I have wanted to do a Boudoir shoot for about 10 years. I kept saying I would do it when I was in shape or my nails looked good. Maybe when I had my fresh haircut. I just never got around to it. Then, I had the pleasure of meeting Ashlie and the honor of working with her. To say I was nervous would be an understatement. I was equally excited. I packed my Disney Cars suitcase, because I’m mom who relaized I don’t have a suitcase, and headed to my big day so nervous and excited I thought I would freak. The moment I met Ashlie I felt at ease. We quickly slipped into easy conversation as we prepared for the shoot. Ashlie honestly made every bit of it fun! We sat down together digging through my suitcase and all my pretty things like old friends. Making you feel beautiful is what makes her happy and it really shows. I’m not a model by any means and posing was on my mind for weeks before the shoot. I was so relieved to find out Ashlie would be demonstrating each pose for me! This made all the difference in the world!! I have to say this was the best part of the shoot to me. I was really worried I would not know how to sit but Ashlie is with you every step of the way and she clearly enjoys it. I felt so comfortable and beautiful. Every bit of nervous I had melted away minutes into the session. When I saw my photos with Ashlie I was stunned. I seriously couldn’t believe some of those photos were even me because they were so beautiful. And if all of that isn’t enough to prove how amazing Ashlie is don’t worry I have saved the best for last. My completely bland and always emotionalless (and much loved) husband was impressed beyond speech. That is a hard thing to do. I have honestly not had that much real, empowering fun in more years than I can remember. I enjoyed it more than I ever imagined I would or could. I would recommend any woman who wants to have fun while feeling beautiful and empowered to do this for yourself with Ashlie. It really was an amazing and enlightening experience. And seriously fun!
First of all, Ashlie is an AMAZING photographer. Seriously, the pictures were phenomenal. I didn’t know I could look so sexy/beautiful! But beyond that, she is a fierce female entrepreneur with a goal to empower other women through photography. I mean, how cool is that?! I feel so honored to have been photographed by her and I feel empowered through the incredible pictures I now have to remember that I’m beautiful, no matter what I think when I look in the mirror. Thanks Ashlie!!!
I'm going to start off this review in a (probably) unique way: with a story. So hang tight, because I promise Ashlie comes into this story, and here goes: lack of self-love and focus on insecurities is at the heart of most eating disorders, not just wanting to be skinny.
I would know, because I suffered from one for long enough during a time in college. This body doesn’t have 40 pounds to lose. But I made it lose that much, to the point that my parents threatened to put me in the hospital if I didn’t turn it around. To the point that I would eat an apple in the morning and not eat anything the rest of the day (maybe a small chicken breast in the afternoon, if it was a good day.)
Thankfully, I got the help I needed and gained weight, boosted my self-worth a little higher, and became more confident.
What you may not know is that eating disorders and low self-esteem don’t just go away. It’s something that I still deal with today and will deal with maybe for the rest of my life.
I still have days I don’t eat enough.
I still have days where nothing I do seems good enough.
I still look in the mirror some days and pick myself apart.
I may say thank you to compliments, but I probably don’t believe them, and am more likely to brush them off.
But these are all things I recognize and can fight through. One thing I realized, though, is that I only ever see myself through my own eyes. Or through the lens of my/my friends camera. So I started thinking: what if I found someone, maybe who doesn’t know much about me and so can see me with fresh eyes, to take pictures of me. But not just any pictures; ones that show the strong, beautiful, powerful, and sometimes goofy person I’ve fought and grown to be.
Now, granted, I can’t take credit for coming up with this idea. Empowerment photo sessions have been floating around the world wide web for a while. But I never thought I would be bold enough to do one until I had a string of a few bad weeks where I was particularly down on myself. So I started thinking about ways to get myself out of this slump.
That’s where Ashlie came in as the photographer I chose. Thankfully, I knew her before this through my job and have admired her work for a long time. I never dreamed of how great a friend she would become or how pivotal her role in making me feel empowered would be. Throughout this entire process, she made me feel comfortable and encouraged me to be myself in front of the camera. She made me laugh, she made me feel fierce, she made me move my body in ways that I didn’t know it could but that I loved.
And these are the results. Every time Ashlie messaged me to tell me some images were done, I went to her website and cried.
Because I finally saw myself through someone else’s eyes. I saw how strong I am, how wild I can look, how much of a woman I’ve grown to be, and yes, I even felt beautiful. I felt empowered.
This has been such a healing process for me, and know that whenever I feel down about myself I can always turn to these for encouragement. And I couldn't have done it, and wouldn't have these pictures, without Ashlie and her abilities. Both behind the camera and as an open, honest, comforting, goofy (I can't count how many times we burst into laughter between the two sessions I had), real, empowered woman herself.
In short, I would HIGHLY recommend Ashlie. You are truly a rockstar, lady
ALLI - Empowerment
Ashlie did an amazing job on empowererment photos I had done with her. On top of the amazing shots she captured, I had so much fun! She brought out the fun, giggle side of me and the spooky love for all things dead Halloween side. I would recommened her to anyone!