As a boudoir photographer all my shoots are magical, but this one was something extra special! As I headed to the mountains to photograph one of my past brides I was over the moon! While I love telling the story of the boudoir girls I photograph, I thought this needed to come directly from this badass babes herself!
Miss K, you know I think the world of you and am so proud of these photos and so thankful I get to call you a friend!
From Miss K—
I began to understand the transformative power of nature on a trip to Juneau, Alaska.
The snowy mountain peaks, brilliant wildflowers, icy glaciers, and dense forests made my heart flutter. I clung to how witnessing such natural beauty made me feel -- at peace, whole, anchored -- and was eager to find it again.
Lucky for me, I’d discover it not two years later upon moving to Salt Lake City, Utah -- a similar city surrounded by stunning mountain ranges, several national parks, and diverse terrain in every direction. But this time, I’d find that same feeling in myself, not just in the world around me.
For my boudoir shoot with Alisha, I wanted to pay tribute to the places and people that shifted the way I view myself. It’s why we ventured into the mountains of Big Cottonwood Canyon and to the salty white desert of the Bonneville Salt Flats, and why I gifted the photos to my husband, Will, for our first anniversary.
No two places could have fit more perfectly for my boudoir experience. The mountainous canyon had just been blanketed by the first snow of the year before our October shoot date, so the aspen trees still gleamed bright yellow and the pines a deep green against the fresh white powder on the canyon floor. The salt flats that lie west of Salt Lake were cracked and dry in some areas and a reflective mirror of standing water in others, and seemed to stretch into the curve of the Earth.
Each place, while beautiful in its own right, is vastly different. Over the nearly two years of living in Utah, I’ve come to embrace a similar understanding within myself -- that I am beautiful, of value, and worthy in all my stages.
For much of my early 20s, I grappled with how I’d find my happiness. I’d be an award-winning journalist living in a vibrant and bustling city. I’d be strong -- in mind and body -- undeniably beautiful, sharp-witted, and eventually a man would see that in me as well. And I would be in control of how it all happened, because I knew what it took, I knew the sacrifices I needed to make, to become that version of myself.
My life couldn’t have strayed further from those early dreams. I’ve since left journalism in pursuit of a new career path -- that still allows me to tell stories of people to make a difference in their lives. I’ve been flooded with self doubt and not embraced my own power to the point of me thinking I was unworthy of anyone’s affections, time, or energy. And somehow, at that lowest emotional point, I found the love of my life who took me into his heart and accepted me for all I was, am, and will be.
I’ve learned that, like the tall mountains and the vast salt flats that surround me here in Salt Lake, that there is beauty in every season of life. This realization has allowed me to let go of the idea that I can control my way into the best version of myself. Because the best version of me is happening, right now, while I was busy trying to get there.
Celebrating this empowering transformation through boudoir was really the icing on the cake for me. Not once during the entire day-long shoot did I worry about the way my legs looked, or if my face was at the wrong angle. I knew the beauty that Alisha would capture was already there for her to see -- and sense within me -- and that she would have zero issues finding a way to let that shine in a photo.
We laughed and cheered our way through each location. There is something humbling about dropping your pants in a foot a snow, nearly naked, and channeling your empowered self in front of something as majestic as a towering mountain. Or stripping completely naked in a vast salt field that changes color with the setting sun. Such undeniable beauty has a way of checking your ego so you can just be.
I will cherish my boudoir experience forever. Seeing the look on Will’s face when he opened the album brought me so much joy -- and not because he thought that every single shot was beautiful. It was because I didn’t have a shred of doubt that anyone else’s reaction to the images would change the way I viewed myself and who I’ve become -- a strong, beautiful, capable, and empowered AF woman.