“I did this. I make a difference. I am beautiful. I rock 40!”

When asked what made her decide to take the leap of faith and do a solo boudoir session, Courtney says it was the incredible connection she felt with us over her consultation call. 

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“It wasn’t a sales pitch, it was listening to the struggles, the insecurities, life’s frustrations that I was dealing with, being able to understand them, relate to them, and provide the uplifting support and encouragement to try something to show the power I have,” says Courtney.

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Courtney works as a full time social worker for the elderly and says this year was more trying emotionally than she’d ever seen before. 

“I saw more deaths this year than in my whole career. I love what I do but it’s mentally taxing. If providing support for family losing a loved one at the age of 90 isn’t tolling enough, this last year was even more tolling. Holding hands of elderly residents as they took there last breath with one hand and holding cell phone in the other with family on video as families were not able to visit during those last moments of life.”

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This year was taxing on her home life as well, as she has struggled with keeping her two children safe and happy, while also taking care of her life partner of 16 years, who was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy at 19 years old. 

“Although many families were appreciative of the difficult tasks that were presented with COVID in this line of work, many also had insulting, derogatory and belittling opinions that shattered me to my core.”

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She continued, “I put my all into everything I do. My heart is there all the time. How can I be turning 40 and feel like what I do doesn’t make a difference? Adding in the moments when my kids are not happy with rules and responsibilities. Even feeling like a failure when I can’t lift my life partner up off the floor after a fall.”

One day she was feeling particularly down and overwhelmed when she received an email alert. 

“On one of those such days when I felt so horrible able myself an email came while I was at lunch trying to meditate and relax talking about looking for models for gallery updates.”

Despite what her inner voice was telling her about not being good enough, Courtney replied to our email and we immediately reached out to learn more about her and her story.

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“I responded not thinking it would be possible but more like I’ll add this to my arsenal of being down on myself.”

Courtney admits that she’s usually a positive person and is the one always lifting others up and providing support while still being happy with who she is. It’s just this whole COVID era really had shattered her confidence. 

“Getting a reply within an hour was kind of surprising but I didn’t think anything of it. Even during the conversation it all seemed to be too good to be true and was waiting for the bottom to fall. It didn’t.”

She booked the appointment despite that little voice inside her head second-guessing herself that she wasn’t good enough.  

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I’m 40 years old, overweight and not 20 with metabolism on overdrive.  Do I want to be in front of people in clothing that makes me feel extremely vulnerable and exposed? She asked herself. 

But she knew she would absolutely love to have these pictures of herself during this time in her life, to remind herself of all she’d accomplished, “to be able to look back and say I did this. I make a difference. I am beautiful. I rock 40,” says Courtney. 

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“I was so nervous. I must have thought about backing out a 100 times but then there were those few thoughts of, ‘I am an incredible, strong, resilient woman and I can do this.’ The 4-hour drive down that day I tried to enjoy the scenery and not think about all the vulnerable positions I would be in while the cameras were clicking. I tried to think about what the photos would show me and remind me on a bad day,” she said.

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Courtney was immediately relieved when she reached our studio because she realized that that voice in her head telling her this was a bad idea was a liar!

“Everyone was so welcoming and helpful. All the attention was a bit overwhelming yet incredibly empowering,” she said. 

She found the entire experience empowering and when she saw her photos at the end, “I was speechless. They were…. Wow! I couldn’t believe it was me! How powerful, sexy, beautiful.” 

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Courtney chose an album so that she could share her photos with her husband as well as for herself. 

“I wanted to be able to look at the album and be able to relive my whole experience.”

Not only did she find that her session gave her back that boost in her self-confidence, but she is thinking of coming back again in the future. 

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“I’m thinking water related… baths, showers, even the use of water droplets on the body, colored lights and fog.”

To anyone thinking about having their own session, Courtney says to go for it!

“You are worth it all! Do it for you because you are incredible! It’s not just portrait photography…. Mike and Erika create artistic masterpieces.”

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Book your solo boudoir session with Allebach Photography by calling 610.539.6920 or by visiting http://allebachphotography.com/contact/

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