The Mirror

Another one of the studio changes I made for 2019 was a complete refresh of the bedroom…that includes this luxurious mirror!  I am completely obsessed with how it looks in photographs!

I saw this mirror over two years ago and debated on buying it – it certainly wasn’t inexpensive!  I loved the look of it but needed to think about the investment….then I just decided to dive head first and I’m so happy I did.

Believe it or not, this magnificent best is very lightweight so I always tell clients to be careful when they put their hands on it.

Accented with the blue tufted chair I got a few years ago, a few new plants, and a gold table – it’s complete perfection.

Also, new is a painting on the wall (you can see the reflection in the mirror) and new pillows!  Oh and lets not forget the velvet curtains that just tie the entire room together!

I love refreshing things and keeping everything updated.  And, well, your girl loves to shop so this always gives me a reason to be looking.  Finding these unique pieces are what keeps me going – I mean, who doesn’t love to find truly terrific things to pose with women!

I just adore this job so much – I’m so thankful to all the women who trust me to give them this experience that I have a hard time putting into words how much these women mean to me.  I have had some tough conversations, loving insights and heartfelt talks with lots of women.  We’re all struggling with something.  We all want love.  We all want to be accepted.  And, we all want to be seen and heard – let me assure you that I SEE YOU and I HEAR YOU.  None of my clients will ever walk anything alone – I will be their cheerleader and champion until I have no voice left.

Here are some photos with the new mirror…plus a few extras!

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Raw & Real, Stripping Down the Masks

Over 16 months ago, I had this idea.  An idea to take off all the makeup and see our raw and real selves.  One of my boudoir clients so graciously was a guinea pig for that idea and as I thought more and more about it, I knew I needed to do something bigger.

I reached out to the women on my email newsletter and let them signup for raw and real sessions.  Knowing this may be a challenge for some, I encouraged them to step out of their comfort zone and move into a place of love and acceptance for that unique beauty they possess.  The ladies that were quick enough to jump into the limited spots I opened were some past boudoir clients, friends that I’ve known since I was a child, and some women that have followed me for years and wanted this opportunity.  Whoever they were, I knew that we would come together as a remarkable group of women and celebrate each person as they bravely stepped forward in front of my camera.

The stage was set with champagne, fruit, cheese, dance music, a big fan, tons of laughs…and a crazy photographer who hoots and hollers at you telling you how beautiful and fantastic you are.  I can see it in you.  I need you to believe it’s there.

We, as women, hide.  We hide our faces with makeup.  We hide our bodies with clothes.  We do things we don’t want to do and say things we don’t believe to hide our feelings from others.  We get disconnected with ourselves and we pull away from knowing who we are deep down inside.  I asked each of these women to come fresh faced, no makeup, so that I could capture their essence.  An essence I see in every woman but something they struggle to see in themselves.

This self love journey we’re on is hard and it takes a lot of work.  You cannot sit back, say you want to change the way you feel about yourself, and expect  your life to be different.  You have to face the things you run away from, you need to lean into those difficult emotions, you must get in touch with your soul, you need to define your beauty – all of that takes effort.

The silver lining is that all you need is yourself.  YOU need to love you the most.  YOU need to give yourself confidence.  You don’t need approval or validation from anyone else – you have it all within you.  You just have to find it.  The love you have for yourself isn’t temporary.  It’s the lasting love that you need in your life every single day.  No one can give it to you but you.

Do you let people see the real You?

Do you let them see the dark side, not just the fun side?
Do you change yourself or your viewpoints to be accepted by others?

Do you fear letting yourself be seen for who you are?

Do you know what your heart & soul desire?

Do you feel like you can’t share your whole self with your friends?

Do you feel like you are pretending all the time?

Do you force yourself to be someone you know you are not?

You build a mask to protect yourself from being seen, hoping that it keeps you safe and will continue to provide you with the love and affection from others.  But what about the love and affection from yourself?

You cannot fully love yourself if you are hiding – your unique self must be allowed to shine.  When you hide or change yourself, you stifle down your true self and are putting your essence in a container.  Seal the lid on that container tight, don’t want to risk any of it getting out.  When do you that, you are telling yourself you aren’t good enough as you are.  This is not the message I want you to send yourself.  How would you feel if someone was telling you that you weren’t enough every single day?

Stop being what other people expect you to be.  Strip off the mask and claim the power of yourself!  She’s there, desperately wanting validation from you!  Recognize her, support her, accept her and love her.

Your heart is in your hands.  What are you going to do with it?

 

Here’s a video of the session!

Thank you to these amazing women for trusting me.  I love them dearly and applaud them for being raw and real!


pittsburgh boudoir photography

makeup free beautiful women in photography seriesmakeup free beautiful women in photography series

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Totally For Me

This woman is one of my favorite women to photograph!  I love having her in front of my camera, but more importantly in my life!!  I’ll leave this post to her:

pittsburgh boudoir woman in black boots on stairs at pics by chicks photography

(PS – This is one of my FAVORITE photos I have ever taken!)

1) Why did you decide to invest in a boudoir photo shoot?  I’ve had a personal shoot and one group shoot in the past, so it was a no-brainer to do this again. At this time in my life, I was coming from a pretty dark place: I lost my dad earlier in the year and was grasping to solidify my identity and affirm my personal value in the absence of this person I loved fiercely who had made such an indelible impact; it was daunting. I had done a lot of soul searching and had been hung up trying to determine my legacy, my place, my tribe. What I really needed then was a day of self-indulgence and self-love, which I knew a shoot with Maura would deliver. I just wanted some levity and to refill my cup, metaphorically speaking.

boudoir photography pittsburgh woman in Asos bodysuit on Victorian sofa by Pics by Chicks Photographyboudoir photography pittsburgh woman in Asos bodysuit on Victorian sofa by Pics by Chicks Photography

2) How did you feel about yourself before your photo shoot?  Honestly, not terrible. I was/still am struggling with accepting some noticeable weight gain, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from being a part of Maura’s tribe, it’s that I’m (we’re! – all of us!) beautiful no matter what. Beauty comes from believing that and carrying myself with integrity and pride. I don’t always get it right, but I know it’s really just that simple when I get down to it. I embraced the day and decided I would be fearless and own it.

boudoir photography pittsburgh woman in Asos bodysuit on Victorian sofa by Pics by Chicks Photographysexy photos pittsburgh of woman in bodysuit at pics by chicks photography

beaver county boudoir photographer, Pics By Chicks Photography

3) How did you feel about yourself after your photo shoot?  Like a rockstar! I mean, Maura has that effect on everyone, but this was a particularly uplifting day. She let me have some creative license, she directed me, she hooted and hollered. It was really a dream come true. But, to be fair, that’s how it always is. Plus, I got to wear a killer pair of turquoise heels with vintage skulls I owned but have never worn and my husband’s old band tee in homage to him. I can’t quite put the day into words! I got to tap into many, many aspects of my persona in an authentic way.

intimate photos pittsburgh woman in Asos bodysuit on stairs at Pics By Chicks Photographyintimate photos pittsburgh woman in Asos bodysuit on stairs at Pics By Chicks Photography

4) Describe your session in 3 words?  Empowering, frenetic, creative

pittsburgh boudoir woman in black boots on stairs at pics by chicks photography

pittsburgh boudoir woman in black boots on stairs at pics by chicks photography

5) What was your favorite part of the boudoir photo shoot?  I really wanted a glitter bum, which I had seen on Insta, and she let me totally demolish her bathroom floor while I attempted to shellac myself in glitter. I know this was a special exception because I am a return client who was passionate about trying this out, but she totally ran with it. The final result, despite my failures to achieve what I wanted to as my own makeup artist, were quite stunning.  (Maura Note: I can’t show you these photos because, well, nipple!  Your nipples, your business)

edgy rocker boudoir photos in pittsburgh
6) What would you say to other women who are considering a boudoir photo shoot?  I’ve said it before, what are you waiting for? When I first did a shoot, it was for my 10-year-anniversary, but the final product and result were really all for me, much to my surprise. This shoot was totally for me, and I was reminded that even when I can’t see the beauty in my own body, it’s still there! Her eyes (and her periodic screams) say it all.

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Maura Magic

Maura Magic – a phrase that is used often in my business.  No, I didn’t come up with that – a client created that phrase a few years ago after her session with me.  It was something she shared in my private FB group (link below, open to all women) and other clients agreed!!  I was flattered.  But, yes, there is some magic involved.  The way I light my images, the way I pose my clients, the angles I choose, the editing of my artwork, but most importantly, the way I connect and work with each woman that steps in front of my camera.

Yup, the biggest part of the magic is the way I can get you to relax in a seemingly uncomfortable situation, the way I can make you laugh to look at ease in your images, the way we talk openly during our time together to help break down your barriers to acceptance, and so many other wonderful things!  This goes far beyond “just pictures”  – this is an experience of a lifetime and I treat it as such!

Every woman is worthy of doing boudoir.  Every woman has a boudoir body.  This is a body positive experience and the Magic is for everyone!

I leave the rest of today’s post in this woman’s words.  Here’s what she had to say about her session:

boudoir photos pittsburgh Victoria's Secret lingerie

1) Why did you decide to invest in a boudoir photo shoot?  Doing a shoot is something I thought about for a long time, and after getting some personal time with Maura I decided that I was worth the investment!

boudoir photos standing poses in lingerie from Victoria's Secret, Pics By Chicks Photographysexy photos pittsburghsexy photos pittsburgh

2) How did you feel about yourself before your photo shoot?  Self conscious, uninspired, down on myself. It is hard to see yourself through others eyes, and I struggled with that my whole life.

3) How did you feel about yourself after your photo shoot?  Proud, motivated, sexy. My shoot was life changing, I hold myself to a higher standard, look at myself differently in the mirror.

boudoir photography pittsburgh photo collage of sexy poses in bra and panty set from Victoria's Secret

boudoir photography pittsburgh photo collage of sexy poses in bra and panty set from Victoria's Secret


4) Describe your session in 3 words?  Fun, life changing, energizing.

boudoir photography pittsburgh photo collage of sexy poses in bra and panty set from Victoria's Secret5) What was your favorite part of the boudoir photo shoot?  Having some personal time with Maura, she truly makes you believe you are the most beautiful woman in the world

boudoir photography pittsburgh photo collage of sexy poses in bra and panty set from Victoria's Secret
6) What value do you think a boudoir session brings to your life and the community of women you support? It’s such a body positive experience it truly changes your life.

pittsburgh boudoir lace bodysuit from Victoria's secret on Victorian Sofa, Pics By Chicks Photographypittsburgh boudoir lace bodysuit from Victoria's secret on Victorian Sofa, Pics By Chicks Photography

7) What would you say to other women who are considering a boudoir photo shoot?  Just do it. You are worth the investment, time with Maura is honestly priceless. Maura magic is a really thing!

pittsburgh boudoir lace bodysuit from Victoria's secret on Victorian Sofa, Pics By Chicks Photography

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Good to go live

A few times a year, I do a live boudoir session in my private Facebook group.  This is a great chance for the ladies to get to see the inner workings of a session, and they begin to realize that it’s not as intimidating as it may seem.  We actually have quite a bit of fun and laughs – usually at my expense, which is fine by me!  I love to laugh and smile.  I want to enjoy each moment we share together, and getting the honor of giving the boudoir experience to these women is simply wonderful.

Each potential live shoot hopeful submits an application to me for consideration.  I am typically inundated with applicants and sometimes it seems like an impossible task to just pick a few.  But, today I think it’s important to share with you WHY this woman wanted to be a part of a life shoot.  Here’s what she had to say!

When it comes to photos I tend to prefer them from the chest up. I want to be comfortable existing in photos and proving to myself that hey I’m one hot babe. Life changed for me in 2012 when my brother took his life, it was devastating for me but it also changed my soul in good ways. Since his passing I try to live in the moment, seek out the best in days, and try to build up other people as much as I can. Sometimes in that process I tend to put myself last but I’m learning to get better. I’m tired of thinking my size will holding me back from things in life. I’ll be honest the thought of a live shoot scares me, but it’s also thrilling and empowering. It’s exciting to think that a live shoot of me might encourage someone else to bust out of her own chains of self doubt and embrace herself and celebrate herself at any size. I have been on a journey to be the best and most open me that I can be and I believe your mission and celebration of women is exactly what I need to keep on keeping on 🙂 A live shoot is an excellent way to push myself out of my comfort zone and see what I am capable of.

Thank you Maura for what you do for women. It’s inspiring and encouraging. You’re like an angel in human disguise. I absolutely love your mission and am excited to potentially work with you!

And, here’s a look at just a few of her photos!

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boudoir images in pittsburgh by pics by chicks photography red lace bodysuit

plus size boudoir photography pittsburgh woman in fishnet top posingplus size boudoir photography pittsburgh woman in fishnet top posingplus size boudoir photography pittsburgh woman in fishnet top posing

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