If You Knew How Beautiful You Are

One of the best things I ever did for myself, I recommend every woman do for herself.This thing I speak of was originally intended as a gift for my significant other. It turned out to be a gift for myself that I treasure all these years later, and probably will for years to come.

When we broke up, the gift went with me (for obvious reasons) and has had a prominent place in my bedroom ever since. In fact, if it weren't for that one little item, my bedroom might not be the attractive, feminine, comforting place it has become. I used the "gift" as the focal point from which all the other items in my bedroom were chosen, right down to the white comforter, the porcelain lamp, the white wooden frames that enhance paintings of flowers, and the cherry bedside tables.I'm talking about a boudoir photo.In it, I am beautiful and sensual. I am dressed in a white teddy, white stockings are attached with garters and the white robe I'm wearing is open in a decidedly provocative way.

The setting is all white and pastel florals, lace abounds and a teddy bear lies nearby. The focus isn't overly soft, but just soft enough to enhance my curves, and the setting is beautiful and romantic ? it is something I will cherish forever.It is a fantasy picture, because I definitely don't look that exquisite in my day-to-day life! Some days, I don't put on makeup and most days I'm in jeans and a sweater. I rarely wear dresses, never wear bikinis, and seldom am found without a pair of warm wooly socks on my feet. I even wear socks to bed with my favorite pink flannel pajamas.

But that photo ? oh, that photo tells of a secret that few have encountered.Since having the photograph taken, I recommend it to all women. No matter whether you're tall or short, big-breasted or petitely-endowed, tiny or large, young or old, or whatever the case may be ? I urge you to do it.Even if you're hesitating, I hope you will give it some truly serious thought. I could write reams about how good it will make you feel, how it will change how you view yourself, how you will begin to embrace other positive elements of yourself that you might have overlooked.

But instead of me telling you this, try it.If you're worried you aren't "model-thin" enough, or that you don't photograph well, let the fears go. This is not about being some unrealistic Hollywood ideal; it is about seeing the beauty that is in you and it is there.Even if you're still hesitating, at least start looking around for professional photographers who specialize in tasteful boudoir photography.

Ask to see samples and find out if there are other women you could talk to in order to get real-life testimonials.Get price lists but don't necessarily let that be the deciding factor in who you'll choose to take your photographs. This is a rather costly venture, so it is important that you know exactly what you are getting for your money and that you are paying for quality artistry because a professional is really more artist than photographer. He or she will not only make you feel comfortable, but will know how to highlight your best features.Find out what all is included in the price.

Generally, you can expect the shoot to cost a few hundred dollars and then each photo will have a price tag as well and the cost will depend on various factors such as the size of the photographs, the type of paper used, etc. Ask about the options. Some offer a variety of packages (i.e., Christmas and Valentine's Day are good times to purchase a calendar for your significant other with you in different poses for each month; discounts may be offered at various times of the year), and others may only allow you to purchase the pictures individually.Some photo sessions also include a makeup artist and hair stylist.

Find out if this is covered or if you will have to pay extra for these services. If they aren't able to provide these for you, consider a different photographer; or, if you like his or her work, then you may want to hire your own makeup artist and hairstylist. Perhaps you have a friend or two who are particularly good at these things and who would be willing to do the "dolling up" for you.

Find out who will be present at the shoot. It will most likely just be you and your photographer, but if you'd be more comfortable with a trusted friend or your significant there with you, then bring them along. My recommendation is to go alone if your trusted friend is prone to giggling when she's nervous. It is less inhibiting and you might feel embarrassed making "smokey eyes" at the camera when your best friend is sniggering in the shadows. If you're inviting someone only because you feel uncomfortable about being half-naked with the photographer, take that as intuition and immediately select a different photographer.

It is essential that you feel comfortable with your photographer, not only so that you feel relaxed (which makes the photographs turn out much better), but so that you feel safe.Once you've decided that you're going to do it, you've selected your photographer and have a date set, then you need only prepare. You'll need at least three or four different outfits.

Garters, stockings in white, black and neutral are a good idea, teddies, separates, satin robes, high heels, and whatever else you think of as sexy or sensual. Make sure you bring jewelry to match your garments. Be creative in your choices. Your photographer will probably have various settings that he or she uses and until you see the proofs, you probably won't know what look you like best. I had some where I was dressed in reds and blacks, and the photos had a rather "dominatrix" feel to them, but that just didn't suit my personality.

I preferred the white-based, more delicate photos.Don't forget hair removal. Arrange for a bikini wax a few days before the event. Make sure you also remove the hair under your arms, shave your legs, and pluck or wax your brows.

The finishing touch will be painting your fingernails and toenails.You'll probably be feeling nervous on the way to the shoot, and even as you're making your first costume change, you may be muttering under your breath, "What am I doing?" But in no time, you'll begin to relax and the session itself will be as much a part of the self-indulgent pampering as you've been giving yourself for the last few days in preparation for this moment. Later, when you see the proofs and feel a sense of awe at how incredibly beautiful you look (yes, it'll be okay to cry and ask your photographer for a tissue), you will know with absolute certainty that this is one of the best things you could ever have done for yourself.If the idea of a boudoir picture is just far too risqué for you, then maybe you'd prefer a "glam" photo. Again, research your photographers, and this time, instead of selecting lingerie, visit a costumer and rent glamorous gowns that can be surreptitiously pinned here and there for a perfect-looking fit.Now that I am fifteen years older, and gravity is beginning to work its anti-magic, I am glad that I have that beautiful photograph prominently displayed in my boudoir.

It gave me a different perspective of myself; it revealed to me that I am more than I thought I was and that I could take the confidence and beauty I found there and apply it in different areas of my life. Best of all, to me, I never forget that for at least one day in my life, I was exquisite and underneath the wooly socks and blue jeans, at my core, I'm still that woman.You deserve to feel that good.

.Kim-Marie Ward is a book editor, ghostwriter, and writer.

She is an active member on http://www.Writing.Com, an online community for Writers.

Stop by and visit her portfolio at: Kim-Marie on Writing.Com.

By: Kim-Marie Ward


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