Throughout lockdown, Tiktok has become a small chance to escape the long dark days of being stuck at home and one of the accounts I stumbled across early on was Foxlow Boudoir Photography.
Watching Danielle share tips and real body positive messages, I started following and watching more of her content. At the time I didn’t actually realise she was in the UK as a lot of the boudoir photographers I had come across were in the USA or Australia, so imagine my excitement when I realised they were in fact only a couple of hours away!
I watched for months, seeing the beautiful photographs they took, I also loved seeing the behind the scenes videos and how much they 100% support body positivity no matter your shape and size.
I finally got the courage to book when I saw a Tiktok from Danielle listing local hotels you could stay at to be able to view your photos the next day, rather than having to travel up twice and this was enough to seal the deal of booking for me!
Booking my session
I applied via the website , instantly regretted it and actually hoped maybe they would be so busy they wouldn’t get in touch and I could just forget about it, after all why would I really want photos like this of myself when I am so unhappy with how I look? But within a few hours Danielle was in touch to talk me through the process and answer all the questions I had. I immediately felt at ease with Danielle and she answered all my questions confidently and calmed all the worries I had about being a very out of shape mum of 7!
Within a couple of days my booking pack arrived with a copy of ‘The Vixen’ Magazine filled with inspiring stories, a body positivity guide, an article about learning to let go about what other people (may) think of you and a really handy boudoir style quiz to help you find out whether you are more a Saturday Night or Sunday morning style (I was definitely a Saturday Night kinda gal!)
There was also with a Foxlow Boudoir Style Guide to help you choosing the right outfits and what you can do to prepare for your shoot. The card also contained a personal note from Danielle and I have already framed it to have this quote on my office wall as a reminder of this message.
The nerves begin to set in more as the date got closer but Danielle was always on hand both in the group and via text if needed, you could even give her a call if you just wanted to talk through any questions you have – She can even help you shop for outfits if you aren’t sure what you want, fortunately I have quite the collection built up so I didn’t need to buy anything new (although thinking about it I definitely should have used this as an excuse just to buy something anyway!)
A week before the shoot Danielle checked up on me again to see how I was feeling (nervously excited!) and how the outfit selection was coming along (terribly) I mentioned I had a lot to choose from and was struggling to narrow it down to just 4 outfits so she said to bring it all and we could decide on the day (I’m not sure she was prepared for just how much we would have to choose from!) and a final check in the day before with directions and parking information.
On the morning of the shoot I left early to allow myself extra time for parking (I have a real anxiety about parking and get really stressed if there isn’t an obvious or easy to access parking available!) the journey up was pretty drama free and the scenery along the route was beautiful. I wish I hadn’t been driving myself so I could have taken more in!
After taking the wrong turn and a detour up the steepest hill I have ever encountered I found the parking and buzzed up to the studio which is located in this build stone fronted building just off the main road.
Arriving at the Studio
Jon greeted me and took my bags and I immediately felt at ease. Upstairs Lissie the make up artist was ready and waiting with Danielle to start my shoot prep. After offering me a drink (boo for driving and not being able to take some dutch courage!) I gave Danielle full control over what I would be wearing (she is the expert after all!) and she whisked my bags away to get choosing while Lissie worked her magic on my hair and make up. I am not overly a make up wearer, mascara and lipgloss is enough for me so it was lovely having someone else to take over and do their thing. I had no preference to how I wanted my make up done and left Lissie to use her expertise to create the perfect look and she didn’t disappoint.
Once we were done it was time to head into the studio and although I was super nervous at this point, Danielle and Jon were absolute superstars at putting me at ease. Danielle had made my outfit choices, she really does listen as I had mentioned I LOVE colour and she picked 4 perfect outfits for this (we did sneak in a 5th too mid shoot) and they were all ready and waiting for me in the changing area along with the sign, updated with my name. I love anything with my name on and this was a beautiful touch to reinforce the message that this really is a day about me.
The Foxlow Boudoir Studio
The studio itself is compact but full of various set ups and props to use, it was lovely and warm and the sun through the main window was beautiful. The building’s character is the perfect natural backdrop to go with your images. Danielle was really good talking (and often demonstrating!) the poses I needed to get into, be ready to rediscover those core muscles you had long forgotten about! Jon would also direct you how to complete the pose with your hand / feet placement and where to look. Although I do love a selfie and having my photo taken, I was anxious about having strangers take such personal photos but at no point did I feel uncomfortable and was surprised how quickly I got into it.
The shoot lasted around 2.5 hours but it flew by and didn’t feel that long at all and I was actually a little bit disappointed when it was over, I could have stayed all day! After the shoot Jon briefly talked me through the photo options ready for me to view and choose my images the following day with my Husband.
My husband and I enjoyed a childfree evening in Matlock and returned the following morning to view the images.
Viewing the images
Jon welcomed us back to the Foxlow Boudoir viewing room and started off with a slideshow of all the images, I was really apprehensive to see them all, all my insecurities were screaming at me, what if I look a mess? what if I hate them? What if my husband hates them! Could you image after all this he didn’t like them I would be devastated – when it finished and he asked me what I thought and I just burst into [very happy] tears.
The relief and realisation that those beautiful photos were ME! That I looked that amazing, the emotions that flooded through me were so intense all I could do was cry it out. It was such a weird feeling see me, as me, not just as a mum, which is how I’ve felt for years, but actually as me. My husband loved them all and had the tough decision of narrowing down the selection to fill the wall frames and folio books/albums. Even now writing this 2 days on I am still getting emotional about how seeing them made me feel and I’m sure we will have tears when we get to collect the finished albums and wall art!
I have chosen to allow my images to be shared by Foxlow Boudoir and I hope it inspires other ladies to be brave and get themselves booked in. I can honestly say, you won’t regret it. The whole experience really has opened my eyes in how I view myself and my body* There really is no perfect shape or size and we should all celebrate our individual body types. For reference I am a size 14/16, 5″2, 166lbs/75kg and a 34DD.
Hopefully you have enjoyed this post and I look forward to sharing the final images, books and wall art with you all when they arrive (Still crying happy tears!)
You can find out more about Foxlow Boudoir here