– Contributed by Wee C
About the middle of May I placed an innocent-enough phone call to Liam Hennessey at Applehead Studio, looking for some information on photography for my BFF’s upcoming nuptials. When I was exploring his website I came across his boudoir portfolio. “Crazy fools,” I mumbled to myself. But secretly, I was beyond jealous that these beautiful women had the courage to strip down to their skivvies, put on those “come hither” looks and let some random MAN take their pictures. I mean, really…who is to say this photog wasn’t some Criminal Minds-esque fella, keeping all these pictures of half naked women and planning to abduct them? Right…have I failed to mention that I’m overly-suspicious and generally fear that everyone has it out for me? My, I have a brilliant imagination for someone my age.
At the end of my call I found myself blurting out a question that I was certain had come from someone else in the room. “So, tell me a bit about your boudoir sessions. I’m turning 30 in a month or so and I think a boudoir session could be the BIG thing I do to celebrate,” I say (without taking any breaths…those commas are just for proper punctuation, folks). WHAT?? That couldn’t have been me that asked that. But the grin on my face after the words left my mouth suggested that I was, indeed, the happily-guilty culprit.
I didn’t book my session that day. But I sat and I stewed (and stewed and stewed some more), wondering whether I had built up enough swagger over the course of the year to really do this. And, in usual form, I talked about it, puffed my chest out and said that a boudoir shoot would be my last 30 Thing, all the while never making a follow up call to actually book the session. I bought myself personal training sessions at the gym (and exercised until I literally cried in the middle of the gym). I stopped eating bread and cheese for 30 days, I took the stairs at work (all two flights of them), I was doing a copious amount of sit-ups every night, and I was flexing my behind anytime I thought no one was looking. I was doing everything I needed to do to get myself ready…except make the stinkin’ call.
As is usually the case, Big L laid the law down. And, no one disappoints Big L. Have you seen Will Farrell’s skit, The Landlord? Big L’s a bit like Pearl. Cute as a button, but you don’t mess with her. Needless to say, I called. “Ok, I need to book this thing,” I said. “And making this phone call is about as big of a deal as actually coming to the shoot.” The deal was done. I, of course, immediately called Big L to report on my good behaviour and accomplishment.
I had about three weeks to prepare for my Play Girl shoot. And for about two weeks and five days, I COMPLETELY IGNORED the fact that I was going to do this. Yes, I discussed it with friends, but alone, I managed to successfully block the reality of my impending doom. To make matters worse, two weeks before the shoot I came down with a cold that took me out of the gym for the remaining days leading up to the shoot. Add that into the mix, and I was in full-on denial.
With 48 hours left, I decided I should probably figure out what I was going to wear. That’s when panic set it. OMG! OMG! OMG! What does a girl wear to one of these things? Do I even have any underwear and bras that match (remember, I’ve been with hubby for 11 years, the necessity of having matching underoos is, well, non-existent)? Lace? Silk? Low cut? High cut? Oh, no, definitely not high cut. DO I HAVE ANYTHING, AT ALL, THAT’S FLATTERING ON THIS FLABBY BODY? And in my desperation, I even stood in front of my full-length mirror, pulled the skin around my stomach towards my back (in an effort to look more taut) and wondered whether I could legitimately get away with taping my skin back and not having my make-shift plastic surgery solution show up in the pictures.
Thank goodness for Liam’s stylist, Nirah. Perhaps more appropriately, thank God. My call with her the day before the shoot settled my nerves and actually made me excited for the shoot…like going-to-Disney-World excited. “Pack a suitcase with anything and everything you have in your closet,” she said. “I mean everything. Jewels, lingerie, off-the-shoulder tops, trench coats…” Did she just say trench coats?! I have the most spectacular Big Bird yellow (how’s that for sex appeal) trench coat hanging in my closet and wearing it makes me feel like a million bucks. Telling me I could bring that coat was like telling a three-year-old that they don’t need to leave their sookie blanket at home. Now I was ready to rock and roll.
And rock and roll I did. With Liam, Nirah, and Big L (armed with a little celebratory bubbly) cheering me on, the only other time I’ve felt that sensational was on my wedding day. And fortunately, Liam didn’t fit the creepy profile I had imposed upon him. Whether an accurate analysis or not, Liam seems to simply appreciate women…each one for who their own respective beauty. And I’ll tell you, that feeling goes a long way in helping you when you haven’t got much covering your bits. So, if any of you are going to do this, go see this guy. You won’t regret it.
We shot for FOUR hours. And I loved every single second of it. I left that night feeling like a year had most definitely changed me and knowing that there could have been no better way to celebrate my 30th birthday. Getting the pictures a week later? Well, that was just the icing on the cake.
PS – the photos are pretty incredible, by the way.