Fulfilling A Dream

I hear from many clients that they could only dream of a boudoir session.  Today on the blog, I share a client whose dream it was to have these images taken – to see herself as a work of art!  I’ll let her share the rest….

1) Why did you decide to invest in a boudoir photo shoot?  My photo shoot was a gift given to me to fulfill a lifelong dream.

boudoir photography in pittsburgh anonymous body photo that doesn't reveal identity

2) How did you feel about yourself before your photo shoot?  I felt fairly self confident and beautiful, but had some hang-ups that made me wonder how well I’d look in professional photos. Concerns about facial expressions, hand positions, etc. Things I’ve disliked about my candid photos, that I hoped would look better having a professional position me.

Boudoir photos in pittsburgh with client in custom black lingerie

boudoir photos pittsburgh

3) How did you feel about yourself after your photo shoot?  A lot more confidence, happiness, and gratitude that the beauty I feel inside can be translated to photo keepsakes with the guidance and artistic direction of a professional.

4) Describe your session in 3 words?  Whirlwind, fun, unexpected

5) What was your favorite part of the boudoir photo shoot?  I loved the opportunity to showcase so many beautiful outfits that were all gifted to me. It’s one thing to wear outfits for inspiration in the bedroom (and quickly remove them), but to have someone else’s vision to capture those outfits fitting perfectly is really something special to me. It gives me much more appreciation for the work that went into those clothes, and how well they can accentuate beautiful bodies. It makes me feel that much more beautiful for someone else’s art to look good on my body (also art), and be captured by yet another artist. I think it really gave me a stronger appreciation for art, as a whole.

Boudoir Photos Pittsburgh, poses of client on bed in lingerie

Boudoir Photos Pittsburgh6) What would you say to other women who are considering a boudoir photo shoot?  Ignore all of your hesitations and just do it. Seriously, don’t even bother telling me about your hesitations! If you don’t do it on your own, I’m going to tie you up kicking and screaming and force you to do it. My aunt and uncle pretty much did that to me when I was 13 to take my first ride on a rollercoaster. I’m so glad they did. It opened up a whole new world for me. I still don’t often take risks, but some leaps you know deep down you just HAVE to take, and you’re so happy you did. This is one of those risks worth taking. There are absolutely ZERO chances of any losses or failures. You are guaranteed to reap only good benefits from this experience.

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Going Forward

There’s not much else I can add to this amazing woman’s story.  I will say that her bravery to face something that scared her is inspiring.  I can’t imagine being in her shoes – knowing that something big needs to change – and having the courage to step up and face it head on.  Most of us shy away from the hard things, hide under the covers and hope it all goes away.  It won’t.  The hard things come back – what are you going to do then?  Hide?  Run this time?  Or, face it and tackle the challenge?

Here’s what she had to say about her session!

1) Why did you decide to invest in a boudoir photo shoot?  Originally it was for my fiance, I was going to give it to him the day of the wedding before we were actually married. But then we broke up and i wanted to postpone. It was a bad breakup and is only just now getting settled. I ended up keeping the date and going forward with it because i wanted to do it for me. I wanted to have some sort of control over my life again

2) How did you feel about yourself before your photo shoot?  Insecure, like i couldn’t do anything right. Scared i was never going to be able to get my life together and be happy on my own. I had planned a whole wedding let alone a whole life. Granted it wasn’t going to be a good life but it was going to be with someone and i wasn’t going to be alone. I felt lost, like the person I had been for the last three years wasn’t me, so I didn’t know who I was.

2A) What was your biggest challenge when it comes to the image you have about yourself?  My weight. I was a much healthier weight back in 2011. I was working out and eating well and still wasn’t to m weight goal. I was shy 20 lbs and I plateaued. That was the year I met my first emotionally abusive boyfriend and I really started to let myself go. I stopped living for me and was living for him while he rejected me. This (somehow) only made me want his approval even more. After 2 years off and on I was finally able to break it off. About a year later I met my current ex, but I had completely let myself go and had gained 80 lbs. I had stretch marks where I never had before and I hated my body and myself for letting it get so bad.

3) How did you feel about yourself after your photo shoot?  Centered. You made me feel amazing, like i had done everything perfectly. I had done everything right and I felt satisfied with myself for the first time in a long time. You made me feel like i could do anything. I could model if I wanted to. I could conquer the world. You made me feel like I was the first person to ever do so perfectly in a photo shoot. Obviously that’s not true, but that is exactly how you made me feel. Instantly supported and best friends.

Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer

4) Describe your session in 3 words?  Refreshing. Insightful. Inspiring.

Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer

5) What was your favorite part of the boudoir photo shoot?  The immediate feedback from you. I would do something and I was immediately validated for doing it well. That was something I hadn’t gotten (or given to myself) for the past year.

6) What would you say to other women who are considering a boudoir photo shoot?  Just take the jump. Leap of faith. You need it more than you could ever know. You will get more out of it than you ever thought you could out of 4 hours. Maura, you need to bottle the feeling after and sell it like heroine.

Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer

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Think No More

Get ready to look at the most photos I’ve ever shared on a blog post.  Usually I’m pretty good at picking out a few photos from each session to share with you, but this one – I just couldn’t hold back!  I can’t explain to you how amazing this woman is to those around her, even me!  I told her numerous times that she was so inspiring to me, and that we created ART!  She saw the art in everything I was doing, and was so blown away every step of the way!

I love clients that can see the art in what I do.  I feel like each and every client is a work of art.  And, my photographs showcase that beautiful, amazing and WONDERFUL art!

She has messaged me countless times to tell me how fabulous this entire process was for her.  And, we made an agreement – she has to come back every year!  I would have her in front of my camera constantly.  She’s a “girl’s girl” – she’s so positive, uplifting and encouraging.  She gave me a boost that I needed in my creativity and I’m so appreciative and thankful for you! The rest of this post I’ll leave to her – she gave me some quick feedback about her session that I’m sharing here!

And now, onto this beauty:

1) Why did you decide to invest in a boudoir photo shoot?  I thought it would be a special surprise birthday gift for my husband.

2) How did you feel about yourself before your photo shoot?  Somewhat self-conscious about my body & face.

3) How did you feel about yourself after your photo shoot?  I felt like a supermodel!

4) Describe your session in 3 words?  Uplifting, empowering & fun

5) What was your favorite part of the boudoir photo shoot?  Maura’s energy

intimate photos in pittsburgh

intimate photos in pittsburgh

6) What would you say to other women who are considering a boudoir photo shoot?  Think no more. Book it! It will be life-changing!

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Liberating

What’s your reason?  What’s the reason YOU want to get photographed?  Is it for you?  For someone else?

Guess what – it doesn’t matter WHAT your reason is to push you to do a boudoir session.  I’m going to knock your socks off regardless of that, because at the end of the day the experience I give to my clients matters most to me.  A lot of my clients come in because they need a gift for someone, but they weren’t prepared that the session was a gift to themselves!  And, that’s probably why I have so many clients that come back over and over again for sessions.  They’ve realized that the shoot is something they need to embrace and release all the negative things they are dealing with!  Have I mentioned lately that I LOVE MY JOB!!!  haha – Nope, you’ve probably never heard that before! 🙂

Today’s beauty.  Gosh, I don’t have words.  From the start of her session I knew it was something special – SHE was something special!  I love her spirit, her personality, her uniqueness, and those never-ending CURVESSSSS! 🙂  Read what she had to say about her session:

1) Why did you decide to invest in a boudoir photo shoot?  I’ve been in need of a confidence booster. It’s something I wanted to try in general.

2) How did you feel about yourself before your photo shoot?  I know I have a great body shape but I also get very self conscious as I was labeled the “ugly friend” in grade school. I was looking forward to this to kinda bring it into the universe through pictures that MaRissa Boros is hot as hell!

3) How did you feel about yourself after your photo shoot?  MaRissa Boros is hot as hell haha But seriously I felt rejuvenated and happy!

4) Describe your session in 3 words?  Inspiring Sexy Liberating

5) What was your favorite part of the boudoir photo shoot?  Just doing something for me. I’m always going out of my way for others and putting my needs on hold. I enjoyed being the center of attention and showcasing my sexuality and curves.

6) What would you say to other women who are considering a boudoir photo shoot?  Do it for you, do it for fun, whatever reason you have do it because it’s worth it.

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Why Don’t You Have Children?

As I approach a significant birthday in a few weeks, I’m beginning to reflect on the journey my life has been through and make peace with what I have, but more importantly, what I don’t have.  Listen, I LOVE my life – I LOVE who I am.  I’ve got this amazing job that I’m so passionate about, I give everything to my clients, my family and friends, I have a wonderful husband, but something BIG is missing.

Every month, part of my self care routine is to get a reiki massage.  I was skeptical of this practice but when I first tried it, it was amazing.  It’s all about energies and reading your body’s flow.  Your massage therapist can tell you things about yourself that you haven’t openly expressed.  Strange but true.  I like to think that God is speaking through my massage therapist.  During my most recent massage with Laurie, she sensed a lot of sadness in me.  While she was over my heart chakra (don’t ask me what that actually means because I’m clueless), she was getting the words “MOM” and “SAD” — hearing that a lot.  And when she would look at me it would look like I was ready to cry, though I was completely relaxed and enjoying the massage.  When she shared all this with me after the message, she said, “I feel like you have some really deep unresolved issues with your mom that you need to address.” I took a second to think about it – because though she’s getting the words from God, it’s my job to interpret them.  I realized then that the sadness she was sensing and the word mom were coming from the fact that I AM NOT A MOM.  Not that I had issues with my mom, but rather that I was so sad that I don’t have children.  Laurie asked me to deal with this because my energy can’t flow in my body.  So, instead of writing all this in my journal (God knows my hand would be in pain writing all of this) I’m taking it to my blog.  I’m sure the that my story isn’t unique, and hopefully my vulnerability here can help someone else.  Many women struggle with this – I’ve seen it in my clients.  Letting this out is part of my own self-love journey.  So buckle up, as I deal with something that’s been weighing on me heavily for a few years.

the struggle of not being a mother Maura Chick shares her journey and pain

Every time I start to think about not being a mom at this point in my life, a lump hits my throat.  I know that if I let it out I’m going to cry, get angry then the deep sadness comes.  This sadness permeates my life – I don’t talk much, I sit alone, I don’t laugh.  So, instead of letting it all out and dealing with these feelings, I swallow that lump.  In reality that’s not doing me any good.  I have to come face to face with the sadness, disappointment, resentment and hurt I feel.  I somehow feel like I’m mourning the life I thought I’d have at this point.  No physical death has occurred but an emotional death has happened, and I can no longer run and hide from my grief.

Yes, grief.  That’s a strong word, but hear me out a little.  I always wanted to be a mother.  When I was younger, I wanted like 10 kids (Yes, I realize how unrealistic this is).  I thought during college I’d meet the love of my life, get married and have babies.  That’s what I envisioned for my life.  I’ve always loved children and felt like I have so much love to give as a mother.  That deep down, my heart could love a child like no one else.  A tiny human, as big as that responsibility was, I knew I could raise a child with all the love I have in my heart.  Well, I did not meet the love of my life in college, I waited another 11 years to get married to the most amazing man I know.

When I met Tony, I was very clear about my intentions about being a mom.  I told him at the start that if he didn’t want kids that this relationship wasn’t going anywhere.  I knew what I wanted and I didn’t want to waste my time on someone that didn’t share the same goal as me.  He agreed with the children thing and our relationship blossomed into marriage.  Then, for the first time since we’d been together, Tony’s depression resurfaced.  And, to be honest, I don’t think it’s ever really gone away.  He suffers from true clinical depression where something just shuts off in him.  He’s an amazing man – so loving, caring and supportive – he takes care of me and is a very patient man.  But, the depression causes him to struggle with planning for the future and getting scared of what life would be like with a child.

So, I waited and waited…..and waited for his depression to get better.  It hasn’t.  I began to realize about 4 years into our marriage that having children may not be something that’s in the cards for me.  Maybe I’d been projecting this love of having a child to over compensate for something else that was lacking in my life.  This is when I began praying heavily.  Asking God to change MY HEART.  That if kids weren’t in the plan for me that he start to fix me.  Turn me away from these feelings, help me find another path.  That’s a hard thing to pray.  Something you’ve wanted your ENTIRE life and you now want to change that.  Oh, God.  Fix me.  Change me so that I’m comfortable not being a mother.  Because, the fact was, I wasn’t comfortable.

the struggle of not being a mother Maura Chick shares her journey and pain

Now, don’t go thinking that I wasn’t happy for friends and family who were having babies!  I was through the moon happy for them.  I can still celebrate them and have my feelings about it.  It doesn’t hold me back from taking maternity photos, going to baby showers, photographing births, etc.  It’s hard for me to do these things, but I do them anyway.  I know how excited they feel to celebrate this time in their life and it’s my honor to participate in all these wonderful events.  I can still be happy for them even though I feel sadness in me.

Last year, I was babysitting my young niece.  I so enjoy spending time with her – her laugh makes me smile; her smile makes me laugh.  She’s the cutest.  As I was watching her, I just found myself starting to cry.  I wish I had my own precious babe to hold, to laugh with, to cry with, to love and cherish.  I love my nieces and nephews like they are my own, but I wanted that motherly love I’d been so longing for.  I’m sure if my niece could talk, she’d thought I was crazy for sobbing like a child in front of her while she’s having fun on her play mat looking into the mirror.  I just longed for this feeling, and I kept think to myself (as much as I don’t want to admit this), “when is it my turn?”

When do I get this experience, why can’t I have a baby, why does it seem like it’s everyone else but me, what’s so wrong with me that I can’t be a mom?

Also, who’s going to take care of me when I’m older (half joking here…I always have to infuse my humor into deep moments).

And, all of those questions are not asked with anger.  They are said with an honest questioning of when is it my time, is this going to happen for me.  I don’t look at friends of mine with disgust because they have what I don’t, I look at them with love, kindness and a desire to help them  celebrate themselves.  I’ve had people with this same struggle say negative things when they see friends announce their pregnancy – that’s not me.  In the midst of my pain, I can still be happy for others.  The sadness I feel doesn’t prevent me from still being happy for them.  Because, truthfully, I am glad that they aren’t struggling the way I am – that’s something I want to celebrate.  They’ve received what I long for, they begin a new journey, and I’m excited to watch that family grow.

The feelings still linger inside my head…daily.  I can’t shut it off.  It’s an innate desire within me, because I feel like I have love to give as a mother.  When you feel so strongly about something, it’s not a quick fix to turn it off.  It’s a daily struggle to deal with what you’re feeling so that you don’t have to continue to swallow everything when it surfaces.  Those feelings though…..they are hard to deal with.

Sadness

Deep and utter sadness that I feel almost daily.  I know that I’m blessed with the life I have (a loving husband, a thriving business, a supportive family, a cute kitty, etc) but something is missing.  Something so big that you can’t ignore it.  Every time I think about the missing piece, deep sadness sets it.  I fight that sadness daily.  I am still a happy and loving person, and I smile most of the day because my life is filled with passion (that’s my marker of success) – I’m genuinely happy and positive.  The sadness is deep down and it doesn’t usually come out, it’s there tugging at me and I want to shut it off.

Resentment

Resentment … at who?  God, my husband…ME!  I resent that I didn’t make this a priority early on in life.  I was focused on building my corporate career, which I successfully did.  Then, I was focused on building my own business.  I resent myself for not doing something I knew to be important to me.  I pushed it aside because I thought that I should be working a career.

Disappointment & Hurt

The disappointment I feel has me questioning a lot of choices I’ve made.  I’m disappointed mostly in myself.  That I couldn’t make this happen.  People will tell me that there are multiple ways to have a child.  But, FOR ME, that connection has to be made with me and my husband.

Shame

“Why don’t you have children?” That question brings about immediate shame.  Like, something is wrong with me because I don’t have kids.  I know it’s an innocent question, and I don’t mind answering it truthfully, but I feel shame that I am not having a baby.  I don’t think people who ask this question realize the struggle that happens behind doors because it’s something we don’t talk about openly.  I think that needs to change.  It’s a secret stigma that we can’t seem to break free from.  Yes, I want children.  No, I’m not having them.  No, I’m not attempting in vitro.  No, I don’t want to adopt.  Yes, I feel sad and disappointed.  Before you ask someone questions around children, please remember that they are fighting an internal battle you know nothing about.

My heart is broken because of the loss of what I thought I’d have.  How do you heal from this pain?  How do you come to terms with something so big?  How do you cope with a life you lost?

I continue to ask God to help me be at peace for not having a child.  That I find other avenues to give my love.  And, well, I guess I have.  My clients mean the world to me and I give them every ounce of love and energy I have within me.  I hope to continue to channel that love I so desperately want to give to a child to another worthy individual in my life.   While the pain doesn’t go away, I can continue to love others with all the energy I can muster, because trading one love for another is all I can do.

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Photos by Amanda Brisco Photography

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