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When I asked Shannon to write about her experience with me during her Providence boudoir photography session, she responded quickly with a “YES!”. When first reading this it brought me to tears, and made me see what a boudoir experience can do. Here’s Shannon’s story written all by her.
My life is not as glamorous as I somehow always expected it to be… but my morning with Kerry was, and now, I always will be. If you’re anything like me, the picture on the right here looks all too familiar… It’s your every day life.
As a woman, as a wife, as a mother, as an employee… the list goes on. For most of us, we tend to work so hard to get to those places; to hold those titles, believing in a fairy tale happy ending once we “get there” and yet… “there” is as elusive as it gets. Personally, I have felt so betrayed by my own body over the years, just struggling to get “there.”
Wrestling with unnecessary anxiety. Grieving miscarriages. Beating myself up relentlessly after my water broke during a pregnancy at just 21 weeks, leading to lifelong medical issues for my daughter. Coping with loss and stress and surgeries and scars (my body is covered in them.) And yet, somehow I thought, “if I could only just get there – this feeling of self-hatred will get better. All on its own – it will go away.”
I was still buried in the messy stressful chaos known as life, my formerly innocent self-loving inner Goddess hadn’t exactly made her re-appearance. Despite being a former professional model myself many years ago, I saw beautiful women online being photographed by Kerry, and felt this surge of jealousy… “That could never be me” I would think, at least never again. But the more I heard and read her incredible words of encouragement toward all women, the more hope I found. Until eventually, I felt confident to send her a message, revealing not just my incredible physical and emotional insecurity, but financial too, on top of it all.
The responses from Kerry to every concern I have had, every question, every doubt along the way, have been so amazing – I’m finding it hard to find the words to echo her spirit here myself. She has made me feel so completely comfortable and confident in every aspect of this, from how to work out the payment to what to bring, what to wear… and most importantly, how deeply proud to be of it all.
Showing up to her studio the morning of my session felt like visiting an old friend. She opened up the door with the warmest welcome, entirely down to earth. We talked, we laughed, I drank my iced coffee and never once felt out of place. She gave guidance to me the entire time on which pieces to choose, how often to change looks, how to adjust everything and pose. It was funny to me to see such a small person rearranging big pieces of furniture all around the room every few minutes to get the looks and the lighting just right! But she did it all with ease, and with smiles. (Real smiles… not those horrid condescending ones you get from photographers trying to be polite while your kid is trying to eat their own socks.) I honestly had SO much fun, I didn’t want our time to end!
She made me feel gorgeous, like an absolute star – and I felt a lot of real smiles coming from myself too, for the first time in a while. Of course, good old anxiety returned after I had left and gone back home, as I wondered what the heck I had just done at my age and how it all looked. Luckily, Kerry seemed to have anticipated that – and continued sending incredibly encouraging messages later that day, as well as a sneak peek at one of the photos that made me SO happy, because she was right – it was absolutely beautiful. Digital photos have been pouring in over the past week now, and I love every single one of them more than the last.
Whether you’re reading this because you’re considering a special gift for a partner, or because you’ve been through some real hard shit too and just want to see yourself again, whatever you’ve got going on… You deserve, even if it’s just for one day, to be treated like the absolute queen you are. To be pampered, to be adored, and to be captured in those moments of beauty forever. I know now that if I had let this opportunity pass me by, I would have lived to regret it.
Because these are memories and photographs I will cherish as I get even older, as life keeps coming at me – I will always have this strong, sexy, beautiful reminder that, no matter what happens on the outside… this is still me. Thank you, Kerry. For finding me.
Join my boudoir Facebook community! My group on Facebook is focused on empowering women. We make jokes, post memes, and all the boudoir photos! Its a safe place to chit-chat and learn about the full boudoir experience.