Getting Naked to Feel Good!

Walking up to the glossy door of Montpellier House in the always chic and stylish, Regency area of Cheltenham I can feel my heart pounding away just a little bit.

Today I am going to get naked in front of someone I’ve never met before.

In my bag I have some fancy new underwear I bought especially for the occasion, which I hope is going to look sexy but classy at the same time and – most importantly – that I will feel confident and great wearing it.

No this isn’t the story about some illicit liaison – today I’m having a professional photo shoot…. and I’m taking all my clothes off.

 

I know I’m in safe hands as my photographer, Susie Mackie, works with women of all ages, shapes and sizes and she has been nothing but extremely warm and encouraging in all of our conversations leading up to today.

However, as the date of my boudoir shoot got nearer, I did start to feel a little apprehensive.

Pulling up to the lovely Georgian building my nerves are kicking in somewhat, but I am greeted by Susie who is so bubbly, warm and carefree, that she puts me at ease instantly.

After a hug outside, we go in and sit in a stunning lounge to have a pre-photo shoot chat which eases the slight butterflies …

 

… and before I know it I am walking up the bright and airy stairs to a sumptuous suite.

Furnished with a canopied fourposter bed and some beautiful pieces of Regency furniture, the suite has 3 huge, sash windows overlooking the park which let in tons of natural light.

 

As Susie sets her equipment up I get changed and am then directed to stand at the foot of the bed looking out at the park opposite – I feel a little awkward, but at least I don’t have to actually face the camera to begin with haha!

 

I then move up onto the bed, which is so high you have to use steps to climb up onto it!

 

I can feel how luxurious and comfy it is, with it’s thick mattress topper and silky sheets and I pause to think how lucky I am – that there is definitely something about having your own private photo shoot which feels a real indulgence… but at the same time neither flashy nor selfish as its purpose is to capture, recognise and appreciate the positives of you and your body.

 

The beginning of the shoot is then a bit of a blur, I’m not aware what pictures we start shooting first because Susie is so chatty and fun, it doesn’t feel like I’m being told to pose and then having specific pictures taken…. it is much more fluid than that.

Susie helps me all the way through with how to position my body – not in an overtly sexy or cliche way – just gentle directions to help me relax and show my personality (in my case it was also reminding me of my posture all the time so I don’t slump!) and she is very nurturing and encouraging, but we are having a real giggle at the same time … at one point I am rolling around on the bed laughing my head off about something which she is also taking pictures of – um yes thanks for that Susie 😉

 

There are no big photography lights pointed at me making me feel under the spotlight so to speak, everything is done with the lovely natural light from the big windows and just a reflector on occasion, which keeps everything feeling super relaxed.

 

The silky white sheets on the bed are the highest thread count I’ve ever touched and I’m terrified about getting red lipstick all over them when we are in fits of laughter!

 

The overall atmosphere and feelings I have during the shoot are those of safety, positivity… and fun!

It really is fun – I forget about whether my boobs are pointing in the right direction, my bum is looking big or my cellulite is going to show on camera.

The whole thing feels very collaborative and empowering.

 

For the next hour and a half I’m in and out of 3 different outfit combinations, in different positions and locations within the suite and when Susie says we are done, I actually feel slightly disappointed!

I had done my own make up and hair for the shoot because I’m used to doing it for my blog photos (albeit I went for a more high coverage and full on ‘pin up’ look for this occasion), but the usual boudoir shoots include being pampered and made up by a professional as part of the day and I can imagine that must feel wonderful.

The only thing that could have made the experience better would have been some champagne – Susie why didn’t we think of that?!


 

I have lots of beautiful photos from the shoot, which was a relief because I was a bit worried there would only be a few I liked as I know I can be quite self-critical … and I was sent a lovely email with the images, both preparing me not to love every single image – which Susie said is a normal and natural reaction, so that helped me be realistic about my expectations for the photos – but also talking about what she loved about the images … so the positive experience didn’t just end when the shoot finished.

It was surprising that when I saw some of the images I wasn’t so keen on, I didn’t beat myself up about them… I just thought “oh yes, not so keen on that one” and moved on – whereas in the past I would have definitely dwelled on the things about my body I didn’t like…

…. so somehow over the course of the photo shoot, my inner talk changed to being much kinder, less judgemental and even better, that mindset has remained afterwards.

 

 

I’ve obviously chosen not to show all of the photos here because, much as I feel good about the experience and the way my body looks, it doesn’t feel appropriate for the whole of the internet to see them – but I have those images and will look back at them in years to come and think YES I did and do love my body!

 

I have to say that at one point I thought perhaps I wish I’d done something like this before, because I know my body has been in better shape in the past… but on the other hand, that’s not really what the experience was about – it goes back to my blog last week where I talked about body confidence and how to achieve it (here)… it’s about trying to put a stop to those negative, automatic thoughts we have about ourselves which can knock our confidence and also taking stock of reality – being both kind to ourselves and realistic about our appearance!  I bet you if you asked any of your friends or family, they would describe your body in a very different way to what you would?

What we see is not necessarily what others see and our internal beliefs about ourselves matter so much!

It is also very much about acceptance of who and what we are – being grateful for what our body has done for us over the years…I know mine has had a few hard times and at one point I rhink I felt quite negative towards it, instead of being kind.

We are kind to our friends and family, even strangers sometimes, so why can’t we be as kind to ourselves?!

 

Susie said whereas women tend to focus on the bits of their body they like the least, she encourages them to shift their focus onto the bits they do like AND to accept their not-so-favourite bits… which is again what I talked about the other week in discussing how to find more body confidence here.

So girls, be grateful for that body of yours, irrespective of any flaws or imperfections you may believe you have.

They are part of you and your journey and that body has worked hard for you for all of your life, so please be kind to it!

Thank you to Montpellier House for a wonderful shoot location and of course to the lovely Susie for making me feel and look beautiful!

If you’re interested in celebrating your body and finding out more, here she is:

My Sensuality Instagram

Susie Mackie, Boudoir Photography

Susie Mackie, Wedding Photography

 


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28 Comments

  1. June 10, 2018 / 1:05 pm

    Well done babe!!! The pictures are so pretty and tasteful, you should be very proud of deciding to go for it! Xxx

    • June 15, 2018 / 4:27 pm

      Thank you so much lovely!! The whole experience was fabulous x

  2. June 10, 2018 / 7:10 pm

    What an amazing experience! And your photos are beautiful!

    • June 15, 2018 / 4:27 pm

      Thank you! Yes it’s definitely something I will always remember doing x

  3. June 11, 2018 / 10:36 am

    Thank you for such a great feature and so many kind words Tiffany! You were fabulous during your shoot and I’m so thrilled you love your photos! xx

  4. June 11, 2018 / 5:29 pm

    First off, you are GORGEOUS! And I’m soooo impressed with your eyeliner game too.

    Thank you SO MUCH for being willing to share these images… after reading your post last week about working with a boudoir photographer, I had a better mental idea of what it was like/the value it brings. But you sharing your experience adds a whole new level to it!

    • June 15, 2018 / 4:26 pm

      I’m so happy you noticed my eyeliner it actually went well for once on the day haha! Thank you lovely x

  5. Linda Davis
    June 13, 2018 / 2:05 pm

    Such amazing photos, you really are stunning Tiff and Thankyou for sharing these beautiful pics you should be so very proud😘😘xxxxxxx

    • June 15, 2018 / 4:25 pm

      Thank you Lin that’s really kind of you – very good photographer and good editing 😉

  6. June 13, 2018 / 9:57 pm

    Absolutely beautiful pictures Tiffany. Your beauty and natural radiance really shine through. Well done as well for being brave in the first place. I love how the experience has made you re-evaluate how you look at aspects of yourself and are now being more accepting.

    I was going to do something similar for my 40th but am now looking at it for my 50th which is round the corner. Does Susie just shoot women do you know?

    • June 13, 2018 / 10:11 pm

      Thank you so much Paul and yes Susie does shoots with men too….in fact she’s thinking of writing a book about it! She’s so positive and encouraging which is really important with something like this I feel.

      • June 15, 2018 / 7:57 am

        Ooh, that’s exciting, I’ll get in touch.

  7. June 14, 2018 / 6:53 am

    STUNNING!!!! You look gorgeous! what an amazing photo shoot and photos to look back at when you are 85 years old and say to your grandkids “Wasn’t your granny HOT!” 🙂

    • June 15, 2018 / 4:24 pm

      Hahaha love it! Thank you so much 🙂

  8. June 14, 2018 / 7:07 am

    What a wonderful experience….Love all the photography

  9. June 14, 2018 / 6:52 pm

    I think everyone should do this! I did it on a whim 7 yrs ago with the idea that my body will never look this young again (I was 42). We don’t realize how beautiful we are until we see it through someone else’s lens. Thx for sharing!

    • June 15, 2018 / 4:24 pm

      Definitely!! So glad you had a similar experience 🙂

  10. June 14, 2018 / 9:00 pm

    OMG YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL!!!!! Love these and….just stunning. I want to do this. Tiffany, just beautiful! I am proud of you for doing this. xo

    • June 15, 2018 / 4:23 pm

      Thank you so much that means alot, it really does!

  11. June 15, 2018 / 3:01 pm

    Loving all these fabulous comments Tiff! We did good, didn’t we 😉 xxx

  12. June 15, 2018 / 9:40 pm

    Wow, well done you! It sounds like a very positive experience and your photos look amazing. Love the interiors too!

    • June 15, 2018 / 10:05 pm

      Thank you 😁 Yes it was a really beautiful shoot location, you can rent the apartment or the whole town house I would love to go back!

  13. June 16, 2018 / 12:02 pm

    Thank you for the courage and inspiration on this one! I took by door photos some 25 years ago. Now, having birthed 2 children, perhaps it’s time to do it again. You are so right in capturing and focusing on our best features. Way empowering!!

    • June 16, 2018 / 5:48 pm

      Thank you! I would definitely say if it’s something you have been thinking about doing, to go for it it’s a very positive empowering experience 💜

  14. June 17, 2018 / 5:13 am

    This is so beautiful Tiff, I am absolutely loving the concept and the shoot. You look so amazing, love everything about this shoot – to feel confident in your own skin and love your own self. I would love to plan something like this, thank you for the inspiration.

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