#FearlesslyFemFridays-St Louis Boudoir-GlamMarr Studios-Spilling the tea pt 1.

Part one of a 2 (or maybe 3) part blog.

Today I am spilling all the tea. 

I pride myself on being open honest and real and in this post I want to talk about how my perception of beauty has changed from when I first started my business back in 2005 as Vintage Imagery. At the time I was looking for someone to take sexy photos of myself, to help ME embrace and love my body. I suffered from body dysphoria. I suffered from anxiety. I was going through a rough patch in my marriage to my ex husband. I needed an outlet, a boost to my self esteem but sadly, I was living in Great Falls, Montana and NO ONE took the type of photos that I wanted.

So naturally I wanted to fill that hole in the market.

I had a fairly good understanding of photography, film at the time, and had worked a few years at a company that did family photos. I thought to myself, “If this is something I want, there must be other women out there like me”. So with that, I purchased my first digital camera and started to practice on my friends.

I had so much fun…but there was a problem.

My perception of “beautiful” and “sexy” was so far off that it wasn’t even funny. I had idolized the pinups of the 1940s and 1950s. I don’t mean ACTUAL human pinups, I mean the cartoon representations of women. I loved pinup artist like Elvgren. 

These images were of women with impossibly tiny waists, curvy hips and legs that were so long that they were literally unobtainable.

Even the models for these paintings didn’t look like their cartoon counterparts.

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Copyright Gil Elvgren
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http://www.thepinupfiles.com/elvgren1.html
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Copyright Gil Elvgren http://www.thepinupfiles.com/elvgren1.html

Lets just say I had a VERY skewed idea of what women “should” look like.

When I opened my first studio in 2006, reproducing the look of the painted pinups of the 1950s was my jam. My thought was that knowing how retouched and photoshopped todays models are in magazines that it would make women feel better if THEY were also retouched and photoshopped so they could see that they were no different from those models.

Ass backwards I know. 

Over the course of time I worked with hundreds of women of all shapes, sizes and ages. I wanted to transform them into living works of art, into a cartoon version of themselves, in the hopes that it would help them boost their self confidence.

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And it did!

But there was something that just felt off to me. I couldn’t explain it at the time, but as the years went on I started to understand what that feeling was.

I was going against my own beliefs.

Here I had all these absolutely beautiful women, perfect the way they were, and I was changing how they looked through editing. Sometimes only a little, sometimes a lot. It was my style, it was what I was known for, it is what got me clients.

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and I was scared to change.

Could women REALLY embrace themselves, “flaws” and all?

Lets get something straight. I was providing the best experience and photos that I could at the time, and they were still gorgeous photos, they just weren’t what I really wanted to do anymore. My clients were already beautiful. I didn’t need to change them!

It was around this time that I finally started conquering a lot of my own body issues and coming to terms with how I looked and accepting my body for what it was. I was finally feeling beautiful. A huge reason that happened is because of all the amazing women I had photographed. Seeing so many shapes, sizes, stretchmarks, scars, folds, wrinkles and yet they all were so stunningly beautiful.

Hundreds of clients and I never once met a women that looked like a cartoon pinup.

They were all beautiful in their own way, the way they were, which allowed for me to finally see that I was too and I wanted to show them just that…

Flaws and all. 

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To say it was an eye opening experience would be an understatement. That was the shift that I needed to fuel my business to the place that I wanted it to be. A place were ALL bodies were photographed and retouched as little as possible. A place were I could show my clients that they are beautiful without all that jazz, just as they were.

I almost shut my studio doors in 2012. I felt so far removed from what I WANTED to provide to clients and what I was providing that it felt dirty. If I could see how beautiful they were WHY did I need to change anything about them?!

I ended up taking a much needed break and took time to think about what I wanted to do moving forward. I ended up finding the perfect house to move my studio into (which is what I ended up doing) and I only took a handful of clients a month, working on improving my skills and living up to the potential that I knew I had.

I finally felt ALIVE. I was doing what I wanted and I didn’t lose any clients as I had feared. Instead, just the opposite happen. Why? Because I was living my TRUTH. I wasn’t promoting something I didn’t believe in.

I was practicing what I preached and it felt amazing!

Fast forward to 2018. The year I FINALLY got to really showcase unretouched, REAL bodies. Clients actually gave me permission. Not only that, they were excited to show their raw images to other women. They embraced their stretchmarks, scars, folds, wrinkles…all the things we are told should be covered up.

Guess what? Normalizing airbrushed and overly photoshop images in magazines and online is NOT ok. As women, we look at these fake images and judge our own bodies against them, even though most of us know that not even the models or celebrities look like that in real life.

Our own visions of ourselves can become so skewed. Read here on why you don’t look how you think you do.

So I’m here to start the revolution I wanted to so many years ago. To showcase real, raw, beautiful female bodies of all shapes and sizes. There is no wrong way to have a body!

Here is an example of the same client. Photoshoot from around 2011 vs this year. The first retouched and the two from 2018 unretouched (minus color/exposure adjustments but no retouching to the clients body or skin).

All beautiful images in their own way with different vibes but you can FEEL the raw, realness of the images from this year…

The images that embrace my message.

You are enough, You are worthy, You are beautiful.

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Here is a special gallery of clients that have given me permission to share their unretouched images. The only adjustments that are made are color correction to the entire image and small exposure adjustments.

Enjoy all the beautiful bodies you see.

All bodies are good bodies. All of these women are beautiful in their own, real way.

Part 2 coming soon. Continue down the rabbit hole with me when i’ll share unretouched images of myself showcasing all of my beautiful, imperfect flaws ❤

Ready to book your own session and see yourself in a whole new way? Visit us at Glammarr.com

Also see more unretouched images weekly on our instagram

68 thoughts on “#FearlesslyFemFridays-St Louis Boudoir-GlamMarr Studios-Spilling the tea pt 1.

  1. Amazing, keep up the wonderful work and giving women of all ages, shapes and sizes the confidence to be ourselves. You are apart of a huge movement. We all have to learn to love ourselves and embrace the beautiful that we as women have.

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  2. Thanks for being so open about your process 🙌🏼🙌🏼 Being open to all shapes and sizes and helping us all see how beautiful we are without retouching!

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  3. I love seeing the growth and acceptance of your different and not so different styles merged together here. You are a truly talented woman. I can’t wait to have a session with you. I’m a firm believer that every woman is amazingly “HER”. Just the way she is supposed to be. You capture that eloquently in all of your shoots.

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  4. I’ve been following you for a few years and absolutely love your gorgeous photos and the way you bring out the self confidence of every beautiful woman you photograph! Keep doing what you are doing ❤️

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  5. You’ve taken this art to the next level! And by constantly challenging yourself with new sets, props and ideas you’ve added so much to your photography. Unbelievably talented work!

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  6. This is wonderful. I remember when I did a few pictures to help a friend out..the amount of empowerment I felt knowing they were pictures of me..the real me..was so amazing. Your pictures are gorgeous and real. I only wish I can afford pictures like this some day for my boyfriend and myself.

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  7. I’ve loved your work since VI and it still amazes me how you can change people’s view of themselves. One day I’ll be in front of that camera I swear it.

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  8. This was such an amazing and heart touching article. I loved it!! I also had such a great time and an amazing shoot with you. You do such a great job at your job girl!! You are the real MVP. Much love and appreciate for you and your photography!!
    -Adrienne

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  9. Shooting with you was a dream come true. Now i know i am beautiful and capable of turning heads and i have the photos to prove it. 🙂

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  10. Your passion for your work is such an inspiration. You help women remember their self-worth & see how beautiful they are flaws & all. You truly have an amazing talent for capturing raw beauty 💜

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  11. Alaynna you are truly amazing. I am so beyond thankful that I could never express how much more confident I am now that I’ve seen myself through your lens.

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  12. You are doing such a great thing and all this images are beautiful but you can see in the more recent raw photos the pure joy in the photos..

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  13. I think what you have done is amazing. All these women look absolutely stunning!!!! You show their beauty and not what the media perceived as a beauty!!! Your work is phenomenal!!!!

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  14. I love them all 💕 I like the pin up style also but I really love the untouched ones. I love what you are doing for all these ladies. It’s nice to finally love our imperfections

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  15. You are an inspiration to women every where, you are such an amazing photographer and an even more amazing person and everyone who has every worked with you and that will work with you in the future will see their light through your positivity and inspiration.

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  16. I am so glad that you do what you do. Even though I haven’t been able to have a shoot with you yet(and the day will come) just looking at your photos and all the different beautiful ladies has really helped me out with my body and who I am.. so thank you..

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  17. I love it all!!
    I do have one question…if someone were to do a shoot with you now, could they request some prints in your current real self style AND request a few prints of your old cartoon pin up photoshopped and edited style as well?
    I’ve always DREAMED of seeing myself as/having at least one photo of myself as a Vargas pin up girl

    Like

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