Pre-wedding boudoir shoot, an opportunity to celebrate your body with your husband, or husband to be. We’re here to advocate for a boudoir shoot by breaking down misconceptions that discourage brides from doing a boudoir shoot. If we’re being honest, us ladies aren’t celebrating our bodies enough these days. While we love a good, sexy pic we’ve brought in a specialist to help us advocate for more skin!

Alyssa, the photographer behind Photography by Alyssa Michelle is breaking down 10 of the most common misconceptions that discourage brides from taking a boudoir shoot. Alyssa can be contacted at photographybyalyssamichelle@gmail.com.

  1. I need to lose 10 pounds first

Actually, you are beautiful just the way you are. You don’t need to lose weight to fit into your wedding dress, you don’t need to lose weight immediately after having a child, and you definitely don’t need to lose weight for your boudoir session. Why? Because that is defeating the purpose. Boudoir is about learning to reconnect with your body and learn to love yourself for exactly how you are. Bonus tip: Losing 10, 20, 30 lbs won’t affect your photos in any way. A professional boudoir photographer will know how to show you in your best light, period.

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One time about a year ago, I was on a plane on my way home from a business trip. I remember the cabin smelling like alcohol and sweat… It was a rough ride. I remember thinking, it's going to be a long flight, I better get some work done. So I pulled out my laptop and started doing some social media planning and then moved onto editing. I had just shot 3 sessions on the trip, so I thought why not get ahead of the game. About an hour rolls by and I take a small break, stretch and before I get back to it, I turn over my shoulder because I felt weird. To my surprise… I had an audience. Boudoir is so normal to me, that I forgot how not normal it is to the average person. P.s. I always make sure if I ever edit in a public space that the client has already signed a release. Hehe! So I close my laptop, and try and read a book. Then finally we land and all of a sudden I hear, "hey, are you Alyssa Michelle?" and the girl who sat next to me was staring at me. I said yes, and then all of the girls behind me were like "I knew it!" so all 6 girls who were traveling together, knew who I was, and needless to say, I booked 6 shoots on an airplane… One of my favorite moments of my life. #boudoir #photographybyalyssamichelle #laboudoir #losangelesboudoir #femaleboudoirphotographer #intimateportraitphotographer #femaleentrepreneur #value #boudoirvalue #bossbabe #girlpower #empowerment #femaleboss #learningtoloveyourself #feminineenergy #takecareofyou #selflove #dtsa #southerncaboudoir #socalphotographer #beautyphotographer #badass #badassbabes #fearless

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  1. I’m not sexy

Or, you just don’t know how to pull your sexy out! That’s your photographers job, not yours! Most women have no idea how to be “sexy” but really, we all are naturally. You just need someone to show you your version of sexy. We all have a goddess inside us waiting to be unleashed, and I promise you, it’s easier than you think to pull her out.

  1. I’m too shy

Most women are shy about their bodies, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. It just means you need a photographer that you connect with, and love their message. Just know that your photographer works with hundreds of women, and they have seen all personalities, body types, body parts etc. We aren’t here to judge you, we are here to take you outside of your comfort zone to show you how amazing you are.

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The people who hold their chin up the highest may be the most self-conscious. The ones who smile the brightest may be hurting the deepest. And the one's who say they're ok, may be one step away from breaking down. You can never tell what someone is going through from the outside. Your story is important. Boudoir is for every woman, and can be that boost of confidence you need when you falter, the pick me up when things keep going wrong, or a life-saver in some of the most dire of cases. Please share your stories with us. You never know who may be inspired by your journey. #badasswomen #boudoir #photographybyalyssamichelle #alyssamichelleboudoir #badassgirls #badassery #strongwomen #womenbuildingwomenup #orangecounty #orangecountyboudoir #ocboudoirstudio #intimateboudoirphotographer #badassmoms #badassclub #alisoviejoboudoir #lakeforestboudoir #costamesaboudoir #sandiegoboudoir #boudoirinspo

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  1. I don’t want them on the internet

Not a problem at all, there is no requirement to sign a model release. You can keep your images 100% private if you choose and your photographer will never share any images without your written consent. Also, keep in mind when reading over your contract before you book your session, understand the difference between “Copyright” and “Print Release” Most clients get confused between the two, especially since photographers keep the copyright to all photographs taken and the copyright is not for sale, and if your photographer is willing to sell it to you, it will be a commercial price, and rather expensive. Copyright belonging to the photographer does not mean that they have the right to post your photos, all it means is that they retain that they are the creator of those images. Copyright prevents the client from claiming that they are the creator of said images. Print release is when your photographer allows you to do almost whatever you want with your images. Post them, print them on your own (which I do not recommend, always go through your photographer!), etc. You just cannot claim the art as your own. Sometimes photographers require that if you post them that you tag them, I don’t do this personally, but some do.

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The season of sheer fabrics and lace details. The time for church bells and rice throwing. The fleeting moment of catching a glimpse before one of the most important commitments of your life. Wedding season is upon us, and I have a funny statistic for you… Only about 10-12% of my clientele are brides. But I still get the occasional, "what do you do"? And I'll tell them and their first response would be, "awww what a great gift for their grooms!" Then when I explain that about 50% of my clients are not in a relationship their jaws drop. I explain to them that a majority of my clients are women who have been mistreated, abused, going through a trauma, a divorce, a disease. I say that this experience, although truly an incredible gift, is meant for my client and nobody else unless she chooses to share it with others. Your well being, your mental health, and your self appreciation are the most important things that you can nurture in this life. That's exactly why I'm here, to help you connect with those things. Now, who here is a bride, who is married, and who is a single babe?! Tell me in the comments! #boudoir #boudoirphotography #sensual #portrait #intimateportraits #storyteller #documentselflove #queen #orangecountyboudoir #womenempowerment #empoweringportraits #treatyourself #soul #studiosession #boudoirinspiration #bodypositivity #boudoirart #caboudoir #somethingboudoir #luxuryboudoir #luxuryboudoirexperience #californiabride #bridalboudoir #photographybyalyssamichelle

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  1. I’m too old

There is never an age that you stop deserving self-love. I’ve photographed an 89-year-old babe and she KILLED her shoot. Your age is just as useless as the number on the scale when it comes to boudoir. It’s not important in the slightest and DEFINITELY does not determine your ability or worth.

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I recently ran into an old Jr. High friend at the grocery while of course starving, and shopping for food, which is a really bad combo. My hair was a complete disaster, zero makeup, and I was in sweatpants. (I know I know, I promise I'll never do it again). This old friend, let's call her Marissa, stopped me and said, "Alyssa?? Oh my god, Alyssa Nicolai!" Now granted, it took me a moment to look up from the tortilla chips and really focus in my energy to start to comprehend what was going on, but eventually I realized who it was. We chatted in that damn chip aisle for what seemed like an eternity (since you know, ravenous hungry woman is not the best state for me) and then she handed me her business card and said, "it looks like you are having a hard time do please call me if you ever need my services, I would be happy to help" I was caught off guard a bit but said goodbye. Gave her a hug and went about my tortilla chip decision. Something bothered me though… "it looks like you are having a hard time"… What the fuck was that supposed to mean? I pulled out the business card and there it was, "Marissa, financial advisor, getting you back on the right track" My jaw dropped. She thinks I'm struggling financially?! What the hell did I do to give off that impression? (cue the magical mirror that appeared in front of me that showed me exactly why she thought that way) The more I wandered the aisles the more irritated I became. The truth of the matter is, you have no idea what someone is going through, or how successful someone is by the way they dress. Sure, I was a damn mess, but that's only because I had worked 60 days in a row, and she happened to catch me on my ONE day off where I didn't leave bed other than to eat. Judging ones status by appearances is something I have learned to combat. Take a look at the people in the store and know that the people that pass by are most likely in an extremely different situation than you might think. Human psychology is so damn interesting. Moral of the story, you have no idea how someone's life is playing out by one moment in passing. Give grace. Has something like this ever happened to you? #lifestory

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  1. I don’t know how to pose

GOOD. No, really… good. The more blank slate, the better. Your photographer will pose you from head to toe. We are the professionals and the artists. We have a vision for you, and it’s better when you don’t know how to pose so we can do that part for you! I know for my clients, it’s so easy for me to jump on the bed and SHOW them exactly what pose I want!

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When my clients tell me they are thinking about going nude I do a happy dance. Going nude is one of the most powerful and empowering feelings on this planet. You literally shed the insecurities and the weight of doubt away. It's okay to feel vulnerable, it's okay to feel naked, it's okay to strip down those walls and start to rebuild stronger. You have more fight in you that you think girl. In the comments, tell me if you are thinking about going nude for your session or if you did! #boudiebabe #photographybyalyssamichelle #boudoir #ocboudoir #santaanaboudoir #santaanaboudoirphotographer #santaanaboudoirstudio #santaanaboudoirphotography #downtownsantaanaboudoir #intimatestoryteller #intimates #lovelingerie #intimatesscene #intimatesession #intimatestories #boudoircollective #boudoirbabes #boudoirbabe #bootybabes #allhailthebooty #selfloveisthebestlove #bestboudoir

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  1. It’s vain of me to hang photos of myself around the house

It’s vain of you to love yourself, cherish yourself, and take care of yourself? I don’t think so. What other people think of you, is frankly, none of your business. You do you boo. If hanging beautiful artwork of yourself in the house to remind you every single day that you are beautiful just how you are, makes you happy… then just do it.

  1. I’m not photogenic

I’m going to tell you a secret. There is no such thing as photogenic and non-photogenic. Everybody is just as beautiful as everybody else. The art of photographing someone or oneself is an art, and it’s not easy. So if you feel like you are “non-photogenic” that most likely means you just need a professional to show you in your best light.

  1. My partner will not like me doing a boudoir shoot

Boudoir should always first and foremost be for YOU. It is your body, your choice, and your reasons why you want to pamper yourself. As long as you tell your partner that your boudoir session is empowering, and will build confidence then your partner should respect that.

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The answer to everyone's question is "Yes, absolutely, whole-heartedly, yes". The question? "Alyssa, do you honestly still love what you do after 14 years?" I get asked this question fairly often. I mean, imagine doing the same thing every single day for 14 years, how the hell could I still love it as much as I do? The answer is simple… Every single day is different, every single client is unique, and I get to watch babes transform from an unsure, shy, self-conscious woman, to a ravishing, sure of herself, confident babe. So sure, I go to the same studio every morning, I drive the same route, I set up the same, but that doesn't mean that my day is the same. Everyday is a new opportunity to meet someone new, create life changing memories, and provide and experience tailored specifically to each individual client. So in closing… Yes… I still love my job after 14 years, now more than ever. #bossbabe #girlpower #photographybyalyssamichelle #selflove #womenempowerment #femaleboss #learningtoloveyourself #beproud #femaleboudoirphotographer #ocboudoir

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  1. I can’t afford it / It’s too expensive

Is Boudoir cheap? No. But life-changing experiences aren’t. Many photographers offer amazing payment plan options that make the experience and products completely affordable. Just ask your photographer what their policies are on the plans! I offer a Boudie Bank to my clients, which allows them to pre-pay any amount towards their products before their session. I also offer regular payment plans for up to 18 months. All photographers will offer different options, but note that it’s important that you don’t just price shop boudoir photographers. Boudoir is the most intimate form of photography, and it’s imperative that you go with someone you love, trust, and admire. Price should be secondary, and professional boudoir photography is 100% worth the price.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, comment below if you’re planning a boudoir shoot!

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