Hey! Its Jen.. your crazy blue headed photographer!
A little over 2 weeks ago, I had the pleasure of spending the day with Mike and Chantel.
Couples boudoir photos need to be done MORE.
Whether its a new relationship, you have been together for quite awhile, or you have split up and gotten back together.. it is one heck of an experience, let me tell you.
Documenting your unique love, having a FLIPPING blast together the day of the shoot (and after.. hehe) Its a BEAUTIFUL thing.
I want to make this known to more people. The MAGIC that is, doing a COUPLES BOUDOIR photo shoot!
And here we have it. The very first couple to each share a little story about how they met, where they are now and why they did this shoot <3
My heart is FULL.
Chantel and I met 19 years ago through a mutual friend.
In October we will be married for 8 years.
Through that time we have created so many memories, dealt with tribulations such as bouncing between jobs for a while before landing at Toyota 10 yrs ago. Also family loss and medical issues!
Through it all there was no one I’d rather have at my side than Chantel. We have battled through it all and in that time had 2 beautiful daughters that fill our hearts.... and soak up most of our time lol.
In a relationship as long as ours obviously there are intimacy highs and lows but together through communication and love we have thrived. Our recent couples boudoir shoot wasn’t about rekindling the flame within us but to fuel the fire and keep it sizzling!!
I met Mike almost 19 years ago.
I was at a friend’s house and we were just hanging out when these boys crashed out girl’s night.
They both walked through the door and the first words out of Mikes mouth were wow your short! LOL My smart ass reply was, "Holy F*ck your tall" what’s it to you!
We ended up, hanging out all night and I learned a lot about Mike but not so much that I knew his real name.
I thought his name was Terry as that was what he was introduced to me as. Little did I know at that time it was a nickname because of his last name. He was in college and I was in high school.
We hung out for a good month before we decided we were going to date.
Now mind you with him being older then me he always respected my parents and their rules. He would even bring me home 20 minutes before curfew as he wouldn’t chance being late!
We have made everything work in our relationship even a period of long distance.
Fast forward to where we are now. Married 8 years this October First and we have two beautiful daughters that are 7 and 5 years old.
My heart still races when Mike walks in the room and I love, even more, the man I have seen him become. A lot of people and friends that we knew as couples in high school haven’t made it as they fall out of love or have lost that spark.
I personally couldn’t imagine losing it as I don’t know anything different. Mike is what keeps our relationship and family whole.
I am guilty of body shaming myself more then once to the point of cancelling plans and making up excuses as to why we can’t go out all because I didn’t like how I looked in the outfits I have. I have been on so many different diets that were not good for me as I thought it was what I needed to feel sexy; I thought it was what Mike wanted. To get me back to the small figure I once was. Little did I know that my husband sees me sexy no matter what. He knows that I have carried and have grown two beautiful babies inside my body and that took a toll and that he just wants me happy and confident as that is what he finds sexy.
I booked my first Boudoir session and surprised Mike with a book with all of my photos.
I still had reservations but when I seen how he reacted that got me thinking I wanted more!
I met Jen and knew that was the one that was going to get both of us confident and through the shoot.
I am normally one to cover up but as I walked through the studio in the outfits not once did I feel the need. Mike and I have never lost the spark and this shoot wasn’t to help us through anything but building my confidence back up in myself. Seeing these photos and watching the passion in his eyes tells me again how much he loves me and everything about me. <3
THANK YOU Mike and Chantel for a GREAT day, for sharing your story and for being the great human beings you are.
“I’m afraid I won’t be brave enough to give up what I want and say yes to what my soul is asking of me.”
-The old me
This woman in these pictures is strong, powerful, beautiful, confident, self assured, a warrior goddess. This woman loves life, she is consciously creating, she is a mother of 3, and a fiance. She is a leader in her community and helps others on their journey. She is a natural muscle champion, and an elite speaker. She is a mindset coach, a homeopath, and the owner of a successful metaphysical boutique called Thrive mind, body & soul. She is a Warrior Goddess. BUT 5 years ago, life was very different.
5 years ago, I was lying on the cold bathroom floor. Colourful toys lay discarded around the house. Dirty clothes flow out of the laundry baskets. Horns and neighbourhood children’s laughter bellow in the windows. Beside the toilet the telephone. My children are not here, and I don’t know when, if ever they will be back. I was being investigated for child abuse. The children would not be back till and if I am cleared of the allegations. I have lost, my home, my marriage, my money, my career, and now my children. I am broken. This is my rock bottom.
I was feeling lost, unworthy, and unloved. I was consumed by this deep and lonely feeling that made me identify myself with less than who I felt I really was. I knew I was worth more, but I couldn’t help feeling sorry for myself. I felt full of anxiety and depression. That bathroom floor where my body was throwing up the pain, the resentment, the fear, the worry, the doubt, and the self sabotage, that bathroom floor was where I gained clarity and transformation. That was the moment when I remembered who I was. I could see her, I could feel her, but I didn’t know how to get to her.”
I WAS AFRAID I WON’T BE BRAVE ENOUGH TO GIVE UP WHAT I WANT AND SAY YES TO WHAT MY SOUL IS ASKING OF ME.”
There was so much chatter going on inside of my head, I couldn’t think, I couldn’t sleep, I was barely eating, and was suppressing all that I was feeling with a glass of wine or two. I realized that in order to get to her I had to go within.
So it began.
The biggest lesson I have ever learned, love myself and let the light in. I began to meditate, eat healthy, exercise, cut the drinking, and treat myself with love. I took time for myself, doing things that brought me joy, and didn’t feel guilt or shame about it.
I have learned to communicate authentically, and that a win/win situation is always best.
I practiced Forgiveness so I can let go and release that which no longer serves me.
I learned to take radical responsibility. It is my belief that I created all the experiences in my life, or how I choose to react to them, I started to take ownership of that and realize that I am always creating and that meant that I was no longer a victim to myself or others. There are memories and lessons everything else falls away. I now choose to consciously create the experiences.
I started to push myself and get uncomfortable. JUMP I would tell myself. I choose to no longer let fear hold me back. Yes, I may get hurt but I learned that our hearts don’t break they tear like any muscle, and then they repair, growing stronger and bigger. I choose to take the chance rather than stay in the same place for the rest of my life.
I learned integrity is important. If I say I am going to do something I do it, I show up for myself and others. So, I declared I was going to start showing up more. But How???? I wanted to declare to myself and the world that this is who I am. This is who I have become.
That’s when I called Jen. The day of the photo shoot, I was treated like a goddess. I got my hair done, my make up done and tried a million outfits on. Then came the warrior showing up and doing it. Feeling uncomfortable but jumping anyways. Baring myself to the world, this is who I am, this is ME!
I Love my pictures, I love the way I felt, the way I showed up and the way I am seen.
From the bathroom floor, to warrior goddess was not an easy or short journey. It has been years of doing the work and continuing. But if I can do it, so can you! Again if I can do it, so can you!!!!
“She remembered who she was and the game changed.” Lalah Deliah
Once upon a time, there was a girl who was as untamable as the wind. She was bright like the sun, fresh as the running river, bold as the summer sky, and had the world at her fingertips. Her thirst for life and knowledge gave her the confidence to embrace her freedom and truly live. She filled each moment with vibrant passion and adventure.
The prince of a long forgotten kingdom saw her light, and wanted it for himself. He pursued her relentlessly, with promises of great adventures. The girl resisted, for her freedom was worth more than anything the prince could surely offer, but the girl’s family encouraged her to tame herself, and begin a life of stability and honour. And so, she agreed.
But the rules were strict, the crown heavy, and the dresses tight. She traded freedom for false stability and felt regret almost immediately. The very light that the prince had pursued was blinding him, and he felt rage being left in her shadow. He made it his mission to dim the princess and steal her light for his own.
From the outside, the new princess had a perfect life: after all, she had a castle, and a prince, and eventually, small heirs to her kingdom. She was strong and outspoken, kind and friendly, smart and talented, and oh so very lucky.
All the villagers around her marveled at her life, but the truth was that the princess was a caged bird. She could no longer frolic in the fields, she could no longer make new acquaintances in the market, she was told to be less, to be quiet, and her pursuits were now silly and inconsequential in light of her new royal role. She felt bound, lifeless, and desolate.
She sought love, and was given silence. She sought support, and was told to look elsewhere. She sought adventure, but was kept caged. She sought help, and was left alone. All that was left were the rules of what the prince wanted her to be, opposing in stark contrast the girl he once so relentlessly pursued.
She found little joy in the confines of the carefully constructed world she was in. She was empty, and her light had been snuffed. She retreated into herself, finding solace in the dark corners of isolation. If she built a wall of her own making, the castle mote would not seem as daunting. One day, in her lonely wanderings, she discovered secrets in the castle walls; they were filled with moldy guilt and filthy treaties and she knew she could not abide by the terrible things done in her kingdom.
When she confronted the prince about the things his armies had done, he cast her aside and denied the heirs their throne. He would make her pay for speaking up. He would make her regret her using her voice. He would hold her prisoner forever, never to see the sunlight again. He locked her down, and she plotted her escape.
She had given her life to the kingdom, where would she go? The darkness of the dungeon overtook her, but each day, she would remove the crown from her weary head, and use it’s sharp edges to carve a bigger and bigger hole in the stone wall, until one day, a small ray of sunshine blasted in. She knew if she just kept trying, she’d reach freedom.
On the day she finally exploded through those walls, the princess gathered her children and escaped to the forest, lungs filled with the air she missed so much. For a long time, the princess and her children hid in the forest depths, quietly gathering their strength. Many days, the princess felt like breathing was all she could accomplish, but her children sat patiently next to her. She lived as though in a dream world – unsure how this new reality had happened.
In the depths of the protective forest, it became difficult to tell night from day – how long had they been hiding? Anxious and fearful, the princess remained lifeless and hidden.
And then one day, the princess awoke with a start, to find her children kneeling next to her.
“Mommy, enough. We need you now,” was all they said, and with that, the princess felt a warm light inside her.
She remembered that feeling.
The strength. The power. The happiness. The freedom.
She stood slowly, brushing the leaves and mud from her dirty gown, taking her children’s hands in her own, and walked out of the cool forest into the sunshine. Chins to the sky, all three of them could feel their futures.
As they marched towards the village, they happened upon a strawberry patch. As the princess bent down to pick the berries, her dress tore, and she ripped the confining fabric apart. She carefully picked the berries, placing them in the fabric torn from her gown, and carried them to the market where she sold them. With the first batch of berries sold, she bought a swatch of fabric to make a shelter for her and the children. With the next, she bought new seeds to plant new crops. It wasn’t long until the princess and her children had enough to buy the land on which her garden grew.
With each effort, came new rewards. The days were exhausting, and each night a sweet relief, but the princess realized that the hard work was well worth the freedom. Never again would she sacrifice herself.
Together, the princess and her children carved a new quiet life for themselves, in the shadow of the prince’s kingdom.
True, they would never be royalty, but they would know unending love, and together live happily ever after.
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