As a boudoir photographer I often here about how a boudoir session is a “once in a lifetime” experience. Something to cross off the bucket list.
Something you do so you can say that you’ve done it.
But you know what’s funny about that?
While I agree that having the right kind of boudoir session can be absolutely mind blowing and life changing, I know for a fact that most clients will come back again and again.
Because of the side effects you receive from your session!
“A session at GlamMarr studios may cause feelings of increased confidence, elation, changes in perception, giddiness and outburst of profanity”
“Holy shit I’m hot”
Ill let you in on a secret… getting your photo taken and the feelings you get from the experience itself are ADDICTIVE!
You’ll want to experience them again and again.
Think about it.
Your first session is like a first date. You’re nervous, you don’t know what to expect or if you are really as prepared at you think you are.
What if we don’t get along? Will I do something stupid? What should I wear!?
Then after your session you realize how freaking easy it was and how much fun you had!
You were literally nervous for nothing!
You love the outcome! You love your photos, you love how you feel after your session..
The first date went flawlessly and you had more fun than you thought possible.
You start seeing outfits you’d love to wear to your next session. Poses pop up on Instagram and you no longer think “Ugh, I’ll never look like that”, instead you click the save button so you can practice that pose later!
Now you’re thinking about ALL the possibilities for your next session and you’re starting to get excited again!
Your next shoot is like being in a relationship for a few years. Still sexy but you know each other WAY better and there is a foundation of trust!
We’ve learned from the first session what you loved the most and now you’re not afraid to step even more out of your comfort zone.
And we make the magic happen.
First shoot Vs Second shoot
Check out Laura’s first shoot
She did amazing and we had so much fun. She was open to trying pretty much whatever! This shoot was taken during the summer and we were able to capture some awesome outdoor pool shots!
And her second shoot!
Laura was super excited about shooting with the fireplace and had zero hesitations when I informed her that we were shooting fully nude!
I had some other tricks up my sleeve that made this a truly unique shoot! I love it when I get free reign to design a clients shoot.
and lets face it… My personal style (and studio) changes weekly so you’ll never get the same photos twice, no matter how many times you come back!
Which session to you vibe with more!? Summer fun or winter bliss?!
She also came in for a boudoir video shoot, you can check out what an actual boudoir session is like in the video below!
Ok, Glad I got your attention! Let me just say that “BEST” is a term that is very much dependent on your personal opinion and what you value, so what is best to one person may not appeal to another.
Yes, that was click bait but now that you are here let me tell you why I PERSONALLY believe that we offer the BEST and most unique boudoir experiences in the Midwest. And just an FYI we’re located in Collinsville IL, just minutes from downtown St louis, Missouri.
1.Our reason why
At Glammarr we guide you through a process that will impact your life far beyond your photo session.
A bold statement? Absolutely! But we can back it up.
Self limiting beliefs are beliefs that we instill into our own psyche. These beliefs hold us back from living our best lives. Some major beliefs that many women have are that they are not beautiful enough, worthy enough or the right size to succeed in life and love.
If only I’d lose weight, If only I didn’t have these scars, If only my body looked like hers…
What makes glammarr studio unique is that we offer the opportunity to see yourself from another perspective, one where these beliefs are challenged. Were not here to just take photos of you, were here to TEACH you how to approach and change those beliefs and to show you how beautiful and worthy you are RIGHT NOW!
2. Who we photograph
We photograph women who struggle with self image and confidence. We photograph women who are happy in their skin and want to show it. We photography women wanting to celebrate a life event or women just wanting to do something nice for themselves. We photograph woman who feel like their body has changed and are not sure how to embrace it.
Mothers, wives, sisters, divorcees, singles, career women, grandmothers, empty nesters, fur moms, girlie girls, town boys…
We are experts in photographing ALL bodies; all sizes, colors, shapes and ages. Every woman we photograph is a real life client who was probably was just as nervous and on the fence as you might be!
3. Our Experience and Education
The skill of the photographer can mean the difference between giving yourself a much needed confidence boost or hating your results and blaming yourself for the photos that you do not love.
Boudoir is a niche field. You wouldn’t go to a general doctor to have plastic surgery done, right?
You’d want a specialist. Someone who is well versed in lighting, posing and guiding you through your shoot. Someone who has worked with woman just like you. Someone who has had the same struggles and understands WHY this is so important to you.
I have specialized in only woman’s intimate photography for 14 years. You literally cannot pay me to shoot families, pets, children, landscapes or weddings! Its true!
I do not do anything else. Photographing women is my jam.
You can see my early work and how my WHY has changed over the years here!
4. Your shoot will be unique to YOU
Ever go to a party and someone is wearing the exact same dress as you?
Yea.. I’ve been there too. It sucks because we work so hard to have our own unique style.
At Glammarr we style each clients shoot individually so that your session will be unique to you!
I often tell my clients that i have a knack for figuring out the perfect style for their session and I plan and design their shoot while they are in hair and makeup. I often pull pieces from our in house wardrobe closet and i add accessories to elevate each clients look. Sometimes my clients will bring in props and sometimes i add them myself.
The only thing that we want to be consistent is our photographic styling. We do not want our clients to have the same exact poses, set ups and outfits.
This is one of the many reasons why we only photograph one client per day! We take our time and plan out every little nuance for your session so that you have photos that showcase your personality.
I’m also very blunt. I will let you know what will and will not work! You can rest assured that you’ll get exactly what you wanted even if you’re not 100% sure on what that is!
5. You’ll actually look like YOU
Sounds kind of like a given right? Well its not.
Too often I see images of women who are overly airbrushed, overly retouched and who are robbed of their natural beauty due to over editing.
Is that because those women NEED all of that editing?
Its often that the photographer is not well versed in photographing various body shapes and sizes or that they feel beauty is defined by certain looks and attributes.
EVERY WOMAN I PHOTOGRAPH SEES THEIR IMAGES UNRETOUCHED.
And yes, they all think that it will be a horrible experience because they have stretchmarks, scars, wrinkles and rolls… Until they see themselves on that 65 inch TV in all of their gorgeousness.
How do you expect to love your own raw, real body if all you see are overly airbrused and liquefied images of yourself?
But wait, YES we do edit but only things that are NOT a permanent part of you Like bruises, acne, stray hairs, indent marks on your body etc.
6. Our studio is KILLER
Ok, Still being biased here but the photos speak for themselves!
GlamMarr studio is the most uniquely styled boudoir studio in the midwest. A bold statement, again, but something I strongly believe in. No generic loft or AirB&B but rather a studio that is constantly evolving and changing.
We have a multitude of sets, lighting and atmospheres. We even have a private outdoor area with an in ground pool (currently under MORE renovation!)
Our newest addition is our vintage boho bathroom filled with gorgeous greenery.
This is another reason why our shoots are so unique for each client. We have enough space to shoot them many times and give them a new and exciting session each time!
7. We want you to be well informed
We’re not hiding anything.!
We’re not going to make you jump through hoops to find out how to book or what we charge. We believe in being VERY honest and open about what to expect and how much it will cost. We send over our full pricing guide and our step by step get ready guide well before you book so that you can make an informed, non rushed decision.
We’ll talk with you about your budget and how we can work with it. We will let you know what payment option will be in your best interest (we have several).
We NEVER share your images without your explicit consent. If you choose not to share your images NO ONE ELSE WILL SEE THEM! PERIOD.
8. Were not pushy sales people
I fucking hate sales. In a past life i actually sold cars and I was the most open and honest sales person at the dealership. Needless to say I didnt last long at that job!
What you choose to purchase at your reveal will be up to you! I will NEVER pressure you to purchase more than you feel comfortable with or more than you need. I will be there to HELP you NARROW your images down so that you can stay within your means.
The images sell themselves, all i do is show them to you!
Most clients will purchase an album of their favorite images and our albums are THE BEST!
We do not skimp on quality. These professional, luxury albums have thick pages, gorgeous covers and will last a lifetime! Don’t settle for less!
9. You will be a part of EVERY process
When you first reach out about a session we will chat with you and link you to our step by step get ready guide and our full pricing guide.
You will be linked to a video on choosing wardrobe, given recommendations and linked to a guide on how to stretch for maximum flexibility for your shoot.
You will be shown how to pose, how to breath, how to arch, how to emote! We will work within your abilities to capture the most beautiful REAL photos of you!
YOU will choose what images and products you want.
After you choose your images at your reveal, you will be sent the edits to ensure that love the changes and you will APPROVE them before the next step.
Next we will send you the professionally designed album layout for you to approve also.
This is for YOU! We will make sure everything is freaking perfect!
10. Our team of ladies ROCK
Every session includes full professional hair and makeup from our in studio MUA Mariah. We have worked together to ensure that you will look amazing in front of the camera whether you choose a more natural look or a straight out of a sexy music video look!
Mariah is extensively trained in applying makeup specifically for this type of shoot. You will wish she styled you everyday, she is that good!
Monika from Nirvana studio in O’fallon IL is our recommended waxer. She’s super body positive and works with ladies of all weights, sizes, shapes and ages! You will love her so much you’ll hardly notice your hair getting ripped out 😀
and finally Nichole works at Sam & Delilahs in Alton IL and will help you choose the perfect outfit for your session and a fun toy for the bedroom if you are feeling frisky!
and yes! All of my girls have had sessions!
Bonus… The Photographer is pretty cool
I started this business over 14 years ago because I wanted a way to help women to feel better about themselves. I wanted to help them gain more confidence. I myself had suffered with binge eating, low self esteem and severe anxiety and depression and that is why I ultimately choose this path in life. I am now someone who is learning to navigate chronic pain and mental health while running a sucessful business and connecting to other women like myself.
Hi, My name is Alaynna and I am the most down to earth person you will ever meet.
I curse like a sailor, Im clumsy, Im weird and I am ME.
You will be at ease within 15 minutes of working with me. Seriously. Because thats about how long it will take before I drop something, Stub my toe and cuss or fall over something while demonstrating a pose. You literally cannot be intimidated by me, i promise!
Wonder what its like to work with me? Click HERE and watch the video!
Its truly a blessing in life that I am able to photograph woman and show them they are beautiful—Straight out of camera. No Photoshop required. Its amazing seeing my clients shift their perception and carry their new confidence into other parts of their lives! I wouldn’t change it for the world!
I wanted to blog about something a bit different today and so with me finishing up my most recent couples session at GlamMarr Studios I decided that it might be fun to do a bucket list for couples!
I so often hear about couples getting bored at the same old routine. Dinner and a movie, Netflix and chill… You know what I’m talking about!
So today I present to you 10 bucket list items to do with your significant other!
10. Write each other a love letter.
Does this really need explaining? When I first dated my husband we would write letters to each other fairly frequently. As the years pass by and daily life takes over, little things like this tend to be forgotten or put on the back burner. I still cherish every love letter I’ve gotten from my hubby and he stores his favorite from myself in his wallet. Take some time out and really think about all the amazing things your significant other brings to your life. Its nice to be reminded!
9. Take a spontaneous trip
Seriously! Don’t plan where you’re going just drive! Take turns choosing directions. See where you end up. This is a MUST do and you never know what type of amazing place you may end up!
8. Sext to eachother
If you haven’t done this yet, this is a fun one! Yes, its super awkward at first but you both may be pleasantly surprised at the things that come out when you’re able to hide behind your phone! Explore those ideas.
7. Volunteer together
This is PERFECT for the Christmas season (actually any time of the year really but its close to the holidays right now) AND helps out other people as well as strengthens your bond as a couple. Making others feel good makes us feel good too!
6. Take a bubble bath together complete with yummy wine and fruit
Don’t worry about the logistics of the tub, just pour in your favorite bubble bath and hop in! Take turns sipping wine or champagne. Feed each other chocolate covered strawberries. Bonus points for turning on some sexy jams and lighting some scented candles.
5. Sit down together and create a playlist of your relationship
Compile all the songs that have meaning or remind you of your relationship. What song was playing when you met. What was your wedding song? Your first dance. What songs remind you of each other. Make a night of this and be prepared to take a trip down memory lane!
4. Play a sexy game
There are so many fun ways to explore each others sexuality. You can create your own games, like “Adult Truth or Dare” or if you are wanting something more interesting there are a plethora of adult games available for purchase! There are so many that you can really turn this activity into a weekly tradition!
3. Go to an adult store together and pick out a surprise for each other
Speaking of purchasing a sexy game, there are a TON of other fun items that you can purchase for each other. Getting to know each others sexual fantasies can be a lot of fun and gives you an endless amount of scenarios to experiment with! Be sure that you are choosing a reputable, hygienic store with knowledgeable staff so that you and your S/O feel comfortable. I highly recommend Sam & Deliah located in Alton, IL. The store is set up like a high end boutique and the staff is very knowledgeable!
Want to elevate the experience? Be sure to add in some of your favorite essential oils! Not sure what to use or where to get them? Head on over to Mandaladiva’s Facebook group where you’ll find a ton of essential oil info and some other goodies.
Now before we Reveal the #1 Bucket list items for couples, be sure to comment below and let us know how many of these items you have knocked off of your list OR let us know some other suggestions you may have!
And if you found this article helpful please share with your friends!
And Drum roll please for the number one bucket list item for couples….
1. A Couples boudoir photoshoot
Yes, you read that right, there is no better way to enjoy the day and document those little intimate moments that you have on a daily basis but do not always get to see. The way you smile at eachother, hold each other and laugh. It truly is a special experience that you wont soon forget.
Imagine curing up next to the fireplace in 10, 15 or 30 years and reliving those intimate moments by looking through your boudoir album together! Actually, that’s probably another bucket list item that you can tackle together in the future!
If you are interested in scheduling an intimate, boudoir couples session with GlamMarr Studios (located near St louis, Mo) just head on over to our website to contact us!
Want to see more sexy couples? Be sure to follow us on Instagram!
In my Part one of my “Spilling the Tea” series, I discussed how my WHY and my vision for what boudoir means to me has changed over the years.
In todays part 2, I want to talk about something equally as important and a question that I see a lot.
“Why is boudoir photography so expensive?”
I spend a lot of time analyzing my website to ensure that it get the most traffic possible when someone is searching for boudoir photography near st louis. I use several programs to identify what phrase someone might search in order to find services for these intimate sessions. Can you guess what search terms come up the most?
“Cheap boudoir St louis, MO” or “Cheap boudoir photography”
And I get it! Who doesn’t want to save some money? I also understand that in todays digital world that photography pricing can be confusing and that the majority of people do not know what photography should cost.
Its not like going to a store where you can find 15 different versions of a similar product for around the same price and you can compare and choose by pricing. Comparing photographers isn’t comparing apples to apples.
Photography pricing is highly individualized depending on so many factors.
So today I wanted to spill the tea on my own experience and growth with knowing what to charge and share with you what to look for when shopping around for your own boudoir session.
Spoiler alert: I had no idea how to run a business or what to charge.
What should boudoir photography cost?
Remember how I said that photography pricing is highly individualized? That means the cost are going to range from “too good to be true” to “Holy shit! That cost more than my car!” But why?
Lets get right into it! Be sure to read all the way through as this will all connect back to that initial question.
I find that examples are the easy to understand, so I am going to break down how my personal pricing and brand has changed over the past 14 years.
I started my business as Vintage Imagery in 2005. Looking back though, I would hardly call it a business. Sure, I had a studio, decent gear and skill and a business license. What I did not have was any knowledge on what it meant to run a business or what it meant to be sustainable.
If I’m being completely honest, which I tend to be, I had NO IDEA what to charge when I started. It actually took many years to understand the full scope of what running a business meant and how to charge appropriately.
In 2005, I started by charging a flat fee for print released digital images. Meaning the client was given a copy of the image on a disc with the rights to print it whenever and however they saw fit. I did not offer prints, albums or anything additional. My Flat per image rate was $50. That included the shoot, hair and makeup and editing on the images that were selected for purchase.
My typical client purchased 5 images for a total of $250. My shoots took on average 2 hours. If you just break that down, like I had done in the beginning, that appears that I was averaging $125 an hour!
Wow you say! That’s a LOT to make in an hour! Hey, I thought the same thing too!
Except I forgot a few things.
Lets look at just a portion of my cost. I paid my hair and makeup artist $75 per session. She was great at what she did, however, she was not a licensed makeup artist nor did she carry any type of insurance. Thus why I was able to pay her such a low cost. A typical licensed MUA (makeup artist) charges around $150.
So lets say my client purchased 5 images at 250. Then we subtract the $75 paid to the MUA. We’re down to 175.
Those 2 hours that I spent taking images did not include the time it took to find the client, book the client or edit and deliver the images. On five images I spent around 10 hours editing (I did A LOT of composite images that required intense editing) and lets throw in another hour for finding and obtaining the client, downloading the images and delivering the images (A very low estimate!) and another hour for set up and cleaning for the shoot and drive time to the studio.
Now were at 14 hours for $175… or about 12.50 an hour.
But wait we forgot about taxes! Lets subtract federal taxes which are around 33% for small businesses from that 175 first, which is 57.75. That leaves us 117.25 for 14 hours of work or $8.30 per hour. A far cry from that $250 an hour I thought I was making.
Lets also remember that most photographers are not shooting enough clients to fill up a 40 hour work week. In my example above, spending an average of 14 hours per client, I’d have to average about 3 clients per week to actually make $8.30/hour. Most months I only shot 5 clients in total or 1.25 a week.
Did I mention that I also had expenses such as gear, maintaining the gear, studio rental, purchasing and upgrading editing software, cost for storing the images per month, advertising, continued educational courses, business insurance, purchasing office supplies, fees charged by square or paypal for accepting debit/credit payments and purchasing props and clothing,
I wont even get into the cost of business and tax attorneys, hosting your own websites or all of the work I didn’t charge for so that I could build my portfolio.
Did you know that running a small business full time means that you have to pay for medical insurance on your own? There are also no sick days, no vacation days and no bonuses.
Once you factor in all of those cost and overhead you can see that I was lucky to be coming out even for all the work I was putting in!
My business was NOT sustainable! Which is why I had to also work a full time job in order to make ends meet. This is something MANY starting photographers encounter in the beginning but I loved what I did and I used every penny I made (which wasn’t a lot looking back) to reinvest into better equipment, more education so I could offer better images and services and a nicer studio, which meant I was anything but profitable. In fact, a vast majority of money invested back into my business to help it grow was provided out of my own pocket from my full time job.
But I know plenty of photographers that do not charge much and are making a living!
Are you sure about that? From an outsiders perspective I was running a flourishing business. I was booking clients left and right, shooting and editing every weekend. I was BUSY. But as the example shows above busy doesn’t always equal successful.
Also are sure that they are actually cheap? We’ve all seen the Groupons for $49 boudoir shoots. Did you read the fine print? While $49 for a shoot is incredible, these often do not included any professional services, like hair and makeup, nor do they include any products or images. No one is able to sustain a business making $49 a client, unless they are taking hundreds of clients a month and lets face it, boudoir is not a high volume business nor should it be.
The majority of “cheap” photographers on Groupon are banking on the fact that you will purchase photos and products and those cost are far greater than $49, so what at first may seem like a low cost option, quickly becomes a larger expense.
On the other hand, you’ll see photographers advertising that they will include XX amount of images with the photo shoot for a low fee. The majority of these photographers are starting out and, like I was doing in the early years, are not taking their full cost into account. Eventually they will quit because it is not a sustainable model or they will adapt their pricing so that they can continue to run a business and do what they love.
Just to be clear. I am NOT dragging anyone that charges a lower price for photography. I do not know their circumstances or their business models. I’m simply pointing out what I have learned over the past 14 years.
So now that you have a better understanding of how much goes into running a business lets talk about how to choose the right photographer and why its so important to consider more than just cost.
How to choose a boudoir photographer the right way
1. Skill and Reputation
The first thing to consider, especially when looking to hire a photographer to take images of such an intimate nature, is their skill and reputation. Both are very important! The skill of the photographer can mean the difference between giving yourself a much needed confidence boost or hating your results and blaming yourself for the photos that you do not love. Boudoir is a niche field. You wouldn’t go to a general doctor to have plastic surgery done, right? You’d want a specialist. Someone who is well versed in lighting, posing and guiding you through your shoot. Look for a photographer who specializes in shooting intimate portraiture.
Reputation is EVERYTHING in the boudoir industry. You need to be able to fully trust your photographer and know that they are there to make your shoot the best experience possible. You’re going to be in a situation where you are potentially nude and very vulnerable. You’re going to want to ensure that your images are private and protected and that you are in a safe space. No one wants their nudes leaked without permission!
The next thing to consider is where your shoot is taking place. Does the photographer have a studio? Are they sharing their space? Will you be the only client there during the shoot? That last one sounds like a no brainer but there are photographers that work with clients back to back and often times their appointments will overlap. Meaning you could be getting your hair and makeup done at the same time another client is finishing up her shoot. This can be ok if you are in a separate room but often times you’ll find that photographers will rent out hotel rooms and there is no separation between the hair and makeup area and the room the photographer is shooting another client in. You may be ok with that! Just be sure that you know what you are in for.
and while were talking about back to back shoots…
Sanitation. This one is BIG for me and why I DO NOT offer mini sessions or back to back sessions. Aside from the fact that it can be hard to get a client comfortable and create an amazing experience in 30 minutes, are you certain that you are not being exposed to the same bedding that another client was just rolling around in? It personally takes me around 1-2 hours to sanitize every chair, lingerie, bedding, set, etc after each session to ensure there are no germs or bacteria being passed between clients. Something to REALLY think about.
3. The photographers portfolio
One of the most important things to keep in mind is the photographers shooting style. Do you like their work? Are you seeing multiple body types? Do you want a dark and moody shoot but their portfolio only shows light and airy work? Photographers are artist and we all have our own distinct styling. Your photos will most likely end up looking like the work that they have done in the past so make sure you love what you see.
4. The photographers WHY
What is the photographers end goal? In boudoir, you’ll see a lot of photographers saying that they want to empower women through their work. What does that mean to them? What does it mean to them to empower their clients? One photographers idea of empowering may mean that they do heavy editing so that you look like a model from a magazine while another’s idea (my personal one) is to empower through more natural, less retouched images that shows off the clients real beauty.
Have you interacted with the photographer? Does their personality fit with yours?
Are you just wanting a few quick photos and do not care about products or experience? Are you someone who wants to print their own images while the photographer has very little to do with the end process? Do you want a more high end experience where everything is done for you and you are simply handed beautiful products and images? Do you want someone who is more hands off or someone that will walk you through the entire experience start to finish? Do you want luxury products to remember your experience?
Is their pricing transparent? Do they go over everything with you beforehand? Do they offer you advice on how to prepare or what to expect? Are they available to answer your questions and address your concerns?
Lets face it! Having a boudoir shoot can be a scary, overwhelming thing to think about without professional guidance. Make sure the photographer you choose is meeting your needs and helping you to work through your nerves.
6. How much the experience is worth to you
Boudoir photography is a luxury experience meaning it is not something that is required that you have, its no different than a vacation or a day at the spa. Anytime you consider getting professional photos done you should keep in mind that its as much about the experience as it is the final images. The vast majority of women are wanting this type of session to boost their confidence, celebrate a milestone or to see themselves in a different light.
My husband has a saying that I’ve grown fond of over the years; “Buy once, cry once”. Basically it boils down to this: Would you rather save a few bucks and potentially end up with something that doesn’t meet your needs in the long run (and you end up spending more in the end to have those needs met) or would you rather spend more and know that what you’re getting is exactly what you want and need?
Women especially have a hard time justifying spending a large amount of money on themselves but have no issues spending it on their spouse or children. There is a feeling of guilt or of being “selfish”, but in reality, doing something for yourself is the opposite of being selfish. You cant fill from an empty cup after all.
I’ve heard many reasons on why someone “can’t” afford a session but I can counter almost everyone of those reasons. How? It comes down to what you really want and what you budget for. Everyone can save a few pennies a month, cut out some unneeded expenses (I’m looking at you, Starbucks!) and budget out a plan to have a shoot. In the end it comes down to how important it is to you to have a boudoir session done. There is no wrong or right answers here. Everyone is different!
If you made it to here, thank you for sticking it out through the entire blog! I hope that this will help you make more informed decisions when selecting a boudoir photographer and why choosing on cost alone isn’t the way to go!
If you’d like to discuss your own boudoir shoot with GlamMarr Studios, please visit our site and set up a free, no obligation phone consult HERE.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
St louis boudoir
St louis boudoir
St louis boudoir
st louis boudoir
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
Lets face it. I hear it all. Women are nervous, afraid and down right scared of having photos taken of themselves.
But actually its not the photos that they are scared of. Its that peeling back of the layers of insecurities and the act of being vulnerable that terrifies them.
When I assure my clients that they are going to look amazing…no one ever believes me… At first that is. We have our phone consult and this is usually the time when women choose to tell me what “wrong” with them. Their bodies have changed after having children. Their bodies have changed by the passing years. Their bodies have changed from crash diets, bad relationships, illness or they’ve “let themselves go”.
I truly believe there is an epidemic within the women’s community. With the growth of social media outlets like facebook and Instagram, women are feeling worse and worse about themselves. Comparison is truly the killer of confidence.
This is NOT a new problem. We, as women, have been fed perfectly photoshopped images in magazines for ages and feel that we need to become these perfectly idealized images of what women “should” look like. This is not a new problem but its becoming more and more apparent as things like “facetune” and filters become more readily available.
So when I speak to potential clients who are comparing themselves to these highly stylized versions of women, I know what they’re going to say already. That they are not GOOD enough or PRETTY enough to do photos of this nature.
We’re so programmed to think that the filtered women on Instagram or the photoshopped models in magazines are the standard in which we should gauge ourselves that we CANNOT see the beauty that exudes from our own being.
The way we move. The way we laugh. The way we ARE. Our kindness, our hearts. That special things that makes us… US. We are so focused on being some basterdized form of beautiful that we MISS our own beauty.
So yes, Ive heard it all and I’m here to tell you that its all BULLSHIT. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! You are beautiful and worthy of self acceptance and love. What makes you YOU is so much more than your own reflection in the mirror.
What makes you beautiful is so specifically you that no magazine, no social media outlet can portray that through other women.
But I can show you.
At GlamMarr, we give you that moment to pause, that moment to reflect. That moment to SEE yourself. REALLY see yourself. Your individual movement, the special way you laugh that perspective that EVERYONE else sees but you are unable to appreciate because we become so clouded by self doubt or expectations of what we should be.
But don’t take my word for it! Read on to hear a GlamMarr clients thoughts on the experience in her own words!
Ps. Ms. B finally took the plunge last year during our specially priced “Pink Saturday” Special. We will be running another black Friday special this year so if you’ve been on the fence its your time to take a chance. Have a leap of faith! Do it for YOU. You wont regret it!
On a side note. MS B was an absolute joy to work with. She has a laugh that is contagious and a smile that is sweet as pie. I was so happy to meet her and I really appreciate her giving us an insiders perspective on her experience.
In Ms B’s Own words:
I joined Alaynna’s Facebook group a few years back after seeing photos she had taken of a friend of mine. Those pictures were beautiful, as were the rest shared on the FB page and the Glammarr website. I so wanted to have a shoot; I wanted the pretty pictures, too.
There were a few reasons why I wasn’t ready to make the jump and do it, so it stayed on my list of things to do “someday.” I continued to follow the FB page for over a year, which also helped me to realize working with Alaynna was not just about getting pretty pictures, it would be so much more!
She helps women truly see THEMSELVES. When the Pink Saturday Sale was offered last year after Thanksgiving, I felt like if I didn’t do it now, I might never do it. So, I decided to make the jump and book a session as a 45th birthday present to myself. The months that passed from the moment booked until the day of my shoot were filled with a roller coaster of emotions that would play out over and over again – excitement, hopefulness, doubt, fear. Before I knew it, nearly six months had passed, and it was shoot day.
The day of the shoot, I had not lost all of the weight I had intended to lose (which was one of the apprehensions I had about doing a shoot). That morning, I stood in front of the mirror naked, took a deep breath and said out loud, “Well, this is NOT the body you wanted to have today. But this is the body you’ve got. So go in there and rock it.” And I headed over to the studio.
I was excited, but I was also still a ball of nerves when I arrived. Alaynna and Mariah set those nerves at ease pretty quickly. They were filled with an incredible energy of positivity, encouragement, acceptance and FUN from beginning to end. As the shoot moved along, Alaynna showed some of the pics as she took them. I was blown away. That was ME. No retouching, no filters. JUST ME. As it turned out, that’s what I was doubtful and afraid of — JUST ME, as I would be in that moment. And in that moment, I saw me, not just my body, but my entire being. It can be scary sometimes to let others see us. It can be even scarier to really see ourselves. But Alaynna and her team show us that it’s actually the most beautiful thing there is.
From this experience, you’ll get gorgeous pictures. But Alaynna really captures and celebrates the essence of all of you in those photos, so much so that in turn, something that happens to YOU which is awesomely and overwhelmingly amazing. We all deserve to see, feel and acknowledge how wonderful we are. Your body IS good enough to have a shoot. You are never too old to have a shoot. You deserve this experience, and I hope those of you that are on the fence about it will make the jump and do it. You will have no regrets. I didn’t, and I will DEFINITELY be a repeat offender at Glammarr.
PS – I also want to give a shout out to Monika, of the Glammarr Squad. Your encouragement and joyfulness also was a huge help to me
We’ve decided to post a weekly blog showcasing our clients boudoir shoots! This is our first #FearlesslyFemFriday and we’re excited to showcase our shoot with Ms. J. Ms J is a repeat client at GlamMarr Studios, located in Collinsville, IL.
For this shoot, anything went! She brought in several sexy outfits, including some Christmas related items. She also borrowed a few pieces from our client wardrobe closet (which offers sizes xs-6xl).
I was so excited to elevate her second shoot to a whole new level. We worked on posing her to create sensual looks and she nailed it on the expressions. We also shot her in front of our fireplace which added a whole new dimension to her photos!
The fireplace is used during January, February and march shoots.
If you are interested in booking a boudoir shoot of your own just head on over to our website at Glammarr.com
GlamMarr studio specializes in sensual photography for EVERY body! With over 13 years of experience working with women of all sizes, shapes, colors and ages. St Louis boudoir never looked better. Our mission is for you to fall in love with yourself all over again…or maybe for the first time ever! Our boudoir sessions are specifically for those struggling with their body image and confidence. We show you a different perspective of yourself, one you are sure to love!