Here’s the latest instalment in our new Boudoir Series, focusing on some of the INCREDIBLE journeys our clients have faced and are facing.
We aim to share, inspire and celebrate their strength and touch on how their boudoir photoshoot with Johanna Elizabeth had a positive impact on their journey.
Diane, you’re incredible!
I’ve never really been one to celebrate birthdays. Never had a big party or gathering. Mainly for fear of no one turning up! So birthdays have always been quiet affairs with family and loved ones. However, as I hit 48, 2 years ago, I suddenly had the urge to start thinking about my 50th.
After all, I worked in the music industry and I knew quite a few cool people so it had the potential to be an amazing party that people would actually want to come to!
Party planning ground to a halt!
During 2019, I mulled over potential venues and who I’d have perform and DJ and planned to start putting things in motion early 2020. Well, we know what happened there don’t we?!
As the year went on, my 50th plans got smaller and smaller! Boris eventually announced U.K. ‘lockdown’ number 2 for most of November which is when my birthday was! So, I had to scale back my plans and have a quiet affair with the family instead…..which was still lovely.
Celebrating how far I have come
But back-tracking, why had it become an urge to mark this milestone?
I guess 2020 made us all do a lot of self analysis. Looking back, I have been through the wars a bit, as we all have; married, divorced, kids with new bloke, then we split up – leaving me a single mum of 2 kids under 2 in a new town not knowing anyone.
I also had severe, suicidal post-natal depression and was trying to hold down a job while juggling childcare.
Finally, I got the help I needed
Despite all this, the kids and I made it through and I now have a fantastic partner but, around 7 years ago, the dark clouds of depression started to descend again. Even though the doctors were trying to get me to take anti-depressants, I knew that wasn’t the answer. I had a friend who is a menopause specialist and she suggested I may be peri-menopausal, at 42. So off I trotted to the Drs who of course were having none of it. I was too young and still having periods.
My depression was now affecting my relationship and one night it came to a head and he said it was over. The next day he went flat hunting but when he got home he suggested we try the private doctor my friend recommended as a last ditch attempt to see if there was any truth in the menopause reasoning, so at least we can say we tried everything before we finally called it a day. So off we popped and came home with a bag of HRT and 6 weeks later I was back, depression was gone!
50th birthday boudoir shoot with Johanna Elizabeth
As life moved on, both mainstream and social media seemed to right off the aging menopausal woman and portray a dowdy image. Well I wasn’t having any of that!
One of the benefits of getting older is that you know what you want and don’t want, and you’re now not afraid to say! This is partly where the idea of doing a boudoir shoot came from. It also stemmed from a childhood experience.
I am involved with a charity which is about women coming together to help disempowered women globally and I have met some phenomenal strong women as a result.
Finding my inner strength
This in turn gave me the strength to go public with my experience of childhood abuse and rape which happened between the ages of 7 and 9. I guess part of the ‘shame’ I carried around for years meant I could never fully own my sexuality. There was still a small part of me that saw it as ‘bad’.
So I guess turning 50 signalled it was time for me to claim me back completely and honestly, no apologies, as like most of us, we are prone to put others before ourselves.
One morning I put boudoir photography in Google and as soon as I landed on Johanna’s website I knew I had found the photographer I wanted to capture me.
A superb experience!
Not only were the pictures AMAZING but the whole ethos and support network that came along with it drew me in completely. The whole process is superb right from initial contact all the way through to reveal day.
I spent hours on Pinterest sourcing new lingerie and then finally it was shoot day. What an experience that was! From the initial nerves and wondering if I could ever pull off some of the poses, and walking into the studio in my undies, to by the end of it feeling so comfortable in my own skin. Surprisingly, I was quite comfortable in the nude in front of two women I’d only met a few hours before!
And just when I thought nothing could top shoot day, there was the ‘reveal’ – just WOW!
Most definitely recommended!
I chose my pictures with the genius idea of adding photos to my Christmas list so I could get all my favourites.
I am in love with my portfolio!
Would I do it again? Most definitely, and I’d recommend any woman to do it.
I have shown a select few to my kids. My son thinks I’m kinda hot, my daughter thinks it’s inappropriate (memo to self: need to let her know she and her body are not inappropriate at all!), my partner has looked like the cat that got the cream every since!
And me? Well, this 50-year-old menopausal woman is walking with a bit more sass!
Diane, what a journey, love this story. So inspiring!
To find out how a photoshoot experience can celebrate and honour where you are RIGHT now, click here.
Related reading: More incredible client stories
Jo and Team JE