Guest Blog: A Second Chance- Raleigh NC Boudoir- Leslie Alford Mims House

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Looking back on it, my very first Boudoir session, I had no idea what the hell I was doing. I was fortunate enough to have a wonderful friend and life long client take a chance on me and allowed me to take these portraits for her. Back then, I had not grasped that these sessions could change the way a woman thinks of herself, that it could help her heal, and grow. Luckily, my talent and skill has grown along with my confidence in teaching about these sessions.
— Kimberly A. Rhoades

I have invited Ashley in to speak about her experience with Boudoir and loving her body. Given her unique experience with being my first boudoir session and having two sessions done about 3 years apart, she is the perfect guest blogger to explain what it is like to finally get that "you are perfect, just the way you are.


Below you will see portraits from Ashley's first boudoir session AND her new session. I think it is pretty clear which is which, but just to be on the safe side, each session has been marked with the year it was captured.

2014

2014

In 2014, I had the pleasure of being Kim's first boudoir client! Of course, like any woman, I was concerned with the way I looked. Kim made it extremely easy for me to get comfortable. We played music, drank a beer and had some good laughs. I really enjoyed the photos she took of me that day and realize that "Wow, they actually look amazing!" Here we are, three years later and so much has changed in my life. I am now engaged, I just came off from traveling full time (Monday-Friday) for two whole years and I'm about to turn the BIG 3-0! I wanted to surprise my fiance with this photo shoot as a wedding gift and I had a lot going on between getting married, work, family life but made sometime to do another photo shoot! I decided to take advantage of Kim's annual Boudoir Blitz! 

When Kim sent me the gallery from the Boudoir Blitz, I was completely surprised! I was blown away. I am 5'7, I wear a XL t-shirt and either a size 12/14 in pants and I am a sold 182 pounds. Even though so much of my life is different and so much has happened in the last three years, one thing I noticed between the two photoshoot, that has stayed the same, my actually body type NEVER changed.

2017

2017

2014

2014

2017

2017

Do you know how many diets, "lifestyle changes"and diet pills I have tried in between those three years? Somehow I never really "lost" the weight and I am okay with that. Over the years, I have gained more confidence rocking the body I have and to just love me the way that I am. I make sure to buy flattering clothes for my body style. I seriously can't count how many times people don't believe me when I say I weigh around 180! It not the weight that matters, that's just a number. My body looks amazing and I feel amazing, who cares how much I weigh?!

2014

2014

2017

2017

 I remember reading something Kim posted about bodysuits and I said to myself, "OMG I have to see if that will work for me!" Yes, of course, I am still a little self conscious about my stomach and yes, I wish it was flatter, but the truth is I doubt it will ever be! The idea of finding something that is flattering sounds much better to me than beating myself up over how I am shaped. I decided to go with the bodysuit in my wedding color and I also purchased some high waist panties!  Let me tell you, these were the best purchases, ever! I felt even more confident because the one thing I was slightly concerned about was being semi covered and making sure everything stays in it's place. It IS about sensuality and leaving somethings to the imagination, after all!

2014

2014

2017

2017

Its not always about how your body looks but how your sexy can come out. Kim always made sure I was in the right position that was most flattering for me and my body! If she didn't like a pose we would change it up! 
 

2017

2017

2014

2014

2014

2014

2017

2017

You may be reading this and have no idea who I am, but I will promise you one thing, and I keep my promises, there is no reason to wait! Life gets in the way of everything, it always will and yeah, I would love to loose 20 pounds, but I haven't managed in three years to do that, so I am going to just sit here and love me the way that I am. Perfect.


It has been a fun journey to compare my work but to see how much Ashley has changed is just amazing. Just looking at the confidence on her face in 2017 versus what we expected confidence to be in 2014 is just mind blowing. As with most things, as we mature as women, we come to understand ourselves as sexual beings. We know what we want out of ourselves, our futures and our relationships. This is Ashley's session in a nutshell. This is the difference between wanting to love yourself and finally knowing how to.  

2017

2017

If you want to understand this process better or you want to book your Boudoir Session with Nine19 Photography, let's chat! I would love to hear more about you!

Huge thank you to the Leslie-Alford-Mims House where we did part of the Boudoir Blitz and where Ashley is getting married next year! She signed up for the incredibly smart Mad Dash Weddings and if you are in the market to get married, Mad Dash should be your first stop!

Also a MAJOR shout out and thank you to Marjory Bejos, the amazing Hair and Makeup Artist who has been by my side for many of my Boudoir and Maternity Sessions. Please hit Marjory up for all of your Hair and Makeup needs!