10 reasons why GlamMarr Studios offers the BEST boudoir photography experience in the Midwest!

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!  

Client Testimonial

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!

collinsville boudoir photography

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!

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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?

NOPE.

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?


How do you expect to love your own raw, real body if all you see are overly airbrushed 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.

boho bathtub boudoir St louis, MO

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).

AND

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

Our Lux USB

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!

the big reveal!

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!

st louis boudoir albums

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!

Join our all women FB group to see REAL testimonials, behind the scenes and other fun stuff!

Ready to book!? VIsit our website here

#FearlesslyFemFridays-St Louis Boudoir-When you literally cant believe your own eyes.

Ever see a photo of yourself and think to yourself “that looks nothing like me!”? Well, you are not alone. I myself have looked into the mirror and then attempted to take a selfie and the two just didn’t match. I looked… different. Is it your mind playing tricks on you or Is it something else?

Actually its both.

According to one study, strangers are actually more likely to choose a photo of you that looks the most like you. Apparently people are horrible at picking photos that look like themselves.

But why?

This is a phenomenon I deal with in the majority of my boudoir sessions. Women do not perceive themselves the way the rest of the world does. One of the biggest reasons is because we often see ourselves through cell phone photos.

Did you know the average cellphone lens is 26-28mm (equivalent). Ok, Alaynna, why do I can about lens (focal) lengths?

Because focal lengths depict how an image is rendered and how much compression we see!  Sometimes pictures are worth a thousand words so here is an example. These images were taken with different focal lengths but distance and everything else remained the same. Did I just blow your mind?

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Copyright Stephen Eastwood 

A simple way to understand focal length and lens compression is to think of it this way–The longer the focal length the more compression, which flattens the image. When an image is flattened, all points tend to look like they are on the same plane. Meaning there is less depth to the image. When a lens is wide angle (like our cellphone lenses) then what ever is closer to the camera will appear the largest and have more depth.

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Copyright Stephen Eastwood 

So from the 19MM example above (one pretty close to your standard smart phone). You can see that the nose, eyebrows, lips and forehead look distorted. Those areas are a few centimeters closer to the lens. This is why when you tilt your head toward the phone camera in a selfie your forehead looks disproportionately large. In the middle image you’ll notice that her face has a more flattened, natural appearance. Our human eye sees about 50mm (full censor camera) or 35mm (crop sensor). I wont bore you with all the technical details of distance from the lens, censor size or anything else but this gives you a general idea of what I’m talking about. So the middle image is pretty close to what we’d see when we look in the mirror. In the last image, you’ll notice the face looks wider and more flat, there is less depth then the 70mm example.

This also goes for body parts. Try it yourself! Take out your smart phone, flip it to selfie mode and hold it about arms length from your face. Now hold up your hand next to your face and slowly move your hand closer to the camera while keeping your face at arms length. You’ll see that your finger looks HUGE in comparison!

This is a trick that Instagram models have figured out a long time ago! A popular one  when taking a photo of their bodies is to stick their ass out so its closer to the camera while leaning their upper body back. This makes their booty look huge and their waist look smaller in comparison. I don’t want to call anyone out so I’ll avoid inserting an example, you get the idea.

So what happens when we live in a world where we are constantly taking selfies? We start to form a mental image of what we look like through these distorted images that don’t match what we see in the mirror! I haven’t even delved into how lighting, angles and Facetune further distort our perception or how we compare ourselves to the “beautiful” people online who also use these techniques to portray a person that doesn’t quite fit what they really look like.

Another way cell phone cameras can affect how we see ourselves are when we are having OTHERS take images of us. We’ve all been there…a night out with the girls and we ask a stranger to take a group shot. The people on the outer edge of the photo will look larger and the women in the middle will look smaller. Lens distortion happens more often than you think.

So again, this doesn’t cover many other reasons on how or why this happens but I’m trying to keep it as simple as possible.

Another issue that can affect how we see ourselves is the mental image we have in our head. Our brains take a while to process change. Ask anyone who’s lost a lot of weight fast! They still see themselves much larger than they are. Same for those that have gained weight or had their body change with pregnancy. Our brains don’t register the change right away.

And lastly, we don’t often see ourselves in movement. We see one moment in time in a photo. We don’t see the little nuances that add to our beauty. Our personality, our mannerisms, our laugh, these are all things that add beauty to our physical forms. In fact, the way we hold ourselves contributes largely to how attractive others perceive us.  Did you know that simply SMILING increases our attractiveness?

All this and more is why GlamMarrs’ mission statement is “Reconnecting women’s bodies and minds through the art of boudoir photography”. 

My goal is to show you what you look like IN REAL LIFE. Clients are always surprised by how off their own perception of self is. I’ll be honest, I don’t shoot to flatter you. I shoot to show you what my eye sees before I put a camera in front of it. I use your movements to capture those little nuances I spoke of before. Your body is not what makes you beautiful. Your BEING makes you beautiful. Your personality makes you beautiful. Your soul makes you beautiful.

My goal is to reconnect your non-physical attributes to your body image. So you see more than just your physical reflection when you look in the mirror.

I tell all my clients that its a process. Because boy is it ever. Your mind will continue to fight with you about the images it sees during your reveal. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard “That’s me?!?” I could retire…. today.

My clients love MOST of their images but there are always some that don’t appeal to them as much as others. That’s because I don’t just take flattering images. I take images that will force you to see EVERY part of you. Somethings that you love, others not so much. Remember that process I talked about? Yea, that’s a big part of it.

Its not all Oooohs and ahhhs. Sometimes women have an outdated vision of what they look like. They may be holding on to old memories or images of themselves and haven’t come to terms with how their bodies have changed. Its confrontation of the ego. This can take time to process. Women even have a hard time seeing themselves in a provocative pose or with a sexy expression, its a lot to take in! From an outside perspective we don’t see the internal struggle that these women may have. We see them for all the beauty they posses but they themselves cannot. Its  like exposure therapy. It forces the mind to start to see the whole picture (pun intended).

In my experience I’ve only had two clients that outright told me that they felt like they looked larger than they perceive themselves in real life. There are probably more that feel that way (or something similar that they struggle with) but didn’t say anything.

Its OK. Its NORMAL. Its part of the process.

Its easy to love the images that we feel we look the best in, its much harder to love images that showcase that dreaded thing about ourselves that we tend to avoid.

Once acceptance comes, and its slow for some and quick for others, that’s when the mind can truly connect to the body. When they can start seeing past the things that they’ve been in denial about or haven’t come to terms with and start accepting themselves as they REALLY are and then seeing the beauty in that.

Because lets face it, we all do it. We pose in photos. We wear clothing and shapers to change how our bodies look. We do everything we can to try to accept our physical self in the reality that we have created but we seldom work on accepting our bodies at all angles, flattering or not.

We tell ourselves negative things when we stand, nude, in a full length mirror, we reinforce that we are not good enough the way we are. We then take 125 selfies to get the perfect one, smooth out the skin, pop on a filter and post it online and let our friends tell us how beautiful we look, reinforcing and further disconnecting our minds and bodies. We get positive reinforcement that the enhanced version of ourselves is better, even though our friends would give us the same compliments, maybe even more so, if we posted raw, real images of ourselves. We compare ourselves to other peoples perfectly posed and edited images online further perpetuating the issue.

Less perfection more authenticity is the key. 

So do it. Get naked. Stand in front of a mirror and see yourself the way you look at your friends and your loved ones instead of picking yourself apart. Its gonna be tough at first. God help me I know! I told you it was a process…

Only tell yourself positive affirmations. Sounds hard but try it this way. Imagine you and your bestie were standing in front of a mirror. She’s in a bikini pointing out all of her things she hates about her body. What would you say to her? Would you let her stand there and harp on her body?

Fuck no you wouldn’t!

So be your own best friend. When you say something negative about yourself SPEAK UP and counter that negative thought the same way you would for your friend.

“I hate my big hips”….. Bitch are you kidding?! I wish I had curves like you!

And when you see someone online post a photo rocking their natural body (flaws and all) give them a fucking high five! But please don’t tell them that they are “brave”. You can read why here.

So this brings me to my featured client this Friday. Who also happens to be our resident hair and makeup artist, Mariah.

Remember I said that I have had 2 clients that spoke up that they felt like they looked “larger” in their photos than in their minds? Well Mariah is one of them and my inspiration for this post. She has had two shoots and a long process of reconnecting with her body after having a baby. Here is her words.

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I’ve had 2 shoots with Alaynna and the person in those images isn’t the same person in the mirror, my selfies, or my mind.

I had my first boudoir shoot with GlamMarr in 2017… 10 months post partum. I’d gained 70lbs from bedrest and lazy eating after having  my son. I didn’t feel comfortable with my selfies, the mirror or others photos. I DREADED seeing that “you’ve been tagged in a picture” come up on Facebook. I still had the image of 23 year old Mariah curves for day smooth thighs, nice perky boobs.

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15723383_10208052523858628_8441520906970780055_oGlammarr st louis pregnancy photos

 

Where those curves were I now saw a mom pouch, my boobs weren’t so perky after a baby had a 24/7 buffet with them and those smooth thighs were feeling more like a drive down 255 in construction season.

Alaynna knew I wasn’t really feeling myself anymore. After years of her helping me become a more confident me, it was all gone. She suggested I do a boudoir shoot. I was so excited! All of the months leading to up my to my shoot I started collecting clothes I thought would look good on me buying clothes for my pre-baby body because I just knew I would be that size again by my shoot.

The day came and I hadn’t lost a single pound and the imagination my mind was creating of me was getting bad. I was avoiding pictures and the mirror at all cost.

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The day of my shoot I was so nervous I was shaking and sweating like crazy. We had so much fun though!

I was trying too hard to be perfect for these photos because I wanted to be everything I felt like I needed to be more like “me” again.

The day I got my images back was a mix of emotions I loved them. The person in them was beautiful but she wasn’t me. At least not the way I saw myself at the time.

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This girl had a tummy, and large arms, and her boobs were a lot lower than mine I didn’t know this girl at all and I really didn’t know if I liked her honestly. This girl looked tired, and she looked very unsure of herself and uncomfortable.

Not like the 23 year old girl in the selfies I’d been looking back on for months for some sort of confidence boost. How could that girl and the 70lb lighter, curvier, more confident girl be the same person?

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I had a hard time picking my images because I didn’t feel comfortable with them. I didn’t feel comfortable seeing myself for what I was and how I had changed! I saw this woman uncomfortable in her own skin and I couldn’t help but feel bad. And slightly ashamed. I was supposed to love these photos and I didn’t at the time. What was wrong with me why didn’t I get that aha moment of self love?… But I did actually. I started eating healthier and making better choices and slowly but surely I started losing some weight and my health started improving and my self esteem started improving as well and I started loving myself again. It wasn’t just the weight loss. It was that feeling of getting back to the me I knew I was.

 

I started taking selfies again. I even started letting people tag me in photos on Facebook again without fear that I didn’t look okay in them because as we all know you don’t ever look the same in a selfie as you do in someone else’s photo.

Time passed and I was really starting to love myself again. 10 months passed and I wanted to try again. I had my second shoot with Alaynna. This time I was prepared I knew that I wasn’t going to look like the 23 year old I loved so much but I would look like the mom who has worked hard on herself and lost 60lbs and I was ready to see that!

I was much more confident the day of my second shoot. I hadn’t told myself a single time I need to lose weight for this shoot I bought crop tops and hey those undies I bought for my pre baby body they did finally fit!

 

The day of my session my makeup was on point my hair was gorgeous I was ready! I went in with 1 shot in mind and let Alaynna do her thing and create beauty and she did!

I felt amazing after that shoot. I strut my stuff around like I was hot and I knew it. My last shoot I remember feeling so much confidence afterward I remember feeling so empowered.

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I love the way my body looks. I finally got my aha moment! I can’t wait for my next shoot. It took my awhile to realize the person in the mirror I see isn’t what everyone else is seeing too and I love who everyone else is seeing.

So what has this taught me?

My body has been perfect this whole time! It has fought through a difficult pregnancy and brought a beautiful baby into this world, but I didn’t see it that way then. My once perky, full boobs nourished and strengthened a tiny preemie.

I’m realizing it’s not about weight it’s about self worth. There was nothing “wrong” with me in the photos from my first session. I was beautiful then just like I am now, I just couldn’t see it then.

Like Alaynna always says, “Its a process”.

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I’m already planning shoot number 3, and GAH! I just can’t wait I know it’s going to be absolutely incredible regardless of my size. I’m focusing on the beauty that is me, no matter how big, small, perky or saggy my body is. And I’m gonna rock it.

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Whew! That was a long one I know! Thanks for sticking with us until the end and I hope you gained some insight from this post.

If you’re ready to start seeing yourself and loving yourself its time to book a session. We offer boudoir photography in the st louis area. Boudoir for EVERY body 🙂

Click here to visit our site

Or check out our other blog post here.