Boudoir Solo Session Brings Out Former Catholic School Principal’s Inner Badass
Kristen doesn’t see herself as one of Mike’s “typical” clients.
“I’m not tattooed. I am 50, my only piercings are my ears, so I’m probably a little bit vanilla compared to most of the women he sees,” says the former Catholic school teacher and principal from Blue Bell, Pa.
Yet, Kristen decided she wanted to do a boudoir session following her divorce and a negative sexual experience with another man she thought she trusted.
“My confidence was not great, to say the least. I was ashamed of my body and went further into hiding as I doubted my ability to make good choices or avoid the consequences of looking good, being sexually active and my perceived inability to discern who I could be safe and vulnerable with,” Kristen says.
Despite being the same size she was in high school (size zero to two), she lacked a lot of self-confidence in general, much less in front of a camera, but saw a solo boudoir session as an opportunity to regain her sense of self.
If Kristen was going to do a boudoir session, she needed to know she had the right photographer, one she felt comfortable in front of and whom she could trust. When she saw Mike’s work on Instagram, she stopped.
“The more I saw, the more I recognized how body positive and judgment-free Mike’s work really is,” said Kristen. Seeing all of the different shapes, sizes, and ages of women really helped, she added.
“His work speaks for itself, but for me, it was much more than that. I started to think, ‘hmm…maybe I can do a solo boudoir shoot with this guy – be vulnerable in a non-sexual situation and see myself the way he shoots other women so beautifully,’” she said.
“Maybe it’s a way to move forward,” she added.
The idea of being vulnerable in a non-sexual situation was huge for her and a concern that gradually lessened during her shoot. Kristen started off in a full dress and by the end of the session, she was doing bodyscaping with nothing on with absolutely zero pressure or discomfort.
“I found my session to be SO empowering,” says Kristen. “I stared into his lens at first as an enemy that was challenging me but later with a less combative feeling. It was affirming to see my pictures look so beautiful and strong. Mike ‘got me’ and knew that I was looking for a reset and that I wanted and needed to look fierce and like a complete bad-ass.”
She continued, “For me, it was tremendously healing. I LOVED seeing my pics and choosing the ones I would keep. It was amazing to see myself from a distance and be able to see something other than shame and damaged goods thanks to Mike’s incredible work.”
Kristen is looking forward to one day hopefully doing a shoot with a partner someday and capturing that intimacy in the same way.