Hannah had her first session with us back in early 2015 when our boudoir studio was located in Rockland, Maine. I knew as soon as I received the referral from our mutual friend that she was going to be an amazing woman to work with, and in the almost 4 years since since that happened, we have also become good friends and I am so thankful to have her in my life.
She recently came to the studio, which is now located in Brooks, Maine, and had her third session with us. I swear, each session she has is like she is a whole different person than the one who came before.
This is what Hannah had to say about her first session with us:
“My first shoot was a recommendation from a friend. I assure you my confidence level wasn’t even existent at this point. I had somewhat recently separated from my husband who started a life of drugs, violence and partying and I was dating someone new who seemed to take advantage of this state of low being that I had entangled myself in. I was told to send in a naked face shot (no makeup) for a photo shoot giveaway that Jess was putting on. I honestly thought nothing would come of it and was told by my boyfriend at the time that my hopes were awful high if I thought I’d get picked for anything like that.
Well, I did. I got chosen to be part of this experience, new to me, scary to imagine at first to be honest. I didn’t know how I would handle this. Actually the very night before I developed an over 100 degree temperature. I was so sure I couldn’t go but all the while I had this nagging cunt of a boyfriend in my ear saying ‘You aren’t meant to anyway, why are you trying so hard to be something you’re not.’
Well, I went, I went anyway and the results were bliss. I was finally breaking free of the Hannah I once knew and loved from so, so many years ago. It had taken me over a decade to finally feel beautiful again. Beaten bruised and bloodied in every possible descriptions of the words had been my whole life previously. I hadn’t, since before I was 14 years old felt this power surge through me like it did this day and guess what….I hadn’t even seen the pictures yet……This was all just how I felt after experiencing the ‘Jess Effect’ as I like to call it now.
Once it happened, and I saw the pictures, I felt so empowered but still slightly afraid to truly express that power with that ever clinging soul crushing boyfriend near and still demanding the painful falsities he wanted me to cling to; ‘you’re such an attention seeking whore. Who is going to want to see you this way? You might as well be doing porn you attention whore! Your flabby ass isn’t even fit for photography, good thing she can fix all your flaws!’ The list continues but I’m sure you get the point.
Usually from years of letting this sink in and letting this hit me as deep as it was intended, I would let this kind of treatment cripple me and I would revert to the hating Hannah corner of my mind where my most comfortable mattress lay awaiting for me to lay my head once again and give into to the seductive torment.
To my surprise, I couldn’t put myself to rest there anymore. I couldn’t be stuck where I had so easily been drawn before. It wasn’t just seeing myself in this different light that led me to this change of being, this epiphany of soul cleansing. It was that whole experience, the initial walk through the door, the makeup artist making you feel like ‘YOU WERE’ that movie star for the day, the way Jess talks to you, the way she makes you feel so beautiful through all your awkward self loathing moments. I can’t express enough what the experience does for you even before you get a glimpse of what the final product is. I was allowed to see myself differently that day and bathed myself in a new light thanks to Jess and the way she inspires you to know your true beauty is within you.
It’s for you to find within yourself and yourself only, not for any other person to tell you that you are.
I want to thank you Jess, Woman to Woman. Thank you for knowing what I needed, even subconsciously, at that point in my life. The way you accepted me broken and battered and just looking for a chance at something new was everything. I truly appreciate your sessions in every way and look forward to any opportunity in the future that I get to be part of anything that you do.”