Vancouver Boudoir Photographer | Guest Post! Boudoir As Self-Validation

When I went in for my boudoir shoot, I had just broken up with my long term boyfriend and my Mom, who I am very close with, had just been diagnosed with non-alcoholic liver disease. My boudoir shoot had been scheduled as a gift to said ex-boyfriend, but I decided to keep my spot as a birthday gift to myself. I struggled with eating disorders for years when I was a teen, so for me this shoot was both a celebration of a healthier me and mindset, and also an escape from having to constantly cope with something. It was one day that would be purely about me looking confident, sexy and WORTHY.

My life has undergone many other changes since then – I fell in love with someone who values me. I started my own business. I started writing again, even though I stopped years ago believing I wasn’t any good at it. I moved into my own place. I bought two cars. I made an entire new group of friends who never make me feel like I’m competing for their attention. My Mom is in remission. I started going to cooking classes and floral classes. I started eating gluten-free and for the first time ever I ordered dessert in a restaurant and DIDN’T share it!

Boudoir doesn’t get the credit for these things. I have been successful this year because I worked hard, committed to positive choices and surrounded myself with fantastic people. But I also think it’s true that human beings are creatures of habit, and learn by example. When you do one positive thing for yourself, it becomes easier to take other risks to better yourself. It becomes easier to believe that you can feel better, and that you can acheive the things you need to feel better. Practice makes perfect. I hear friends all the time say they want to do a boudoir shoot, but need to wait for a better time, they need to lose ten more pounds or wait till they’re in a better mind set. I think, contrarily, that the perfect time for a boudoir shoot is when you need a pick me up. When you need to prove yourself wrong about your insecurities. When you need a reminder that you are worthy of investing in.

The best part is that if you hit a wall, you have photographic evidence of how capable you are of happiness and beauty – Who can argue with that?

Written by Cassidy vander Ros, Marketing Maven and Administrative Super Hero to Photographer Helen Edwards
cassidy@lifeafterdark.ca
Life After Dark Photography
http://lifeafterdark.ca
“Be art.”

More of Cassidy’s writing can be found here: www.cassidyvrosmarketing.blogspot.com

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The Fear of Growth

Life is wildly untamed. It swifts and turns and tosses you into turmoil. And then, when you are recovering from the chaos, putting the pieces back together, you realize you were just breathing through the entire ordeal. Waiting for your breath to become a little steadier, less shifty and quickened.

This is how it feels to grow a business. Like a baby, I find myself caressing and coaxing it. I dream about its possibilities, and I feed it the best parts of myself. Some days, I am not the best mother. I can be unkind and full of self-hatred, by which my baby business gets the terrible brunt of. I curse it and I want to give up. Throw in the towel, so to speak. On those days, the fantasy of watching my baby business grow seems so far stretched, the grasp more than just a little beyond my reach. On those days, nothing I do seem to bear fruit. Changes are slow, and the fallen is not so mighty during those dark times.

I second guess myself a lot. If I were to be bluntly honest with everyone, including myself, I have many moments of self doubt, when I don’t think I’m a good enough “business mother” to this child that is still growing. I want so much to protect Life After Dark from the world. I know, though, that to let it grow, to allow it to flourish, I must expose it to the unkindness of those who don’t understand it. I have to help it develop a thick skin, allow it to be its own entity, build its own identity.

Over the last 4 years, while my small little slice of heaven — this little photography business of mine — grew vast into the local community, I learned that I am not always open to what would help me grow as a mother, and therefore help my business. To grow, I have to let criticism in, constructive and otherwise. I have to be open to education, no matter how harsh it is.

So when someone tells me, “You’re way too expensive,” I soak it in, let it eat me up, spit me out, and then reason and justify to myself why I charge what I do.

So when someone tells me, “Your photos are okay, but they’re only that — just okay,” I break a little bit inside. Opinions, when they do not coincide with your immature confidence coupled with having a bad day, can be so brutal and cutting.

So when someone asks me, “Post your photo here and we will help you grow, we will critique it so we can help you get better at editing, at using your camera, at manipulating light, at marketing, at pricing, at being a better service to your clients,” I wince, cringe a little inside, swallow my pride, and thus far, almost always, I go, “No thanks. I know what I am doing.”

This year will be different. This year, I will be a little more vulnerable. A little more open. A little more humble. This year, I will learn to love criticism, and learn to embrace change. This year, I will not be so afraid of growth. Just a little less afraid. Just a tad.

vancouver boudoir and glamour photography

vancouver boudoir and glamour photography

vancouver boudoir and glamour photography

vancouver boudoir and glamour photography

vancouver boudoir and glamour photography

vancouver boudoir and glamour photography

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Vancouver Boudoir Photographer | Feature Boudoir Sesssion: Shandelle

Today’s feature is a good one. Shandelle started as a mommy friend of mine, whose baby (big) girl went to preschool with my baby (big) girl, Lily. We hit it off almost immediately. She has the lovely, quirky and down-to-earth sense of humor that I gravitate towards, and I instantly felt very relaxed with her. She became a really sweet friend of mine, and our girls just adored playing with each other. She was even our soccer coach for a while there! Her best friend and I were able to convince her to come in for a photo shoot after her best friend had two with me. It didn’t hurt that she also wanted something to give to her (equally sweet) husband for their anniversary!

Shandelle came in with all smiles and sweetness, as per her usual demeanor. It’s hard to get this girl frowning. She’s just lovely all around. A true sunny disposition and such positive energy. She’s the type of person who just makes you feel good just by being around her. I like that. I can use more of that. We all can.

She admitted she was a tad nervous, but was soaking it all in and she was just going to enjoy the luxury of the shoot. It went so smoothly! We talked about life and family and just had plenty of giggles all around. The interesting thing that set this particular shoot apart from all the others I’ve ever done is that this one was videotaped. I’m still waiting for the footage to be publicized, as I will be using it for my “behind the scenes” page for all of you to see. This is the photo collage from that shoot! She was also the first to use my brand new studio when we moved into our basement suite and turned it into my photography space!

1. What made you decide to get a shoot from LAD versus anyone else?

I had become acquainted with Helen at our daughters’ preschool and found her to be very warm, kind, and easy going; she was someone I felt I could trust. From there I looked up her website and was impressed by the amazing quality of her work, she truly does have a talent in photography.

2. How did you prepare for your shoot?

I got my nails done. Honestly, that’s it. I tried darn hard NOT to think about the upcoming shoot, as I was afraid I would over think it and “chicken out.” And I believe it helped, as I went into it more open minded and without much built up anxiety.

3. What was the best part of the experience?

The best part of the shoot was between shots, when Helen and I dropped our focus and joked around, laughed, and shared life stories. It really helped me stay more relaxed throughout the whole experience.

4. What makes Helen different from other photographers?

Helen cares about her clients. Sure she wants her clients to receive their finished product and fall in love with her work. But more importantly, Helen wants every beautiful woman she shoots to KNOW she is beautiful DURING the shoot. She has the ability to bring out the inner goddess in women and to make us feel proud about who we are.

5. What would you say to another lady who is afraid of doing a boudoir shoot?

It’s a fun fear to conquer! Remember that feeling when you were a young girl and played dress up, trying on dresses, high heeled shoes, hats, and pearl necklaces, and then practiced walking like a diva back and forth in front of the mirror when nobody was looking? Well, after doing a shoot myself I can honestly say that every woman needs to do that at least one more time in her adult life. And I assure you, Helen will provide you with the perfect cocktail of added confidence, comfort, direction, and pride. Go for it!

Vancouver boudoir photographer

Vancouver boudoir photographer

Vancouver boudoir photographer

Vancouver boudoir photographer

Vancouver boudoir photographer

Vancouver boudoir photographer

Vancouver boudoir photographer

Vancouver boudoir photographer

Vancouver boudoir photographer

Vancouver boudoir photographer

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Vancouver Boudoir Photographer | Session Feature: Mary

Today’s session feature is Mary, a beautiful, curvalicious queen of a lady. Before her shoot, Mary and I were acquaintances in some of the local facebook mom groups, and we even met briefly during a wedding show we both had booths for on the same day. It wasn’t until years after these meets that Mary decided to go in for a shoot. I was so stoked, as I knew this would happen; I just didn’t know when! I knew she would rock the shoot, and I knew all she had to do was decide that it was TIME. And she did!!

When Mary came in, it was like we were friends from the beginning. Chatting was easy, and the shoot was so fun. Her honest and upbeat attitude made it so easy to shoot her, and on top of that, she followed the directions I gave like a pro. It didn’t take long (minutes, actually!) for her to emotionally transform into the beautiful diva supermodel that I was posing her for. She rocked the attitude, and it was easy to flow from one pose to the next.

So, without further ado, here’s Mary’s testimonial about the shoot. She is what many of us would dub as a “plus size” woman. While I abhor objectifying any body type as “plus” or “minus” or “right” or “wrong,” it is important to note in these sessions because many women are hesitant to have a boudie shoot because they feel they are “too plus size” to feel and look gorgeous. Mary is here to prove you wrong.

1: What made you decide to get a shoot from LAD versus anyone else?

I had heard of LAD from Facebook as well as a number of acquaintances had gone to her and they all had these beautiful photographs of themselves that I was always jealous of. After Facebook stalking her business for about 2 years I worked up the courage and finally booked an appointment. I wanted to go somewhere that I felt I was going to be safe; especially when you’re going to be standing in a room pretty much naked in front of a stranger.

2: How did you prepare for your shoot?

I was a ball of nerves leading up to it! Being a plus size woman I was worrying about what I was going to wear for the shoot. I went to about 5 different stores and tried on numerous combos of lingerie outfits before finally finding something that made me feel comfortable yet sexy. I looked through Pinterest A LOT to see how plus size models posed for boudoir shoots as well.

3: What was the best part of the experience?

I loved getting my hair and makeup done. The makeup artist Megan was fantastic. I don’t normally wear makeup so having the whole nine yards was a great experience. Also having Helen there to tell me jokes and just talk to me while I was getting ready set my nerves at ease. The actual moment of stepping out in my bra and a big tutu (which is her signature look) made me feel like a super sexy princess and made me really get into the moment.

4: What makes Helen different from other photographers?

In the past I’ve gone the general approach of Walmart photographers for family photos, and then also tried using another photographer to do family/individual photos and I have run into problems with not being happy with the outcomes. I found there wasn’t great communication with other companies…

Helen is so approachable. She is this tiny woman with a strong voice and a way of making you feel like you’re safe (which you are) I found her to be so happy and excited, that my nerves and any ideas of self doubt just disappeared. You can tell when someone is really happy at their job-it shows in their work and how they can make their clients happy. Any time I had a question in regards to my pictures maybe not looking 100% right, she always answered with “I can fix that!” You can also tell that she obviously has put a lot of time into learning how each person’s body is different and how to pose them. Other photographers I’ve used in the past didn’t have a clue.

5: what would you say to another curvy lady who is afraid of doing boudoir shoot?

Don’t be afraid! No one is ever happy 100% happy with their bodies. I wanted to get boudoir photos done for myself. Sure you can give them to a partner for a special occasion, but at the end of the day, if you don’t feel sexy and beautiful, it won’t matter. Helen takes the time in the beginning of the shoot to teach you how you’re going to pose, explains which angles are going to work best for your specific body type-which really makes you feel 100% at ease. Every moment of the shoot Helen is always talking to you, encouraging you along and reminding you how to place your body in the right direction. Never once did I feel ashamed of my body, if anything I think Helen brought more risqué out of me! If you ever question your body, whether you are big or small-really take the time to love yourself.

Vancouver boudoir photographer

Vancouver boudoir photographer

Vancouver boudoir photographer

Vancouver boudoir photographer

Vancouver boudoir photographer

Vancouver boudoir photographer

Vancouver boudoir photographer

Vancouver boudoir photographer

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Vancouver Boudoir Photography | Featured Shoot: Sindii and Steven

I’ve decided to add a bit more oomph to these blog entries when I blog about sessions. I want to bring in the client’s point of view behind these shoots. It is so important to hear what clients go through, from beginning to end, when it comes to a shoot with Life After Dark Photography. As one of the leading boudoir photographers in Vancouver BC, I can go on and on and on about why someone should book with me. But that doesn’t mean a whole lot without the faithful clients who have come to me. So hear it from them. Get to see a shoot from their eyes.

First up, introducing Sindii and Steven’s couples boudoir shoot. It took a while for Steven to finally agree to have a shoot, and true to form for most men, he was hesitant, nervous, and wasn’t quite sure what he’s agreeing to. The two of them had a prior shoot with me when they were pregnant with their super sweet and cutie-pie of a son (now a toddler!), so he’s met me. That was Steven’s first time in front of a professional camera.

A couples boudoir shoot, however, is very different from a nice, safe maternity shoot. For one thing, they both have to get near-naked and it’s a bit nerve wracking to say the least! Sindii came in overjoyed and excited because she’s had several shoots with me in the past, so we’ve become good friends over the years. It was just a matter of convincing Steven! But, as with many loving couples, he agreed because he knew she wanted it. And so the story of their shoot began…

1. Sindii, how did you prepare for your shoot?

Sindii: I seriously went through my entire lingerie collection all bras and panties that would go well together. I also picked out Steven’s outfits that would match my outfits.

2. Steven, what made you decide to go with the idea of a couples boudoir shoot?

Steven: To have our intimacy captured in photos.

3. Either or both, what were you most nervous about?

Steven: To be honest I don’t even know, screwing up poses I guess?

Sindii: I wasn’t actually nervous, I’ve done boudoir before so I got over it. I was super excited!

4. Sindii, what got you really excited about the shoot?

Sindii: Everything really! I was most excited when I viewed the photos, but during the shoot I really enjoyed Steven’s reaction to it.

5. Steven, what was the best part of the shoot?

Steven: Best part? Not being able to kiss Sindii. (That’s a rule of my couples shoots! It makes the session SO intense and beautiful!)

6. Would you recommend LAD to other couples and why?

Definitely! We’ve already recommended you to other couples!

7. Steven, what would you say about your experience to other men who are nervous or resistant to having a couples shoot with LAD/Helen?

Steven: Suck it up and make your woman happy! It will make her the happiest girl in the world, and it’s worth it.

8. How is Helen different from other photographers?

She makes you feel beautiful, or handsome in a man’s case, and great about yourself. It’s not stressful or nerve racking because she makes you laugh all while being posed seriously. Best photographer I’ve ever worked with!

vancouver couples boudoir

vancouver couples boudoir

vancouver couples boudoir

vancouver couples boudoir

vancouver couples boudoir

vancouver couples boudoir

vancouver couples boudoir

vancouver couples boudoir

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Vancouver Outdoor Boudoir Photography | Beach Boudoir

Living in Vancouver BC, we have some of the most beautiful backdrops for photography. Our sunsets are gorgeous, and even when it’s cloudy, it’s beautiful! It is hard for me to really choose a “favorite” setting for boudoir. I love my indoor professional studio with all its props, furniture, the awesome new pink couch and of course the boudoir styled bed. However, if I had to choose a favorite, perhaps it might be outdoor boudoir.

Outdoor photography in Vancouver, especially in the summer, calls for gorgeous lighting and beautiful colors. One of my favorite places to shoot is the beach. I have this wonderful little secret corner of a beach in the Fraser Valley that calls for the perfect spot for boudoir photo shoots. This one in particular was done a couple of years ago, but I find myself going back there time and time again for more shoots!! So beautiful!!

vancouver outdoor boudoir photography

vancouver langley beach boudoir

vancouver-outdoor-boudoir-photography-20120802

vancouver langley beach boudoir

vancouver-outdoor-boudoir-photography-20120803

vancouver langley beach boudoir

 

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Vancouver Boudoir Photography – Snow Winter Boudoir Shoot | Winter Wonderland

I’m gearing up for a couple of BEACH snow boudoir in Vancouver area this year! I have two upcoming shoots aimed at the beach, and I’m so excited! I’ve never done a snow boudoir at the beach before, and I think it will be rather chilly (to put it mildly, right?!), but my clients are ready for them!

In the meantime, to get all of your heads into the “winter” scene, here are some from last year’s snow boudoir shoot. I am so excited! What a perfect backdrop for a boudoir shoot, with all that white and gorgeous backlighting!

Vancouver snow boudoir shoot

Vancouver snow boudoir shoot

vancouver-snow-boudoir-2014-04

Vancouver snow boudoir shoot

vancouver-snow-boudoir-2014-05

Vancouver snow boudoir shoot

vancouver-snow-boudoir-2014-06

Vancouver snow boudoir shoot

vancouver-snow-boudoir-2014-01

Vancouver snow boudoir shoot

vancouver-snow-boudoir-2014-02

Vancouver snow boudoir shoot

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Vancouver BC Boudoir Photography | Winter Studio Boudoir

It’s been a while since I’ve updated with sessions! We’ve had a brand new baby girl join our family, and life around here became very busy in a very different way. She is absolutely perfect, just like our first girl, and it’s all very exciting! But I also wanted to make sure you all know I have not forgotten about the blog, so here’s a post!

This was one of my boudoir sessions before I had our new little girl. Located in Vancouver area, specifically in the Langley / Surrey region, Jennie came to the studio to get her sexy on for her hubby and of course, herself. She is a bubbly personality as it is, so the session was super fun and relaxed. Megan, our hair and makeup artist, did a fabulous job beautifying her up for the session. Here are some shots!

Vancouver boudoir before and after photograph

Vancouver boudoir before and after photograph

Vancouver boudoir in studio

Vancouver boudoir in studio

Vancouver boudoir in studio

Vancouver boudoir in studio

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Vancouver Langley Boudoir Photography – Maternity Boudoir

I love being Vancouver’s leading boudoir photographer! Recently, I’ve had the pleasure of doing a maternity boudoir photography session, right out here in my studio in Langley. This lovely lady is a soon to be mother of her second little kiddo — another boy! She was so sweet, such a gentle soul. I’m glad I was able to do this for her — this was her first shoot like this — ever! I’m hoping to do many more maternity shoots. This was extra special too, since I’m also 30 weeks pregnant myself. Being able to show beauty towards another pregnant lady makes me feel beautiful as a pregnant lady myself. :)

Vancouver Langley Maternity Boudoir Photography

Vancouver Langley Maternity Boudoir Photography

Vancouver Langley Maternity Boudoir Photography

Vancouver Langley Maternity Boudoir Photography

Vancouver Langley Maternity Boudoir Photography

Vancouver Langley Maternity Boudoir Photography

Vancouver Langley Maternity Boudoir Photography

Vancouver Langley Maternity Boudoir Photography

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Vancouver and Langley Boudoir Photography – Pinup Boudoir

I love experimenting with new ways to do boudoir photo shoots in Vancouver and Langley! This session was my very first real pin-up boudoir photo shoot, and I thoroughly enjoyed doing it with Tara, this lovely woman who took me up on my challenge. This is my own creative and signature spin on what a pinup boudoir shoot would look like. It was harder than it looks, but with the right pinup makeup and hair done by the right professional (Megan Rumpel!), it turned out so beautiful! Tara loves her photos and I loved working with her on them!

vancouver-boudoir-pinup-photography

Vancouver and Langley Boudoir Pinup Photography

vancouver-boudoir-pinup-photography

Vancouver and Langley Boudoir Pinup Photography

vancouver-boudoir-pinup-photography

Vancouver and Langley Boudoir Pinup Photography

vancouver-boudoir-pinup-photography

Vancouver and Langley Boudoir Pinup Photography

vancouver-boudoir-pinup-photography

Vancouver and Langley Boudoir Pinup Photography

vancouver-boudoir-pinup-photography

Vancouver and Langley Boudoir Pinup Photography

vancouver langley boudoir photography

Vancouver and Langley Boudoir Pinup Photography

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