The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows. -Audrey Hepburn
A question I get asked on a regular basis is, “What made you want to start shooting boudoir?” The short version? God put it in my heart. The long version? Here goes…
I did my very first boudoir shoot over 8 years ago for a friend. I had never done a shoot like this before, and had never even heard of “boudoir”. I was totally clueless as to how the images were supposed to look. She simply wanted some “sexy photos” for her fiance’, and I was determined to make it happen for her. It was all shot on film, with window lighting and in a tiny apartment. I made it work with what I was given at the time, and I had so-much-fun with it. To this date they are still some of my favorite shots! Something sparked inside of me that day and I had no idea what it meant or why. I enjoyed the shoot so much. I will be honest, I questioned myself for feeling so great about something I knew that some people would view as wrong. I was raised in a Christian home and I have been in church my entire life. In the back of my mind, I felt like shooting boudoir was something my family and many people I knew would definitely judge me for. In turn, I didn’t really talk about the fact that I wanted to start shooting boudoir, but I would do it for friends. As I began to fall more and more in love with boudoir photography, I also continued to get better and better at it. For many years, I was very reserved in sharing that I was shooting boudoir, when what I really wanted to do was scream it from the mountaintops. I had no idea how I was supposed to approach this calling I felt so strongly about in my heart. I knew from that very first shoot it was something that I loved doing, and I knew I was good at. It came so naturally for me to photograph women in flattering, sexy and glamorous ways that made them feel so beautiful and good about themselves. I was very comfortable in the atmosphere of shooting boudoir. I was never sure why I excelled at boudoir photography, or why it came so extremely natural to me, but I ran with it. After years of doing soul searching and trying to figure myself out, it finally hit me why I loved boudoir SO much. Because God had called me to do it.
I’ve known from day one God is the one who gave me the talent of being able to photograph women, and I am certain his hand is in it all. I believe without a shadow of a doubt God is using me to bring inspiration and confidence back into women and relationships. He has not only blessed me with this gift, but also with a heart that is SO passionate about changing the world and making people feel better about themselves. The reason I shoot boudoir is because I want every woman to realize how beautiful she is. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US struggle with our own insecurities. We always think we are not pretty enough, skinny enough, smart enough, the list goes on. In today’s negative world, there are things thrown at women DAILY that attack and tear down every inch of their confidence. It is a constant battle to have to remind yourself that you are God’s beautiful child, you are his daughter, and He created you just the way you are. You ARE beautiful.
When a woman feels confident… she radiates, she glows, she acts and reacts differently to every day life. When a woman feels good about herself, it affects not only her relationships, but also her home and family. Just think how different marriages and relationships would be if every single woman felt confident and beautiful. There would be a lot less fighting, and a lot less stress between two people. Men would be falling more and more in love with their partner instead of resenting them. When I ask men what is one of the most important qualities they look for in a woman, CONFIDENCE is one of the most popular answers. It’s such an attractive quality and it makes women ATTRACTIVE to be around. Confidence makes a woman’s whole world so much better.
I asked one of my best guy friends, Brandon, to give me his opinion on confidence and my photography. “A woman who doesn’t feel she is sexy allows her self-consciousness to inhibit her. Courtney’s portraits allow a woman to throw her inhibition to the wind and embrace her uniqueness. A woman with that countenance and confidence possesses the most attractive qualities a man can hope for.”
According to studies, men think about sex every seven seconds. In turn, men have a strong desire for sex. It’s not a bad thing. God created them that way. It’s very important that women not only understand this but respect and value how important it is that they express their sexuality with their man. It’s OKAY to be sexy! In fact, it’s a part of who you are. As a woman, God created you to be beautiful, to feel sexy. He created you to be desirable to your husband. It’s truly one of the most beautiful gifts God has given us and something that should be embraced. You can never be “too sexy” for him.
I love shooting boudoir because it is an extremely wonderful thing a woman can do for her man. The sparkle in his eyes when he sees her photos for the first time is a truly priceless moment that can hugely increase happiness in a relationship. Knowing that I am making a difference in increased intimacy in a relationship is something that makes my heart soar. There are no words that could express how much it means to me to play such a positive role between two people who love each other.
I’m a complete romantic in every sense of the word. I believe in love… true unconditional kind of love. The kind of love God shows us everyday. I believe that everyone wants to feel happy, loved, beautiful, cared for, wanted, appreciated and so on. If I can make a difference in just one person or one relationship, then every single thing I have ever done is worth it. All of the years of hard work, dedication and passion for a gift God gave me is worth it if I can inspire one woman to feel beautiful, sexy and loved.
Artistically speaking, every time you see one of my boudoir photos, you are looking into a window of who I am not only as an artist, but as a woman. I myself am very in touch with my sexuality and womanhood. I love feeling sexy and embracing that side of me that God created. The side of me that loves and embraces femininity. I love being a girl who fantasizes about romantic gestures and moments. It makes my heart so happy to be able to portray who I am through my art in other women. The feeling is indescribable to me and I am truly blessed that God not only made me a woman, but has given me the opportunity to express my sexiness through others in a positive way.
So why do I shoot boudoir? To sum it up, it’s because I want to change the world. I want to take this amazing gift God has given me and glorify him with it. I want to bring beauty and confidence back into the world. I want to make a difference with the very short time I have here on earth. I will never let God’s gift go to waste. I will never give up. I will continue to be passionate about boudoir and the impact it can have on our world. I will strive everyday to reach as many women as I possibly can to remind them they are LOVELY. Because you are.
The Boudoir Vixen
For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
Behold, you are beautiful, my love, behold, you are beautiful! Your eyes are doves behind your veil. Song of Solomon 4:1