Hi, Danielle! Let’s start with that ME moment — your motivation for doing a session.

I’m usually not in front of the camera. I take some selfies, yes, but otherwise I’m behind the camera capturing family and friend moments. My motivation for FINALLY doing a session was to have that ME moment and experience. I hadn’t felt as confident about myself physically, had stopped going to the gym for health reasons, and was sad about gaining some weight as a result of that decision. I MISS my gym physique. Friends had done boudoir shoots in the past and I always loved the idea, but I had never really looked more into it.

I was added to the One Soul Facebook group by my sister-in-law over a year ago and decided to take the leap with One Soul Boudoir after following the group posts and seeing real testimonies from ladies who did the same. I saw how stunning they were in the photos they shared, the studio sets, the poses, the outfits, the glamour, the class and simultaneous sexiness of the shoots.

I wanted that.

What was going on in your mind on the way here?

I was tired but awake! I live 254 miles away in South Carolina. I drove 4 hours early on a Saturday morning to shoot at 11:00am. I had packed the outfits I wanted the night before, showered that morning, and had a light breakfast, worrying about if I would be bloaty hours later.

I had never met the owners either, so I was nervous. I had followed their posts in the Facebook group, so was comfortable enough seeing them live and doing the video consultation before I booked that I was comfortable enough to book it, if that makes sense. Yeah, I was nervous, but not uncomfortable. That was key in my decision to book my shoot, comfortability.

My husband’s family lives in Georgia, so the drive was easy, but I had never been to Marietta. The last hour I got more nervous, about getting lost, not finding parking, looking tired from an early morning, and my palms even got sweaty on the steering wheel. No joke! Yes, I have anxiety, and probably overthink simple things more than most.

And you finally made it. What happened then?

I called Jill on Facebook Messenger because I had no idea where to go after I parked. It was Saturday, the Square was busy, and again, I had never been there. She was so nice about it! She met me in the middle of the Square, grabbed my rolling suitcase and led me right to the studio.

I told her about the drive, then nervously went to use the bathroom after 4 hours in the car and was so grateful I was not being photographed as soon as I walked in the door. I had seen some of the sets in the group photos but didn’t know what to expect fully. It was exciting and calming at the same time. Jill’s smile and mood were contagious.

I was there, I made it, and I was so ready to relax and get pampered.

So we always start with a makeover. What was that like for you?

Well, I’m 32 and don’t use any face make-up (powder, foundation, blush, etc.). I carry eyeliner, mascara, lip gloss/lipstick, have a few eyeshadow palettes, and 3 different brushes that I still don’t know what each does. I’m laughing with you because I’m being completely serious. I’m not what people would consider a girly-girl.

When told lashes would be applied during the consult, I asked if that was mandatory out of worry my eye would get glued shut or real lashes peeled off. I was worried for nothing. That was painless and really pretty!

You know how you know what colors look best on you — clothes, hair, or eye makeup? I was a little nervous wondering what colors the artist would choose. Will my face look like I have foundation on? Anxiety again, I was nervously thinking about lines, noticeable color difference, if my skin would breakout, etc. I like looking natural and, essentially getting a whole makeover, I did not know what to expect. The artist made me comfortable instantly. She was really nice and great to chat with. I got over the nervousness of everything by opening up about my story while drinking a mimosa and laughing about my makeup worries.

Jill and David made me feel more comfortable letting me pick music and asking if I needed anything along the way. The artist was gentle with the makeup application. I was never uncomfortable and got more and more excited about seeing myself finished.

And what did you think of the result?

I was floored. My face had never looked like that, flawless and natural, but glamourous! I just kept smiling and couldn’t wait to get started.

So you weren’t nervous?

I was relaxed after the makeover and only a little nervous about choosing outfits.

I was more comfortable that I got to bring a few things from home, and even more so that Jill really liked them! I had a great variety and knew I would be less nervous once the shoot started. The first photos were to get me familiar with their posing instructions, which I was grateful for!

Jill and David were excellent about directing me the whole time, telling me which way to look and how to position myself. They made it a comfortable experience, explaining the lighting and the pose itself making it easy to follow their instructions. What really made me love the experience was their genuineness as the photographers, and that they never made me feel insecure or uncomfortable.

They were patient with me, honest about not looking a particular way but not critical, and never judging. Every compliment felt genuine throughout the hours-long session.

Sometimes you watch people online and then they are so different in-person. They are both just as friendly and Jill just as bubbly a personality as you see in their Facebook group lives. That added to the whole experience.

I was in a professional setting, with beautiful sets and wonderful photographers. As the outfits changed, the sets and poses changed. With each one I felt more and more like a real model and got into the poses much more confidently than when we first started. I wasn’t anxious, or tired, or embarrassed. I was beautiful, I was confident, and I was sexy in such a classy way.

And time flew, right? What was going through your head on the way home?

I was smiling and radiant. I left with a skip in my step and video called my husband as soon as I got in the car! I wanted him to see live how beautiful I looked, and he definitely agreed. Being four hours from home, I was able to stay at my sister-in-law’s house that night. She had done a different boudoir shoot in the past and had been super supportive of me doing my own. I had not told many people I was doing it, so I was really excited to tell her all about it after dinner.

How did the experience compare to what you’d imagined?

Honestly, it was better than what I imagined it would be.

I thought it would be a quick few photos and over before I knew it. It wasn’t rushed at all. It was all about me and the time I wanted to be there. It was about my comfortability and the ideas I had for it, the mood I chose for it, sexy but classy, some kink mixed with glamour, sensual and seductive.

I expected the photographers to stick with more of a planned theme, but they gave me the lead on outfits and took photos in each set for all my moods. It was not limited. It was easy to change and get in the mood for the next pose or set.

It was harder to do some of the poses than I thought. Jill and David definitely made it look easier with the angles they shoot. Seeing the ladies in the group post, I had somewhat of an idea on the poses and thought they would be easy to hold. Some of them were a struggle! I was not kidding when I said they were right about feeling like I had worked out. My legs, arms, and ab muscles noticed the next day.

The empowerment I felt after, I didn’t know was possible. I left that experience with a much greater confidence in myself.

Then came the pictures. Talk about that.

The pictures were absolutely phenomenal. I had such a hard time choosing which ones to put in my collection. There were so many great ones to choose from! Ughh, that made narrowing them down quite a process.

I definitely expected to be able to say NO to many right away because who knows my angles and best side better than me, right? Wrong!! There were very FEW, maybe 4 that I knew immediately that I did not want to keep. I am literally my own worst critic.

My face started to hurt from smiling when first seeing them. At first, I could not believe it was me. These were not selfies that I took when my hair looked just right. These were completely professional shots, real life of me! I’m proud of myself, that I could feel so beautiful and confident.

So what would you say to a woman who’s on the fence about doing a boudoir session?

Don’t let your doubts stand in your own way. I had all the doubts about myself over the years, so much that I never gave boudoir a lengthy thought. One Soul Boudoir took those doubts away and made my boudoir experience a memorable one. Do the photoshoot! Seriously, I’m so glad that I did it.