I Wanted To Throw Up and Cancel My Boudoir Session!

I had a boudoir photo shoot and it was life changing. A little background. I’m a boudoir photographer in Dallas, Tx. wife, mother to five and grand mother to 3. I never hated my body but I have crazy stretch marks that I am not the biggest fan of. For that reason I’m always covering them up. I’m not quick to jump in front of the camera either (until now - keep reading).

I encourage women everyday to come in and strip down their insecurities, love who they are and allow me to document it with my photography. This is very easy because ladies can trust me to capture them in a beautiful way and know that I don’t have one ounce of judgement towards them. I never thought I would have issues stripping down for myself until………….

December 2018… some photographer friends came to Dallas and held an educational workshop at my studio in Deep Ellum. As a thank you one of the photographers Teri Hofford asked to photograph me. I said yes but didn’t put much thought into it until two days before the photo shoot. First feeling of nausea came when I went to pick out my outfits. I was literally walking through Target feeling some serious anxiety. Thinking what do I wear, what’s gonna look good on me and I don’t wanna show my stretchmarks. ( I know you’re thinking… wait don’t you do this for a living?) Yes, I do but all of my training went out of the door at that moment.

The night before my boudoir session I had reached the point of throwing up and wanting to cancel. I was so nervous about showing off my body that the anxiety was taking over. Nonetheless, I fought through it and arrived for my boudoir shoot the next morning. When we were picking out my outfits everything I knew about boudoir photography and dealing with my clients flew out of the damn door. I was sweating and couldn’t fucking think straight. Teri kept telling me to relax and guided me every step of the way. She made outfit suggestions for me, told me exactly how to pose, breathe, move everything. So glad she did because I was a complete mess.

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When I put on the first outfit and Teri began to pose me things turned around. I started to feel like I could do it. She kept reassuring me that I was doing awesome. We finished the photo shoot and I was on top of the world. I made it through.

Then this happened………..

The time arrived to see the images. Here we go again anxiety. Teri sent me a message letting me know my images were complete and ready to view. “COMPLETE????  I was hoping she took a few months to tell me they were complete. I was not ready to see my body yet. I was so afraid to look at them that I let the folder sit for over TWO HOURS!!

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I finally opened them up and started to cry. It was like an out of body experience. I felt like I was looking at someone else. Teri captured so many parts of my body (even my stretch marks) in ways I never knew possible.  I kept going through them amazed at how I looked. Then I showed my husband and the whole damn world around me ( haven’t stopped showing them off by the way). I went from being nervous as hell to bragging my ass off. My favorite image was actually a nude photo that showed off my stretch marks. See below..

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This has been a total game changer for myself and my business. I TRULY understand exactly how my clients feel from the moment they contact me til the end when they pick up images.

Since then, I have this confidence that I don’t second guess. I love every single part of my body and now ready for another boudoir session.  My conversations with clients have been more relatable than ever before. I am able to spell out exactly how they will feel throughout the entire boudoir experience. I cannot thank you enough Teri for these beautiful images and the amazing woman you are.

Catherine Cooper