Milwaukee boudoir photographer
Self Love

Using Boudoir as a Therapeutic Tool for Self-Esteem

Boudoir is not an end-all, be-all cure for low self-esteem. I wish it was that easy! Boop – one photo shoot and suddenly decades of self-deprecating thoughts disappear! If there is a fairy godmother with that magical ability, I need to get her on my team right now.

However, boudoir photography is a tool we can use to boost self-esteem and begin a journey towards a healthy self-image. A few hours loving how you feel in lingerie or nothing at all might be the boost you need to start caring for yourself when you’re home. Seeing a photo every day in your room could be the daily reminder you need to feel beautiful, strong and powerful.

The only way to change your self-esteem is to willingly want to change, and I think boudoir is an excellent step in that direction. It might not be the very first thing you do, but spending that much time, effort and investment in yourself is a gigantic move towards changing how you think. Booking a shoot shows your dedication to changing your thought process. Go into your shoot and reveal session with an open mind, and leave your insecurities at the door as best you can.

Boudoir Sessions Create a Safe Environment for Change

Your boudoir shoot is a safe space. You can be vulnerable, you can be naked, you can be nervous, excited, happy – whatever. You can be awkward and make mistakes. A shoot is 100% judgement-free. No one will criticize your body or make you feel insecure, which means the only thing holding you back is your mentality. A boudoir session is your opportunity to confront all those negative thoughts and put them in their place. A boudoir studio is one of the few places a woman can go to confront her insecurities without any judgement from the people around her. In fact, the photographer and staff should be 100% supportive.

Boudoir shoots also force you to get comfortable with compliments. I shower my babes with compliments, and every single one is sincere. It can be hard to accept compliments, especially when we have low self-esteem. Have you ever said “you’re crazy” or “you’re wrong” to someone who gave you a compliment? Women are told that feeling confident is a sign of arrogance. That’s garbage and detrimental to self-image. You’re going to be complimented during your shoot, and you have no option other than accepting those kind words. Your response to compliments during your shoot should teach you how to accept them when you go home.

When you’re shooting, you’ll also recognize when you’re saying self-deprecating things. Most boudoir photographers, myself included, have a 0 tolerance policy for putting one’s self down. I gently remind my babes that this is a self-love space and those negative thoughts need to be turned into positive ones. If someone doesn’t point it out, we often don’t even realize we’re doing even saying something bad about ourselves. Your photographer will point it out as first, but eventually you’ll catch yourself doing it, and that’s the only way you can work on stopping self-deprecation. You won’t always have your boudoir photographer at your side, but a shoot is great practice to removing those thoughts on your own.

Boudoir Reveal Sessions Shape the Way You Think

I think reveal sessions are a huge way to work on your self-esteem. This is what I tell babes before their reveal session:

1) When you look at a photo, view it like your viewing the photos of someone else. Pretend it’s a friend or your sister. You will be far kinder to someone else than you would to yourself. This is a fantastic exercise you can practice at home, too. Whenever you say something self-deprecating, ask yourself if you would say that to someone you know and love. You wouldn’t because you would never be so cruel to them. You love them! Why do you say these things to yourself, then?

2) Stop hyperfocusing on a “flaw.” We all have something we don’t like about ourselves, and the moment we see a photo of ourselves, we zoom in on that area. You know what happens when we do this? We lose sight of the whole, amazing image! You’re missing out on all the killer parts of your body! This happens all the time in our daily lives. We get so focused on what we don’t like about our appearance that we miss out on the experience happening around us. Sometimes, we lose sight of the big picture because we are so hyperfocused on what’s wrong with us.

3) You might react to your photos differently than you’d expect. It’s ok if you’re not oohing and ahhing over every photo. It’s ok if you’re not crying tears of joy or your jaw doesn’t drop to the floor. You have never seen yourself in this way before, and your mind might need time to process what you’re seeing. Your response doesn’t mean that the photos are bad or that you’re ugly. It simply means you need a little more time to take your photos in. You’re allowed to take all the time you need. This idea applies to any news we get in our lives. You’re allowed to react differently than how someone else might. Your feelings are valid, and they deserve to be recognized.

You’re already headed in the right direction by just reading this blog post! If you’re interested in seeing what boudoir can do for your self-esteem, contact me.

XOXO,
Alicia

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