There are certain times when writing a new blog post that I'm not in flow the flow of things, I drag my feet, and hesitate to hit the keys. That sentiment could not be further from the truth for this post! I feel so incredibly honoured to bring this post to life on the blog today.
Over the years I have had the honour of working with some women who are truly beautiful from the inside out. Amber is definitely on this list of gorgeous souls.
When I photographed her post-baby, she had shared her thoughts on her boudoir photoshoot experience with me here at Chelsey Luren Portraits. Don't believe me? Check out what she had to say in her testimonial here:
"Admittedly, as a now stay at home mom and trying to bounce back from pregnancy, I was nervous...
As a boudoir photographer, I have to say, I have heard some really, really poor excuses as to why women “can’t” do a boudoir photoshoot. I understand that on occasion there are extenuating circumstances that don’t allow for boudoir sessions to take place such as:
Today, I am so grateful, honoured and excited to share with you images and a testimonial from Alison's Vancouver maternity photoshoot.
I could sit here talking for ages about being able to photograph her on multiple occasions and how much I love this incredible woman, but instead, I am going to let her words do the talking.
"I have had the astounding good fortune of being photographed by Chelsey twice now. Once for boudoir and recently for maternity photos. Opposite ends of the spectrum but with the same comfort level, ease and fun! There is truly no comparable experience…
Healing our body image issues and the relationship we have with ourselves is not work, but a privilege.
This realm of personal development - where we heal the relationship with ourselves, mend our body image woes and shift from low self esteem into radiant confidence - there are a lot of time, effort, energy, and resources are involved.
To dive in and shift our lives takes a willingness to be uncomfortable, to face truths we may have ignored, to stand in places of our shame in order to heal.
For so long I have shied away from sharing the truth of my soul and the path I have walked. I have muted the calling to be more, do more, give more to the world. I have tried to hide away, to disown, to ignore, and deny parts of myself.
I love the work I do as a boudoir photographer and body image coach - it sets my soul ablaze.
But the fear in being seen while in my truth is one that runs deep. “What will people say? What if they hate me? What if I offend someone? What if nobody gets it and I’m alone in this world?” The thoughts sting and make me want to retreat into myself and hide away from the light.
I am so excited to share with you all some of the images from this amazing shoot with the fabulous Miss J.
When Miss J came to visit us, she had travelled all the way from her home in Idaho (a drive over 13 hours long!) and was more so excited to be able to pay us a visit while in Vancouver for a boudoir shoot with us.
It was such a treat to have Miss J. in our makeup chair and then front of my camera. Here are Miss J's thoughts on her photoshoot with us and a few of our favourite shots from her boudoir session with us!
Today I'm excited to bring to you an inspiring interview with Kristal Barrett-Stuart. She is the Founder of The Sparkle Project BC.
Kristal and I first met at the Love Your Body Summit where both of us were vendors. While she was leading a workshop on vision boards, I was immediately drawn to her energy and passion for her work.
Having spent a bit more time with her during a photoshoot with me here at Chelsey Luren Portraits, we were able to have some incredible conversations. Getting to know her more, I knew she was the perfect fit for the Power Talk series…
How would your life be different if you felt deeply connected to yourself?
Speaking from personal experience, I lived my life for decades in a state of total disconnect and self loathing. I was at war with myself, hating my body. I so desperately wanted to crawl out of my skin, and trade lives with anybody else in an attempt to get away from who I was.
While 9 out of 10 of the women that I work with in my Vancouver boudoir sessions are the everyday woman (ie. Having never been photographed professionally before - let alone doing something so intimate as a boudoir photoshoot). Every now and again though, I work with women who are accustomed to being in the spotlight.
One such woman I recently had the opportunity to photograph is Carly Stone.
Carly is a model and body positivity activist with a heart of gold. Her heart + energy are contagious and they radiate outwards through the camera lens.
Here's what Carly had to say about her boudoir session with me and a few of our favourite of the gorgeous, and intimate boudoir images I captured of her during our shoot:
When Parneet came to my studio for her boudoir session, she was one of the most shy, and meek women I've ever worked with. Being able to see her come out of her shell and step into her power through her boudoir photo shoot was a total honour.
But don't take my word for it, here's what she had to say about her Vancouver boudoir photo shoot with me in her testimonial video and written word.
When I began my career as a boudoir photographer and body image coach, the entire driving force was something WAY bigger than me.
To give some context: I experienced an eating disorder for 12 years before ever seeking help to recover and heal my relationship with myself. When I finally dedicated myself to my recovery and dove in with both feet, it completely transformed my life...
With it being the first week of the year, it only feels right to start off with full transparency, and honesty with all of you incredible dames.
A few weeks ago, I was in the swing of things:
- I was creating. - I was in the flow. - I was thriving.
...Things were GOOD.
Fast forward to today, and things feel distinctly different. My heart and head feel messy, fearful and uncertain. It's uncomfortable.
You see, as 2017 faded away I made the commitment to myself that as a multi-faceted woman I am (Read: Body image coach, Vancouver boudoir photographer expert, entrepreneur, wife, sister, artist, fill in the blank with your favourite adjective), I am no longer going to...
Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of ANY mental illness. In order to help those who are struggling to seek help, we need to lift the stigma that surrounds them.
For myself, it took me years into my own recovery from anorexia to really open up to those around me about my journey. I've made it my mission to help lower the stigma surrounding eating disorders and shift into celebration of the recovery journey instead. Also knowing how much courage it takes to open up about the struggles that go hand in hand with eating disorders and body image issues, I am so moved by Carissa.
Carissa Shaul is a disordered eating coach and yoga instructor who took the time to roadtrip from Olympia, Washington, all the way up here to us in Vancouver, Canada. Her courage, strength and transformation throughout her recovery experience and straight on into her boudoir photoshoot was such a honour to witness and to share with all of you now in this interview!
Can you tell us a bit about your eating disorder (E.D.) history?
"Eating disorders are unique in that they aren’t like a physical ailment where there is an exact onset date. My journey with food and body issues began in 2009 when I...
To anybody that has been following my work for any length of time (and to let those who haven't know), my greatest passion lies in working with women who are healing their relationship to their bodies. Those who have recovered from an eating disorder, have struggled with body image issues, or are shifting their relationship to food hold a special place in my heart.
As someone who spent close to a decade in the throws of an eating disorder before choosing recovery, I have so much empathy for these incredibly beautiful women.
There is such an intense degree of strength, effort, commitment and a thousand other characteristics needed on the path to healthy self image. Being able to reflect that same strength and beauty back to my Recovery Session clients within their photoshoots here at Chelsey Luren Portraits is overwhelming.
My heart nearly bursts when I reflect on all of the women I have had the opportunity to work with.
This next warrior I am excited to feature is such a gem.
I am so ecstatic to introduce Nicole Calla to all of you. Now add on being able to include her words about her own Recovery Session, and some of the images we created together... there are simply no words to describe it.
So without further ado, here is the Chelsey Luren Portraits interview with Nicole about her glamour session with us...
Those who know me and have worked with me, know firsthand how much of an advocate for body positivity and self love I am.
Being someone who grew up with a very distorted view of my body and has worked HARD to shift this, I now see how important self love, and body positivity are. Body love and confidence applies to not only the work I do as a boudoir photographer, but it's also an integral aspect of everyday life. If you don't feel good about yourself or your body, how many areas of your life are in turn impacted? (Answer: Every. Single. Aspect.)
There are so many things that can bring us down, leaving us feeling less than stellar about ourselves, and in turn our bodies.
I remember so many different times that I was unduly harsh towards myself. To be honest, this is still something that comes up for me on occasion. But over the years I have come leaps and bounds. I am so proud of that progress, and it's for that reason that I want to share with you all these tips.
Here are my personal tips on 5 ways to love your body more!
Power Talks is a series I've been passionate about on this blog for a long while now. It's where we interview local business owners, those who help to women to empower themselves, and those who just downright rock.
In today's edition of Power Talks we are interviewing Nicole Vicente of Tease Luxury Lingerie!
I have had the privilege of working alongside her on a number of occasions, and I can assure you, she is even more lovely than the luxury lingerie she sells. Here's a firsthand look at our interview together:
I'd been very sick with the flu and was very congested from it. Then during one evening I had a coughing fit that I couldn't control. The congestion was so intense that it closed up my throat. I was unable to talk and couldn't breathe, so my husband Tyler quickly rushed me to the hospital...
My first introduction to boudoir photography was having stepped behind someone else's camera. That's right, I remember being in your exact shoes.
And I remember the feeling when I saw my images for the first time. It was in that instant I had an experience where for the first time in my life, truly felt and believed that I was beautiful. My boudoir shoot was...
"If it's important, you'll find a way. If it isn't, you find an excuse."
I've found from speaking with so many women - from growing up in a household full of women, from working with them daily, and from being one myself - that more often than not, women feel the need to have an excuse to feel good. Justifications and reasons for doing something...
Recently I had the opportunity to photograph the first full day event from Project You (Thank you Meagan Ayres and the whole Project You team for creating such pure magic!). The focal point of the day was fear and what living a fearless life meant to each of us.
Living a fearless life doesn't mean I don't have fear. Living fearlessly means that...
My name is Ruby Roxx. I am a plus size model, body positive activist, writer and blogger. I often am asked “how are you so confident” and the answer is…years of hard work. Body confidence is not something that comes over night. It takes a lot of hard work, and It means something different to everyone. For me...
As a women who had eating disorders as a part of my life for over a decade, the Recovery Sessions that I offer are the work that I am most passionate about. Being able to give back and help the women who are where I once stood through my work, is a true privilege and honour.
I am honoured to being to sharing my interview with Sarah with all of you today...