I did a photo shoot a few weeks ago — the boudoir kind — and it was only slightly terrifying. Now, I’m a modern gal and have been known to send a Snapchat or two, but there’s a big difference between a grainy, low-light shot from a front-facing camera and a high-res, stand around in your underwear for public consumption professional shoot.
I wasn’t looking to have my picture taken while mostly nekkid; I just sort of fell into it. A friend of mine was looking to expand his photography business from headshots and weddings and put out a general call on Facebook. While I don’t consider myself modelesque, I told him if he was looking for a tattoo model, I’d be happy to throw my tats in the ring (see what I did there?). He asked if I’d be interested in boudoir instead, and after a moment’s hesitation, I thought why the fuck not and said yes. Granted, I expected to have a couple of months to continue wrestling my body into the kind of shape I would like to put in front of a camera. The universe, however, had other plans, and we ended up shooting on a sunny Sunday mere weeks later. A friend had accompanied me earlier in the week on a shopping trip for outfits that I would feel both comfortable in and were reflective of my personality. Ryan, the aforementioned photographer, also had some great ideas: wine glasses, teacups, and any other props I wanted to include. I lugged a giant suitcase full of stuff (the Girl Guide in me can never be too prepared), including a hardcover copy of The Stand, an apron, a rolling pin, and copious amounts of booze.
On set, it was clear that Ryan had done his homework. There were a few other gals, all varying shapes and sizes. I was the ‘voluptuous’ one of the bunch, as well as being vertically challenged, and poses that work for some don’t work for others. Ask a girl with big boobs to pose on her side, and things are going to stack awkwardly (or fall out of a bra completely). Ryan took this into consideration and even made me look tall in a couple of shots. I also don’t tend to know what to do with my face other than smile, and there were more than a few times I said that. Overall though, I just had fun with it. The entire experience was surprisingly comfortable, and over in what felt like an instant. I finally laid eyes on the images last week, and I was beyond thrilled. As I shared them, I also had some great conversations about the process. My ever-supportive (and ever-insightful) friend Holly asked if I had been asked at any other time in my life, would I have said yes? I answered that I probably wouldn’t have. I wrote about my journey accepting myself while also making some pretty big changes just over a year ago, but even then I wouldn’t have imagined being able to do this. Was it still a challenge? Absolutely. Is sharing these images here still a bit scary? It sure as shit is. But it’s important to do things that challenge us every once and a while.
So, here are some of the shots. They’re goofy and fun and a bit sexier than normal Steph, and I love them. Also, this should go without saying, but be warned if we’re related or you’re at work: Thar be boobs.
All photos courtesy of Rainyfresh Pictures. Something else came courtesy of Rainyfresh: Ryan messaged me just after the pictures went on his website to say, ‘I have a date for you.’ Now Ryan’s a pretty vocal fan of the blog and my Toronto dating misadventures, so this wasn’t the most surprising. He told me his friend saw my picture on the Rainyfresh website and wanted to meet me. Well, that was fast, and a decidedly unexpected outcome. He passed along my phone number, and 30 seconds later I received a text from McFly. He wasted no time asking me out, and we met up for drinks later in the week. It happened to be the one day a week I work both jobs, so instead of dolled up in underwear with a perfectly painted face by a makeup artist, he met real-life me in Chucks and jeans after a 13-hour workday, but I guess she was okay too since we’re going out again. In keeping with the six degrees theme, we actually have a ton of mutual friends (like this guy), including another Ryan who was not as good a wingman. Apparently we met last summer when I ran into them on my street, and McFly expressed interest in the ‘girl with the pixie cut and glasses,’ but I said I suspect it was because I was wearing too many clothes. And while he knows of the blog, he’s decided to hold off on reading it for now. I support this decision.