It is no secret that we are passionate about boudoir. We believe it is a life changing experience. Empowering. Beautiful. Confidence building. Healing. And a hundred other things, too numerous to list. When we met Miss B, we hoped that the experience would be everything and more for her. She recently kicked cancer’s ass. She didn’t feel the same way as before. And couldn’t find the beauty inside herself that she was once did. She booked a boudoir session hoping to change that. Miss B, we are SO thankful that you shared your words with us about your experience. And thank you for allowing us to share them with others. You are beautiful, sweet, funny and kind and we feel lucky to have met you. Thank you!

– Brianna (photos by Ewan)

Being physically sick is one thing. Still unbelievable at 25, but I can do that. There was no other option in my mind, for me. But no one prepared me for the “shrapnel”. Mental illness is a whole other battlefield and this battle was like showing up with a bow and arrow to a gun fight. I’m talking stereotypes of depression. Some days I literally could not get out of bed. Others, I cried – no, sobbed uncontrollably. I was less than a dream to live with because it was unpredictable what would make me angry or emotional. Feelings that are so intense they can only be understood by someone who’s been through it. So, when I finally decided to do this boudoir shoot, let’s just say I was less than mentally committed. Or maybe I should have been committed! Aca-cuse me – nudity? I can hardly stand to fix my hair in the morning I can’t stand to look at myself that long in the mirror. And that’s WITH clothes. Oh boy. Sure, let’s take some nude pictures of myself. Later – we’ll have a bonfire. Sounds extreme, but it wasn’t then.

You see, I had wanted to do a boudoir shoot for many years. Some of those years I was held back by other people’s beliefs – part of another life now. The majority of those years, by fear. Now, at the pinnacle of my depression, I took the first step and sent an inquiry. Just a harmless inquiry to see what it’s all about. For myself, I think needed to reach the deepest part of depression in order to conjure up a way to get myself out. I realized that at that point, my whole life was dictated by fear and insecurities. So, my thought was that if I could tackle one of my biggest fears, I would build the confidence to know that everything else going forward would be peanuts in comparison. It would be my beginning to recovery. Realistically, I knew there was no downside, no fallout. If it didn’t go well, I can always opt out – leave and go back to what had become my “norm”. But, I was sick of it.

This journey would never have aligned the way it did if I didn’t give credit to the love of my life. I am lucky enough to share my life with the most selfless and unrelenting person. There are VERY few people in anyone’s life who would put their life on hold, voluntarily, to be there when you’re irrationally upset, self-hating and are far too acquainted with the bathroom floor than anyone should be. The puffy eyes (and henceforth, no make-up days), the inexplicable meltdowns, the excuses, stubbornness and altogether, immature, bratty and self-absorbed behaviour. All the “sorry’s” and massages in the world could not make up for what I put him through. But, he never asked for sorry. He simply asked that I not give up on the hope of getting better and to try to be just a little bit kinder to myself today than I was yesterday. Not kinder to him, but to myself. He’s the kind of person that anyone who knows him, knows they are lucky to have – in whatever capacity. Son, brother, teacher, co-worker, acquaintance, friend and love. I am forever grateful to experience this kind of love and even more grateful that I plan to exchange this kind of love with him the rest of my life. I love him more than this text can express.

All this to say – I did it. And wasn’t even that bad. In fact, it wasn’t even close to bad. It was one of the most empowering things I have ever done and I truly hope to do this again and again. It’s not that I’m “all better” and I just love everything about myself. But, this was a LARGE step in getting there. I can applaud myself for doing it and it allowed me to see myself from someone else’s perspective. To be honest, when I was looking for my gallery, I didn’t even recognize myself. Literally. I actually had a moment where I paused on the photo for my gallery (not knowing it was mine) and thought – huh, that almost looks like me! But, she’s far too pretty and confident to be me. That’s when I e-mailed you, Brianna, and said I couldn’t find my gallery. No joke!

Yourself and Ewan have been, in short, absolutely wonderful to work with. You exude a perfect balance of professionalism and relatability. When finances and life allow, I hope to work with you guys on many occasions. This shoot goes far beyond an album. You captured one of what I imagine will be one of the most important turning points in my life. And you were active participants in this. I appreciate all of the time and information you provided to help me feel comfortable. The both of you remained positive and encouraging throughout the whole process, which really allowed me to not only get through it, but embrace it. Thank-you for the part you both played in this journey.

– Miss B

Hair and makeup : Makeup by Brittany.