I Saw Myself Totally Different

I’ve said so many times that the best part about this job is showing my clients a new side of themselves or a side of themselves they forgot existed.  Today’s beauty was no different.

And, if you look at these photos, you may see that I was a little obsessed with her booty! hahaha.  I love butts and I cannot lie!  Enjoy these photos and what she had to say about her boudoir session!

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1) Why did you decide to invest in a boudoir photo shoot?  Many, many reasons! It started out as a surprise for my husband, but it quickly turned into all about me. I realized I was struggling with confidence, and about 40 quickly approaching, it became about challenging me outside of my comfort zone

2) How did you feel about yourself before your photo shoot?  I took pride in being strong and showing my girls strength, but I struggled with self acceptance. I created my own barriers and held myself to expectations only I measured. I lacked confidence in my body and I put those views onto others…especially my husband, I measured myself by things from the past.

3) How did you feel about yourself after your photo shoot?  I was very nervous at my shoot and felt that my “flaws” were going to be noticed…Maura quickly made me feel confident and her enthusiasm was contagious. It wasn’t until my viewing that It all came together for me, I kept thinking “that’s me” and I saw myself totally different, not through my mind with my perception but what was really in front of me.

pittsburgh boudoir session dark and moody image of woman in lingerie

4) Describe your session in 3 words?  Powerful

pittsburgh boudoir session dark and moody image of woman in lingerie

pittsburgh boudoir session dark and moody image of woman in lingerie

5) What was your favorite part of the boudoir photo shoot?  Letting Maura take control which was not easy for me… I gave up control and let Maura guide me, I felt I needed to get out of the way since I would only hold me back , best decision I made

boudoir pose ideas by Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer Pics By Chicks Photography

Pittsburgh Boudoir photo session

6) What would you say to other women who are considering a boudoir photo shoot?  take the time to invest in yourself…to see yourself for the bombshell you are and answer the question “what is my superpower?”

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All Woman

ALL WOMAN!  That’s right.  That’s a great feeling as you end your boudoir session.  Sometimes we have a hard time seeing the woman that’s inside us.  We’re busy with work, life, kids, volunteering … and all these other responsibilities.  We forget to stop and take a look around, and see the wonderful women we are.  While you are living your life, I urge you to stop and remember WHO you are.  Do you know who you are?  Do you know what you like to do?  Not you as a mom or you as a wife .. but you as a person – what do you like to do?  As I begin my Self Love Club, our first few months will be focused on self discovery.  It’s time for us to see ourselves for who we are and get reacquainted with ourselves.  I hope you’ll join me!

In the meantime, I share this amazing woman with you!  She’s someone I’ve known for a long long LONG time and I was so happy when she finally decided to come for a boudoir session!  She’s been through so much in the last year and it was an honor to celebrate her!  She’s literally one of the coolest women I know.  Her style is amazing, her design abilities are incredible, and she’s so down to earth.

Get ready for photo overload.  She is stunning!

The rest of this post is in her words:

1) Why did you decide to invest in a boudoir photo shoot?  At the age of 40, I wanted to do something for myself that took me completely out of my comfort zone.

2) How did you feel about yourself before your photo shoot?  I’ve had my hang-ups with certain parts of my body, but I’ve tried to stay as much body positive as I possibly could.

boudoir photography pittsburgh

3) How did you feel about yourself after your photo shoot?  All woman!!! Proud to be me!

lingerie photos pittsburgh

4) Describe your session in 3 words?  Invigorating Bold Relaxed

lingerie photos pittsburgh

sexy photo shoot pittsburgh of women in lingerie

5) What was your favorite part of the boudoir photo shoot?  The energy that Maura creates in the room. There’s a comfort level I never would’ve anticipated.

sexy photo shoot pittsburgh of women in lingerie

sexy photo shoot pittsburgh of women in lingerie

6) What would you say to other women who are considering a boudoir photo shoot?  DO IT!!!! But I say…. Do it for yourself!!!!

black and white boudoir photos taken in pittsburgh PA boudoir studioBoudoir Photography PittsburghBoudoir Photography PittsburghBoudoir Photography Pittsburgh

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Can You Transform Yourself?

Is it possible to completely transform the way you view yourself?  Can you hate yourself, want to change yourself, and constantly compare yourself to others for 30 years then change that image you have of yourself?  Can you see light at the end of the tunnel?  Do you think that all the negativity you show yourself daily is going to help you change?  Do you try to hide yourself for fear that you’ll be rejected?  These are all things I’ve thought to myself time and time again.

While I was beginning to prepare for the launch of my Self Love Club, I was reflecting on my own journey over the last 30 years.  Gosh, saying 30 YEARS sounds like a long time….but when I was 10, I started to realize that something was different about me.  I inherited my dad’s family’s bone structure and build.  I have two sisters and a mother who are petite.  I was always the fat kid.  The one who looked different.  The one who couldn’t fit into the clothes at the stores everyone else shopped at.  The one that couldn’t fit into seats on roller coasters.  The one who broke many a chairs in the lunchroom in high school.  During my childhood, my belly would stick out from my shirt but I didn’t seem to care until people started pointing it out.  There have been so many events that have happened in my life that helped me jump on a path of self hatred.

There was that one time my grandmother said we were going on a special trip together that she was keeping a surprise.  Something we’d never done before.  I was so excited that I got all dressed up and was looking forward to my day with her.  She picked me up and drove me straight to Weight Watchers.  I don’t want to admit how young I was when this happened.  But, at that moment I knew something was wrong with me.  I was different and I needed to change.  What I looked like wasn’t good enough for her, that she needed me to be someone else to be proud of me.  That I was supposed to look and act a certain way for her to love me.  She wasn’t accepting me as I was.  Something was wrong and it needed fixed.

Or, the time I tried out for cheerleading.  I didn’t make either of the two teams I tried out for because I was “too big.” Then I tried out for dance team.  Didn’t make it there either.  Finally made it to the drill team.  I was so proud of myself – I made it onto a team that I worked hard to be a part of.  It was an accomplishment for me!  I practiced all the time, I was dedicated.  Then came community day at school – we had to wear our uniforms that day.  I walked into Mr. Bryan’s 8th grade science class (I remember it like it was yesterday) and I went to my seat in the back of the classroom.  A classmate of mine (I’ll omit his name but I know who he is) said to me, “Oh, Maura.  You’re on the drill team??” So proud of myself, I enthusiastically said, “YES I AM!”  He responded, “Oh, I thought they had a weight limit for that.”

Queue the tears.  Headed straight to the nurse’s office and had to go home for the day.  I was devastated.  My little kid heart was broken.

how to love yourself, Maura Chick shares strategies that have helped women move from hating themselves to loving themselves

These are just two stories of MANY that I have that have shaped the way I viewed myself.  I don’t share them to get pity, love or attention, but to show you that these kind of brutal things happen to us as women.  We aren’t strong enough to know how to deal with them and each experience like this makes a crack in our heart.  Cracks that we need to fill with the love we have for ourselves.  But, all too often, we don’t have love, so we think people that say things about us must be right and it makes the heart crack bigger.  Ultimately the cracks get harder and harder to fill.  We need more love for ourselves to be able to handle all these situations.  We need love to be able to move forward with our life.  We need love to be able to accept the person we are today – that includes what you look like.

My insecurity, lack of belief in myself, and hatred for the way I looked lead me down a never ending battle with myself.  It’s a BATTLE, one I fight daily.  I always thought that I needed to change me (who I was and how I looked) in order to be loved and accepted.  I feared that if I let my true self show that people would continue to reject me.  This started a cycle of constant negative thoughts and beliefs in my mind and heart.  Negativity that I put on myself for 30 years!!  Never thinking I was good enough, never feeling like someone could love me for the real me, never feeling true love.

I looked in the wrong places for love and acceptance.  In diets, losing weight, gaining weight back, losing it again, getting into a terrible relationship, gaining weight, going to extremes (running 50 miles a week), being the “funny one” all the time so people wouldn’t see the bad parts of me, holding myself back from doing things fearing rejection, not taking chances, getting depressed because I couldn’t maintain the changes I was trying to make.  I felt like a failure.  Something was wrong with me.  If I could just change myself, I could love me.  Why couldn’t I change?

Maura, WHY CAN’T YOU CHANGE?????  I have on many occasions yelled this to myself out loud, crying as a drop to the floor in agony that I’m just not right.  Then I realized, I can’t change because I was running away from the woman I am, and my only purpose in this world is to be my true unique self.  I was doing a disservice to myself and the world by trying to hide myself behind all these masks I put up.  Not realizing that being someone other than myself was a losing battle.  And, I don’t want to fight anymore.  I’m tired of fighting.  This battle is exhausting.  There has to be a better way for us to live because I couldn’t go on anymore.  I needed peace.  Peace that could only come from within.

I started my own self love journey thinking that it would make me a little happier, not realizing the MAJOR impact this would have on my life.  I’ve completely changed the way I view myself.  I can honestly say that I love myself, I stay true to myself, other’s opinions have no impact on me, I live my life unapologetically, I have confidence in who I am, I know that my looks don’t determine my worth, I know that I’m better when I’m being true to me.

It took work to get there.  I developed strategies that I still use to remind myself that I’m worthy of love — most importantly, love from myself.  I created self love programs that challenged me to really look into the mirror and see what I was doing to myself.  How could I expect to be a positive force in this world if all I was doing was hating on myself?  You can’t.  You can’t change or be good for others when you are so horrible to yourself.  You are harder on you than you are on anyone else, but the good news is that you can change!  You change the way you view yourself…the feelings you have for you!  You become lighter, you have a better outlook, you feel happy, you have stability, you stop sabotaging yourself, you want others to have what you have!  This journey of mine is not all that different from what others have experienced but I’ve learned the tools to get to a place of love.  And, I have a passion in sharing that with others!

In the end, here are a few things I’ve realized:

-The only opinion that matters is the one I have of myself.

-That the real me is one fabulous woman.

-It’s OK to love myself.  It’s not vain or narcissistic or conceited.

-It takes hard work to get to a point of acceptance of who you are and what you look like.

-It’s work that never ends.  I need to constantly nourish my mind, body and spirit to recognize that I am fabulous.

-Every day I have a choice to make.  Whether I’m going to view myself with love or hate.

-Even though I love me I can still want to change things about myself.  The difference is I’m changing from a place of love, not hate.

What change do you want?  How do you want to look at yourself?  What do you wish you looked like?  Do you hold yourself back from doing things because you are afraid of how you look or what people think about you?  What should you be saying to yourself day in and day out?  Is what you’re doing right now working for you?

If not, I want to help!  This is why the Self Love Club is so important to me.  I’m going to be sharing my strategies and SO MUCH MORE with everyone because I want you to have the peace I have.

Nothing good ever comes from hate.  But so much good ….  good you can’t even image …. comes from love!  Let me help you stand up and shout that I LOVE MYSELF!!!  It feels so good when you do!

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I Can See Me

When a client says to me that they can see themselves clearer, I consider that a successful boudoir session!  Today’s client has been through so much that it was time to see herself – time to remind her of who she is – time for her to embrace the woman she is!  I’ll leave the rest of this post in her words!

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sexy photos Pittsburgh boudoir session

1) Why did you decide to invest in a boudoir photo shoot?  I decided to invest in a boudoir photo shoot for myself, to help me grow in self confidence and boost my self-esteem. I did this to see myself from others eyes, to see the beauty I forget that exists within me. I did this as a gift for myself because I have overcome a toxic relationship and I’m worth it and I now know that!!!

2) How did you feel about yourself before your photo shoot?  Before this shoot, wow, I felt negative, not worthy, I felt ugly, unlovable, I hate parts of my body, there’s so much. I felt like I’m nothing. I felt fat. I felt like I didn’t deserve anything or anyone.

lingerie photos in pittsburgh PA in a private studio

lingerie photos in pittsburgh PA in a private studio

3) How did you feel about yourself after your photo shoot?  After the shoot, I feel amazing. I can see me, I can see this woman who is gorgeous. I’m not fat I have incredible curves. I feel like a weight has been lifted from my head, heart and shoulders. I feel like I can hold my head high and yes my confidence isn’t where I want it but its growing. I feel comfortable in my clothes instead of worrying is this shirt to tight. I feel beautiful, like if someone cant see my worth its there loss not mine. I found my worth and I know now in my heart I’m never settling because I deserve more. I feel like God gives Maura the gift to give women hope, joy, happiness and the overall best gift is to see yourself for who you are! It more than looking at a picture, its soul searching, its digging deep and relearning yourself. And it makes you smile and be positive, this experience encourages you to help other women and compliment others!

pittsburgh boudoir photo session in a private studio

4) Describe your session in 3 words?  exhilarating inspiring charismatic

Pittsburgh Boudoir studio of client in lingerie

5) What was your favorite part of the boudoir photo shoot?  Can there just be one? If i had to choose one it was getting to know Maura and opening up and sharing some of my past and overall the comfort that she gave to me, her encouragement and the fact that she wanted me to see myself and the beauty inside and out!

Pittsburgh Boudoir studio of client in lingerie

Pittsburgh Boudoir photo of woman on bed

6) What would you say to other women who are considering a boudoir photo shoot?  Do it! Best experience of your life! You wont regret it and don’t be nervous, don’t think about it because in the end of this experience you are given the best gift from Maura and that’s to see yourself.

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Empowering, Fun and Sexy

You are the owner of your own story.  YOU have the power to say enough is enough.  YOU can stand up and say, I LOVE MYSELF!  Shout it from the rooftops.  Tell the world.  YOU CAN!

In our world, we are labeled as conceited, narccistic and selfish if we decide to stand up and praise ourselves.  I personally think that more praise is needed!  We stifle ourselves constantly by not recognizing the amazing and wonderful things about us.  We think it’s better to remain silent, and this is what I’m fighting against daily.  I will not let the women in my life reject the praise I give them.  They will acknowledge and accept it, they will thank me for it, and they will start to point out all the great things about themselves.  It’s time we take this back.  Stop apologizing for being good to yourself, for making yourself a priority, for recognizing the amazing woman you are!  It’s time to SHOUT IT OUT!  This is one of the reasons The Self Love Club is so important to me!

Boudoir Photos Pittsburgh

Ok, off my soapbox for now.  I included the above photo because I now make every client stand in front of it at the end of their session.  This perfectly describes how I view them.  They beauty of your soul is a wonderful sight!

I leave the rest of this post in the words of my client as she shares about her experience!

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1) Why did you decide to invest in a boudoir photo shoot?  As a wedding gift for my fiancée

boudoir studio session in pittsburgh PA in black lingerie

boudoir studio session in pittsburgh PA in black lingerie

2) How did you feel about yourself before your photo shoot?  Pretty good

3) How did you feel about yourself after your photo shoot?  Looking at those photos, fabulous!

boudoir photography in pittsburgh PA in purple lingerie

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

5) What was your favorite part of the boudoir photo shoot?  Towards the end not even caring what I was (or wasn’t) wearing

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

Boudoir Photos Pittsburgh

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