bring something out in me I had wanted to show and felt for so long.
So, I had to do it; I had to just book my session, stop making excuses why I couldn’t. I knew with LRP I was in good hands and could do anything. I just felt it. I was beyond excited from the moment I did.
I decided I was going to give the end product to my fiancé for Christmas, but ultimately this was something I was doing for me, the experience was for me…and Oh My God was it the experience of a lifetime. Life changing!
I planned to keep the fact I was doing this to myself till after I did it, I wanted it all for me, but that only lasted a couple days till I had to share, my excitement was too high, so I told my mom and a friend. It was what my mom said that really opened my eyes; she was shocked that out of her three daughters I was the one doing this. She also told me how incredibly proud she was of me for doing this. In my eyes though I was the one who was most likely to do it; it’s something I had wanted to do for such a long time, I had even wanted to get into modeling when I was younger; but she doesn’t see me posing in the mirror at home, however, what she has always seen are my insecurities, she’s one of the few people who I have always shown or expressed them to. I just never realized to what extent.
I have always been very judgmental of myself; telling myself I couldn’t do something, wear something, or show something, till I felt ‘perfect’. I’ve always been insecure about certain parts of my body; particularly my legs. There is nothing wrong with them and I see and know that now, but I have always had fuller thighs and a butt. And I didn’t like it. It bothered me. I wouldn’t even put on a bathing suit at my folks pool because in my eyes my body wasn’t perfect. I didn’t like this, I didn’t like that…and I didn’t want to show it, not even to my family.
What I heard from people was “you’re so thin”, what I saw was full thighs, cellulite on my legs, a bloated belly…how could I show that?!?! I was ashamed. I thought everyone would be so critical, not believe that I worked out, see the real me, and not like what they saw. All crazy thoughts I know, especially to think my family or fiancé would think this, but they were my thoughts and I knew there really wasn’t anything to be ashamed of but it’s how I felt and I couldn’t get over it. This has gone on in my head my entire life, no matter who said what, whether it was family, a love, or friend.
After my session I was telling my mom all about it and the excitement was pouring out of me. She was still surprised I did it and still incredibly proud of me. I admit I am surprised and proud of me too. But this experience has forever changed my life, I wish everyone could know this feeling…it truly is empowering and the self love that comes from it is indescribable. I love the way I feel, the way I look, and the person I am. I am proud of the way I look and am proud to show it off and if someone doesn’t like it that doesn’t bother me..to each their own…but I love who I am and it’s incredible.
For me, there are many end products that came out of this…the incredible photos are one, and that feeling of empowerment and true self love that I feel are another; both so amazingly beautiful and things I will have and hold close to me forever.
Whenever I think about this whole experience, talk about, or see one of my photos a huge smile comes across my face, my heart fills with love, a rush goes through my body, and I am on cloud nine. It’s such an incredible high! I feel I could go on forever talking about this, just ask my mom, anytime I talk to her about it I can’t stop. I truly believe everyone should do this and not wait!! If I could do a shoot with Lindsay and Erin everyday I would; and I cannot wait to do this again!!!
When I first reached out to Lindsay she asked me for the three words that define my version of sexy…I told her Strong, Confident, and Happy…well what do you know, this is me! Thank you Lindsay for helping me find and bring to life what I have admired in others for so long. Thank you for helping me fall in love with myself!!!
Prior to my session with Lindsay, if someone had asked me to draw a picture of myself, the outside of my figure would resemble something similar to the Michelin Man.
In a society where perfection is generally forced down your throat, thanks to social media, it was difficult for me to actually see what I look like. The mentally warped image which the mirror presented was not an accurate depiction of my true self.
I originally scheduled an appointment with Lindsay to make a book to give as a wedding gift to my fiancé – what I got was so much more.
Once I saw what Lindsay had captured I realized not only how truly beautiful I am but women in general. Yes, Erin did an impeccable job on my hair and makeup. I can’t believe Hollywood hasn’t scooped her up yet!! However many of my favorite shots did not expose my face at all. Which is a general contrast to the head shots which quite a few of us use as profile pictures!
Lindsay was able to remove the warped images my brain had once conjured up in the mirror. She truly has the ability to show any women that they possess the same characteristics which we usually only associate with super models. If you’ve never done a boudoir session, one session with Lindsey may very well change your outlook on life and how you view yourself.
Thank you Erin and Lindsay.
I did my first shoot with Lindsay in January of 2015. Being a pharmacist and being a professional it’s very difficult to find that line of keeping things classy, sexy, conservative and professional all at the same time. My first shoot was one of the hardest things I have had to put myself through. I find myself to be a very confident and humble woman not to mention very active in sports but this, was nothing like I’ve ever experienced before.
I remember being so self conscious of how I looked, to the point of not being able to come out the bathroom.
I kept thinking to myself why did I do this? How can I do this? What are other people going to think of me? It wasn’t until I sat down for my reveal session that totally blew me away. I couldn’t believe that was me. I couldn’t believe that I had the opportunity to do something so personal and intimate like this. This shoot went deeper than what’s just on outside. Your vulnerability and emotions are completely exposed.
There is a different kind of self love a boudoir shoot can give you than nothing else can. Working as a pharmacist it’s hard to feel sexy because our job is solely focused on the care of our patients. After my first shoot, I was determined to do another one and push myself even more. This time I wanted our gorgeous glam goddess Erin Goyer Bink to shoot with me. We showed strength, femininity, courage, women power, and brought the sexiness to that shoot. That was such an incredible experience and yet so different than my first session.
I think now I feel comfortable and confident enough to know that I can have that balance between working as a pharmacist and also play dress up and be sexy when I’m not at work. This last shoot took it to the most vulnerable state anyone could be in. I couldn’t have felt more comfortable and more confident in myself. There are so many people that have allowed me to get to this point that I couldn’t be more grateful for. My trainer Alexa Jaye who pushes me every day off I have to consistently make sure I stay on track with my fitness goals, Erin Goyer Bink who is not only one of the most beautiful people I know inside and out, but who I have learned so much from, and the amazing and most talented Lindsay Rae. Lindsay and pushed me and transformed me into being the best version of myself.
Standing there naked looking out the bedroom window of my home, the only thing going through my mind was how incredibly grateful I am to have gotten to this point in my life and how each and every person I have encountered along the way has played a huge part in getting me there. I look out the window with confidence and excitement to the endless possibilities that lie ahead.
I was introduced to Lindsay’s work by a co-worker who kept telling me I needed to do a boudoir shoot with her. I fell in love with the pictures I seen on her page but immediately thought of all the reasons not to do it, don’t photograph well, being vulnerable, being half naked in front of someone I don’t know and as confident as I come across to the people that know me the insecurities were winning. After repeatedly looking at all the BEAUTIFUL women I finally believed that I could and would do a shoot with her for myself. My whole life I have been very small, people always say”do you ever eat?” This statement has helped with the image insecurities I had almost all my life.
The last year I have been on a crusade to think better of myself and to find out who I am ( the real me) so I have been going out of my comfort zone and facing my fears in order to grow into the woman I am meant to be. Lindsay and Erin are an amazing team together, right from the moment Lindsay opened the door I felt the nerves disappear. They both made me feel comfortable and worthy. When I seen the pictures I was blown away, I had to look at them about a 100 times, I finally got to see what everyone I love and respect had been telling me for years, that I am BEAUTIFUL.
When Lindsay says she does this work to empower women she doesn’t just say it, she truly has a gift and I’m happy that I got to be a recipient of her gift!
So I went to pick up my art, my fabulous fabulous art (#youasart), and after a totally hilarious/socially awkward moment of doubt about how to handle a guy maybe holding the door for me—maybe he isn’t, maybe he needs me to hold the door for HIM (are his arms full, is he coming, is he going?), and if I accept his chivalrous door-opening (if that is what it is), then how do I buzz Lindsay?—I walk right in to the lobby and hear someone exclaim: “I love your pants!” Okay, two things of note: 1. They’re red corduroy pants from KUT from the Kloth and they’re fantastic, and 2. The random compliment came from Lindsay’s friend and client, Jamie.
I had walked smack-dab into her other art pickup without even realizing it, being so caught up in my weird door-holding social interaction (a social construct that I could do without)! I drooled over Jamie’s art a little (okay okay… I drooled a lot! There’s one shot of her… well, it’s not really this exactly, but it totally can be described as “elegantly falling down the stairs with the super ballin’ back piece”), and we had a good laugh about strangers paying you weird (I prefer to say: awesome) compliments on the fantastic red shade of pants you’re wearing. Now, the pants are important, because I was wearing the red pants, my big-girl heels, and a turtleneck, and Lindsay said, “You look cute!! You must’ve known I would put you on camera!” to which I replied, “No, I’m just working today.” She said, “Yeah but you look cute!” and instead of thank you, I said, “I have to dress like I want the promotion.”
Flash forward through other hilarity (anyone who knows Lindsay knows that hilarity is definitely always part of the conversation)… I’m now drooling over my own art, because it’s fabulous, and Lindsay starts talking about her most recent blog, and then she stops and quirks her head at me, “Wait, did you do a blog yet?? I don’t think you did… you should write a blog.” I laughed a little and thought, how do I write a blog about myself? I normally keep things so close to my chest… Instead, I said, “Yeahhh, I’m not a great writer and don’t really know what I’d write ABOUT.” To be fair, it’s true. I’m okay when I’m speaking, but writing is legit: it’s there, it’s on paper, it can be read, re-read, judged.
You can say something and understand tone and context, but writing can be interpreted, or MISinterpreted. (Editor’s note: actually Stacey is a good writer! But yes, she did ask me to edit this blog-post for her… but she helped me write my novel, so THERE, Stacey, YOU’RE A GOOD WRITER and now everyone knows!) So Lindsay replied, “Really? I know what you can write about: how you walked in here and said you had to dress as if you were already promoted! I mean, you can totally write about your experience, but that’s a powerful message.
Women need to own what they want AND own their sexuality, and those can be totally tied together. Other people can make that mistake, or make the (incorrect) assumption that they somehow own your sexuality because of it. But it’s important to remember that that shit is for you and that you alone OWN it.” This really got my gears turning. I thought, hey, I could write a blog: I could write about learning to own my sexuality, and more importantly, how critical it is for us to stick the fuck together as women and BE on the same team, to support each other owning our stories and our sexuality!
I grew up surrounded by tough men and women—and I mean tough, men and women who overcame some serious shit and refused to back down, men and women who embrace their shit (for anyone who’s ever read Elizabeth Gilbert, she talks about owning your shit: OWN YOUR SHIT Dear Ones – Oh how I… – Elizabeth Gilbert | Facebook)—but also, some men and women who didn’t own their shit. Those men and women who, consciously or unconsciously, refuse to embrace their own shit, consequently limit their emotional capacity for empathy and compassion, and subsequently spread the message that YOU shouldn’t proudly own your shit either. And if you don’t own your shit, your decisions, YOUR life? Someone else will own it for you (or they’ll definitely try to)…
So, I’ll own it: I’m #dirty30 this year, I have some AMAZING friends and family members, and a WONDERFULLY supportive life partner who I’m grateful for EVERY fucking day. I’ve had the glorious fortune of being in a career that I love (so much that I got my PhD). I’ve been able to travel all over this gorgeous planet, meeting new amazing people every single day. But I’ve also been in some shitty jobs and had some even shittier relationships, I’m “one in four” (wtf dude.. how is that statistic so fucking high!!?), and I’ve learned some super hard lessons in boundaries and owning my own shit: such as the wake-up call that I don’t need to dress for a promotion.
Who made those rules?! Here’s my pledge: I’ve worked so hard to stop labeling others—why not extend the same love towards myself? I’m going to stop labeling myself. I’m giving myself permission to be sexy today, or not be sexy, and I’m going to OWN that decision. I’m giving myself permission to speak up at a meeting, and to pause when I need to, in order to speak from a place of empowerment. I’m giving myself permission to smile when I want, or to not smile. I’m giving myself permission to have attitude, give attitude, be confident, ask for the promotion or raise straight-up. I’m giving myself permission to take good care of myself when I don’t have the emotional energy to give to others; I give myself permission to give from a place of self-empowered love, rather than giving from a place of self-depleted sacrifice and resentment. I’m giving myself permission to openly support and respect others’ choice to do (or not do) the same. And most importantly, I’m going to own every bit of it; I alone own my stories and I alone own those choices, because if I don’t own them, then someone else will own them for me. You know what makes it so much easier to tune out the negativity and own it all? Walking into a room and having a stranger tell you: “Love those pants!”, or “You look nice!”
The positive reinforcement and empowering of other women reminds me how great people are, and how courageous they can be, and how complimenting a total stranger can brighten their day so much they bring it up in a blog post. And how it totally surpasses the need to embrace the social constructs (like having to dress for a promotion, or being socially awkward because you can’t tell if some dude is holding the door for you, OR questioning whether to speak up in a meeting because my tone may be misinterpreted simply because I’m a woman). So I’m also going to own empowering other women. I’m going to compliment a stranger, love all of the gorgeous babes represented in Lindsay’s art, and encourage EVERY woman to have this experience, to feel completely empowered afterwards, and to pay the love forward! Ironically, the quote Lindsay put up with my teasers really brings this point home: “I always thought that people told you that you’re beautiful-that this was a title that was bestowed upon you… I think that it’s time to take a power into our own hands and to say ‘you know what? I’m beautiful. I just am. And that’s my light. I’m just a beautiful woman,'” ~Margaret Cho
I am a first time Boudoir client and I had an incredible experience with Lindsay and Erin! A blog post from a member at my gym inspired me to finally take the leap and book a shoot. Lindsay and Erin are awesome women and beyond talented in their respected professions! What they create and capture is/was jaw dropping! Their positive, upbeat personalities helped keep any doubt or insecurities at bay – they are like cheerleaders on the sideline always making you feel like a million bucks ☺️. I walked out of the shoot feeling like I could conquer the world! When I met with Lindsay to review my photos I told her how much fun I had and how I could do boudoir shoots as a part time job ? – that was how much I enjoyed the whole experience!! Thank you Lindsay and Erin for helping me see and feel like the confident, sexy, strong woman I know I can be!” Thank you for the whole experience – I LOVED it and seriously would do it (if I could) as a job ?.
Transitions.. change.. the journey.. rock bottom.. only up from here right? When you’re there it’s the hardest place in the world to be but when you climb out it was the happiest and healthiest place yet. As mother’s, as spouses, as women, as any title you may claim we sometimes forget that we are still people. When all those titles are ripped from you what’s left? You, you’re still left. I fell into my shoot by chance with Lindsay I had always admired all of her gorgeous photos.
When I booked it was months out and I was in love with the idea. When it arrived I didn’t even know that I cared or even wanted to do it, but I had paid for it already and mom financial logic struck. I stressed over finding a sitter, if it was really worth it, why was I bothering? I wasn’t worth the bother but I did it, this last year has been one of the hardest years of my life, and everything was changing. I became a single mom, I had to move back home. I had to accept that the fairy tale ending I was longing for for so long was just not an option anymore and that I had to rise and create our fairytale.
You don’t know what you have until it’s gone, and you don’t know how bad or unhealthy it was until it’s gone and you can breathe a full breath for the first time. Lindsay and Erin did more for me than words can ever say. This experience was so transitional and so emotional, I don’t know that I had ever been so low before and when I got those teasers it was everything. It was seeing the beauty on paper the beauty from within the feelings of inadequacy just melted away. The reminder that I am still me and that I am strong, brave, a fighter and that maybe rock bottom isn’t so bad after all.
I wanted to do a Boudoir shoot to get in touch with the raw, sexy version of myself. The month leading up to my photo shoot was difficult. I ate my weight in carbs to ease the nausea I felt from being newly pregnant. I was bloated, hormonal. I felt as if my body wasn’t my own and was frustrated that I had no control over what was happening to me. Stripping down in front of strangers had started to sound about as much fun as walking through a minefield. I walked into Lindsay’s nervous and unsure if I was really supposed to be there.
Lindsay and Erin’s excitement and energy encouraged me to break out of the bullshit shell I had formed. I felt sexy and empowered not only for facing my vulnerabilities but for owning them. Lindsay captured a sultriness and sensuality that I had misplaced as my body transitioned into its new role. I left feeling comfortable in my own skin again and ready to meet the challenges of the journey ahead. I was reminded to embrace my insecurities for making me real and to appreciate myself in the present. When I saw my prints for the first time, I took away so much more from the experience I didn’t expect. I mean, yes, they are sexy as hell.
But I fell in love with my body as a work of art and for its ability to do what it was beautifully designed for, creating life.
I was a weight watchers kid…. Raised by a mom that was always into fitness an “aerobics” instructor. Through middle school always being asked if I wanted to go to weight watchers with her. Always weighing my food, counting out each pretzel, going to meetings etc. I was never heavy at all. Just a little plump. It led me to an eating disorder when I was in college. I was bulimic for a number of years. Went from a size 12 to a 6 in a short amount of time. I realized I had a problem when my mom and I were in a store and when I got into those size 6’s she burst into tears. I hid my problem for a while. Until one day, I, in the middle of an episode I felt like I was having a heart attack. My chest hurt so bad I couldn’t breath and it brought me to tears. I knew it was time to stop what I was doing or else I could die.
So instead I resorted to eating only steamed vegetables and anything “fat free” I could get my hands on. I Knew that wasn’t a healthy choice either but it kept me thin. I knew it was time to get some help. I’ve always had some sort of body dismorphia. I was never happy with the way that I looked or felt. My breasts were always large. I had a breast reduction and a lift when I was about 25. And from there it led me toward a life of fitness. I could finally run!!!! And I didn’t have to wear 3 sports bras to exercise. I started training with a trainer and started getting into really good shape. Started to learn how to eat properly and taking care of my body. I fell off the wagon because I was “enjoying” my twenties a little too much as most twenty year olds do. I eventually got into yoga and from there trained for my yoga certification. I then started training at Metabolic Meltdown by the influence of a few friends and coworkers.
I instantly became addicted. Went to my first fitness show and was instantly inspired to do a show myself! Currently, I am training for my first figure show on November 12 with the help of my trainer Alexa Elia and Metabolic Meltdown workouts. As far as the salon goes, I opened it in 2006, I was 28 years old and knew I wanted to have my own salon before I turned 30. It was rough. I spent many nights sleeping in my salon and built it from the ground up with no hand outs. So we are celebrating our 10th year this year! As a business owner, I have been learning lesson after learning lesson and it is not an easy ride at all… people come and go, think they can do it better than you or on their own. It’s not for everyone. But our program is a program designed to build future leaders of Stiletto Salon.
I am so ready to “share the wealth” with my company to those that want it. It’s not a program for the faint of heart but one that is looking to grow through hard work and pressure and a proven success to those that follow our program. We have built a brand!! A name. A reputation. A thought. A profession. A go to place. An experience. I have reached a point in my career that my stylists, coworkers, employees are my heartbeat. They wake me up every day! I am their leader and I want them to rely on me to help build a future and quality of life for them.
I found Lindsay’s work on Instagram and became instantly obsessed. I’ve seen other Boudoir photographers but they all just looked trashy and unprofessional. Being in a place where I love my body now…. I am so happy with how far I’ve come through all this hard work. It is amazing through each stage and transformation to see my body change. It’s really cool. My shoot has impacted me. It has inspired me to capture a very special part of my life and it has allowed me to to feel comfortable with myself and not be afraid to hide the work I’ve done to get here. I want everyone to know that as women we need to empower each other instead of hate on each other
My life has been a series of incredible events. Some beautiful…. Some tragic….mostly magical as of lately. As I look at the images Lindsay captured of me I am again reminded that regardless of what am a dealing with at the moment, being photographed by my soul sisters makes my heart swell with love. I am a mom, a business owner, a nurse and a hopeless romantic. Currently I am battling cancer for the 4th time and its is exhausting. That being said my life light burns brightly and I am truly blessed to be surrounded by my tribe of artsy ladies!!!!! Lindsay made me feel so fierce and calm and shooting with her was incredible. Never give up….I know I won’t #fuckcancer
I originally scheduled my shoot with Lindsay for one purpose – to get some, hopefully, kick ass gifts for my fiancé. His first duty station for the Air Force is in Southern GA, causing us to be long distance for some time, and I thought this would be the perfect gift! What I didn’t realize was that this shoot would be so much more… Several years ago, before meeting Eric (my fiancé), I got myself into a truly terrible relationship.
This guy tore me completely apart. I once considered myself a strong, independent, confident woman…but he no longer allowed that. To him, everything I was and everything I did was a disappointment. I wasn’t tan or skinny or sexual enough. When I didn’t wash the dishes after going to school full-time and working five nights a week, I was lazy. Going to the grocery store in sweats was apparently not allowed, as he didn’t want to be seen with me unless I was looking my absolute best. He wouldn’t allow me to do anything without him. I seriously remember going to a girlfriend’s house to do Zumba one night and when I came back he yelled at me for basically having other friends. Anyway, to say the least, the relationship was toxic. By the end of it, I don’t think we could speak to each other without fighting. I remember being in a fight and getting a coffee table thrown towards me and saying to myself “This is insane. You can’t do this anymore.”
But even then I was terrified to leave him because I didn’t want to deal with the repercussions. His anger and hate was too much to deal with. I’d try to end it and then go back, and end it, and go back…you know the story. Finally one day I was able to leave him for good. But that was only because he had stripped me of all emotions and I couldn’t feel anymore. And there I was on my own with a new life ahead of me. Except the sad part was, I couldn’t be excited about it. I had become a robot, incapable of letting myself experience any type of emotion. To feel nothing was better than to face the dark that laid within. I had lost all respect for myself and when I looked in the mirror I didn’t recognize the girl looking back. She was weak and self conscious. Thankfully, I was able to eventually pull myself out of it and decided to try to be the strong, independent woman I once was. Slowly, but surely it started coming back, but I would be lying if I said I’m not still struggling with the repercussions of that time in my life.
Once I met Eric I knew it was going to be a different kind of relationship. I knew he was going to be the one to encourage me to be better, and he does, everyday. He is the most loving, supportive man I could ever imagine. The way he shows his love for me every day is seriously amazing, and I know that I am blessed to have him in my life. When he says I’m beautiful, I believe him. When he says he loves me, I believe him. But I’ve never been able to see myself the way he does…until this shoot. I am truly thankful for being able to experience this self love experience with Lindsay. Looking at these photos have allowed me to find a confidence and strength in myself that have been missing for a very long time. Now when Eric says I’m beautiful or sexy I not only believe him, but I agree…and that is something I never thought would happen.
I got naked. I got naked because I wanted to, not because I wanted attention from a man, not because I want to be sexualized, not because I want to promote this body positive image the media is telling us is trendy, not because I want you all to think I love my body. I got naked because I am an artist and I believe the human body is art, it is beautiful…an art that is lost because we are all too busy shaming the body and over sexualizing it. I got naked because I am an artist and I believe the human body is art I got naked because I was afraid to start modeling again after months of depression, self mutilation and a suicide attempt. I didn’t want to explain the scars…I was afraid of them….but I’m no longer embarassed or ashamed. I love my body. Not because I love my curves and am caught up in this “curvy plus size body positive” movement, but because it survived when my mind didn’t want it to. We all have a battle, a journey, a path…we all have a body.
There’s always that feeling you get inside, kinda like butterflies in your belly when your husband whom has seen you naked a ton of times, smiles as he sees your pics! In the beginning I decided to do these pics as my bday gift for him, but honestly what I got out of it was completely for me. Lindsay Rae D’Ottavio made me realize my inner beauty and how hot I was with these stretch marks and all! The confidence you gain from doing something like this is incredible ❤️ Thank you so much Lindsay ? #onehotasbitch #herworkismagic
I’ll be turning 40 this year and it scares me! I find myself staring in the mirror examining every wrinkle, curve, bump & stretch mark on my body. I do consider myself a confident woman but lately my confidence has been diminishing. Two years ago I underwent radiation for a brain tumor that left me nearly blind from one eye and lost all sensation from my left side of my face. Thankfully radiation worked. I’m back to normal but the radiation did affect my hormones. Making me gain weight combined with (not so pretty) skin issues. Don’t get me wrong I am so grateful that my sight and sensations are back to normal but the radiation side effects gets me down. It started affecting my relationship with my hubby & my daughter. My daughter has caught me saying “I’m so fat”, “I’m so ugly”, “My face is gross”, “My thighs are so nasty”. I realized that this NOT how I want to raise my daughter. I want my daughter to grow up confident no matter what shape she is. What make us beautiful is our character, intelligence and our perseverance.
I wanted someone to capture me they way I use to see myself and after obsessing over every image she posted I knew Lindsay was the one. I was hesitating in booking my shoot because of my size but I went through it any way. Lindsay is pure magic! From the moment I walked in the door she made me feel welcomed and in a safe place. Between make-up, hair and Lindsay I transformed to that woman I was once before and it felt sooooo good! I was reminded that I am a strong, confident vixen! I can conquer anything that comes my way!
I’m going to hang one of my images in my bedroom so it can remind my hubby how hot his wife is and when my daughter sees it she can appreciate her mothers strength, courage and beauty at any age or size. For me the image will serve as a reminder that I am confident and to seize each day like it’s my last!
Thank you Lindsay for awaking my inner goddess!
Once you have a child you and your world change in so many ways. You’re a mom to a beautiful little baby, and to that baby you are their world. You become selfless and give up your every need to satisfy and soothe your baby.. you are up countless nights, you work harder than ever to provide and give your baby everything they need.. you get frustrated, you learn to balance motherhood, relationships, friends, and work, and you never fully figure it out. you never pee alone again, every day you are guessing on what to do, or if your decisions are right, all while continuing to hold that little bundle of joy in your arms. I was 22 when I became a mom, I was in a less than ideal relationship and was completely lost. That first year of motherhood was the most difficult year of my life.. A year after I had my child and my body went back to somewhat how it was before..
I looked in the mirror naked and loved my body for giving me this beautiful baby, and at the same time become upset for it looking as it did.. in my eyes my body was ruined. Nothing was back where it was.. my tummy would never be the same again.. I struggled with this for a long time and I would be lying if I said I still didn’t. I finally decided that I need images of myself to have around my home that made me feel amazing.. images that I would see and feel proud of.. images my daughter would see that would make her feel as though her mom loves her body, and she should love hers too.
As women we are surrounded with body shaming in all forms. I want my daughter to love and embrace her body, and I Knew in order to teach her this I must first love and embrace my own. It took me a long time to find a boudoir photographer that was exactly what I was looking for. I wanted someone who empowers women and supports women in loving themselves as they are. A photographer that photographs real women with real bodies who have curves and want to show them off. A photographer that would make me feel like I was stunning, and rocked the shoot! I wanted to feel empowered.. and confident, and sexy again. When I found Lindsay’s work I immediately fell in love.
Her talents are exceptional and she is the best of the best in boudoir photography. Being a photographer my self I was very selective, I knew she was going to be the artist to photograph me! I went into the shoot with high expectations that Lindsay far exceeded! Erin did my makeup flawlessly, and Lindsay posed my body perfectly. I felt so comfortable from the second I walked in the door! During my shoot I felt like the most beautiful woman in the world. My flaws didn’t cross my mind, and I felt like I rocked the shoot.. Lindsay makes you feel empowered, loves with her whole heart, encourages and supports women to be who they are and feel sexy the whole way! I can now go into my room and see the pieces of art work that were created.. by my body..
I feel sexy, confident, and like a whole new person. My daughter is now being taught to love yourself as you are and be confident in yourself always. I will forever be grateful for Lindsay and Erin for making me feel and look as gorgeous as I do in these images. These are images that I will have for a lifetime and the experience I gained and how I now feel about myself is something that I will hold close to my heart for many years to come!
If you are ever in the same place as Lindsay, SHOOT WITH HER. She will make you feel like a goddess!! Her energy, pose coaching, and reassurance during shooting result in amazing photos you didn’t even know you had in you. Thank you to my friend, the amazingly talented Lindsay for this experience! If only every woman in my life could have a session with her, they’d realize just how fierce, strong, and sexy they all are.
My experiences with Lindsay have been very unique and special for me as I believe it is and will be for all of her clients. In 2014 I got engaged and knew I wanted to do something special for my soon to be husband. I found Lindsay and booked my session immediately! I was so excited as I looked at all of her beautiful work and started to “compare” myself to her other clients thinking “I cant wait to look at beautiful as them.” Let’s be real we always compare ourselves! But why? And how do we compare because we are individuals. Lindsay did a fantastic job and my prints are so beautiful! Make up was so perfect thanks to Erin! How often do you get to see yourself looking and feeling like a super star?
One small problem for me … I was still so extremely uncomfortable with myself, as much help as I had with clothing it was still hard when you don’t feel sexy. Well literally after that shoot I started working out four days a week and changing the way I ate daily. I have never been skinny and was never the pretty girl in the room. After a few months I started to build confidence within myself for so many reasons. I reached out to Lindsay and I shared how important it was for me to have another session, so her and I booked for a few months out and we began the hunt for the best possible outfits for me to wear.
Lindsay is so fantastic and puts so much time in for her clients. She sent me at least twenty links to websites to chose from! She goes above and beyond to ensure your happy. The day of my shoot I was mentally and physically prepared. (yes physically! When she says stretch she means it!! Listen to her, because it makes a huge difference) Erin did a fantastic job with my hair and makeup. She is professional, so sweet and a true beauty herself! During the shoot Lindsay made me laugh and feel so comfortable. I had a goal going into this and it was to be completely free and open and let the moment take me where it needed to. I can say after I left that day I felt sexy and confident! I felt like I got over some kind of hump, don’t get me wrong I still have insecurities as most people do.
But for me, feeling confident is more important than caring what my hair or makeup looked like that day. When I scheduled my reveal with Lindsay I was anxious to see how everything had turned out. I was blown away!! As cliche as I sound I kept thinking “I cant believe that is me!” I did not have to compare myself to any one else, at that exact moment I realized how sexy and beautiful I am and did not need or want to look like anyone else…because I loved how I looked! I definitely am so happy I did this a second time because my inner soul needed it. I can not wait to give these gifts to my soon to be husband on our wedding day and show him how sexy his wife is!!!
Since recently becoming a mother of two I have begun to hate my body. This was really starting to take a toll on some of my most important relationships. So one night I saw Lindsay’s video on the Self Love Experience and I thought that’s exactly what I need. In the beginning I was extremely nervous, this was something so far outside of my comfort zone. Lindsay was supportive through the whole process from picking out what to wear to poses. The experience was amazing, I left the studio with such a high and a new found love for myself. The best part I was able to view my images a few hours after shooting. I was shocked on how beautiful I looked, I had never seen myself this way and was so completely happy. This experience has helped me find the love for myself that I have been missing, it has opened my eyes to see that I am beautiful in my own way . I would do this again and again for myself!
When I first made my appointment with Lindsay I was so excited to try something new. I’m a shy person who doesn’t like to talk about anything personal so that made me nervous that my pictures might not turn out like I want them to. Fast forward to the day of my appointment. It was very nerve racking to me, I’m out of my comfort zone and trying something new for the first time.
Meeting Lindsay for the first time was fantastic, she makes you feel at home. She isn’t just a photographer she’s a friend. You would think that meeting someone for the first time would be awkward because you’re going to be posing in front of them in lingerie. Lindsay made the experience one that I will never forget. I brought my best friend with me and we had a 2 hour ride home and how professional Lindsay was and the amazing experience I had with her is all we talked about the entire way home. This photo shoot was very personal, it exposes me in ways that I’m not used to showing people.
Lindsay taught me how to love my body because the way I look at them in pictures is not how I see it in the mirror. I was one of the lucky few that got to see my pictures before they were “touched up” and I fell in love with them before she did anything to them! Lindsay pushes you to your limits to get that perfect shot. She’s the only photographer I recommend to everyone and I just love showing people my photos.
Lindsay is a beautiful, passionate soul. From the moment I walked into her apartment for hair and make up, she made me feel valued and comfortable, as if I had known her for years. While I silently I was apprehensive about my wardrobe, Lindsay praised my choices and helped put my mind at ease. We chatted so easily over cocktails during hair and make up, it was such a nice precursor to the shoot that would follow. Cassandra was a rock star with my make up and hair. She is truly an artist at what she does.
She was also so kind to work with me on her birthday! I was and still am so appreciative! When it came to shooting, Lindsay is professional and zealous. She taught me everything, from being mindful of my light source to contorting my body to accentuate my assets and minimize areas of my body that made me self conscious. Again, she made it feel as though she had all the time in the world to provide me with a truly unique, empowering experience. Lindsay is a master of her trade and knows all of the tricks and has a valuable plethora of knowledge the help any woman be successful accomplishing the individual goals she has for herself in doing a boudoir shoot.
As of today, I have only seen teasers, but I can tell you that Lindsay is and artist. The images I have seen are breathtaking and are presented tastefully and passionately. I am blown away by her workmanship and talent! The images are beyond my wildest expectations. In seeing the pictures, I finally feel beautiful and confident, for the first time in a very long time. I would and do recommend Lindsay and her Self Love Experience to any woman looking for a boudoir session. Whether you plan to gift the photos or keep them for yourself, Lindsay will give you an experienced of a life time and have you feeling confident, sexy, and empowered. Also, when you book a session and Lindsay advises you to stretch, heed her warning. She will have you using and elongated muscles you never know you had and you will be sore the following day!
This was a wonderful experience, and nerve racking. Not just bigger women have problems with body image and even though I am skinny I too am self conscious. I think as women we need to shop the comments about weight. The “omg eat something”, “you must be anorexic” comments. I hear them often almost once a day. I am what I am and I cannot change that.
Many say I’m blessed or “oh so lucky” but who wants to hear those comments day in and out. Lets embrace each others individuality and diverse beauty. I wish I had the thicker body. I wish I had curves and breasts but I don’t. I was so nervous to do these photos, but I see them now and I’ve never felt so beautiful. I love every inch of myself. Lindsay did a fabulous job not just as a photographer but as a coach. She made aspects of my body pop out. Thank you so much Lindsay… and remember in a diverse world we’re all beautiful! And the diversity of each and everyone of us makes the world beautiful.
When I first arrived to take pictures with Lindsay, she was editing an earlier shoot. The makeup artist was prepared to start, and Lindsay bounced between telling me how amazing the makeup looked and checking out the pictures she had taken the previous day. It was like watching and talking to a ball of energy! Photography seems easy. What Lindsay did with our session was beyond photography. It was a way to bring out a side of a person, me, that other people have seen, but that is hidden behind my own image of myself when I am looking in the mirror.
Lindsay’s boudoir session included shots that were artistic and soft – which were the shots she loved the most and included shots that were feminine and strong – which were the ones I was drawn to. With every photo she captured a moment that allowed me to see what my husband and my close friends, have tried to convince me is there. A strong, beautiful, graceful, and sensual person. Lindsay is professional, but not stuffy, and has enlisted great circle of people to help make her sessions an experience. I am happy to endorse her work and her business.
As a victim of Sexual Assault and Abuse I have always felt very self conscious of myself. I have horrible communication skills from past trauma experiences. I am 33 years old and have been through numerous traumatic events. Being a victim and a SURVIVOR of sexual assault makes you feel like you have your beauty taken away, You feel like you don’t have control of things, you feel like you need permission to do anything that has to do with making yourself look and feel beautiful confident. I scrolled through my Facebook newsfeed one day and saw a gorgeous boudoir picture and thought I could never do that. I am not pretty enough, not confident enough, I do not have the will power to do that, I do not have the self-esteem, etc.
I thought about it more, I researched Lindsay and her work, and saw she worked with RAINN.org. I thought, NO MORE, Sexual Assault wont define me. It wont prohibit me, it wont stop me. It WILL EMPOWER me. I booked my appointment for a self love photo shoot and it was the best experience I ever had. I felt confident, beautiful, empowered, my self-esteem went up. It was almost as if this was a unique therapy session. At the end I had a smile from ear to ear.
Lindsay makes you feel so comfortable in front of the camera. I thought for sure I was asking a million questions on how to put my foot, my arm, where to look, how to smile, etc. she never made me feel uncomfortable at all. This experience will leave you with a whole different outlook on life, and most importantly a whole different outlook on yourself. You will see yourself in ways that other people do, and have probably told you before, but you never really believed because of the abuse you faced. A Self-Love photo shoot will not only make you feel and look beautiful on the outside but on the inside as well. Nothing is as great as self-love. xo
Lindsay and I had been planning my boudoir session for months. As the day approached, I found myself getting so very excited and nervous. As Erin beautified my face, I felt my nerves spike even more. But the second I was in front of the camera, my nerves were calmed. Lindsay has a true gift for not only highlighting your best features and assets but she has the amazing ability to make you feel like the best, the only, THE woman. I can’t express in words the pride I feel when I look at these photos. And the gratitude I have for Lindsay bringing that to life. She is truly a gift to the photo industry and I feel so blessed to have had this experience with her….and with myself.
Lindsay, is not only professional, but she is educated. Her photography is so much more than pointing the camera and pushing a button – she is an artist, she has a vision and she captures it. Her photography radiates, not only because she is wonderful, but because her clients are made to feel comfortable (myself). She guided me, she was funny and she made me feel at ease – and not to forget, beautiful. If you are looking for someone, definitely do not hesitate to book with Lindsay! She works with you, not just for you! 🙂
Lindsay has a stellar way of making you feel comfortable in front of the camera. Her direction is spot on and leads you through the whole time with an end result of photos you’ll cherish forever. She documented both my family and boudoir photos each complimenting each other in their own ways while capturing the two very different sides of myself. Thrilled for our next moments to capture behind the lens.
I’ve long believed that a talented photographer is worth their weight in gold & Lindsay is a sublime example to prove it. I had the sincere pleasure of working with her for a bio & boudoir shoot this fall & the entire experience – from pre-shoot preparations to delivery of the final product – was fabulous. She offered considerable guidance on what to wear beforehand & suggested exquisite shoot locations for me to choose from. Day of, she made the entire shoot comfortable and fun, all the while capturing exquisite angles, lighting, & setups with a purposefully artistic talent. Turn around time to the final product was lightning speed & I was nothing short of delighted with the moments she captured. Thanks to her professionalism, creativity, & kind heart, it was an empowering adventure with fantastic results that I will truly cherish forever. I’ve already recommended Lindsay Rae Photography to friends & look forward to returning in front of her lens again in the future!