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Melissa’s Tennessee Boudoir Experience | Petals & Lace Boudoir

woman in black lace bodysuit sitting on the ground and leaning against a couch during her tennessee boudoir experience

When I asked Melissa to write about her Tennessee boudoir experience with us, she quickly responded with a “YES!”. When I first read this, it brought me to tears. Melissa’s transformation has been one of the most memorable ones. Here is her story, written by Melissa herself.

I would look at women on magazine covers and models in pictures and I would be so jealous. Not jealous of their looks, although they were certainly pretty, but over their confidence.

 “I would never be able to sit in front of a camera by myself.” Even though I secretly wanted to. I wanted so badly to have pictures of myself that made me feel beautiful and confident. In college I had to have a few professional headshots taken, and I got excited. This was a chance to feel pretty and confident! This was my shot! (No pun intended.) I got my makeup done, fixed my hair, threw on a new blouse, and walked into a cookie cutter studio where someone spent ten minutes taking a few pictures that I absolutely hated and never used.

The lighting was harsh, the angles for my face were all wrong. I decided then that I just didn’t have the body type for a person that would like what they saw when they looked at photos of themselves.

I’ve always struggled with body image issues, and I have never felt confident or sexy in my own skin.

At this point in time I accepted that this would always be the case

Fast forward several years later, A girl I went to college with added me to a Facebook group for Shelly’s Business. It was totally random. Honestly, I don’t know if I’ve had a conversation with the girl that added me since my freshman or sophomore year of school, so I almost declined the invitation, but decided to look around the group first.

I expected a lot of sales gimmicks and pictures of Victoria Secretesque models with flawless bodies, and a group moderator that would bombard me with messages every fifteen minutes asking me if I wanted to get something scheduled. I certainly didn’t expect to stay in the group for more than five minutes if I’m being honest.

Instead, I was transported down a rabbit hole of posts about body positivity and women supporting women. There was some advertising, but an overwhelming majority of the posts were just opportunities for women to hype up and support other women. I can definitely say that I decided then and there that if I ever decided to book a Tennessee boudoir shoot that THIS was definitely the girl I would ask to do it, simply because she was so body positive.

Notifications would show when Shelly posted a new picture in the group, and I was still always so jealous of people’s ability to do something like a boudoir shoot. I wish I could tell you a great story about how I woke up one morning and had a crazy epiphany about self love and self confidence, but I don’t have one.

I just finally decided that this was something I wanted to do for myself, because I deserved to feel sexy and beautiful and confident.

So why not do something that scares me to death?

Shortly after messaging Shelly, we scheduled a phone call and discussed pricing and payment options. I used a payment plan where I paid my session off even before my date. I searched Pinterest for inspo pics, took a trip to a local lingerie store that Shelly recommended, called Coco & Lola’s, ordered a few pieces from Shein, and (im)patiently waited for my day in the studio.

Shelly’s list of dos, don’ts, and tips and tricks that she sent beforehand really impressed me. I’m a planner, and this was SO helpful for me! When the day came I packed my bag and headed to the studio. I had specifically requested to have a few photos done completely natural without hair and makeup done. This was all about being able to feel confident in myself, and I wanted a few shots of “just me” without all the glitz and glamor.

So I got there a few minutes before the hair and makeup artist did, and Shelly showed me around the studio and instructed me on where to go to undress and put a robe on. Y’all. I really thought I would chicken out, but I stripped down to what the good Lord gave me, followed the instructions for the poses, and when Shelly turned the camera around I almost cried.

Because the girl on the screen looking back at me WAS beautiful, and she looked confident and sexy and brave.

woman sitting against a wall with her knees to her chest for her Tennessee boudoir experience

Once you meet someone for the first time, and get start naked within ten minutes of meeting them, I feel like that’s a pretty solid icebreaker. I don’t think that’s the norm for most people, but it was what worked for me. I “ripped the band aid off” so to speak.

After that initial photo, (above) where I saw how great I looked without a Snapchat filter, the rest of the shoot was a piece of cake.

Shelly is so sweet, and her hair and makeup artist is such an amazing hype girl. I sat down, started chatting, and within minutes it was like having coffee with old friends. I felt at ease and the rest of the shoot was literally just the best time posing, trying on fun lingerie, laughing, and feeling AMAZING in my own skin. The pictures were phenomenal. Shelly knew exactly what lighting to use, exactly how to pose my body to make me look incredible, and gave tons of instructions and feedback the whole time.

I was the most nervous about not knowing what to do with my hands (lingerie doesn’t have pockets!!!) but not knowing what to do was never a problem. I walked away from the studio with my head held high and newfound confidence.

Which is exactly what I wanted and the reason behind why I booked it. It doesn’t hurt that my boyfriend’s birthday was coming up and that I was super excited to give him an album of birthday surprises. This was WAY out of my comfort zone, and I kept the shoot a secret so he wasn’t expecting anything like that. (Spoiler alert- he LOVED the album!)

I can honestly say that my Tennessee boudoir shoot with Shelly was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.

So much so that I went back and had a second Tennessee boudoir session (that I loved just as much as the first) and I already have a THIRD session on the books for next year. Would you believe me though if I told you I was having a low self esteem day though on the morning of my second session and I seriously almost picked up the phone to call Shelly and cancel?

Even though I totally knew what to expect and I totally knew I would love it and have the best day! I didn’t feel pretty and I was nervous.

Once again, five minutes hanging out wish Shelly and her hair and makeup artist improved my mood immediately and I felt great. I am SO glad I didn’t call to reschedule! I’ve gone from hating the camera to voluntarily booking more sessions to be in front of it.

Some of that is newfound confidence, but almost all of that is Shelly. I love her positivity, her skills, and the way she supports women and builds them up. She is truly great at what she does and I think every woman should have this experience at least once!

woman putting on lipstick for her Tennesse boudoir experience

Tennessee Boudoir

Are you looking for more Tennesee boudoir resources and advice? Check out the blog links below! While you’re here, view more of my portfolio, and let’s chat about your upcoming boudoir session!

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