When S came in for her session, she told me all about the amount of self care she went through to prepare for the session. It wasn’t something she normally focused on, and loved the way it felt.
Many women prepare for these portraits with at least some form of self care. Hair color, shaving, eye brow shaping, face masks, and exfoliating their skin- the list can go on and on! More than that, they come in to the studio and get pampered on top of their self care.
As moms, we tend to put ourselves last (right?). But self care allows us to recharge and replenish, giving us more energy and joy in our everyday.
I asked S to tell me more about her experience, and we discussed sharing it here on the blog for other women to take into consideration. Self care and portraits go hand in hand, and I’m thrilled that she shared this wth me:
“Ok, so… What I did before my boudoir session. I had been meaning to get a facial, learn how to apply make-up, get my eyebrows waxed at least. hair done. Blah blah. I had a list a mile long of things I had wanted to do for me but never put them in the front of my mind as important, more as, I’ll get to it when I can.
Well, it had been well over 5 years since I had my eyebrows done, I can’t tell you the last time I had a facial… I think honestly it was before my senior prom? Sooo 20+ years. Make-up… I’m a Tomboy and that stuff is hard! So, I decided I needed to get some things done for me and here was the reason and opportunity.
I decided to get my eyebrows, lip and bikini waxed! And I couldn’t have been happier. I felt so much more put together and not so rough around the edges. I had this all done about 4 days before my session to allow for redness and any irritation to subside. I didn’t get my nails done because, that’s just not me. I would have felt self-conscious with them. I’m more of the au natural type, and painted nails, just don’t fit me. But, I love having them done! For pictures, though, I personally felt I wanted the truest of who I am, just refined. I decided against the facial because of irritation and redness, and I made a mask at home for myself. I had an allergic reaction to a cat the day before my session. Perfect! I took the opportunity to make a cucumber, aloe, bentonite clay, and honey mask, it was so soothing to lay in the bathtub with the mask on that I made myself to care for my inflamed skin. Honestly, any other day, I would have taken a benedryl and gone to bed hoping it would be gone the next day. And speaking of baths… I don’t do that. But I did that day before my photo shoot, I put in some essential oils, and some magnesium flakes. I also, dry brushed before, and applied almond oil to my skin after. I NEVER take this time for myself. So, I feel like I took a nice approach to this, I had a spa session for the things I couldn’t do myself, and then I took the time to create masks, oils, and time for myself and my body. Doing and creating this self-care regime was so therapeutic.
When I booked the session with Sarah, I almost had an immediate mental shift. “I need to be drinking more water! I can work out without a gym membership!” A 30-day plank challenge, and a 30-day squat challenge were suddenly a part of my daily routine. Add more water consumption, suddenly looking up how to help my seasonally dry skin, juicing once a day, eating healthy meals and not snacking. It was like a light bulb clicked in my head that just provoked me to take better care of my body.
So, my session is over, and I have made another facial mask, and plan on doing that once a week. I still drink tons of water. My son now prompts me to do the squat and plank challenge, he was my weights for the exercises. I’m still juicing and eating healthy meals. I have made another spa date for myself. I even felt so good, that I bought my husband a facial and he walked out of that spa looking like the happiest serotonin drugged male I have ever seen. He was thrilled that I got him that and he can’t wait to go again. So, my caring for myself allowed me to see how self-care could benefit my husband. He said “Thank you for the facial, it’s something I really enjoyed, but would have never spent the money on.” Now mind you, we don’t have much in the way of funds, so we have decided to make a “self-care budget.” We are going to do facials on each other when the money is tight. Or massages, so not only from this did I learn to take care of my body and whole self, but we are caring for each other.
The mental shift in just booking a session with Sarah was powerful, but the lasting effect of that mental shift that I had on making myself a priority has also seeped to my husband where he is not only accepting that I will be taking care of myself, but he encourages it, and has started to do the same for himself.
I can’t thank Sarah enough for a morning session of taking pictures and empowering me. It has literally changed my life.” -S
I challenge you today to take some time for self care. Pour a bath, or listen to an uplifting podcast while you sip your coffee. No matter how big or small of a self care act, you’re worth it!