What Do You See?

This is MY BUTT!  Yes, my butt.  I am using myself in this posing demonstration.

Showing you the different angles of you!
I talk often about how I get to show you all sides of yourself. When you look at yourself one dimensionally, you miss so much about yourself. That logic applies both physically and soulfully.
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Let’s take MY booty as an example.
If you look at me straight on, it’s pretty flat.
(Go ahead, zoom in on that picture above and get a good look at my booty.  I really want you to focus on what it looks like from this angle so you can appreciate what I am going to show you below)
I always say, “God blessed me with boobs, not a butt.”
My pants fall down cause there’s nothing back there to hold them up.
There’s not much to grab on to.
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If I only look at myself from one angle, from one viewpoint, and only noticing what I don’t have…..I actually see nothing.
I miss what is there.
I fail to see the curves of my body, all my edges, the roundness.
But, from other angles and dimensions, BAM! I have a butt!!!!
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This is why my angles matter, posing matters, light matters, what you wear matters….it all matters so I can show you yourself, fully!
Let me do just that for you!
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Are you ready to see all the sides of yourself?
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What She Said

I thought I’d include some recent testimonials that have been posted in my Facebook group.  While I don’t have permission to share their photos specifically (because my client’s privacy is important, and I only share photos I’m allowed to share), their words are still important.  So here we go:

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From K.T.

I have started this post a couple times trying to find the right words to express the incredible experience that is a photo shoot with Maura. Those of you who have had this experience know exactly what a monumental task that is.
My first shoot last year helped heal my confidence. My second shoot healed my soul. My super power this time was acceptance. Accepting all the pieces of me and seeing all of me as valuable; especially the parts I try to keep hidden.
This shoot was my gift to myself for my 40th birthday and what a perfect gift it was. I spent the last year of my 30s shedding other people’s expectations of me. Accepting that perfect is an illusion and there are no such things as “faults” just things that make us more interesting. All things Maura shouts from the rooftops!
She created an environment for me to open up and be myself. A place for my true self to shine and created works of art for me to have for the rest of my life. The self expression that she not only encouraged but celebrated was exactly what my soul needed.
I can never thank you enough
Know that the only risk you face going into a shoot with this incredible woman is that it won’t be your only one ❤️❤️❤️!
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From C.M.
This photoshoot was everything I needed after this year. I was nervous at first, but within the first 5 mins of shooting I felt completely comfortable. Maura is the best hype girl and makes you feel so confident. I spent years hating my body and now I have never loved it more. I’m so happy I finally decided to do a shoot with her. If you’re hesitant, all I can say is you won’t regret it. Thank you for doing what you do Maura McCarl Chick
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From D.S.
Signing up the day of open house was one of the best decisions I made. I told myself to just do it! The day of the photoshoot I was so nervous but when i showed up Maura just made me feel so comfortable and I’m usually just so shy at first. The photoshoot and Maura made me feel so much better and more confident!! Oh my goodness and at the reveal of all the photos i just fell in love with myself again! Maura told me don’t look at the flaws you always see look at everything about the photo. So anyone wanting to do a boudoir shoot! Just do it!!
I especially loved my booty pics!!
THANK YOU MAURA!!
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From J.R.
So this is what 50 is like…..
With age comes wisdom? I’ve learned that every woman is self conscious about something with her body. Every. Single. Woman. It’s so easy for us to see our own flaws. To focus on the negative. When Maura asked what I wanted from this session, I said I want to see what my husband sees. I want to see myself in someone else’s eyes.
So I got glammed up. Maura cheered me on all day. Her hoots and hollers made me feel comfortable. Made me feel glamorous! I see now it was more than those fake eyelashes I kept teasing her about all day. She truly is an artist! I put my trust in her to style me and she did not disappoint!!! Totally worth it and took the stress off finding outfits to fit in all the right places. Driving to my viewing tonight I kept thinking I’m going to hate myself in these photos. I feel like a busted can of biscuits today. Blah blah blah. When she showed me the first photo I cried. I couldn’t believe it. It’s like you focuses on all my good parts and the bad just fades away! If you’re on the fence, please don’t hesitate to book your appointment! Don’t be afraid to put your trust in Maura. I already can’t wait to book my next appointment! Maura, I can’t thank you enough!!! ❤️love love love how my photos came out!!!! Thank you!
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I Apologize

::SELF LOVE::

 A recent post of my journal….

 

To my body, to myself, I must apologize.

 

I don’t even know where to begin.  For so long, I have only seen you as a problem that needed to be fixed, that every time I failed, I’d “just let myself go.”  Never once looking at you with kindness – it was quite the opposite, just raw anger, disappointment and despair for how you looked.  With constant thoughts of, “How could my body possibly betray me, I am in control and I will warp you into the mold that I want.” 

 

The only place to start is by saying I’m sorry. 

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I’m sorry for always telling you that how you looked was wrong and that you needed to be fixed. When I look back, I see now that you needed healing, not fixing.  Healing from a mindset that only looked down upon you, that constantly beat you up, healing from never feeling like you were right or that you wouldn’t fit in.  More healing.  No fixing. 

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I’m sorry for always thinking you were wrong.   I never saw what was right and good about you.  Let’s admit it, looking at you fully without turning away was a rare occurrence.  During those few times I could look at you, I would only focus on the things I thought were my problem areas, “how does that outfit make my stomach look?” “Does this make me look thinner?”  “Are my arms showing?”  I couldn’t see what was RIGHT, I couldn’t see you standing in front of me.  I only saw you as wrong. 

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I’m sorry for always blaming you when something didn’t go my way.  Everything came back to you, even when it had nothing to do with you.  “If you were thinner, people would like you more.” “If you lost weight, you would have been married by now.”  “Drop those 40 pounds you’ve gained, and you can go to the beach again.”  It was always your fault. 

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I’m sorry for belittling and berating you every chance I got.   It never ended.  Whether my legs were too big, my boobs sagged too much, my cellulite was overwhelming, pinching my fat, pulling and tugging at everything I hated.  There was nothing good to be found in you, and I’m sorry I couldn’t see all the value that existed within you.

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I’m sorry for all the things I thought but never said out loud, for those things were far too nasty to even speak into the world.  But you already felt what I was saying.  I didn’t need to speak it out loud for it to have an impact on you.  Just a little shake of the head was enough disgust for you to know how badly I felt about you, no words ever needed. 

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I’m sorry for standing in front of the mirror and speaking with such vitriol in your direction.  The mirror only showed me the disappointment I felt, for it was staring right back at me, with such a heavy heart, I would spout off hate that I am still recovering from.  I never realized that the mirror could offer me a warm and welcoming reflection. 

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I’m sorry for not seeing you for what you are.  I only paid attention to what you didn’t have, for all that you lacked, for the wrong way you looked.  I only noticed things I wanted to change, not recognizing what you were.  How could I ever accept you if all I wanted to do was alter the way you looked?  You were the part of me that constantly faced rejection, that never met a kind word from me, you always heard that you need to be better and look different.  I’m sorry. 

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I’m sorry for always thinking the worst of you.  What positivity could be found when I was beating you down left and right?  Everything about you was always the worst it could possibly be, that you were the most disgusting thing around. 

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I’m sorry for always hiding and concealing you, constantly telling you that you weren’t good enough to be seen.  Oversized t-shirts over my bathing suit at the pool & beach, clothes that were 4 sizes too big for me to hide my body, wearing jeans in the heat of summer, because the less I was seen, the better.  I didn’t realize at the time how hurtful that message was to you – you needed to stay hidden because no one, not even you, wants to see that gross body.  So, I hid and hid, and the body hatred grew deeper. 

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I’m sorry for holding us back from embracing the moments of life.  From vacations to pool parties to relationships and everything in between.  It was your fault we didn’t go anywhere.  If I could have those perky boobs or a firmer stomach, I would have gone those places, done all those things, developed deeper relationships with others.  I was continuing to blame you for my inability to embrace myself as I am and enjoy life as it comes. 

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I’m sorry I was so ashamed of you. 

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I’m sorry for thinking that others only see you, my unappealing body, and not the person within.  The value that exists within someone has nothing to do with their body, and you are no exception.  Yet, time and time again, thoughts consumed me that others cared about how you looked, deep insecurities developed that led me to believe that strangers and friends alike were constantly judging you.  Most hurtful though, was that I always felt you needed to look a certain way to receive love and acceptance from others, never once realizing that you didn’t have your own love and acceptance from me. How sad.

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I’m sorry for all the fat jokes I told or even the ones I laughed at at your expense.  You aren’t a joking matter, but, as a defense mechanism, I needed to do it before others did it to me.  That sounds like I’m defending my actions, but it was the reality of my situation.  I always needed to laugh at the jokes or tell the jokes so that no one could see how ashamed I was of the body I had.  I know better now. 

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I’m sorry I punished you every time I failed at something (especially after each new diet plan and exercise regimen).  I was brutal.  You were a failure.  You couldn’t do anything right.  Never blaming a society that wants me to believe that one solution defines success, I looked to you to take the heat.  I would punish you with more hurtful words, endless days at the gym when I hated everything I was doing, starving myself.  I went to the extremes so I wouldn’t feel like a failure. 

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I’m sorry for letting you – my body – this one thing, define who I was, dictate my worth and hold the burden of whether I felt good about myself.  That is too much pressure for one body to carry. 

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You, Maura, are so much more than the body that carries your soul.  You are fierce, you are passionate, you are joyful, you are force to be reckoned with, you radiate positivity and light. 

 

NONE of those things could be found simply by looking at your body. 

 

It is now the season of life for me to make amends.  I have a lot of time to make up for, I have a lot of hurt to process, but I also have a lot of love and compassion that I need to show upon you, my dear body. 

 

You are worthy. 

You are acceptable, just as you are.

You have accomplished enough just by existing.

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Now, let’s go do all the things we’ve always wanted to do!!  As we do, I promise to embrace every moment, to LET GO and live, to experience the joy in each adventure not worrying about how you look.  I will take the progress day by day on this long journey, and I’m ready for it all!

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And now, some photos from a session (nipples purposefully blurred for website).

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The Swing

 

 

THE SWING, THE SWING, THE SWWWWIIIINNNGGG!

I’ve been holding off on sharing about THE SWING on my blog for a few months now.  Clients have seen it, used it and LOVED it..so it’s time for me to show you some of the awesomeness that is this swing.

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Truth be told, I had wanted to get a sex swing for the studio for some time but never felt I had the required space for the vision I had.  When I bought the building that now houses my studio, I knew exactly where I would put a swing.  After months of looking for the right swing and waiting for it to be installed, it finally came to life and all I can saw is WOW!

This swing is from Honey Birdette. It’s genuine leather, with rose gold accents on the bar and stirrups.

I also have the collar and cuffs that match the rose gold in the swing.

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I lovingly say this is an adult jungle gym!  It takes some effort to get into the poses, because, well, the swing moves as we use it!  It’s so sexy and I’ve had a blast using it during sessions!

There are more poses and fun to have with this swing than I’m showing here but I don’t want to give it all away. wink, wink.  The possibilities are truly endless.

I also feel it’s important for me to say that this was professionally installed my a licensed contractor so it’s properly weight bearing.  The swing supports up to 500 pounds.  There’s no way I was risking putting it up myself – I wanted to make sure it was safely installed in the ceiling joists! 🙂

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Are you ready to explore the swing?  Book your session now!

 


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How do they want me to feel?

I want to share with you one of the most critical questions I asked myself on my journey to body healing:

How do they want me to feel about myself in order to buy this product?

I would see advertisements all the time, I am never able to get away from them, especially on social media.  

Whether it is a new diet plan, a super food that will change the way I look, a deodorant that helps me “smell better naked,” a new shape wear line, a workout plan that burns fat fast, or a toothpaste to make teeth as white as possible.   

Honestly, every time I saw these ads, I would feel horrible about myself.

Whether it was something I never considered before (smelling good naked) or something I had obsessed about my whole life (losing weight), nothing I would see ever made me feel good.

In my efforts to always fix and change myself, it would cause me to act.  

To buy their miracle cure.  

To hand over my hard earned money believing that this would be the magical thing that would make all my body problems disappear.

It never worked, ever.

In a few weeks, I’d be back to where I started, feeling horrible about the way I looked.

Constantly searching for the thing that was going to CURE ME.  

Perpetuating the belief that if I changed how I looked, I would finally love myself.

Then one day, I stopped to think about the motivation of these companies and asked:  

How do they want me to feel about myself right now in order to buy this?

A huge question that changed my perspective on everything.

These ads, these products, these companies were feeding into the negativity that most women, me included, feel about themselves.  

They prey upon those negative feelings, emotions and behaviors that have been developed since childhood.

They were exacerbating the problem areas I saw in myself, expounding the view that I needed to look a certain way.  

They create a societal ideal and they exploited my desire to fit the idea they created.    

In most cases, companies are trying to sell me fixes to the problem areas THEY have created in my life.

See, they aren’t inherently problems.  I am not something that someone needs to fix.

But, they want me to wholeheartedly believe that I need to be fixed.  

That I have problems.  

That my body is wrong.

That the way I look is shameful.

All my problem areas, and THEY have the quick fix.

They were manipulating my feelings.  

They saw me as a solution.  

They created the reality in which I am living but I am supposed to trust that they can create the result I seek.  

What do they want me to feel when I see their ad?

Is it a good feeling, a bad feeling, do they want me to be worried about the way I look?

Do they want me to feel disgusted when I look in the mirror?

Are they really there to support a body positive journey or are they just trying to sell me something?

At the end of the day, upon reflection of this question, I realized they weren’t coming from a place of true support.

They were coming from a standpoint of having a poor image of myself so I’ll hit that buy button.

It was all focused on me feeling bad enough so that they could make money.  

“Want to feel better about yourself? Buy our product.”

I felt manipulated.  That I was simply someone to be fixed.  

Everything I saw was about changing the outside, upgrading my looks, manipulating my body to fit the mold.

That will never be the solution to lasting confidence and self love.

My body will continue to evolve, change is inevitable.  

I will no longer allow advertisements to dictate the feelings I have about myself.

I know their game.

And I’ll no longer be playing it.

 

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