Akira’s Boudoir Session: Resilient Beauty

This was such an amazing opportunity!

In June 2021 I embarked on a special project, with little understanding of how profoundly it would impact me and my business. I launched a Giveaway – awarding a boudoir session to three women who would share their stories and experiences. I received over 500 entries and spoke to over 100 finalists.

Choosing the winners was difficult – but at the same time, not. The hard part was that I could not give a session to so many amazing women. What was not difficult was identifying this incredible gal as one of my winners. Her positive attitude through all that she faces was inspiring, and I knew I had to have her in the studio. Please check out her story. I know you will be inspired.

Boudoir session bald woman wearing rhinestone skill cap and black feather boa

Why did you do your boudoir photo shoot?

I won Kat’s Giveaway! I wanted to enter because of my medical condition and when I look in the mirror, all I see is my disease. I wanted to feel good about myself, even though I have no control over what is happening to my body and my mind.

What was your favorite part of your session?

Watching myself go from nervous to excited. At my wardrobe consultation I was really nervous, not knowing what to wear to help me feel good and sexy, but Kat had me the whole time. When I finally arrived the day of my photo shoot, I was still a bit anxious – but excited.

What did doing this shoot do for your self-confidence, self-worth and self-image? Tell me your story.

Let me start by giving you a little background about me. I suffer from a disease called Cushing syndrome, which occurs when your body has too much of the hormone cortisol over time. This can happen when you take certain steroid medications, but in my case, it’s because I have a tumor on my pituitary that prompts my body to produce too much cortisol.

I had surgery to remove the tumor, and for a short period I felt good and healthy. But then my tumor came back. (we named it Frank.) Frank brings with him all of the hallmark signs of Cushing syndrome -a fatty hump between your shoulders, a rounded face, and pink or purple stretch marks on your skin. Cushing syndrome can also result in high blood pressure, bone loss and, on occasion, type 2 diabetes.

So now that you know a little bit about my health issues. I can tell you how challenging it is to wake up one day and not look like yourself. It’s definitely something I struggle with every day. Not that I think I’m ugly, because I’m reminded all the time by people that love me, and by strangers, how beautiful I am. But there’s a difference between thinking you’re ugly and feeling ugly. I know many people can feel like this for a numerous reasons.

Winning this photoshoot helped me in a number of ways. the experience helped me see that just because my body may not look the same doesn’t mean I can’t feel beautiful and have confidence. 

Was your experience what you were expecting? If not, what was different?

I was so nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. I just put my trust in Kat and she took such great care of me!

Knowing that I was able to have an opportunity like this, I just want to share this experience and show women that you’re ALLOWED to feel good about yourself! Even when you might not have control of what’s happening to your body, for whatever reason. This experience had me “feeling myself” when I was done.

I hope that other women will take advantage of this kind of opportunity to feel good about themselves,  just like I did.

What was the best part of your experience? Would you change anything?

If I were to change anything it would be how I was responding to my photos in the beginning.

During the session, Kat shows you the back of her camera and gives you lots of feedback on how great you are doing and how amazing you look. She’s your biggest hype-girl! But instead of saying I have pretty eyes or “wow, look how great my smile looks!”, I instantly went to negative thoughts and pointed out my flaws.

Um, that does NOT fly in the studio – Kat has a very gentle way of helping you to shift your perspective and to see your beauty. By the end of my shoot I was on the same page as Kat and was seeing what she saw.

Is there anything else that you would like us to know?

I am so very grateful for this experience, I truly have no idea how to put that gratitude into words. I hope that sharing my story will help other ladies who are struggling with accepting themselves and encourage them to explore the possibility of a photo session with Kat.

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