When I Fell in Love with Boudoir – A Self Love Journey

self love boudoir wilmington nc

I got into boudoir photography for all the wrong reasons.  It wasn’t love at first sight. It wasn’t right away. But when it clicked, it was transformative.

It wasn’t love at first sight.

The first time I saw boudoir photographs, I was probably 18.  It was the 90s, and a family I babysat for had some boudoir portraits on display in the bedroom.  Nineties boudoir was… interesting.  She was overly made up, red satin and pearls, sitting on a bench in front of a painted backdrop, with that classic 90s soft glow.  It felt contrived.  It was like the old Glamour Shots, except she was wearing a teddy.  I thought it was weird.  At 18, I couldn’t really understand why a couple would want photos like that.

Fast forward a few years…

About a year or two into indigosilver’s existence, we got our first actual boudoir inquiry.  One of our gorgeous brides wanted to surprise her groom on the wedding day. This was new territory for both me and Jeff, and we shot the session together.  The pictures were stunning and sexy — a little provocative, definitely geared toward her husband-to-be, and she loved them.  But to me, I still didn’t fully connect with the idea.  I thought, “This is something that thin, young, sexy people do.  I don’t look like that… I don’t see myself like that… I’m not sexy like that.”

Over the next handful of years, we’d have one or two boudoir clients a year.  I got the hang of boudoir photography.  I enjoyed taking pretty pictures of our clients, and they loved their photos.  But like a foreign language learned later in life, it never felt fully natural.

sexy wilmington nc boudoir

Into the Deep End

A couple of years ago, I had the idea to offer boudoir portraits for Valentine’s Day.  My goal was to bring in a little extra business during the wedding photography slow season.  Winter weddings are few and far between, and any idea to boost business in January seemed like a good one.  Really, it was all the wrong reasons to photograph boudoir.  But that’s when it all changed.

In the course of one day that January, I photographed 7 women for Valentine’s Day.  Throughout January, I photographed 12 women total.  It was probably more than I’d photographed throughout my entire career.  I definitely jumped into the deep end.  While photographing these women, I learned their stories.

One woman stopped caring for herself when her husband was ill.  She was now fighting to find herself again.

One woman fought her way back from near death, and was learning to accept her new body after all of her health struggles.

Cancer survivor.

Abuse survivor.


Weight loss transformation.

Bride.  Mother.  Wife.  Sister.

boudoir cancer survivor

The Power of Self Love

Every one of these beautiful women had a story to tell, and every one of them was fighting to love themselves despite their (perceived) physical flaws.  Together, we laughed.  We cried.  We hugged.  We talked about the power and importance of self love and self acceptance.  Consequently, two of those January clients hired indigosilver to photograph their weddings, based on the relationships we built that day.  And it was the stories that helped me fall in love with boudoir.  I was determined that each of these lovely women feel amazing, feel loved, feel sexy, and learn to see the strength and beauty I saw in them.  Boudoir isn’t for “sexy” bodies; it is for EVERY body.  As it turns out, even the most gorgeous women struggle with self love every day.

I want women to believe their partners when their partners tell them they are sexy.

I want women to stop comparing themselves to one beauty ideal that is only based on appearance.

This was a stepping stone and a realization, that no matter what your age, size, color, or external appearances are, there is beauty to be realized through self love.

— Mrs. H.

My love affair with boudoir can be summarized with two words: “Love Yourself”.  I fell in love with boudoir when it stopped being about sexy bodies, and it became about self love; about celebrating life and strength.  It was less about textbook beauty and more about what makes each client uniquely beautiful.  It was less about sex and more about what makes each woman sexy.

See, the thing about Loving Yourself is that it’s a journey you start today.  And it is a journey, complete with ups and downs.  If you’re telling yourself, “I’ll do boudoir when I lose weight/when my stretch marks fade/when I am ______ enough,” you are missing the point.  You are enough.  Now.  Boudoir is a step in the self love journey, not a prize at the end.  Helping women on journey is so incredibly rewarding.  That’s why I love boudoir.

Interested in quotes that celebrate women, empowerment, and self love?  Follow our Pinterest Board, “Empowering Quotes for Women“.

Want to be a part of a vibrant group of women who support each other’s journey to self love?  Join our private Facebook group.

Imagine what your life would look like if you loved yourself more.  Then contact me so we can tell your story.

self love boudoir wilmington nc
self love boudoir wilmington nc
self love boudoir wilmington nc
self love boudoir wilmington nc


We’re jeff
& Lori

Carolina-based LUXURY BOUDOIR and WEDDING photographers

Our love of photography brought us together when we met at a photography conference over a decade ago. Today, Jeff is indigosilver’s lead wedding photographer, while Lori focuses on boudoir portraiture.

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