Allowed to Be You – Empowered Women

Permission? Permission to be yourself? Sounds weird, but we struggle to give our selves permission to be our truest self! In fact, most women are slow to even acknowledge and (GASP!) CELEBRATE themselves.
We have been taught to believe that being confident is conceited and cocky. My mission is to change this way of thinking! One thing that I have incorporated into my boudoir shoot experience is at the end of each client’s shoot, we take a Polaroid selfie. My client then chooses her own superpower and writes that on the photo. One of the reasons I do this is because we do not need to wait on someone else to acknowledge that we are powerful, unique beings. It is time for us to accept and celebrate who we are and the unique attributes that set us apart! We are so quick to pick apart our bodies with a critical eye. Then we compare ourselves to others and our self worth and acceptance plummets!
So I was inspired to do this group shoot with my clients. Each of my special ladies chose a word that they embody. In their words, they are Gracious, Creative, Strong, Worthy, Funny and Courageous.
Throughout they day, I saw my clients embrace their individuality. A beautiful break through happens in that embrace. I had the pleasure of witnessing these women experience total freedom from their perceived flaws as they celebrate themselves and each other. With an individual’s boudoir shoot, you see yourself through MY eyes. But the ladies that experience a group shoot get to see themselves through not only MY eyes, but also through the eyes of the other women.
When standing with a group of women that empower and uplift one another, everyone rises a little higher. They stand taller and more confident because of the infectious, positive aura that they exude. Thank you ladies for being a part of something so special!
Here are some of my favorite photos of the day.

pittsburgh self love group for women of all ages, backgrounds, ethnicities!

pittsburgh self love group for women of all ages, backgrounds, ethnicities!boudoir photos pittsburghbody positive photo shoot pittsburgh by pics by chicks photographybody positive photo shoot pittsburgh by pics by chicks photographybody positive photo shoot pittsburgh by pics by chicks photography

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Time to Celebrate Myself

I don’t know how to begin to explain the awesomeness that is this woman.  When I look back over my career, she is one of the clients I’ve seen the biggest shift since her first session!  She came to me last year all nervous and not sure she could do this, to a woman who now stands confidently in who she is, embraces all of herself, and celebrates who she is.  She stands up for what is right, knows how she wants to be treated, and won’t stand for anything less!  I have loved watching her transform – she has fully invested in her self-love journey and knows what she needs to continue to have a healthy and loving relationship with herself!

I share with you some photos from her most recent session with me, along with what she had to say about her boudoir experience!

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1) Why did you decide to invest in a boudoir photo shoot?  This one was definitely for me !!!! Time to celebrate myself ! Time to see the confidence I have gained this past year in the form of a photo

2) How did you feel about yourself before your photo shoot?  Great ! This was my second shoot. After my first shoot a year ago I worked on myself (with Maura’s help). All of her encouragement and self love workshops in the Facebook group have really made me step back and take a look at who I am and who I want to be.

stair poses in pittsburgh boudoir studio by pics by chicks photography

pittsburgh boudoir photography pics by chicks photography

3) How did you feel about yourself after your photo shoot?  100 times more empowered than I did before I walked in. Maura’s words to me during the shoot just builds you up so much and guess what I finally believe it all !!!!!!

pittsburgh boudoir photography pics by chicks photography

4) Describe your session in 3 words?  Invigorating Eye opening Workout

5) What was your favorite part of the boudoir photo shoot?  Definitely my on location outdoor portion ! Even though it was hard to get to Maura was such a trooper and we were able to have a great time tons of laughs and just a fun day I need to have. Memories I will never forget. Something someday I can show my kids and tell them that mom didn’t just sit back and watch other people do things ……. she did stuff too !!

bodysuit on victorian sofa pittsburgh boudoir photography

bodysuit on victorian sofa pittsburgh boudoir photography

bodysuit on victorian sofa pittsburgh boudoir photography

6) What would you say to other women who are considering a boudoir photo shoot?  Please please please don’t hesitate ! The longer you wait the longer it will take for you to have the most amazing feeling. Book it as soon as you can. You can’t even imagine the feeling until you experience it first hand.

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Beautiful, Gorgeous, HOT

This woman is someone I’ve known since I was young.  She’s had a prior session with me that was just for herself, but this time she wanted to come to give her husband a gift for their anniversary.  She was going to keep it a surprise but caved and told him what she was doing for his gift.  He asked, “Oh man. I have no idea what to get you for our anniversary.” She responded, “The session with Maura is the gift to me.  The photos are the gift to you.”

BINGO!!  I love this, and was absolutely honored to have her back here for another session with me.

Here’s what she said about her second session:

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1) Why did you decide to invest in a boudoir photo shoot?  As a gift to my husband and myself for our 20th wedding anniversary. Being that I had a prior shoot with Maura, I knew that this was just the thing I needed and he would love it too!

plus size boudoir photography pittsburgh

2) How did you feel about yourself before your photo shoot?  Honestly, after a previous shoot and following along in the FB group and just generally taking time to think about and make some adjustments to life in general, I was really starting to appreciate and embrace ME! Are there days when I only see flaws? Yes. Or feel like I have no clue what I’m doing? Yes. However, I’m making a real effort to toss all the negative out with the trash.

Intimate Photos Pittsburgh

3) How did you feel about yourself after your photo shoot?  AMAZING!!! It was confirmation that I am indeed beautiful, gorgeous, HOT!! MORE than just physically but soul-fully too!

4) Describe your session in 3 words?  Butt, Boobs, CURVES

Intimate Photos Pittsburgh

5) What was your favorite part of the boudoir photo shoot?  Spending the day with Maura! Talking, laughing, crying, yelling, dancing – what a fabulous way to spend an afternoon.

Intimate Photos Pittsburgh

6) What would you say to other women who are considering a boudoir photo shoot?  Just do it!

At the end of every session, I have each client stand in front of the empowerment wall for one final photo!  It’s the culmination of everything we’ve been through that day!  It’s something that lasts a lifetime!

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Becoming Friends

This job connects me with absolutely amazing women!  The second this beauty walked through the door I knew we would be forever friends.  Her personality was very similar to mind and we shared so much the day of her boudoir experience.  I love when clients sit around with me after their shoot to just talk to me!  We’re exhausted but we don’t want to part!  This woman completes me.  Yes, I just quoted Jerry Maguire, and it fits perfectly.  She’s funny, caring, patient, understanding and so many other wonderful things!  It has been a privilege to get to know her and I can’t wait to see what journey we take together.  She will be one of my muses for a future shoot that I’m planning!  She killed it during her session and I’m so excited to be able to show you some of her images!

After her viewing, she posted this in our private group —

“I know I’m supposed to just tell you all how much fun this was and how amazing Maura is, which it was and she is, but that seems like such a superficial response to what ended up being so much more and what led me to even doing this in the first place.
Through a series of extremes unfortunate events, this is what I rewarded myself with for surviving a few really really realllllllly awful years. Years that made me feel really ugly and inadequate.
I’ve never been someone who considered myself pretty, let alone sexy. I’m not saying that so anyone compliments me, at all, I promise. I’ve always been unapologetically me, and proudly have never changed that, but through my “dark time” when after years of being told what I should be, then the voice saying that ended up with exactly what I was supposed to turn myself into, flipped a switch in me that was hard to turn off.
I found it hard to eat, I was excessively working out, up to 4 hours a day just so I could work up enough of an appetite to eat something, and exhaust the voices in my head enough to hopefully sleep. I got down to 128 lbs, I’m almost 5’ 10” tall, so I’ve never been that small in my adult life, except when I was 21 and scouted by an agency who told me to lose weight, I went and ate a burger, and had a beer after telling her where to go, lol. Anyhow, that was the first time I felt physically pretty…..in a super emaciated state, clearly my head was more sick than my body.
Flash forward 3 years and 30 pounds heavier, and a much better mindset. I’d been silently watching this group for a while, and finally said “screw it, I’m doing this”. And. I. Did. Leading up to it, old voices resurfaced, “you should’ve done this all those pounds ago”. Then I meet Maura. When I tell you, no one has ever made me feel as pretty as she did, I’m not exaggerating. Look it, I’ve always hated my butt, always. She loves my butt, like, loooooooves my butt. And truth be told, even though I’ve been told I have my head up my ass, I wish I would’ve looked up, because the pics of my booty are kind of amazing.
I would absolutely 100% tell anyone, of any shape and size and age, do this. Celebrate yourself. Because I went into it for some cute pictures, turns out, the pics weren’t even the reason I was led to go meet my sista from anotha mista. Every woman owes it to them self to feel gorgeous, and not feel bad about it. It’s not conceited, it’s not narcissism. We shouldn’t feel the need to downplay a compliment. Aaaaaaand when you can have another woman genuinely compliment you, and not be snide or nasty, but really and honestly compliment you, embrace the hell out of that.
Sorry, I’m long winded. But in all seriousness, this is so worth it.”

The rest of this post is what she said after her session:

boudoir poses for boudoir photography pittsburgh studio

boudoir photos pittsburgh

1) Why did you decide to invest in a boudoir photo shoot?  Divorce present to myself

boudoir photos pittsburgh

2) How did you feel about yourself before your photo shoot?  Like I needed a lot of work, frumpy and tired.

boudoir posing ideas from Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer Maura Chick

boudoir photography pittsburgh

boudoir photography pittsburgh

3) How did you feel about yourself after your photo shoot?  Better than I could’ve ever imagined possible.

4) Describe your session in 3 words?  Fun Empowering Pampered

5) What was your favorite part of the boudoir photo shoot?  Becoming friends with Maura

6) What would you say to other women who are considering a boudoir photo shoot?  Do it, don’t wait till your ready, just do it

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Good and Beautiful

There are some people that come into my life that need more than photos.  Most of my clients are women who need to begin their self love journey, are starting something new in their life, want to celebrate themselves, need to feel empowered, need someone to show them a side of themselves they didn’t know was there.  This session was something so much more than a boudoir experience.  It was a start to healing that needed to take place.  The day before her session she had something pretty major happen to her.  The day before she came back to view her images something else major happened.  In both cases, she didn’t cancel on me.  She pushed forward but shared with me what was going on in her life.  I consider it an honor when my clients share such deep things with me.  I think they find it easy to open up to me because I don’t judge them for anything.  I’m here to listen to you, to be that shoulder to cry on, to have someone just hold your hand.

At her viewing, I realized the moment she stepped into the studio that the photos needed to take a back seat.  She needed me to listen to her.  So I did.  For 40 minutes, we just sat there talking and crying.  My heart hurt for her, but she’s one of the strongest most patient women I know.  I can’t imagine going through what she’s dealing with so I truly admire her for the fortitude she has, as each day she puts one foot in front of another even though she wants to stay still.

We did eventually get to viewing her images and she said that seeing me was exactly what she needed as a pick me up.  I’m honored to help women along their journey.  It’s my calling.

After her viewing, this is what she had to say:

“One month ago I had my photo shoot with Maura. At the time I was dealing with some pretty heavy stuff. Today I had my viewing with Maura. Much like I felt when I went for my shoot I didn’t want to go. The things I was dealing with then seemed to be worse now and my heart is fully of hurt and uglyness. Much like last time I muscled up the strength to go and see Maura. There are no words for what this woman does the gift she has been given is used to fullest capacity. She loves with her whole heart. She truly cares about her clients and how they feel, see, love and care about and care for themselves. After having a brief discussion about what was going on she just wanted make sure I was ok. My pictures were not priority at that time it was my wellbeing that was. That’s powerful. We did eventually get to my pictures and wow was I blown away. Maura did an amazing job.

Thank you Maura for being such an amazing person. For sharing your gift with the world. You are a gem and I am so lucky to have been sent your way. I can’t wait to share you with the people I love (or complete strangers).

Thank you Maura for helping me see the strength and beauty I have within.”

Man, oh man.  It doesn’t get much better than that.  Below are some of her photos, as well as what she had to say about her session with me.  These are important words….

Boudoir Photos Pittsburgh in studio session

Boudoir Photos Pittsburgh in studio session

1) Why did you decide to invest in a boudoir photo shoot?  I have never seen myself as a beautiful person on the outside. I know my heart is good and beautiful but visually I feel ugly.

boudoir session in pittsburgh showcasing intimate photos of women

2) How did you feel about yourself before your photo shoot?  Fat and physically unattractive. And unworthy

boudoir session in pittsburgh showcasing intimate photos of women

3) How did you feel about yourself after your photo shoot?  Even through my current struggles I feel beautiful and worthy. I feel strong and powerful like I could accomplish all things

boudoir photo session in pittsburgh - fun photographer Maura Chick

4) Describe your session in 3 words?  AMAZING, IMPOWERING AND BEAUTIFUL

5) What was your favorite part of the boudoir photo shoot?  how wonderful Maura is

boudoir pose ideas from pittsburgh boudoir photographer Pics By Chicks

6) What would you say to other women who are considering a boudoir photo shoot?  DO IT

pittsburgh boudoir photography with Maura Chick

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