Category Archives for "Confidence"

Faking it until you make it

AKA - so you think you're not confident?

Are you the kind of woman other people think are confident, when deep down you feel like a complete fraud? Because you know that you're faking it? And actually, you're not confident at all.

What if that's all confidence is?

We tend to think that confident people are breezing along, not giving a thought to what people think of them, but are they?
Or are they like the rest of us? Filled with the same insecurities, fears and worries. They've just managed to get themselves to the point of doing things anyway.

What if other people thinking you're confident means you probably are?

Maybe confidence isn't something that's there for you all the time. Perhaps it's not some kind of serene feeling, whatever you face, that means you know the answers, can take the plunge, can be brave.

Maybe all it really is, is about overcoming fear just enough.  Overcoming fear doesn't mean not feeling it. It simple means being able to move past it, and take action.

If you're 'faking it 'til you make it' when it comes to being confident - you're probably already there.

I've been doing it for years. I know other people will often see me as chatty, confident, more than a bit bossy and 'take charge-ish'.

Do I sit at home thinking "I really don't know what I'm doing, what if everyone finds out? And do they even like me anyway?" 
Of course!

I needn't worry - because the truth is they're all waiting to be found out too.

And that's the big 'secret' to confidence - it's not some magic feeling of knowing what you're doing all the time. It's just taking action, despite sometimes not knowing what you're doing, not feeling like you should be doing it and not being sure the outcome is going to be as you want.

All the time women look at our images in the studio and say "but all of these women are so confident - I'm not like that!".
In reality, everyone has felt exactly the same way. If you've made it into our building, you are exactly as confident as the last person. And the next!

Much love,
Anna
xx

You made me look and feel amazing - thank you.

The whole experience was brilliant, the team put me at ease throughout both in our pre chat over the phone before our session and during the day.

The personal touch to find out what I liked and didn't was reassuring and gave me confidence - although a little nervous during the build up.

The hair and make up by Katrina was excellent and she gave me some tips along the way which is always a bonus.

The photoshoot itself, although shy at first, was the most amazing experience. It was something I have always wanted to do but completely lacked the confidence to follow it through. The team made me feel at ease and helped my confidence grow during the session and getting into poses, which made me feel relaxed and by the end I was enjoying the shoot so much I didn't want it to end. I felt and looked a million dollars.

The viewing session was a bit emotional for me as  wasn't sure what to expect but the images have come out so well. I am so pleased and it's given me such a personal boosy. I recommend every woman does this once in their lifetime.

I'd do it again in a heartbeat!!
Thank you so much to Anna, Robin and the team.

Michelle.


The year in 365 pairs of knickers

How does someone go from no body confidence to posting a photo of themselves in different underwear on Instagram every day? You'd have to be brimming with confidence...wouldn't you?

When I first spoke to Vee, and her take on how she's improved her body confidence, I knew I had to find out more!

" My journey into reclaiming my confidence actually started about 9 months before deciding to do 365 days of knickers. I have an incurable chronic health problem and because of this I was retired from my job because of ill health. It meant I lost my identity as a professional person and with it whom I was. I was suddenly retired at 42, no prospect of working again. Plus I was initially so unwell I wasn’t able to get out of bed and function. All I could wear was soft and comfortable clothes.

Once I found a treatment which meant I could function again I looked at my wardrobe and realised that all I had was leggings, soft clothes, no bras, and black cotton knickers and I realised I had absolutely no self esteem. I’d always loved pretty underwear and what I had in my drawers even my Grandma wouldn’t wear.

I went out the next day to New Look and bought some lace knickers.

I opened an Instagram account and started posting pictures of me wearing my new underwear, just as a record for myself initially but then I got followers and realised that people liked what they saw, which gave me a confidence boost and actually improved my body image.

I then read an article from a lady who showed that the before and after pictures in adverts for slimming products could be faked and watched some videos on You Tube on how to pose your body to display it to its best advantage. Now when I say I’m a size 16 quite a few people don’t believe me.

So how did a different pair of knickers every day come about?

On the lead up to Christmas 2016 I did an advent style count down of Christmas themed knickers. I loved thinking up different ways to make the pictures seasonal, using tinsel, lights and other Christmas paraphernalia.
It also got really positive feedback from my IG followers. I realised that I had a managed to collect a lot of knickers in the nine months leading up to Christmas and jokingly wondered if I had enough to do a different pair of knickers a day.

What has doing this achieved for you?

My body confidence is sky high. Yes I’m the wrong side of 45 and I’m a size 16/18 but no one cares and the only person who ever cared was me.

Having confidence in my body has meant my girls are more confident in their own bodies too.

Plus it made me realise that regardless of size everyone has issues with their body. Yes everyone has issues, from wanting a bigger bum, boobs to wanting a slimmer tummy or thighs. if someone criticises you it’s their insecurities that bring that out of them and jealousy in your confidence.

And what do your family make of it all?

My 15 year old calls my knickers dolly pants and laughs when I head straight for the knickers when we go in shops. My other daughter is the same. Both of them think it’s quite funny that I show my bum on the internet every day in different knickers but they also are encouraging and supportive.

My husband thinks it’s fantastic. Having body confidence means I’m more confident as a person too plus he gets to see all those knickers in person so there are some benefits...

What are you hoping to achieve by doing this?

I want to build up confidence in other women, we tear each other down when what we should be doing is building each other up. I’m so much happier as a person since I started building confidence and stopped being so negative. Everyone has positives regardless of size, shape or colour.

Plus when you compliment someone you get a boost too because you made a difference to them.

And how's your body confidence now?

As I said it’s sky high, even on days when I have bad health days and I struggle with wearing normal clothes. I found comfortable, soft and sexy clothes and knickers.

Plus I’m more confident now to go without a bra, nipple covers stop that noticeable nipple poke and are a great sexy boost. Plus there are so many soft and sexy lace, cotton and microfiber knickers out there.

Is there anything else you'd like to share with us about your project?

It’s not so much about the knickers but about instilling confidence in yourself and others.

As I’ve said I’m the wrong side of 45, a size 16/18 and need to lose a serious amount of weight but the only person who has the right to say that is me.

As women we constantly tear each other down and criticise each other, I can guarantee that even reading this many people will be internally criticising me for what I am doing.

If your thought was ‘wow she has some guts, showing her fat backside on the internet’ think about it in a more positive and helpful light and leave it as ‘wow she has some guts’ because that is more helpful.

Straighten each others crowns instead of knocking them to the floor.

And finally - where do you get your knickers from?

My knickers come from a variety of places. Good old Marks and Spencers have great knickers, New Look, Next and even Tesco do great 3 for 2 offers and have great variety of shapes and sizes.

I love Brazilian cut as they make your bum look good. Something with a back detail is always my favourite though and Victoria Secret/Pink do fantastic knickers (and yes the XL/L fit my size 16 bum absolutely perfectly).

If you've found your body confidence has taken a knock and you've found a novel way to overcome it and get your confidence back, please get in touch via the form below - we'd love to share your story.

Much love,
Anna
xx

Maxine

We really value the feedback we get (if you're a client, and didn't receive a little questionnaire from us, let me know).

We know you find the idea of your portrait session daunting precisely because we ask for feedback, and that's what you tell us. Luckily, we also know you'll have a great time!

This week, Maxine very kindly gave us some feedback on her session with us. Now, usually I'd pop her images onto the post too, but Maxine has asked that her images not be shared, and we always respect client privacy, so this time, you'll just have to believe her!

I have always wanted to do this since my two sisters did about 15/20 years ago. It was one of those things you have in your bucket list.
I saw it advertised on Facebook and thought, as I am getting on for 60, I would give it a go.
Very nervously, I went for the first meeting and spoke about the sort of pictures and era I would like. I was made to feel very relaxed about the whole thing.
I met Robin, who was the photographer, and Anna, who took all my details and what I wanted from the session - felt great.

On the morning of my shoot I could have quite easily talked myself out of it, but I am so very happy this did not happen. 

On arrival I had a glass of champagne and the make up artist set to work, then my hair was done. At this point I was feeling very relaxed.
Then, the biggest hurdle of them all was getting into my underwear and feeling very vulnerable. Robin made me feel very relaxed and once the shoot has started you did not have time to think about what you were wearing and what do I look like? I think the shoot lasted about one hour.
I felt so exhilarated and exhausted.

Then came the day to look at your photos, I was feeling sick and thinking "what the hell have I done?"
I could not believe the picture on the easel was me. I viewed my pictures and was so shocked how beautiful, seductive and sexy I looked.  My husband could not get over that the lady in the photos was his wife and loved them all.

If you are thinking of doing this, just go and have a chat with Anna, she is amazing and will put your mind and any questions at rest.

Thanks you SP for an awesome time.

Maxine

Are you ready to stop thinking 'Can I?' and start thinking 'I can'?
There's still a little time left to grab our March offer - especially for women who think "but what if I spend a lot of money on a session and don't like the results?" (or...everyone, as I like to think of them 😉 )
Book a complimentary portrait session, including £100 towards your portraits for just a £40 refundable deposit. Fill in the form below, and I'll be in touch to chat it all through with you.

Much love,
Anna 
xx

Are you the right size for boudoir?

Is there a right size for boudoir? And are you that size? No, of course you're not.

You need to be thinner, no wait, you need to be curvier. Come to think of it, perhaps you should be taller? Or maybe if your hair was longer?

You're probably too young.  Or too old. Or just too something.

The truth of it is, everyone seems to think there's some reason why any.other.living.person could have a portrait session, except for them. Because they're too something. Or not enough something else.

This was brought home to me (not for the first time, and it won't be the last) yesterday, when a client mentioned that she doesn't fit the right 'type' for boudoir, because she's not curvy - and curvy women are more confident about doing it, aren't they?

Erm, no. Stripping down to your underwear to have your photo taken - there's no body type that's more confident. You know whose more confident? Confident people. And they come in all shapes and sizes!

right size for boudoir

Considering yourself the wrong 'something' for boudoir is also a way of mentally protecting yourself.  When you secretly believe that 'x' is wrong with you, it won't be a horrible shock when it all goes wrong and you don't have pictures that you love.  You're just getting proved right.

However - it's not going to happen. There is nothing wrong with you that means you can't have gorgeous pictures. You thinking there is and it actually being the case - these are two very different things.

It's ok to allow yourself to even get a little bit excited about your images. If you can get on board with the notion you may just look awesome, you're much more likely to be better prepared for your session with lingerie, accessories and really thinking about the style of images you'd like.

There is no right size for boudoir - and equally there's no wrong size either. You don't have to wait for something to change before you allow yourself to find this out, except in your mind.

Much love,
Anna
xx

right size for boudoir 2
2

Can you face your face?

So, to most people this is a ridiculous question - you're quite happy with your face, thanks!  However lots of people, women in particular, absolutely hate looking at themselves.

In the average week I will hear several times, as women flick through images "nothing like this - too much face".  Now, sometimes this will be because they want something that shows more than just their face. But a lot of the time it's because they specifically don't want an image of their face.  Not close up. No way.

"I won't like it", they tell me.
"I hate my face".
There may be actual wincing.

What, you may ask, is wrong with their faces then?  Just who do I have sitting in front of me?  The answer is that nothing is wrong.  I'm always a little taken aback, especially when people clarify with "well, obviously nothing too facey" as if I should be totally in on the reasoning.

Except, the thing is...I kind of am. Or at least, I should be. I don't love my face. I have been told more than once that I look like my dad.  I mean, there was nothing wrong with my dad, but, you know, he was a man, and I'm not. And I really do have his face.

And so we go from not liking our faces, to avoiding looking at our faces, to not liking photos (because we're confronted with our faces) to avoiding photos.

It's an issue. For starters, we could probably do with stopping being so disappointed in ourselves.  Are we surrounded by super models? Only in magazines and why should those carry so much weight with us?

Do we recoil from the faces of our friends, families, work colleagues? I know I don't!

We need to be less hard on ourselves and also stop trying to avoid looking at ourselves because, guess what? You look normal! I look normal! This is what normal people look like, and no one else is bothered by us so we shouldn't be either!

Think you would like to be able to face your face? Please click here and read about the 52 selfies challenge - a big first step in changing how you feel about how you look.

Much love
Anna
xx

It gave me a real confidence boost, one that I really needed.

Deborah
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