“I wanted to give my soon to be husband a gift he will always have and cherish. I wanted to do something I have never done that would really shock him. I think I landed that. Also, I loved Miranda’s personality and how fun she made the shoot experience for me. Doing the shoot was nerve wracking and a bit awkward at first because you don’t know how to be “sexy” or pose properly, but Miranda gave me the tips I needed to make myself look sexy and pose proper. I loved when she would show me little shots of myself that she took off the back of her camera. Once she did that, all the butterflies I had went away and I could enjoy the shoot more.”
A few months back, one of my past boudoir clients decided to be brave and share one of her images online. She was inspired by a quote she came across on Twitter by Megan Jayne Crabb, otherwise knows as @bodyposipanda.
When I saw this, I felt so many emotions! I felt so much pride for my client, but also felt such validation for what I do for a living. I know why am so passionate about my boudoir photography, my clients know why I am so passionate about it, and that’s ultimately all that matters to me. But it has taken me awhile to really be confident to share my purpose with everyone. To brush off negativity. Helping to change how a woman views herself means so much more to me than a negative troll on the internet. They don’t understand it’s so much more than just sexy photos. It’s giving women their confidence back. It’s giving women a confidence they didn’t even know they had. It’s helping them to see their beauty. It’s helping them to find themselves.
Within an hour of seeing this post, I had an event planned in my private, ladies only, facebook group. I wanted to do a sunset glitter photo shoot. Anyone in my group could take part, the only rules were to arrive decorated in glitter, and allow me to share your images on my blog.
I didn’t know how it was going to turn out. But it ended up being one of the coolest scenes I’ve ever witnessed…30+ women prancing around naked covered in glitter, sparkling in the evening sunlight. When the women’s testimonies started rolling in after that night, I realized it was so much more than a photo shoot. It was an experience that changed these women and I am so grateful to have been a part of it.
Please enjoy the images. But also read the words. And don’t forget to view the video included at the end, voluntary put together by my good friend Chelsey of Bella Reel Films.
“I have been struggling with body image since I was a little girl. I’ve been called everything in the book from chubby to fat and even worse names that I don’t care to recall…I have been on diets and had a serious eating disorder. It has taken me 25 + years to figure out that I need to be comfortable in the body I’m in. It’s okay to want to be healthy but I need to strive for happiness and let the rest go. Sadly, I know all to well that life is short and prescious…it’s meant to be lived and experienced. When I saw your posting, I thought to myself what better way then to embrace all that I am…every curve, every wrinkle, every flaw, every scar, they are all there for a reason….I’ve earned every one, for without them, I’ve no story to tell, no trail behind me, and no sparkle with which to shine. I cannot thank you enough for allowing me to be part of something so amazing. I will say this, I was still very nervous to go out there but you have such a great way about you that puts people at ease. You’re something else girl!! And afterwards it was like I could take on the world, or perhaps it’s just that I finally understood the lyrics to why everyone was kungfu fighting?!?
“Being covered in glitter embodied the beauty of these women’s hearts, their souls, dreams, minds… their love for each other and one another. As we all stood there, sparkling in the evening sun, size, age and ethnicity didn’t matter. We saw each other as we were—authentic, brave, breathtaking and raw. There is so much power in that vulnerability because it teaches us how to connect with perspectives bigger than our own.
Society tells us to “do this,” “look like that,” and that somehow we are responsible for the feelings and thoughts of others. It’s hard not feel suppressed under the weight of everyone else’s expectations. But that night, each woman was her own work of art, as decided by her. Standing Shimmering there in the light was our pivotal reminder of the reality that we are in control, most importantly of how we feel about ourselves.
Almost a week later, I’m still finding traces glitter everywhere. And I know that even once it’s entirely gone, the sparkle from that night will remain. Thank you to all the women who showed me that the more love you send out, the more love you get in return.”
“I participated in the sunset glitter shoot because the reasoning behind it was one that I feel strongly about, honestly. In college, I was bullied pretty badly and it made me feel that I could not truly show who I was. I let what other individuals thought about me dull my personality, because I was uncomfortable with their impression of who I was- because I thought their opinions of me mattered. Years later, I have come to realize that it doesn’t make any sense to hide who I am- no matter how weird I may or may not be. Why would I want someone else to dictate how I should act or look or feel? I’m not happy letting someone else decide how I should be, so why was I letting them?
So I made a change and I’ve never been happier. This photoshoot was my way of showing the world that it’s okay to be different or weird or dress however you want. I don’t want to live in a world of dull diamonds. So kick of the dust and let her shine!
I was actually quite shocked when I arrived because I was not nervous at all about being naked with a bunch of women I didn’t know. I practically wanted to rip off my robe right away because I was THAT comfortable with how I felt. It’s the most freeing feeling to be so comfortable in your own skin. I felt like I’d finally embraced who I am.
Afterwards, I simply felt at peace. And I walked away with such a big appreciation of how different we all are. And how AMAZING it is to see other people embrace who they are. It had honestly felt like we had all shined brighter than the sun that night.
It was amazing. And I love knowing that so many people wanted to come together to share that with the world. I don’t regret a thing (even if the glitter bomb of a bathroom was excruciating to clean the next morning)- I drove two hours for this and it was worth every second.”
“I wanted to be a part of this shoot because I wanted to empower women to take back control of their bodies and love them regardless of what other people or the media has told them. Women are constantly told they’re not good enough and I’ve realized that the worth of a female’s body translates to the worth she feels in every other aspect of her life. How much she’s worth at work, to her family, as a caring individual, etc., it all comes back to how she feels about her body, but those feelings are usually made up of everyone else’s judgements first. As much as this shoot was about proving to people that women can have self-respect for their bodies no matter how they look or how much clothing they have on, it was also about learning to love yourself regardless of anyone else’s opinion. Being naked in a field full of other naked women made me realize how much I loved my body more than anyone telling me how pretty, muscular, or beautiful I am.
After it was over I felt free. I was free in the sense that I was naked and had no clothing to hide my seemingly imperfections, but afterwards I realized my mind was free from all the garbage society tells us. We’re told to be all of these contradictions – sexy but not slutty, confident but not bossy, soft but not too fat, toned but not too muscular, and pretty but don’t wear too much makeup – and it never seems to be just the right amount for anyone. For one person, we might seem not confident enough and to another we might seem overly confident and bossy. I felt free from all of that because I realized that the only person who matters is me and at the end of the day, no one cares about me as much as I care about me. So why don’t I just be the best version of myself for myself and forget what everyone thinks?”
“My entire life I have done what I could to make other people happy. I rarely said no, I didn’t try to make waves and I definitely didn’t want to stand out. I felt like I desperately needed to fit in to be normal. I had great friends, and a loving family but ultimately i was always feeling like I was playing the part of ‘amanda’ as they expected me to be and act. But I never really felt like I was being true to myself. In the past few years, however, all of that has changed. I started to realize that I can no longer be the people pleaser I was because it was making me miserable. So I started to do the weird things that terrified me. The things I always wanted to do but never did because I was scared of the opinions of others. I colored my hair purple, I got the tattoos I wanted, quit the job I hated, and started to vocally stand up for my actions without fear of people’s opinions holding me back…and it was exhilarating. Being myself was the best thrill ride I could have ever taken. I was the happiest, most confident version of myself that I have ever been…
Then I saw your event on Facebook. My initial thought was ‘hell yeah!’ and that little voice in the back of my head was saying ‘oh hell no.’ I knew in that moment that I needed to go and it scared the crap out of me. But I went…and I’m so glad I did. I am so incredibly grateful for that night and for those other brave women. You could feel their strength in the air and I left feeling so empowered. It helped me to find a level of self-confidence I never knew I had and it made me want to share that feeling with the world. Because it feels amazing. Thank you again for putting on such a great event. It was exactly what I needed to do for myself. The bonus was that the vibe followed me around and I got to ride that glitter high well into last week. PS; I’m not sure how, but it’s like you took a picture of how i feel on the inside. Vibrant, happy, confident, and sparkly as fuck. I love it. I absolutely cannot wait to see more photos from this night.”
“I decided to participate in the shoot for both myself and other women. I have a 15 month old son now, and being a new mom takes a lot of adjusting! Not only do I have to learn how to keep my little human alive, but how do I do this and not loose myself in the process? Post pregnancy was extremely tough for me in regards to my body image. I have always considered myself a healthy curvy woman but post pregnancy was more curvy than I was used to. I lost a lot at the beginning, but those last 15 pounds would just not come off. On top of that I was curvy in “new” places (not places you want curves) and mom’s you all know about those stretch marks! How do I deal with my old self in this new body? I feel like many women, not just new moms, deal with this on a daily basis.
The Glitter Shoot offered me the opportunity to feel comfortable in my body just the way it is. This Women’s Empowerment shoot hit home for me when I saw Miranda’s posting. I told myself I need to do this, be brave, be the woman I read about in all of those magazines, photo shoots, videos, ect. Stop talking the talk and walk the walk. Get out there and represent the women who are feeling the same. Show them its ok! Those stretch marks are just proof that I put my body through hell to get the best gift I have ever been given. I earned those “stripes” , so to speak. J
When I arrived all of the ladies were sparkling out in the back of the field and I was instantly excited I had decided to do this. Getting out of the car I was like “do I just strip down?” I met a wonderful woman next to me and we decided, “Yupp were just gonna do it.” Walking out to the group everyone was supportive and excited to see how everyone glittered up! I couldn’t believe how close we all became so quickly. The walls that would normally prevent people from wanting to converse (ex. Clothes, brands, shape, size, ect..) were gone! It was so empowering to see that ladies of all shapes and sizes showed up to be a part of this great day.
On my way home my heart was so full. So many women both large, small, tall, short, ect. have all of the same negative body images. In talking to some of the women that night, we were all cracking up that we may or may not have used glitter to “enhance”, aka. cover up, our stretch marks! J lol I decided that night that I would make it a goal to take down my walls that prevent me from seeing/ meeting those around me, and the walls that prevent me from seeing my true self. We are all so self- absorbed in our little worlds. Why not get to know those around you? Isn’t that how we made friends when we were little? When did that change? Since that night I have never felt happier. I know I don’t have what some may consider a perfect body, but it is the perfect body for me.”
“I bravely went WAY out of my comfort zone and decided to put glitter all over and get my pictures taken with a bunch of strangers! I loved the message that was being sent about body empowerment and being comfortable in my skin. Which I am not. Never have been. The closer I got to my destination the more my heart started to race. I wanted to turn around and go home. I came this far I need to finish what I started. When I got there I was in shock that all these women where topless and in didn’t bother them at all. I’ve never been topless outside my bedroom before! I was the only one that was covered with a sheet worried about if I uncovered what would they say about me? Would they get grossed out by by post baby belly and my sagging boobs and would anyone notice my back boobs? Nope. Everyone was hanging out topless and in panties just talking, laughing. So comfortable like this is a normal everyday thing. Which it should be. The ladies cheering each other on when it was their time for individual shots. It was so amazing to witness! And all of that positive energy and glitter was all over! The confidence was high and I realized I need more of that in my life. It only took me losing my clothes and being with strangers to figure it out.”
“This shoot was just as important to me as the first time I was shot by Miranda. The first time was a boudoir shoot for myself under the guise of being a present for my then fiancé. I wanted something that would show me I was beautiful. Man was I blown away. I left feeling beautiful and confident. Something I still carry with me today. The Glitter shoot was so important though because I wanted to show other women how beautiful they could be with scars or screws or metal or any ‘handicap’. That was one of the reasons why I chose the Valkyrie wings and the Norse rune for strength on my chest. The Valkyries were ‘The Choosers of the Slain’. The would fly over the battlefields protect and choose the very best warriors and when they fell took them to Valhalla. That’s what they meant for me, the ability to choose and strength to move forward. The rune, Uruz, is the manifestation of strength, healing, and governs self healing. This was important for me because it took me a long time to get to a place where I was strong enough and comfortable enough to do a shoot like the glitter shoot. I hope that other women can see our images and it helps them see that they are strong and beautiful too. That’s pretty much what my symbols and this shoot made me feel; strong, beautiful and empowered.”
I followed Miranda Parker Boudoir/Photography on social media for about a year after seeing my friend “like” Miranda’s page. I thought her photos were great but never thought I would actually ever do something like that. But on January 1st I made my New Year’s resolution…”Do something you’ve never done before, do something for you.” So I did, the next day I emailed Miranda to set up my session.
“Being a boudoir photographer myself, I wanted to put myself into my client’s position and see what it felt like from the other side of the camera. I have followed Miranda’s work in the boudoir photographer community and when i saw that she would be traveling close to me, I knew I had to get it done by her! I also wanted to feel beautiful and sexy since it had been quite a long time since I’ve felt that way. I thought being a photographer that I wouldn’t be nervous since I sort of knew what to expect but the closer the date came the more nervous I got! I left the session feeling fantastic and feel even better after seeing the finished product! I think everyone should get to experience a boudoir session at least once in their life! It is such an empowering experience!”
Were you nervous about your session?