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Courage, or “I can’t believe I’m writing this post”

Alternately titled:

  • “For girls only”
  • “The gift I gave my husband that turned out to be a gift to me”
  • “A big step toward loving my body”

My dear husband is often frustrated that I’m self-conscious and negative about my body.  We women have had years to perfect the art of criticizing our bodies.  So for his birthday this year, I decided to gift him with boudoir pictures.

Boudoir pictures.

And I still can’t believe I’m writing this post.

Here’s the thing:  I thought I was giving him something special.  And I was.  But it turned out, I got a gift, too.

Let me back up.

I’m not into maintenance.  I don’t go to spas or salons very often.  I buy 1 tube of lipstick and mascara every year or so.  I get my hair cut maybe once a year.  I’m really happy if I get a shower every day.  Heck, I don’t even use shampoo.  Those things aren’t bad and I think it is great to spend time on looking good.  I just don’t take time for it.  I used to.

When I decided to do boudoir pictures, I went online for ideas.  Bad idea.  Those women were so polished!  I panicked.  I booked a spa day.  And while I felt like an old car going in for repair, I left feeling wonderful.  Spoiled.  As shallow as that sounds.

Of course, I wouldn’t do boudoir pictures with anyone except Tracie Birch.  The first question she asked me as we planned this together back in August was “What do you want from this?  What is your goal?”  She made me think beyond the obvious.  I told her I wanted my husband to see me feeling confident about my body.  I admitted I didn’t know how to make that happen.  I broke out in a cold sweat just thinking about the execution of these pictures!  She was incredible to work with and captured exactly what I wanted.  Tracie also made me feel beautiful and powerful.  I was surprised to find I was having a ton of fun during the shoot!  Really.  I had FUN!  Even when she made me lie naked on a fallen tree.  Even when she picked a leaf out of my derriere.  We’re pretty close now, Tracie and me.

Why am I sharing this intimate information on my blog?  I’m taking a risk that one or two women who are reading would, like me, benefit from such a daring gift.  It is a no-brainer that your partner will be over the moon.  My bets are that you will be thrilled, too.

I put Scott’s collection into a leather-bound photo book.  It won’t be placed on the coffee table, mind you.  This book is for his eyes only and will live in his nightstand.  For the shoot, I used his favorite business shirt, one of his sweaters, his work gloves and woodworking apron, etc.  I don’t think he’ll ever use those work gloves without thinking of his wife.

I’m sharing a few of the cropped and tame images so you can see how incredible Tracie is. She is a photography ninja when it comes to catching light.

IMG_c9613 IMG_c9696

IMG_c9721

I still partly feel this blog post is a big mistake!  I might delete it tomorrow.

But girls, tuck this idea away.

(And maybe do an indoor shoot so Tracie won’t make you get cozy with a tree).

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18 responses »

  1. Absolutely lovely. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  2. I am hoping to comment before deletion sets in!!!! I think this was a brilliant idea from start to finish. I think it will be the gift that continues to give, as you find your husband flipping through the pages and seeing the leather bound book become weathered from constant touch (as I hope your body does). Enjoy and thank you for sharing. Once again you bring love and encouragement to others that struggle with their bodies. I am at peace with the birth experience of my son. It was not as planned and leaves a jagged scar in sacred territory that only Chris and I see. Everytime Chris sees me naked or we make love, he kisses this scar. Every time. And every time it makes me tear up. God bless wonderful partners that help us see how wonderful we are as well. The pictures above show you as you are. beautful wild free happy sexy.

    Reply
  3. Love it!!! And I hope you take this as the compliment it is meant to be . . . you look so much like your mom!!! The small bits of the photos we get to see here are beautiful. 🙂

    Reply
  4. Julie! This is awesome! I love the idea. I have been thinking a lot lately about being so caught up in the maternal aspect of my life and fearing that the only image I project to my husband is a motherly, matronly one (besides, of course, the images of me standing in front of the mirror poking my stomach and butt). Thanks for encouraging others to embrace ourselves and not be afraid to be beautiful for our partners. You look stunning!

    Reply
  5. Julie, you are gorgeous! The maternity and new mother/baby photos you had done with Cedar were amazing too, in a somewhat different way. I have had fleeting thoughts of doing this someday, but my biggest hangup is that I feel so clumsy and awkward at posing! My wedding portraits were successfully taken only with a TON of direction from our great photographer. Maybe I will think about it more seriously now though… Maybe. Thanks for posting this!

    Reply
    • I ran out of “sexy” expressions in 15 seconds. Tracie kept saying, “flirt with me” and I yelled back, “I don’t know how!” I kept bursting out laughing. So most of the pics we ended up with, my eyes are closed or it is my backside only.

      Tracie took a bazillion horrible pictures to get 20 workable ones. I made her promise to never show me the outtakes.

      If I can do it, anyone can. Do it!

      Reply
      • rachelslittleblog

        I love your outdoor shots! The lighting is just beautiful. I did this, too (after seeing my girlfriend’s amazing ones she had done for Valentine’s day for her hubby). And it takes a really good photographer to get a picture of me worth keeping, lol. I don’t know how many she had to discard just to get the few useable ones we had because I had my eyes half closed, a cheesy grin, or just looked silly (apparently my translation of sexy is, well, not?) And honestly I wasn’t sure my husband would react so I decided it was as much for me as it was for him. I’m glad I did them. Gravity isn’t getting any nicer to me as the years go by 🙂 It was fun shopping for things to wear that I will probably never wear again (or only very occasionally if requested 😉 because I prefer sweats and flats to thigh high stockings or high heels and no bra or a bra tank top to some lacy, push up thing. And it was fun doing my makeup and hair and just taking some time for me. I spent a lot of time looking at boudoir pictures to figure out what I wanted. There’s a definite line between classy and trashy. No pink lights for me! 🙂

  6. You’re amazing. I love this idea and I’m sure you and Tracie made a great team to get some truly stunning photos. ❤

    Reply
  7. Thank you for opening yourself up to us and sharing…your blog is very touching. Many of us are very conscious of our magnificent self and need to learn how love our bodies intimately. Thank you. ( this was in no shape or form a mistake)

    Reply
  8. Holy Moly Minnie Miley Ferguson!! You.are.HOT!! And once again I confess…I am a lucky man!
    Your Hubby

    Reply
  9. You are beautiful, spa day or not. A fabulous idea, a great photographer and one lucky husband… I just want to know who this Minnie Miley chick is 🙂

    Reply
  10. Well You knew I’d have to chime in here Julie.. First Off Scott Yes you are A Lucky Man… She LOVES YOU With ALL SHE IS >. If you didnt already Know that (wink)
    Julie You inspire So many People.. (including me) You are All of the Things and more that your Sweet friends have posted here.. I was the one behind the camera but YOU made it easy to capture the Beauty that these images Portrayed… Thanks for allowing me to work with you in capturing these images of your beauty along with the images of your Sweet girls (and family) over the years…
    Love you Friend.. Tracie

    Reply
  11. Stunning…I kinda shake my head thinking how in the world would SHE ever think she is not beautiful? You are in so many ways – so happy to be a part of your lives 🙂 Hopefully Scott will reply with perhaps a video song or two…my kids so enjoyed listening to the last one 🙂

    Reply
  12. You’re a rock star! I’m so glad you did this. I’ll be 40 next b-day. Is it too late? : )

    Reply
  13. I actually did this for Miah this year as well 🙂 it started out being an anniversary gift for him, but after seeing the end product I realized it was just as much a gift for me! It made me realize that my body was more beautiful and amazing than it had ever been before our little bundle came into the world! Really put a different perspective into my eyes in regards to my body 🙂 and Miahs facial expression when I gave him his gift was priceless!! I’m sure your hubby appreciated and was as awe struck as mine was 🙂 you go girlie!

    Reply

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