"One of the best things I've done for myself post-breakup..." | Boudoir Photos in Charleston: Boudoir by Marie

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My sessions tend to book out months in advance and sometimes between booking and the session taking place life can throw us some curveballs. A boudoir album can make a wonderful gift but I always encourage my clients to also see their boudoir experience as a gift for themselves first. Miss M came to see me about a month ago, she had considered canceling her session as her circumstances had changed, but I am so glad she stuck with it! You can read her testimonial below!

Her album and boudoir images are a constant reminder of her beauty and elegance and STRENGTH.


In Her Own Words:

“I scheduled this boudoir shoot as a gift for my now ex-fiance. He literally moved out the day before the shoot, and I was a little anxious about how it would go given all the feelings that stirred up. However, the shoot ended up being one of the best things I've done for myself post breakup! It was like I reclaimed myself and was able to really focus on ME for the first time in a while. It didn't take long for me to get comfortable, especially because Marie sat with me as I had my hair and makeup done and we got to know each other...”

-Miss M

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“What I loved most about this session was how Marie really took into account my personal preferences, coloring and body type to produce images of me looking my absolute best. This is what initially caught my eye when I first came across her website and saw the variety of women she photographs -  it definitely helped me put my insecurities aside knowing that I was in good hands. After the session I felt empowered and very comfortable in my own skin. I would highly recommend Boudoir by Marie to any of my friends and family. I'm so happy I have this album to look back on in the years to come - its a confidence boost and will remind me of this pivotal moment where I really embraced self-love.”

-Miss M

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“I'm so happy I have this album to look back on…

in the years to come - its a confidence boost and will remind me of this pivotal moment where I really embraced self-love.”

-Miss M

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I love making new friends! To book a shoot, or just say "hi", contact Marie here
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Stripped Down Series: Miss H | Charleston Boudoir Photographer | Boudoir by Marie

Each of us has a story worth telling
and I believe a beautiful portrait doesn't need anything more than YOU.

After reading her story, I knew right away that she was the right fit for my Stripped Down Series. Miss H is incredible. Her story of pushing for more responsibility a male-dominated workplace is inspiring and her self-awareness and desire for self-growth is something we all could learn something from.

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Miss H, In her own words: 

“Working as an entertainment technician in the convention and hotel circuit can be a lot, especially for a 5’3” woman. Originally, I studied stage management and worked as a freelance stage manager for years in Los Angeles, but found myself searching for something else. I’ve always been confident in my ability to do everything I set my mind to, and one day I finally dared to ask myself, “Why can’t I design and learn about electricity, fixtures, and start painting the stage with light?” So that’s what I did. I found out that I’m actually good at it! 

I’ve just decided to stop talking myself down and just freaking do it. I love what I do because it’s outside of what I’ve believed I should be able to do, and what most people presently believe or expect me to be capable of. I feel like a total badass working 65 feet up in the air on a boom lift wing doing what’s normally considered as a “man’s job”. 

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Like anything in life, there are ups and downs. Sometimes, I get treated as though I can’t do the same things a man can do. Sometimes, people will actually talk more slowly to me or act like I speak a foreign language. I used to feel the need to justify my actions or prove that I could do better than what was assumed of my abilities. But over time, experiences like this have shown me what I’m capable of and now I know that I don’t need to prove myself to anyone else. The acknowledgement or approval of others, or lack thereof, is no longer a concept that I get too emotionally involved with.

I’ve been building my emotional self-esteem and learning the power of positive self-talk for the last few years. In the past, I’ve dealt with codependency issues. I was in a long term controlling relationship where I was told who I was, what I could and could not do in my own home, and I was physically rejected almost daily without reason. I did not feel desired or wanted. I did not feel beautiful. In fact, I felt I lacked any sense of identity. I had to rebuild my emotional self-esteem in order for me to gain the strength to leave the relationship.  

This new perspective only grew on my recent trip to Israel to study Judaism more intentionally. On a spiritual trek through the desert, I was advised by our group leader to “have an open struggle with God.” Since then, I’ve gone through an existential crisis recapturing my beliefs and dismissing others but also I’ve found great peace in being able to talk openly, if even to myself, and piece the world together in my head. This had brought a lot of calm to my life and has helped me have a better understanding of myself on a deeper level. Because of this shift, I am brave, confident, and more willing to explore encounters I wouldn’t otherwise engage in.“

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“The next step on my journey is to build my physical self-esteem. I believe this is why I wanted to be a part of “Stripped Down” -- to get back to the basics. To nurture my own physical self-esteem.

When the day of my shoot with Marie finally arrived, I felt extremely "nervicited" . I left my house at 7 a.m. to drive two hours and have a stranger take photos of me in my underwear and nude. Generally speaking, I’m very uncomfortable being exposed in front of people I don’t have an intimate relationship with. 

I walked into the shoot thinking that I paid money to make myself uncomfortable! That thought *should* have stopped me in my tracks, but the idea of pushing myself outside of my own comfort zone – calling my own shots -- and doing something like this for myself, nobody else motivating the decision, excited me. It terrified me. Ultimately, fearless.”

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“It was definitely a day to remember. I felt amused, empowered, and happy. It was easy and natural to get to know Marie, who was hilarious and made me laugh most of my way through the shoot. Afterward, I didn't necessarily feel sexy or empowered at that moment, but I was happy with my decision to follow through with the photo shoot. Once I saw the photos, I was blown away. I started to feel more empowered about having gone through with this after seeing the images.

I LOVE what I do. I don’t tend to think about my appearance at work and my focus is more on the task at hand. I deal with chain motors and drive a boom lift 65 feet in the air; it’s a masculine job. My movements aren’t necessarily masculine, but I’m not the most feminine human in existence and boudoir is seemingly feminine. Even outside of work, I love being outdoors, hiking, climbing trees. I almost never wear makeup or do my hair. That's also partly why I felt this photoshoot was the perfect opportunity for me. I didn't have to put on a face or do anything I'm not used to. Being Stripped Down wasn't about me being a stripped down version of myself, it was about me being myself. It may have been out of my comfort zone to be without clothing, but I never felt like I was naked.”

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“I didn’t realize what my body looked like, or that anyone could capture what Marie captured. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy with my body when I went into this; I just didn’t know what I could look like in a boudoir setting, I suppose. I’ve never looked at myself through that lens before and that’s altered my entire perspective.

I am enough, just as I am. “

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Miss H’s journey from "motivation to step outside the box" to empowerment began with her decision to say yes to herself. She gave herself permission to put herself first.

Stripping it all away and uncovering what had been there all along: self-confidence, beauty, strength —no makeup or fancy outfits needed, she's incredible just as she is. 

I love making new friends! To book a shoot, or just say "hi", contact Marie here
Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

The Boudoir Experience in Her Own Words | “Miss J” | Charleston Boudoir Photographer: Boudoir by Marie

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“I followed Marie on social media for a few years before reserving a shoot and finally booked my session about 8 months in advance of my shoot date. I wanted it to be special and to be a representation of my best self, so I chose my half birthday as the date!

Now as women, especially before a big event we tend to pick ourselves apart and try to 'better ourselves' as much as possible given the amount of time before the event. This process may be losing weight, going to the tanning salon, buying new outfits, getting your hair and nails done, etc.

In my case, it was weight. Over the past 5 years due to a variety of reasons, I've gained 40 lbs. And over those years, I've accepted myself in every form... except in front of the camera. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. I know this... but our society and dating in this era gives women indirect messages that they are not enough. We are not skinny enough, too clingy, too needy, not pretty without make up, too sensitive, too loud and the list goes on…

We all feel broken, confused and not worthy at some point in life. We all have our own story.

Approaching your mid 30's and being unmarried, how the world sees you plays a  game with your mind. You question 'what if', you wonder 'how come', you say 'if only', and you ask yourself 'why not me?' Well, I told myself to ignore all those messages and learn how to be proud of who I am now. I have curves, bruises, scars, and tattoos. I am not what the world thinks of as “perfect”. I don't have abs and according to my BMI, I should lose 30lbs and depending on the angle, I have a double chin. But I am ME.

I wanted to do a boudoir shoot with Marie to feel sexy in my own skin. To feel empowered as a woman and to love every curve, no matter where it falls. I still have days that are better than others, but now I actually believe that any 'tweaks' I do to better my health, are just that; for my health, for ME.

I know in this moment, I am beautiful. I am me.

And every now and then, we all need proof outside of our own reflection to actually believe it.”

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My favorite part of the session was seeing the photos the first time, they blew me away! I’m a visual learner, so being able to communicate back and forth about the images and placement of them in my album was such a great process. And my album cover?!?! Oh. My. Gosh. It’s velvet heaven.
— Miss J
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“I feel amazing after my shoot. I'm still not over it.

At first it was intimidating and a little stressful, but once I met Marie, all my worries went away. She was so helpful with every part of the shoot. From choosing which outfits to wear, to selecting which shoes looked best with each look!”

-Miss J

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Looking back through my images, I’m still in awe of the whole experience. From start to finish, it was such a wonderful, fulfilling process. Ever since my shoot I have told basically anyone who will listen about my experience. I can’t wait until my next shoot and already have ideas planned!! :)
— Miss J
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I love making new friends! To book a shoot, or just say "hi", contact Marie here
Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

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