THE ART OF SELF LOVE
The Art of Self Love - Easy for us to say, right?
Honestly, though, it’s a day to day struggle.
Looking at the mirror and seeing something nice is a challenge.
Most days I look in the mirror and see someone I don’t recognise at all. (Or rather, I see someone I recognise only too well – My mother! )
Aging is a horrid process.
What it does to your body is frankly, criminal.
Even though my work is about finding the beauty in other women, I still struggle to do the same for myself.
Dave tells me I’m beautiful 20 times a day and I just laugh, nervously.
Behind a confident exterior is the same negativity, just like everyone else.
WHY DO WE FIND IT SO HARD TO LOVE OURSELVES?
When our clients come to us we always ask them “what do you love about yourself”?
Almost every woman finds it difficult to answer.
Because it is difficult.
Most women don’t like blowing their own trumpet.
We laugh nervously when paid a compliment about our looks.
We often say things like “I wish my boobs were fuller, my bum smaller, my teeth whiter, my nose smaller, my legs skinnier, oh my God, the list is endless….”
Our clients will say “Don’t photograph my bum, my fat knees, my mummy tummy “
They can list all the things they don’t like almost without thinking but ask what they DO like and they struggle to list even one thing.
Eventually, when pressed, they’ll answer with a small list of nonphysical attributes they don’t mind about themselves. Things like sense of humour, being a Mum, hard-working etc…
Why can't we simply say;
“I AM PERFECT, JUST THE WAY I AM!”
(No ifs, no buts)
THE MADISON BOU STUDIO IS A PLACE TOTALLY FREE OF JUDGEMENT
A place where we invite you to say goodbye to your inner critic.
That wicked Gremlin on your shoulder whispering negative thoughts in your ear.
Instead, we encourage you to learn to be kinder to yourself and others.
The next time you look into the mirror try and be kind to yourself.
See yourself without judgment.
A beautiful woman who is uniquely you.
This is how your friends and family see you, after all.
This is how we see you.
Being kind though is a daily work in progress.
Some days you really don’t feel that good about yourself and that’s just life. I know how that feels.
Self Love is hard.
Every day, though, try and be a little more positive and you may find the difference in your life is astonishing.
This is why we do what we do.
Have you ever had one of those days where you say to your partner “Wow, have you been working out, your stomach looks so flat” and they say “What this beer belly?” and then they say “Your hair looks so good” and you say “you kidding, I haven’t washed it in three days”
and the conversation continues where each of you is trying to prove that you are the less attractive one because it’s easier and it feels harder to big yourself up.
What we see happen though, is that when a client comes in for a session and has hair and makeup done and then sees a few shots on the back of the camera, it takes away that negative voice. It’s no longer “I’m not skinny enough” or “I’m not pretty enough” – For the first time in forever, you start to see yourself as your friends see you or as your partner sees you and to be able to show that to you is, for us, one of the most incredible things.
Have a think.
What do you love about yourself?
It’s rare that we meet a woman who is truly happy with herself. Someone who is totally comfortable in their own skin, and yet, so many women think they’re the only ones with these kinds of insecurities.
They arrive thinking that the women shown on our website must have so much body confidence to look the way they do. Yet, almost all women have similar insecurities.
We are surrounded by pictures of flawless skin, perfect bums, and breasts, flat stomachs …. Is it any wonder we suffer so many insecurities?
How on earth can we compete?
How ironic that in a world surrounded by digital cameras and selfies on social media, that so many of us are terrified of being photographed.
This is one of the most flabbergasting things about what we do at Madison Bou.
We worry so much that we might see the things we don’t like about ourselves that many of us hide behind bizarre cartoony filters on Snapchat and Instagram and the like.
We worry about the ‘wobbly bits’ – about those ‘extra few pounds’.
Everything is ‘too much’ or ‘not enough’
Like the bride on ‘Say Yes to The Dress’ who tries on 100 wedding dresses and has no clue what she wants, we have all become a little like that when it comes to pictures of ourselves.
It’s like a modern illness.
WE SAY STOP!
Don’t listen to the negative stuff in your head.
Try and focus on the good stuff.
With every client who comes to us, we ask “What do you love about yourself?”
This is really hard to answer. Most women can list a long string of ‘don’t likes’ but find it difficult to think of one thing they do like.
Yet, if you focus on the good stuff, the pictures of you will be better. They will be more natural. You’ll see more relaxed looks and smiles, you’ll look more radiant, more positive.
So, let’s ask again – what is it you love about yourself?
Your nose? Lips? Your eyes? Hair?
Let us focus on the positive things.
Just by doing this, your pictures will be elevated to a new level.
A photoshoot like this is all about psychology and increasing confidence by building trust. We’ll teach you to “smile with your eyes” and radiate.
We’ll show you how to look strong and powerful or tender and vulnerable, whichever is more ‘you’ and the pictures will look so much better because you will look the best you’ve ever looked.
Genuinely it’s a remarkable transformation. If we can help you feel confident on the inside you will look sensational on the outside. This is what we do.
You see, contrary to popular belief, only a small part of what we do is the technicality of photography.
Of course we need to understand lighting and exposure.
We need to know how to shape light and create flattering pictures, but really the psychology of what we do is far more important than the skill of photography.
We need to love communicating with people, we need to be able to listen to our clients’ stories and relate or at least empathise with them.
Our kind of photography is about human connection and the end result will be pictures of you that you will fall in love with.
Can’t thank them enough for doing my boudoir photoshoot yesterday. The last 8 years have been such a struggle for me, I’m my own worst enemy and just completely lost my self confidence. Within half an hour, he made me feel so at ease, his just such a lovely gentleman. I truly enjoyed my experience it made me feel empowered & actual like what was looking back at me in the mirror. Just for one day I wanted to feel the way my husband sees me and that I certainly did I think every woman needs to have a shoot done like this - Tracey
KNOW HOW MUCH YOU’RE WORTH BECAUSE THIS IS AN INVESTMENT IN YOURSELF
When women come to us and enquire about a boudoir style photoshoot experience we can learn a lot from the very first question they ask.
Most women generally spend a lot of time thinking about what they want from an experience like this.
Like buying a wedding dress or choosing a hotel for the holiday, they will research everything they can.
Most women who are considering a boudoir style photoshoot will have some anxiety about the idea of taking most of their clothes off in front of a total stranger. This anxiety is perfectly normal.
We expect our clients to have done their research by the time they come to us and decided that they love what they see on the website, maybe have read some of the many articles on our blog and read many of the reviews from past clients on Facebook.
The first question they ask is quite telling. (We’ve been doing this for 20 years and have answered a lot of ‘first questions’ )
How will I know how to pose?
What clothes do I bring?
How can you make me look as good as the women on your website?
How will it change the way I see myself?
Do I need to lose weight first? (Absolutely NOT!)
These are all legitimate first questions and most of these women become our clients and go away with amazing pictures to cherish forever.
However, the most difficult first question to answer is,
“How much do you charge?”
These women very rarely become our clients.
The reason is simply that these women have no real idea just how much they’re worth.
You see, a boudoir photoshoot is very different from going down the High Street and getting some snaps of the kids on a Saturday afternoon.
A boudoir photoshoot is an investment in yourself.
You will be choosing outfits, practicing posing in front of the mirror, worrying about being nervous on the day. You will be investing part of yourself in the whole process.
Taking your clothes off and posing in front of a stranger is not something to be done lightly.
Not if you value your self-esteem and self-worth.
You wouldn’t buy a wedding dress without a lengthy fitting process or book a holiday without some idea of what you’re getting yourself into. (Unless you want to end up in a hotel still under construction and miles from the nearest beach)
If the first thing you worry about is money then the last thing you should consider is a Boudoir Style Photoshoot because, after 20 years of doing this, we know that whatever you pay will seem expensive, if the results make you feel worse about yourself.
Shopping for a boudoir photoshoot based on cost is a recipe for disaster and extremely unlikely to make you feel more confident, empowered, and good about yourself.
After all, these are the main reasons for booking this experience in the first place.
Consider everything in life to have an ‘investment’ and a ‘cost’.
Holidays have a cost that diminishes in value over time.
The initial cost may be high and seem good value at the time.
Then, two weeks later the tan starts to fade, you go back to work and the daily grind and the holiday soon begins to seem like a bad ‘investment’ as the memory of that holiday decreases and you begin to look for the next holiday.
Cars have a very high cost and are relatively bad investments since all they do is lose money and decrease in value.
A boudoir photoshoot, however, can have a huge investment value because, unlike a holiday, they don’t lose value immediately after you have them. In fact, our clients tell us time and time again how much their pictures empower them for years after.
The increased confidence these women get from a good boudoir photoshoot is difficult to put a price on.
So, a good boudoir photoshoot is an investment not so much a “cost” – Unless ‘cost’ is your only concern and none of the benefits matter to you.
This is why our clients save up to have this experience and come out of it all the better for it.
Then, years later, they still have the pictures from their photoshoot to make them feel good about themselves all over again.
These women know how much they’re worth. They invest in themselves because they’re worth it.
I wanted to give husband a great wedding present. Plus needed a boost at 52 after starting work surrounded by beautiful young girls.
This is a must have experience. All at Madison Bou made me feel special and my own independent person. What a boost at 52 - Cassie
5 REASONS WHY A BOUDOIR EXPERIENCE IS FOR EVERYONE
1. ALL WOMEN ARE BEAUTIFUL AND WE CAN PROVE IT
At Madison Bou, we believe that all women are beautiful and a boudoir session is one of the most powerful ways to help women discover their inner and outer beauty.
Some of us have forgotten what it’s like to feel beautiful and strong. We are too busy with our lives, our families, our jobs.
We feel tired and sometimes, a little unappreciated.
Some of us are trying to fit into an impossible ideal of perfection.
Have you ever thought that things would be better if you could just fix one little thing?
The problem is, you won’t find perfection by losing a few pounds or trying to hide each wrinkle or imperceptible blemish. These little imperfections are actually our biggest strength. We like to use the expression ‘perfectly imperfect’.
When we learn to embrace our imperfections we actually begin to discover a new found confidence.
This is our superpower!
2. THIS IS YOUR EXCUSE FOR A LITTLE ‘YOU’ TIME
A boudoir session is a wonderful way to take a little time for you and can help you feel confident, strong, and beautiful again.
We know that YOU are truly beautiful right now and a boudoir session will remind you of this. In fact, you’ll be reminded just how beautiful you are, every time you look at your images.
3. WHEN YOU HAVE A BOUDOIR SESSION WITH MADISON BOU, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS SHOW UP!
We will take care of everything else.
Once you book a session with us, we’ll help you with your outfit selection and we have props that can be used to create a variety of looks.
We use flattering lighting and are experts at retouching, and we will pose you down to your fingertips!
There’s nothing to worry about!
4. IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOU WEAR (OR DON’T WEAR)
One of the most common questions we get asked is, “What will I wear?” or “I’m not a lingerie type girl.”.
Lingerie is not the only way to look and feel sexy.
You can wear whatever you want during your boudoir session.
A dress, a robe, button-up, lingerie, or nothing at all.
It’s entirely up to you and there is no right or wrong amount of clothing.
5. YOU DONT HAVE TO BE A MODEL TO LOOK LIKE ONE
Madison Bou has years of training in posing to ensure that you are always posed in the most flattering way and in the most flattering light.
We have photographed hundreds of women and know exactly how to pose you down to your fingertips!
You don’t need to worry about a thing.
At your session, we will ask you to do simple things such as: “bring that shoulder forward, bring your chin forward and down a bit, now look up with your eyes, put your hand here, etc.” It’s super simple and again you don’t need to do anything to prepare for this.
JUST GET READY TO LOOK AND FEEL AWESOME!
It’s all worth paying for because they are beautiful and actually make me feel so good about myself. Thank you again for making me feel like this - Kirsty
I can’t even begin to express how good my shoot was… I don’t just mean the quality of the pictures. .. or the careful angles … lighting .. make up… styling and positioning. .. I mean the way they make you feel. .. from the minute you enter… thru to the after care … I massively struggle with body image and I felt beautiful… valued… empowered.. its a cliché I know. .. but I think it has begun to change me… how I see myself. .. and how I value myself - Ellie
THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM – THE COST OF BOUDOIR
One of the first questions people ask us when they come to us for a Boudoir Photoshoot is “How much does it cost?”
After all, it’s not something you do every day, is it?
Actually, it could be that the real cost of a Madison Bou Experience is NOT treating yourself.
Denying yourself the empowerment and the thrill of a Madison Bou photoshoot is to miss out on one of the experiences of a lifetime.
How much do you think the experience Ellie had (above) is worth to her?
You probably already suspect that this experience will be worth a lot to you, that’s why you want to do it in the first place!
At Madison Bou – We genuinely feel that the experience we offer should be available to EVERY woman.
We agonise over every product we sell and do everything we can to offer extraordinary value for every one of our clients.
We now offer flexible, interest-free payment plans that work for your budget.
We also offer £100 discounts if you and a friend book sessions on the same day.
The best bit?
You will enjoy your Madison Bou experience well after your shoot day is over.
Your confidence will soar for years to come as you look back on your beautiful photographs.
How much would an experience like that be worth to you?
Shopping around photographers on the basis of price alone is missing the point.
You first need to decide how much an experience of a lifetime is worth to you. You need to ask yourself, how much would you be prepared to pay for something that will make you feel good about yourself for many years to come.
That amount – The amount that you’d pay for this experience is the amount of worth you actually place on yourself.
Now that is a real investment and as such, will be worth every penny.
Read what Faye told us (below) and imagine how valuable that experience would be to you
I just wanted to say a massive thank you for the fabulous job you did making me feel like a true beautiful person that I am. My confidence now, after this experience, is so much more amazing. No more do I walk down the street with my head down low. It’s now held high and I own that pavement! Thank you again. You are fantastic! - Faye