I wanted to preface this testimonial of Shari's with some words of my own: Shari is a crazy strong mother, and it was truly inspiring to see her friends coming from hours and hours away just to support her in her session. I think the furthest person was from Bowling Green, TN...? She has some amazing friends! There were three awesome women there to support the CRAP out of her! I usually get a little nervous with so many people watching me work, especially because it was Strassenfest weekend and the town was all a bustle right by my studio, (something I forget to take note of every year)! But after one brief emotional moment when Shari walked out to reveal herself, she rocked the room and showed us all the beautiful and sexy woman she's been hiding for years. As mothers, we tend to forget about ourselves entirely, and Shari has been supporting her daughter for years. In our first consultation, she told me she wanted to be reborn with these images, and I honestly think she has been. Therapy, on top of self celebration? YES PLEASE! Now - let's hear from Shari, the goddess, herself. ;)
Boudoir photos were just a thing that ‘in shape’ women did. No one of my size would ever want to do those. Ick, right? Or so I thought! I am a single gal so there was no partner to do these for. I did these for me! It was such a long road for me to feel comfortable in my own skin and with my shape. I had lost myself being the single mom of a significantly medically fragile child. Guys had actually told me they couldn’t date me because of her! Frustrating - and while I ‘got it’, I turned inward and closed myself off for so many years. I finally went into therapy a few years ago and have come so far in accepting myself as I am. However, the spark to get pictures made started last July. I reunited with a guy I had met 14 or so years ago and while we didn’t develop a relationship, he did tell me how beautiful and sexy I was. And for the first time in my life, I believed him! I am sexy and beautiful!
I stumbled upon Melissa’s FB page because I saw another friend of mine share something to her feed. I was struck by how beautiful and classic the photos looked. So I decided to ‘Like’ the page as well and fell in love with the photos and Melissa’s personality in her videos. She was just a regular girl – like me! She was not intimidating at all and was quite welcoming to all in her group. I loved that! When I first spoke to her on the phone for my consultation, I knew we’d get along great and I booked a date right away. A couple of months before my session, I went to meet her in person and after that meeting, I knew for a fact that she was the right person to do my photos. We talked through the wardrobe she thought would be best for me, she was encouraging and just generally awesome!
Going into my session, I was nervous about... NOTHING and EVERYTHING! I’m not a small woman. But I have gone through so many mental and emotional changes in recent years and I was more confident in myself, my body and my beauty than I had ever been in my life. I went through several stages of ‘getting ready’ for this session where I was confident and then horrified. Back and forth over many months. But by the date of the session, I was calm, confident and actually very excited! Until I got to the studio. It was ‘go time’ and I was scared that my pictures would be hideous. I hadn’t lost all the weight I wanted and I just wasn’t feeling body positive. I was suddenly not confident at all! I didn’t like my hair. I didn’t like my makeup. I was not self-confident in my first outfit. I brought a ‘tribe’ along with me and they and Melissa helped me calm down and realize I was beautiful, confident and even sexy. Let’s do this!
The day was just FUN! I brought alone three friends and they were so fun and encouraging to me. We laughed, danced and had a great time. They helped me so much as as long as your tribe ‘behaves’, I recommend bringing someone with you. During the session, I felt comfortable parading around in basically no clothes. I felt empowered and beautiful.
Now that I've completed my session, I feel amazing about my photos! Melissa captured me perfectly and I see a beautiful woman looking back at me. I still sometimes just open up my album and look at my photos, remembering back to the date of the shoot. I love so many of my pictures, I still cannot decide which ones to print to hang.