After the dumpster fire that was 2020, Kate has decided that she is taking back control of her life in 2021.
“This is my ‘yes’ year! Between losing my parents and leaving toxic relationships behind, I decided that this year was the year to make things happen for me and do things for myself to make me happy!” says Kate, adding that she loves to empower and lift others up and make the most out of every situation.
So when Kate saw our model call for solo boudoir sessions, she knew the time was right.
“If it hadn’t been for the model call, I would have waited longer to take the leap!” she said.
Kate was super excited to do something just for herself that would make her feel good.
She brought with her lots of fun clothing pieces to play with – a bralette set, skull and cross bones bra and pantie set, robe, a corset to pair with jeans and a leather jacket and a crop top hoodie and shorts.
She says she wasn’t quite sure what to expect or how to feel going into the studio, but the whole experience was better than she could have imagined – and to her surprise she was even asked if she wanted to include tacos in her session!
Kate spent her session feeling hyped up and just letting loose and dancing it out to Lizzo. She still can’t stop smiling and has been riding a life high since.
“I’m still feeling good as hell and know that I’m my own soulmate because I know how to love me!”
Kate chose an album so she would have something she can always look through and see how much of a badass she is.
AND – always thinking of others! – “It can travel with me so I can share my story with others as well to encourage them to be the badass they are! She added.
Kate is eager to share her experience with others and get as many people on board to do their own session as she can.
“Bite the bullet and do it! It will be a great investment in yourself (or your relationship). Erika and Mike make you feel so welcomed and comfortable you forget that you’re even there for anything other than to just hang out, listen to Lizzo and have fun!”
Recently, Erika and Mike had the honor of photographing one of Allebach’s own, someone many of you will recognize through her work with us at the studio – the lovely Paige!
“It seems as if Allebach Photography has always been a part of my life.
Even before joining the Allebach Photography team a few years ago, Mike and I had crossed paths on more than one occasion and something just clicked. His people were my people. I enjoyed the freedom, fearlessness, and badassery of the brand from day one. From clients to staff and all of the people we meet in between – I can’t think of a better group.”
Paige describes herself as an incredibly persistent and independent 26-year-old and, despite becoming recently engaged and being in the process of moving cross-country with her fiancé, she says her dog and two cats are the true loves of her life.
There, she hopes to find joy in being a professional dog-walker in a giant yellow raincoat while also advocating for families and couples to have the most enjoyable lives and understandings of each other as possible.
Though Paige enjoys sharing trivial facts about herself, there is a more serious issue she wanted to bring up.
“The one thing that I think is important to bring to attention is the fact that I struggled with an eating disorder and body dysmorphia for the last 15 years of my life,” Paige revealed.
Since the end of 2020, she’s made a true effort to challenge her bad habits and finally begin to heal.
Paige was talking with a close friend one night who was struggling with body image when she realized she was in a positive place for both her body and her mental health and ready to do her own boudoir session with Allebach.
“Really hearing myself speak honestly for the first time about how I felt about myself and how I got there…I felt powerful, I felt in control, and I felt hot as shit. Just giving advice that I realized I’d already taken myself…I had this realization that I didn’t hate my body the way I used to and I was so stoked about that.”
She continued, “I remember wondering how I could ever have felt any other way except totally in love with my body. It’s gotten me through literally everything. It’s strong, and beautiful, and worthy, and all mine. I wanted something to commemorate not only that feeling of worthiness and respect, but also something to mark when it happened: something I could look back on and say, “Oh yeah! That’s the year I fell in love with myself.” After wasting more than half of my life on a mentally, physically, and emotionally debilitating disease – I was ready to have photos of the new beginning. Kind of like if you married your high school sweetheart and you go back and look at old photos of you in your first year of dating. I wanted that kind of memory of my love for myself down the road.”
Paige’s session felt deeply unique and personal because not only was she celebrating her defeat against body dysmorphia, she was doing it with someone who had been by her side through some of the worst of it.
“I think I was just as excited for Erika to photograph me as she was to do it. If there’s anything I can say about her, it’s that she’s just so genuinely caring and empathetic. I had a really rough year in 2020 (besides the obvious) and at the time, I shared some of this with her. I don’t think I’ve ever had the kind of support she offered me. When I was finally in front of the camera, it felt like I could almost feel the energy we were sharing. It felt like we were both screaming, “This is it, you did it! We did it! You’ve outplayed your bad hand and it’s only going up from here. This is healing. This is freedom,” said Paige.
One of the things Paige did this year to help battle body dysmorphia and gain more comfort with her body was buy a bunch of lingerie and so for her session that’s exactly what she brought to her session.
“I mean. A BUNCH. And that’s what I wear around my house on the regs (I live alone) or with my closest friends (why can’t we have lingerie parties and celebrate our bodies while also binging horror movies and drinking wine?). Seeing myself like that almost every day was definitely a huge boost to my self-confidence, self-respect, and self-love. So, the day of the session, I blindly grabbed a few outfits from the lingerie closet, and my roller blades, naturally.”
Being back in the studio for Paige, on the other side of the experience, was truly a fun and comforting experience.
“I’m always cold, but I felt totally comfortable the entire time. The session made me feel like I was having fun with my friends. From the hair and makeup artist all the way through to my reveal, I just felt like I was having an amazing time with my best friends. We were talking about music, cracking jokes, catching up – it felt like home.”
When Paige saw her photos revealed, she tried hard to keep her composure.
“I was really trying not to be emotional, and I think I held it together pretty well.
But my initial reaction was, ‘That’s fucking ME!’ Not in a ‘I-don’t-believe-it’ sort of way, but in a, ‘Yes! You captured me perfectly,’ kind of way,” she said.
Though she had complete confidence in Allebach’s mastery and talent after having seen so clients go through the process, Paige was surprised at how in her photos she looked not only like herself, but also sexy.
“I am NOT a professional model, my face looks goofy more often than not, and I’m usually doing something weird just because. Each moment captured was exactly the person I am. I was also shocked by the sex-factor I gave off. I was never a sexy person. Or rather, I never felt like a sexy person. Cute? Yes. Adorable? Absolutely. Sexy? Nah. I felt as if I gained a sort of sex factor I was completely unaware of until now,” she said.
Paige chose an album with a velvet cover because 1.) Velvet, duh?! 2.) Because she’s a total bookroom and looking forward to proudly displaying her book among her favorites and 3.) After building so many in the past she’d always wanted one of her own.
“This session was also very much about me for me, and it’s something that I want to make sure I can speak to when I choose to share it versus someone happening to notice it on a wall. That and I knew I’d be back for couples boudoir and some serious wall art,” she explained.
Since her session Paige has been much more relaxed with herself.
“I’ve accepted that the issue I occasionally face isn’t with my body at all – but my brain. And it’s really helpful to look back on my photos and remember that I chose them for a reason. That I felt and still feel beautiful in them. And if there’s a reason I don’t feel that way today, it’s all in my head and we can let it take up some room until it passes.”
Though Paige is moving cross-country and has phased out of working with Allebach Photography, she says she has and always will be a strong advocate for the studio and its crew.
“Aside from the quality experience you’ll receive, the people are phenomenal. They CARE. They actually care. When I flipped through my album and started tearing up, so did Erika. Like it’s blatantly obvious this isn’t just your everyday photography business. There’s so much emotion and passion that goes into what is done at that studio with that team. There are plenty of people out there who take good photos. These people do that too, but in a life-changing sort of way. “
We’re always honored when our clients tell us how beautiful and confident we’ve made them feel, but it breaks our hearts that so many of them tell us that this is the FIRST time they’ve ever felt this way.
“I’ve been overweight literally since birth. I’ve never been able to keep weight off no matter how hard I tried and I was constantly bullied for it. My entire life, I was told that big equals bad and gross and ugly. People in media never looked like me. I was bullied from kindergarten through twelfth grade. I was the “DUFF” (Designated Ugly Fat Friend). Even my family would always tell me, ‘You’d be so pretty if you lost weight,’” says Janet, who is literally one of the sweetest people we’ve ever met and recently did a solo boudoir session with us.
“I guess at some point, I made peace with that being the truth. I saw being attractive and being overweight are mutually exclusive states of being. I felt that because of my physical size, I deserved to be less of an actual person. I have almost no pictures of me because I just see how big and wrong I am in them.”
Janet, who is 42 and has held the same job for almost 20 years, says she’s always put others first before herself.
“It took me 13 years to earn my BA because I kept taking breaks to help care for loved ones. We lost my mom to cancer in 2018, and I’m the person who ended up caring for her for the month she was on at home hospice. I definitely embrace the mom/caretaker role. So much so that it trickles into my friendships,” says Janet, adding that one of her favorite things to do is just hang out at home with her friends and cook them their favorite meals. “I try to keep a warm and inviting atmosphere.”
In 2004, Janet entered into an emotionally abusive relationship that thankfully she has since left.
“I know now I was only there because I settled. I was at my biggest weight when we married in 2007 and I was convinced I had no worth and nobody else would want me. I had RNY gastric bypass in 2009 at the suggestion of a reproductive specialist. I got pregnant in 2010 and gained back the 80lbs I had previously lost – but I also gained an incredible miracle baby, my daughter, Emma,” she says.
As the years went by, Janet’s ex began to grow violent.
“I realized I didn’t even like the man I was with, let alone love him. I threw him out in February 2015.”
Janet is now happily engaged and lives with her and her fiancé in the house she grew up in.
When Janet saw an ad for Allebach Photography and our solo boudoir sessions, she says she realized it was time to see herself through someone else’s perspective.
Her best friend helped convince her that not only did she deserve this, but that since “there was no way she was going to get nude” that it would be no different from a vacation picture in a bathing suit!
Janet says she was shocked by “how comfortable I was wearing next to nothing in front of two strangers. And although I loved some more than others, there was not one picture of me I hated (a huge change of pace for me).”
She continued, “I thought I was going to be too reserved and awkward to pose correctly. I thought I’d feel funny and not get any good shots. I was so very wrong. Mike and Erika had me at ease and posing like a pro in no time flat.”
Janet could barely believe she was looking at herself when she saw her photos. She looked like a beautiful, take charge badass!
“I was at a very low point with self esteem and seeing my artwork really helped. It’s for sure a HUGE confidence booster. Even during the session itself. I can’t remember the last time I got so many compliments.”
She continues, “This experience absolutely changed the way I see myself. I wasn’t gross. I was just different. I conveyed confidence, charisma and charm. Dare I say, even sexiness. Do I have a ‘normal’ body? I sure don’t. But for the first time, it clicked. Different is not bad or gross or ugly. Different is the way I live every other area of my life. It took me a while to get there, but I embrace being different. All of my idiosyncrasies are what makes me who I am – love it or leave it. So now it’s time to think about the outside the way I think about the inside. It’s time to start feeling less than and time to start wielding confidence. I won’t get there overnight, but for the first time, I think I’m moving in the right direction. There is no way I’d be here if I wouldn’t have done boudoir.”
Baylee says she’s always had a difficult time feeling comfortable in her own skin, “hence why I get tattoos to make myself feel beautiful.”
“I’m not comfortable in my own skin, and I mostly think it’s because I am way too judgmental on myself (but who isn’t lol),” she explained. “I’m always comparing myself to these Instagram models and I’m just like, ‘damn why can’t I have that perfect body with the perfect shaped boobs?’ I just get so down on myself all the time so when I have an opportunity to feel sexy and beautiful for a day I’m going to go for it.”
Baylee (who is a self-employed Dog Groomer in Philly and jokingly called herself “the patron saint of dogs”) discovered one of those opportunities when she met Mike at the Philadelphia Tattoo Convention in 2018. But it took her until just last year to strike up the courage to ask her boyfriend to do a Couples Boudoir session.
“We did that and I fell in love with the whole vibe of being very sexy, yet classy at the same time. I love the vintage feel of it all. It was so much fun. Being there with my boyfriend, seeing how happy he was…we were just feeding off of each other, the energy was great. Mike was so great making us laugh, telling us we are doing amazing, he was boosting our confidence so much,” she said, remembering that special day.
Baylee was nervous, but also excited to return to the studio on her own for a solo session!
“When I got to the studio for my photo shoot, Mike and Erika made me feel amazing, beautiful, and sexy. My session was amazing, my makeup and hair were beautiful, the sets were beautiful. They are so down to earth and make you feel so relaxed – I told them I didn’t know how to hold my face correctly for photos. They were so sweet in guiding me, getting me out of my comfort zone. Erika was my own personal cheerleader, she is the sweetest person ever, I love her energy.”
When Baylee saw her solo session photos debut her jaw dropped to the floor.
“When we went through the photos upstairs I almost cried, but I didn’t want to ruin my makeup. I never thought in my almost 26 years of life I could be that beautiful. I felt like Audrey Hepburn, just pure beauty,” says Baylee.
Some of her favorite photos are the ones of her on the bed, the ones with the chandelier, and even the close ups of her body, which completely surprised her!
Baylee chose her favorite photos and had them enclosed in our glass topped portrait box.
“I think it’s a classic way to go in case you don’t want to have hanging art,” she said.
Baylee feels like a completely new woman after her recent session.
“I felt like I came away a much stronger woman. I felt like I don’t compare myself to other women as much as I used to and I cannot thank you all enough for doing that for me. I love all of your work and what you can do for people and how you make people feel.”
To anyone thinking about doing a session, Baylee says, “If you are ever thinking about doing boudoir I will always say go for it because tomorrow isn’t promised. If you have the chance to take the leap I promise you, you won’t regret it and if other people try to change your mind forget them, you’re beautiful.”
Crystal has very few qualms about her life. She’s looking forward to celebrating her 40th birthday in a few months, she’s happily married to the same man she fell in love with when she was 15 and she has three incredible kids – a nearly married Marine, a seven year old son with autism who is her everything, and her five-year-old daughter who is too smart for her own good.
Still, she says she lives a far from perfect life. Like many people, Crystal manages bipolar disorder.
“I have bipolar disorder and the depression and anxiety hit hard sometimes and often puts strains on my relationship with my husband. He does his best to be supportive but I don’t always make it easy for him. With the support of my family, friends, and an extremely supportive therapist I am working on dealing with the depression and hard days one day at a time,” she explained to us.
Crystal says she made two changes in her life that have given her a new and extremely fulfilling purpose and helped balance her depression; 1, she started her own business, and 2, she joined some positive, pay-it-forward groups through Facebook, one of which was our Facebook group for VIP members.
“It’s all about positivity and good energy…reaching one end of the country to the other in an ongoing circle of kindness that is just spreading further and further, is an incredible feeling. In the process of starting these new journeys I have made friendships with some of the most incredible people…the groups have helped some of our members, like when some were down and thinking of suicide or in a rut. The group helped them find a reason to keep going and put those thoughts and feelings behind them, and those stories are what let’s you know you are serving a purpose greater than your own.”
Crystal says our group definitely helped get her into the mindset of her second shoot (yes she had such a great time the first time she just had to come back and see us again!).
“I did a couple model call before and I absolutely loved everything about it. I was so comfortable with Mike the first time. With such an amazing experience it was easy to decide there is nowhere else I would go for my solo shoot,” she said.
Crystal came to the studio in the evening for one of our night sessions and she says she was on the edge of her seat all day waiting for it!
“I had an evening session which was amazing in itself, I love the dark, so that alone put me at ease, but the session itself was amazing! Erika and Mike are an amazing team together. They have this energy and vibe that you just gravitate to. They make you feel like a queen and you leave absolutely believing you are one too.”
For this session, Crystal brought a ton of options, from booty shorts, to lingerie and she even surprised herself by doing a few topless and nude shots.
“Before I left the house I wasn’t even sure I wanted to do topless shots but since I need to be more comfortable with that part of my body, I wanted to make sure I stepped out of my comfort zone. I’m so glad I did, the photos were amazing and so worth it. Mike and Erika made me feel so comfortable with them and myself that I decided to do some nude photos,” she said.
When the time for her big photo reveal came, Crystal was speechless.
“There is nothing that can top getting to sit down and watch the slideshow as the music plays, to set the most perfect music! I was just in awe of how incredible they were. How incredible I looked.”
She chose 15 images for an album, 15 reminders that she’s a badass!
“I feel better about myself, I am proud of myself, and I am still feeling the high from my session three days later. When I get down, I remember what Erika had me repeat to myself, ‘I love myself, I love who I am, I am beautiful, I love the bitch I am.’
She continued, “I think about how good I felt and how amazing the photos came out.. I have a new sense of self-pride and confidence! I just want to thank Mike and Erika for everything! You both are incredible at what you do and I will be forever grateful for everything you have done for me!! A level of therapy my therapist could have never given me!”
Jay and Kelly joke that they’ve been together since the Stone Age.
The pair has been together since high school (they were introduced by Kelly’s best friend), which makes for 24 years, 17 of which have been married. They have two boys, a 14-year-old and a 10-year-old.
“We pride ourselves on the strength of our marriage, we work everyday to stay strong and have great communication with each other. We truly are love birds still, even after all these years,” says Kelly.
When Kelly discovered our studio, it was love at first sight.
“I found Mike’s artwork on social media and immediately fell in love with his concept and how his pictures had some risk to them, but were still tastefully done. When I found a photographer who could capture our naughty side together, I was like, we must do this!” she explained.
Kelly ran it by Jay, who was immediately onboard. After all, she says, who doesn’t want to take sexy pictures with their partner all glammed up like a supermodel?
The couple was so game to get a little naughty in front of the camera.
“We looked at the day as a date for something we hadn’t done as a couple before and it was more fun and less stress, I suppose! Jay dressed in a sexy button down shirt and looked so handsome! I selected something naughty and romantic and then something extra naughty. It was fun to be a little vulnerable together. Not everyday you get nakey in front of others,” Kelly said.
“It was just comfortable. I felt like we could just take our time and Mike always saw the opportunity for a great shot,” said Jay.
Kelly continued, “Jay and I have such a connection, it was fun to just be together with him and aside from cracking jokes and having light conversation with Mike, he sets the scene for sexiness and you really forget he is even there, which was awesome!”
Kelly had a hard time keeping in her tears during the big reveal of their photos afterwards.
“The reveal was amazing…I shed some tears at how beautiful the shots were. We were extraordinarily pleased!” she said, adding that they chose an album.
“I feel like we gained a great memory of us at this point in our lives. So many people hesitate to get in front of the camera because they aren’t at their fittest or feel those insecurities of their physical appearance…DON’T!!! We had so much fun and after you see your photos you come away from the experience gaining confidence and appreciation and strength for stepping out of your comfort zone! I’ll be excited for a future session!”
We love couples that break the mold and that’s one of the reasons why we had so much fun with Megan and Jake.
The two felt an instant connection from the moment they met two years ago, through a mutual friend.
Megan says, “I was a newly single mother at the time, and very hesitant about entering a new relationship. Jake was so patient and kind. He loved me through a time when I was still learning how to love myself. Fast forward two years and I can’t picture my life without him in it.
Megan was so in love with Jake that this past December she decided to get down on one knee and ask him to marry him.
“We couldn’t be happier.”
Early on in their relationship, Megan shared the Allebach Photography page with Jake and they’ve both been dreaming about doing a couples session ever since.
“It was something we talked about as a ‘someday-goal’ frequently but with raising a four-year-old, having the time and money to actually make it happen seemed impossible at times. Especially considering that we live six hours away from the studio, in Erie,” says Megan.
As their two-year anniversary began creeping up they wanted something really special to celebrate. They had talked about taking a vacation but then it hit them.
“We NEEDED to do this, to turn this two-year dream into a reality. That’s when we booked our session and made the commitment to travel across the state for this experience. At the time, I had not decided to propose yet. In the end our images ended up being a celebration of our love in place of traditional engagement photos!”
Though they were both in from the get go, Megan says the nerves were real the days leading up to their session.
“Mine were definitely worse. Ever since having my son four years ago, I have struggled with body image and most of the time I’m the one hiding behind the camera, so stepping out of my comfort zone took a lot of courage”, she explained. “On top of that, being the photography nerd that I am, I was SOOO nervous to meet Mike in person! I follow the work of many talented photographers for inspiration just to admire their artistic abilities. I’ve always been extremely drawn to the beautiful images Mike creates and he quickly became one of my absolute favorite photographers. Meeting my favorite photographer in person felt like getting to meet your favorite actor or rock star. I was totally starstruck and awkward at first.”
Despite their initial nerves, Megan and Jake had a blast at their session, which was filled with giggles and silliness to go with their vibrant sensuality.
They started out with comfy/casual outfits that they could slip layers off of, then moved to a more polished look where Jake wore his best suit and Megan wore some sexy lingerie. They also brought along a few props to enhance the overall aesthetic of the session.
“One of our favorite photos was of me pouring Jake a glass of Maker’s Mark Whiskey. It looked like it belonged in a magazine!” says Megan.
Megan says she felt so comfortable during the session that she even surprised herself by stripping all the way down for a few full-nude shots.
Then came the photo reveal.
“I was not at all prepared for the intense emotional response I had seeing our images for the first time on that great big projector screen. Mike truly captured the love and intimacy between the two of us and getting to see how beautiful that was and how amazing we both looked was so overwhelming that I couldn’t stop crying.”
The couple purchased an album and are still trying to decide which images to use for their wall art.
“We love them all so much it’s hard to decide which ones to choose for wall art, but we are planning on purchasing a set of the metal prints for above our bed, once we decide. A few of our favorite shots are all the ones where Jake is in his suit and I’m in my red lingerie, and the ones in the stairwell, but it’s hard to choose favorites when every image is AMAZING.”
They left the session feeling more connected than ever as a couple.
“Our sex life has been better than ever and we both feel more confident in our own skin than we ever had before. I love myself a little more now and that feeling has been life changing”, Megan said.
“To anyone out there reading this thinking, this sounds so fun but are unsure about doing it, take a leap of faith and trust the process. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!”
Sometimes couples are destined to cross paths twice, like with Kristen and Adam, who reconnected after a six year gap of not seeing or talking to each other.
“We met many moons ago at an afterschool program. Adam was a grade ahead of me in high school, so we always went to school together. Funny story we worked at Subway together throughout high school and may or may not have been ‘seeing’ each other after work!“ says Kristen.
Kristen then went off to college and the two lost touch.
She continues, “When I moved home, I had been hanging out with my best friend at the firehouse where they had belonged. Her husband had been on my case about hooking me up with this really nice guy. I was totally not ready to start dating after just getting out of a relationship. When he told me who it was, I just laughed! I was like, ‘absolutely not’! Well, after months of hanging around the firehouse, where Adam was a lieutenant, we saw more and more of each other. I had absolutely no interest in even giving him a shot. Months later I finally agreed to hang out, one thing led to another, and here we are eight years later, married for two!”
Kristen loves that Adam keeps her grounded. “I am the person to jump and ask questions later and he is able to reel me back in, to think before I act in certain circumstances. He puts up with my crazy, yet allows me to be exactly who I am. He has held me through some of my toughest days and tries his best to understand me.”
“The thing I love most about you is your dedication to your business, the time and effort you put into your team and helping others. Your constant drive to do better and do more for both us and your business,” Adam tells Kristen.
For their couple’s boudoir session, Kristen had ordered multiple items online that didn’t arrive in time due to the holiday/pandemic USPS shipping madness.
“Outfits, honestly, were a nightmare. Thankfully, I was able to pull it together. I was able to pull an outfit from my own business inventory. My favorite outfit was a simple black bodysuit off Amazon. I typically walk around our house in a crummy old white t-shirt and underwear, so my third outfit was Adam’s favorite underwear and a tight, white crop top!”
Though they both started out nervous, they both warmed up quickly and went with the flow as they got into poses.
“We were both pretty nervous going into it. The drive down that morning we were both on edge, but thankfully we had a blast and the nerves left pretty quick. Mike and his staff were awesome!” says Kristen.
Adam says that his favorite part of their session was their steamy shower scene.
“We loved the down time after the shoot to reconnect and play the card games upstairs. The reveal of the photos, um… I wish I had words. The music Mike played was the perfect fit. In a company where I empower and educate women everyday (she works as a director at Pure Romance), the music and photos almost brought tears to my eyes as I felt so beautiful and so empowered watching the spool of photos, and I am not a crier,” Kristen says.
Adam agreed. “I was speechless when it came to the photo reveal.”
The couple ordered artwork for both their bedroom and master bath, along with a portrait box of 25 photos, which they said arrived more quickly than they expected, and they were just as quick to add them to their walls.
“We planned for a corner in our bedroom but after bringing them home we decided right across from our bed. We couldn’t put them in a corner to hide, they are way too beautiful. It didn’t take long to hang them, they were both up within an hour of getting home. It’s beautiful to wake up to in the morning,” Kristen says.
Kristen says she hopes this session leads to them spending more intimate time together.
“Having those pictures on the wall is a reminder that we need to make time for ourselves…that outside of our everyday busy lives, we still have each other and that is one important piece of keeping our marriage strong.”
Adam says he hopes the session makes his wife more comfortable wearing sexy lingerie! He also added that it was great foreplay and pregame for their upcoming vacation.
The couple says they cannot wait to return one day at a different period in their lives. We can’t wait to have you again, Kristen and Adam!
There’s this magical thing that happens when you are faced with the rawness of a boudoir session. You’re forced to see what you love about yourself. A lot of people come into these experiences worried all they will see is what they wish they could change. But the truth is, you’re actually forced to admit that there are things about you that you can’t deny are fucking beautiful and downright sexy.
When I finally fixed my hair after my quarantine bleach fail, I was feeling so much better and fresher… ‘almost’ confident. I was considering asking Mike to photograph me but was too scared to open that door. It frightened me to think that, while I felt better, none of that would translate because I’ve been photographed many times before and walked away in tears. Well… Somehow Mike has some weird intuition because my first day back in after my fresh new look, he asked if I wanted a portrait done. I said maybe, because I was too embarrassed to admit I had really wanted to ask him.
So as I did my hair and packed up my makeup, I decided to bring the one and only mildly sexy thing I own. What the hell right? I probably won’t do it but at least the option is there. Well as soon as he walked in the office he asked if I was ready for my photos. I felt that embarrassment rush back into my face. I said that I didn’t know and I felt weird. But, just like the moment he made me be in photographs with my daughters, he took a stand for me and said, in so many words, “let’s go”.
So I put the thing on I brought and even threw my oversized shirt over it because I felt silly. I did my makeup as dark and moody as I could, to match the set he was putting together, and I took a few deep breaths and reminded myself that he does this everyday and I have nothing to be embarrassed about or ashamed of.
Now, I’m someone who has photographed thousands of people and pride myself on finding those angles that really work with the person on the other side of the lens. But I’ll be damned if I know what those angles are that work for me. I believed I didn’t have those angles. A beautiful and flattering photograph of me was extremely rare.
I think you know where this story is going…
As Mike queued up the photos, I wanted to hide behind my hands. I wanted to peek through a sliver in my fingers so it wouldn’t hurt as bad. Like I do when I know a jump scare is about to happen in a horror movie and I want it to be easier to get through. But I watched as photo after photo of me appeared on the screen. “Who the fuck is that?” “Is that me?!” “There’s no way…” I honestly wanted to cry but my makeup was too on point, so I choked back the tears, threw my head back, and I’m pretty sure I whispered “What the fuck” to myself before saying anything else.
I didn’t see all those things I wish I could change. I was forced to admit to myself that I have really beautiful skin, gorgeous eyes, my hair is fire, and that top I was embarrassed about made my 2 breastfed children-chopped up with a breast reduction boobs look amazing. It was uncomfortable telling myself these truths. I never had the permission to do it before this moment. I hear women talk about themselves, confidently complimenting themselves and how amazing they are, inside and out. I’ve always admired that. I’d even look in the mirror and try to declare positivities about myself but always shied from my own eyes in my reflection because it was too uncomfortable.
But now I get to look at these photographs and think, “god damn I’m beautiful”. That’s a first for me and I have Mike to thank for it. Of course his talent is unparalleled. That goes without saying. But his ability to show up for you, push you outside of your comfort zone to see beyond the criticisms you tell yourself and admit you’re worthy of love in all its forms… That’s what you won’t experience anywhere else. That’s something you won’t ever forget. It’s a feeling you will want to chase. And every single moment you need a reminder, you will have your photographs to transport you back to feeling confident, sexy, worthy of love, and worthy of being seen.
When was the last time you felt beautiful and sexy?
Whatever the circumstances, you felt like your hottest self… Nothing has changed about who you are and how amazing you are. It’s time!
Angie and Diane recently came into the studio as a way to celebrate their new commitment to each other after being together for more than 17 years.
The two met through a mutual friend 22 years ago.
“We became very close friends. Upon leaving a 10-year relationship, and not knowing how I was going to make it on my own, Diane offered to let me live with her until I got back on my feet. During that time, our friendship grew closer. Day in and day out, talking, sharing our lives, cooking together, all of those things strengthened our friendship,” says Angie.
As Angie began making preparations to move out into her own home, she realized that was beginning to develop feelings beyond friendship for Diane.
“I was terrified to talk to her about them. I didn’t want to ruin the amazing friendship we had. We had helped each other through some really tough times. I couldn’t imagine my life without her, so I kept my feelings to myself,” she said.
The closer it got to moving day, the bigger the knot in Angie’s stomach grew.
“I had to say something. I risked it all, told her about my feelings, only to find out that she felt the same way!”
Angie decided to still move out and after a year and a half of dating she moved back in as Diane’s partner. 17 and a half years later they are engaged to be married.
When asked what she loves the most about Angie, Diane says, “Her smile, sense of humor, her eyes sparkle when she looks at me. How she holds me, touches me and kisses me. Her gentleness. She’s very passionate. Her love for animals and her dedication to being a spokesperson for animals.”
Angie said she loves Diane’s “Beautiful blue eyes. Her smile. The way she laughs with her whole face and how she can make me laugh even when I don’t want to. She’s sexy and playful. She’s generous, loving and compassionate. How she makes me feel when she kisses me and touches me. How a certain look can take my breath away and make me wet.”
Like many couples in loving long term relationships, Diane and Angie have struggled to stay connected and to keep things feeling new and exciting.
“In our relationship, we had been struggling to be and stay connected for several years. Through hard work and a lot of therapy, we started on a new path. The session with Mike was a gift to ourselves to celebrate our new commitment to each other,” said Angie.
Everything about the session, from the lead up, to the big reveal of their photos was exciting.
“Once we had the initial call with Mike, we both began to get excited. We started planning our outfits and thinking about poses we wanted. We had so much fun shopping for the outfits and accouterments for the red room,” says Diane.
Diane’s favorite outfits that Angie wore were her jeans, tank top, and then her blue and silver matching bra and panty set. Angie’s favorite outfits of Diane’s were her lacy black bra with matching panties and knee high leather boots and of course her full body leather harness.
Angie: “The day started out with both of us very nervous. The makeup artist was wonderful. She was so friendly and calming. She did an amazing job! She made us look so beautiful! After the first outfit change, we were able to relax and really get into it. It became about being in the moment and celebrating us instead of worrying about how many chins were going to show up in the photos or sucking it in so there’s only two rolls instead of three. We had an absolute blast!! At times, we forgot Mike was there.”
Afterwards, at the big reveal, “We were both shocked! We had never seen ourselves on film in that way,” Angie says.
They decided to create an album of their favorites as well as a canvas. They hope to get even more wall art in the future and have plans for another session.
“We look at our book every night. We’ve shown it to a few choice friends. They’ve all remarked how Mike really captured our essence. Captured how we are with each other. That is such a gift he has given us. We came away with wonderful memories. Lifelong memories. A renewed realization of how sexy and loved we feel together and about each other. We felt pampered. We felt validated and we felt celebrated. I personally came away from this experience liking my body a little more. I’ve never seen myself as sexy, until now. It has truly been life changing for me. Issues of body image I’ve been fighting my whole life have been lessened by this experience. I am eternally grateful.”
It’s crazy to think that for all of the memories Brian and Jennifer have made together in the past few years, the couple almost didn’t meet at all!
“We met online. Funny thing about it was that she was logging into her account to delete her profile because she was tired of the types of responses she received from the guys. She was looking for the right guy (That’s me),” Brian says.
“When she logged in and saw my write-up, that I actually read her profile, and had something more to say than ‘You’re hot” or “nice boobs’. She really had to think about whether to respond to me or not. She waited three days to respond.”
When they finally met after talking online for a month, Brian says it was magical.
“When she walked in the smile she had and the smile in her eyes of the prettiest blue captured me. She was perfection in motion, but just as importantly, she had a great heart. She was special on the inside. She could stand on her own. She didn’t need me, she is intelligent, and cares about people. She was confident, but not arrogant. She had it all. And she had me from that moment,” he said.
Jenn fell equally as hard for Brian, and over time she showed him just how much she cared for him. At a low point in Brian’s struggle with depression, she helped him work through it by planning an excursion that featured three places she knew he’d enjoy.
“I was dealing with some major depression (It was going on long before we met), and she saw what I could be. I’m not perfect, but she knew my heart, and she wanted it. Little did she know she already had my heart,” says Brian.
Brian asked her father for her hand in marriage (he agreed). He bought a white gold ring with a pear-shaped sapphire and two wedding bands of white gold with alternating diamonds and sapphires around the band and proposed to Jenn at the bottom of a waterfall at Crabtree Falls, Virginia. They eloped about a year and a half ago.
Jenn had been following the studio online and showed some couples boudoir photos to Brian.
“It wasn’t the scantily clad women, it was the fact they looked so comfortable. It was like Mike had this way of bringing out the confident sexy sultry vibes hidden deep inside their hearts and minds, no matter the body type. The subjects just looked so comfortable, and the couples seemed to be having such a great time,” he said.
When we put out a model call requesting 10 couples in their 40s to 60s, Brian jumped on the opportunity.
“A couple days later Mike emailed me and said he would love to shoot us. I was so excited to tell Jennifer, and she was having a rough day, so that really lifted her spirits too! “
The couple had their phone consultation a couple days later and set their appointment date. They spent the next few weeks shopping for outfits to wear for the shoot.
“It was a lot of fun finding the things we wanted to dress in. I really feel like it was a great pick me up for Jennifer,” says Brian.
“The session was the most fun we had since our wedding day! We did bring wine to the session, but had so much fun we forgot to drink it! The theme I chose was Batman, and I wore my underwear outside of my tights with a sock inside for good measure. I’m kidding. We really didn’t have a theme other than sexy lingerie and to have fun, which we had in spades. Jennifer had two or three outfits she changed into and I had a couple different color underwear to compliment her.”
Brian continued, “The day couldn’t have gone any better. It started with us enjoying the pictures on the walls going into the studio. Once inside the studio, we explored the different sets that were set up. Mike even has an 1800’s bank vault he uses for the “Red Room”. Can I hear an Amen! Mike took us on a little tour of the building and then had us get changed out. The rest was photo session magic, as we had the time of our lives with each other. It didn’t feel awkward at all having Mike there with us, in fact I think it made things even more exciting in a way. I feel like we made a friend that day, and we have plans to do a second session with Mike, next time we’re doing a night shoot. The whole day was a great experience!”
The couple selected an album with many of the photos taken that day for wall art they chose from body scapes, as well as just a few of their favorite images together.
“Everything has turned out so well. I mean even beyond the skill that Mike brings to the table – the quality of the wall art is really stunning! We chose the metal prints and they are absolutely gorgeous. We put one in our foyer, some on the landing of the stairs, several in our bedroom/bathroom, and trying to figure out where the second session’s photos will go,” Brian said.
The couple flew in from out of state and so after their session they planned a weekend getaway through the New England days.
“It was fall and the perfect time to see the leaves changing colors. So not only did we have the most incredible experience with our photo session, we had a whole week in beautiful land to reconnect with each other,” says Brian.
“We certainly have lots of great memories. This was a day for the books!”
Brian is adamant about encouraging other couples to give this experience a try.
“I would just like to encourage anybody that is on the fence about doing a boudoir session to just do it. You won’t regret it. You WILL have the time of your life, and someday your grandkids will see how sexy grandma and grandpa were together. Don’t talk yourself out of this. Mike is great to work with, and photography is about catching a moment in time. When the moment is gone, it’s gone forever. Why not let Mike capture some of those moments with you.”
It’s here! Phase Green is here and we couldn’t be more ecstatic to reopen! To celebrate, we’re offering $100 off every photographic experience we offer.
We’re taking all of the necessary precautions to ensure everyone’s safety as they come through our doors. We will have our face masks on, sanitizer pumps stationed all over the studio, and a UV sanitizer for our phones, keys, and payment devices. We are also only scheduling 1 session a day with room to clean and sanitize the entire studio before and after.
We’ve always wanted our clients to feel they are in a safe space and cared for. Now we are just adding on to what we already do by protecting everyone’s health as well.
The word boudoir comes from the French word for a woman’s bedroom or private dressing room. It was a place for her to be alone or to be with someone intimately. In the 1920’s, photographers would recreate this type of environment and photograph the beauty and sexuality of their female models.
In modern day, these photographic experiences can be incredibly empowering, reconnecting us to our most intimate selves, as well as with our partners, in the case of couples’ boudoir. They also serve as a cherished reminder of each person’s unique beauty and confidence, unveiling a new type of comfort within one’s own skin.
At Allebach Photography, we specialize in creating a safe space to embrace your true and best self. During your experience, we encourage you to peel away your own self judgements and critiques and honor the depths of your uniqueness. From the very first time we talk, right up to the moment you get to see your artwork in person, what we care about is you and your own story.
Our goal with each and every person who walks through our doors, is to make them feel like a rockstar! We pamper with hair and makeup. We energize with coffee, espresso, and tea. We nourish with some snacks during your break. And we have a knack for creating breathtaking artwork for your home! We all have a space in our home to retreat to in an attempt to decompress from a hard day. Imagine that space being decorated with artwork that reminds you of your power, your strength, and the love you have to give. That’s what we live for. Creating something that anchors you to those blissful spaces in your heart.
So let’s break down the Allebach Photography experience.
We start with a phone call. This is where we get to hear all about what this will mean to you and what you want your photographs to say each and every time you look at them.
Once we get your experience booked, we will also notify one of our incredible talented hair and makeup artists. We value the wonderful artistry they practice, from light and natural to heavy and punk rock! It’s important to us that you represent the inner badass that you want to channel in these photographs; and that’s why hiring a professional artist is incredibly important to these experience.
The day of, you get to kick back and get pampered for the first hour. Bring wine or beer or champagne if you’d like. Sometimes that liquid courage can shake out those pre-session jitters you may experience. That’s ok and totally normal!
During your session, you are free to get as dressed or as undressed as you’d like. We encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone but it is not something you are required to do. This, after all, is about you. That said, we do have a bell you get to ring if you do get fully naked! It’s hung on a wall with handwritten sentiments about others’ experiences and what they got out of it.
Once your session is complete, we bring out the snacks so you can take a break and unwind, while we create a beautiful presentation of your photographs. In our cinematic reveal room, you get to see a slideshow of everything you did and everything you achieved. You will get to relive those feelings and emotions and empowerment! And together, with your photographer, you will get to design the artwork you will cherish in your home, and in those sacred spaces, forever!
This experience is designed specifically to cater to you and what you want to get out of it. It’s not about us. You deserve to feel empowered. Your strength deserves to be honored. Your story deserves to be told.
When it comes to shopping for your boudoir session, we’ve found that with its fast shipping, free returns and amazing range of options, Amazon is where it’s at.
Check out some of our Amazon ‘must haves’ and when you’re finished, don’t forget to schedule your boudoir session with us at Allebach Photography, conveniently located in the Philadelphia ‘burb of North Wales. Happy shopping!
1. Sheer Long Sleeve Teddy Bodysuit with Deep V Lace Bodysuit
This teddy is super stretchy and gives your body a slimming effect while also enhancing your curves. The deep v neck design with the lace rim, coupled with the long sleeves, gives you a sexy, yet refined look.
Starting at $16.99
2. Akiido High Waist Fishnet Stockings
Reviewers agree these must have stockings really are one size fits all.
“I am bottom heavy, usually wear XL in pants (or size 10) with a S-M in shirts (or size 4-6). Usually “one size” never fits me and I specifically look for XL stockings, but THESE ARE PERFECT! They stretch a lot, so they can fit over my big butt and thighs just fine! I bought another pair immediately after putting them on.”
Starting at $7.99
3. Women’s Given Platform Pump by Jessica Simpson
Basics get bold. This sultry offering in leather with a one-inch platform and 4.5-inch heel creates devastating curves while giving you a timeless silhouette. These pumps come in a fun range of prints and colors; order them in black or go for the Emerald Kid Suede.
4. SUNRO Women’s Basic Long Sleeve Bodysuit
We’re obsessed with this basic bodysuit, both for its soft fabric and for its price.
Starting at $15.18
5. COCOSHIP Women’s Retro High Waisted Bikini Bottom
We love that these bottoms accentuate your curves while channeling a vintage look and feel. Bottoms range from size small to 4X (fits like a US 14-16).
6. Womens Stripe Knee-High Socks
Who says sexy can’t mean comfortable? Pair these soft leg warmers with a mini skirt or a warm chunky sweater.
7. Frawirshay Women’s Lace Up Boned Overbusts Corset Bustier Bodyshaper Top
There’s a reason this corset is a #1 Bestseller on Amazon. This beautiful vintage style corset laces up in the back and is supported by plastic boning for support. Snag this one to create that coveted hourglass figure.
8. LIXFDT Women’s Lace Garter Belt with Adjustable Suspender Belt for Stockings
This piece of perfect for adding a bit of sexiness to your lingerie or you can simply wear the stockings underneath a dress or skirt.
9. Mae Lace Padded Bralette
This bralette that features a floral lace overlay and scalloped under-bust band. With a little lace and light support, these favorites are simply too pretty to keep under wraps.
Starting at $10.49
10. ADOME Women’s Strappy Lace Lingerie Bra and Panty Set
The panties on this set feature a back keyhole design and scalloped lace trim. Reviewers rave that this set is super soft and comfy enough to sleep in.
YOUR NEXT STEP
Once you’ve compiled your outfit choices, don’t forget to book your solo or couple’s boudoir session with us in our North Wales studio (located just 45 minutes outside of Philadelphia).
The 21st-century engagement session: Couples Boudoir
“Hold hands and smile. Now look into each other’s eyes and kiss.” These are the mundane motions of the standard engagement photo shoot, the one that everyone takes to celebrate their newfound status as soon-to-be newlyweds. And these are the same poses you’ll be striking for every photo you and your partner take for the rest of your lives. Celebrate this major moment in your life by putting a spin on the traditional engagement session and spicing it up with a couples boudoir shoot.
Now you might be thinking – what am I going to put on my save-the-dates if I don’t take those standard engagement photos? There’s no way in hell my family will want to see pictures of me and my partner making out in our underwear! And you’re right, because really, who wants to send Grandma a photo of you and your soon-to-be spouse half naked? (Though if your grandma is the type of lady who would hang that photo on her fridge with pride, then I want to meet her!)
But these steamy photos are exactly what makes the couples boudoir session the perfect choice, seriously! We’ll start your couples boudoir session with a few “parent approved” photos, the perfect family-friendly engagement announcements you want to plaster all over social media. You (and your mom) still get the photos you need all while getting the photos you actually really want.
STRIPPING DOWN Starting the session off clothed and posing for your save-the-date images will help build the anticipation of ripping off each other’s clothes and stripping down into what you really came here for – the couples boudoir. Take off as much or as little as you like and get up close and personal with the love of your life.
MEMORIES TO LAST A LIFETIME It’s not every day you get to capture the intimate side of your relationship with professional photography. And let’s be honest, you know you two look damn good together, so why not get some photos you can use to decorate your bedroom (or your living room if you dare)? We support the public display of all self-love and body positivity!
You’ll be posing for dressed up pictures the rest of your life – especially at that wedding day of yours that’s coming up – so why not capture another angle of your love on camera? The passionate, fiery, romantic side. And knowing you’ll also get those G-rated, traditional engagement photos during the same sultry session if you want them, what reason is there to say no?
Allebach Photography is located in the Philadelphia Suburbs in North Wales, Pa. People fly and drive from Boston, Washington DC, California, Texas, Baltimore, NYC and further for couples boudoir here. Please contact us at 610.539.6920 or https://allebachphotography.com/get-waiting-list for more info