Most ladies come to me wanting to improve their body confidence and to learn to appreciate their bodies. Sharon came in for a pre-mastectomy shoot, so she could document and appreciate her body before her surgery.
I have to be honest I thought it may be quite a sad and emotional shoot for us all, I was wrong! It was emotional, but it was also one of the most uplifting shoots I have ever done.
Here are Sharon's thoughts in her own words that she has kindly allowed me to share with you.
I booked my Boudoir shoot last minute to literally record my body between two surgeries to the chest and breast area, following my diagnosis of early-stage breast cancer. I knew I couldn’t be reconstructed immediately and this was to memorise my shape and form whilst I had both breasts. I’d debated it before, some portrait shots when I was younger and boudoir when I reached my forties, but I didn’t brave it. Now I had a reason to be brave!
The photos of pre and post shoot of other ladies that had been photographed just looked incredible, they really had the wow factor, looked professional and the photos were very flattering. The way that the Lone Barn Boudoir championed body confidence and empowerment was just what I needed, this experience was a whole lot more to me than just photos. This was to help me face my fears and come out intact on the other side. I’m so glad I chose Julie and Lone Barn Boudoir, it was the right choice.
I didn’t have long about a week I think between booking and the shoot - so I didn’t have long to source lingerie. Sometimes my size wasn’t available or the lead time too long. But the items I did manage to get I thought looked fabulous in the photos. Gathering together sexy lingerie is a strange task when facing a mastectomy, most items were not cup size specific as I didn’t know what I’d end up as. I did want to still be able to wear the items afterwards though to recapture that feeling from the shoot.
That I would never be able to look or feel feminine again after my second surgery.
That my photos wouldn’t look as good as the others I had seen.
Going nude (was not planned!)
That I wouldn’t be able to post in a ‘sexy’ way.
That I would lose confidence before or when I entered the studio
I knew I’d only get this one last chance to do this and didn’t want to miss it.
My hair and make-up was fabulous - I had just gotten over my first major surgery, facing another, I wasn’t sure how I would look. I didn’t have time for much prep, I had one clear coat on my nails, my roots were being grown out and I felt far from my best. Even so, my hair and make-up was fabulous and true to me - curls which tamed my naturally thick and wavy hair, subtle and pretty make-up. I was thrilled to see the results in the mirror for the first time.
It felt daunting initially stepping into the studio, but the size of the room meant it felt cosy. Initially, I felt nervous but quite quickly I felt at ease with Julie and knew there would be some really special shots. I never dreamed I would do a boudoir shoot, let alone go naked, but they are such genuine and beautiful shots that became some of my favourites. It’s just you and your photographer.
My shoot was brilliant - I’d recommend every woman do this at least once! Posing was out of my comfort zone but I followed the guidance and apart from the restrictions from recovering from surgery (stretching or weight-bearing on one of my arms) you wouldn’t have known from the photos. I’d had complications from my first surgery and even had dressings still, bruising and a big red scar for Julie to deal with, which were all dealt with by positioning and final editing.
I saw a couple of images on the camera at the shoot, I couldn’t believe I’d ever have such beautiful pictures. When I saw the preview of the photos I was just astounded at how well they had turned out. I loved them all. It was so empowering to see yourself from different angles, the lighting and sets were simple and flattering. You realise your life hoots are just as special as everyone else’s.
It was not easy to choose my images, I quickly built up to about half of them for an album. I loved every single one.
Don’t miss the link for pre-payment options - they are early bird offers, with discounts and extras. You will love your photos and the extras will make your photos all the more special. I had the fabulous red Boudoir robe which isn’t one to miss!
We worry so much about our bodies, different parts we don’t like, but faced with the loss, you realise you’d have it back tomorrow. Don’t wait, trying to become perfect, because you’ll find that you are beautiful just as you are.
I felt quite sad at the beginning when I booked the shoot, like I was mourning a loss but during the shoot it was a real turning point for me - I realised it’s all of you that makes you - regardless of surgery or loss, you are still that woman and I would still be there after surgery.
This was the single best thing I did during my breast cancer journey and it honestly carried me through. I’m hoping I can have reconstruction in the near future. Until then, my interest in beautiful lingerie has been an escape and kept me in touch with my femininity, better able to cope with prosthetics & adapt to my new form, for however long that turns out to be.
I’d love to have another boudoir shoot! Maybe I’ll get reconstructed, who knows. 2022 was not a year that started well, had several lows but this was the one highlight I’ll always treasure.
Thanks, Mim and Julie.
If you or someone you know is going through something similar to Sharon and would like to know more about a pre-mastectomy or post-mastectomy boudoir shoot with me, then do call me for a chat or schedule a call and I'll call you. I know a boudoir photoshoot will give you the confidence boost I know that you will need after your operation and I want to help you discover that there is life after mastectomy surgery.
If it's too early to chat then come and join my private ladies only VIP Facebook group and you can find out what others thought about their experiences with me.
Hair and Makeup by Miriam King.