Ever turned the pages of a glossy magazine to see a beautiful model and wished you could look as good? I’m here to prove that you can look as gorgeous as you feel and capture that look forever. Read all about my photo shoot experience by Spirit Photography in Bath and see the real life results of a beautiful bride-to-be’s boudoir shoot experience.
Yours truly in a top hat and corset, not looking my usual tired 40-something self and that’s for sure.
A photo captures your spirit in a split second, a record forever of the way you look, and that’s not all; a good photographer will capture the real you: the feminine beauty, sensual siren or quirky eccentric you feel inside.
Why every girl should have a photo shoot
Perhaps you have worried that your figure is not slim (or curvy) enough, your face not pretty or your skin not clear enough. I thought like that and yet I knew I could look the way I felt inside, I just needed a little help. That help came in the form of the amazing Jo and Neill Menneer of Divine Divas at Spirit Photography in Bath. Jo is the professional hair and make up artist, her husband Neill, the photographer.
Together, in their small, friendly family business they transformed me from a plain, forty-something cancer-survivor and mother of two (with terrible skin) to the charismatic woman (with flawless skin) I have always felt I am inside. The results were even better than I had hoped, and I’m not just talking about the photos.
My photo shoot experience
It all started with an email, to which Jo Menneer replied instantly. She answered all my questions, reassured me and I booked a date. Jo suggested I bring along a favourite dress and any props I might want to use in the photographs.
I brought a figure-hugging dress, top hat, feathers and fur, my prettiest underwear and some killer heels. She also suggested I drink more water than usual to make my skin glow, something I admit I didn’t believe, but she was right, as you can see.
What to expect
When I arrived I was shown several albums and told just what to expect. Neill asked me what style of photos I would like to have taken. I told him I love vintage Hollywood style and asked for a sophisticated, vintage style shoot.
The hair and make up took an hour and it was an enjoyable time, with champagne in hand, chatting away. The shoot itself took about two hours and I had a screen to change behind. The studio was well heated and light and Neill was brilliant at getting me into poses. I felt like a star.
The photos are just what I wanted. At the viewing I was asked if I would like any wrinkles or scars air bushed out!
For me, the shoot was about feeling more confident in my own skin and creating a lasting record for myself and my family. These photos record who I really am now, with all my scars and that feels liberating.
Bride-to-be Becci’s boudoir experience
Becci Hards is a 30-year old bride-to-be who also had a boudoir shoot with Divine Divas. She told me the initial plan was to have the photos done for her fiancé as a wedding gift.
Becci was apprehensive before the shoot as she’d never done anything like this before and doesn’t even usually wear make up.
She told me: “I was very nervous initially… I didn’t have much confidence and do not feel at all sexy in any way but Jo was great at soothing my nerves while she did my hair and makeup. I was most nervous just before the first photos as I didn’t know what to do or even quite what to expect.”
“The room is clearly set up as a studio so it’s not like you are just in a bedroom with someone you don’t know in your pants! I don’t know what came over me as I am not a confident person normally, I just decided to go for it!” And go for it she did.
Becci looks stunning. Her natural beauty just shines and she is also very pleased with the results, she told me: “The photos are amazing, I just couldn’t believe it was me!”
Amazing before and after shots
Over the years Neill and Jo have made hundreds of women look and feel amazing. Here are just some of their most impressive before and after shots.
Book a shoot
A photo shoot is a real confidence booster and a great experience. Book it for yourself or as a surprise for your nearest and dearest. I took along my two best friends and made a day of it. An enlarged photo will look amazing on your bedroom wall and the dress shots can be framed for your family.
You could have a gorgeous photo book, mounted prints and a range of framed and unframed wall pictures to choose from at affordable prices. Oh and it’s not just for the girls either… For the groom, there is ‘Dudoir’ so you could have a framed photo of the man you love in his birthday suit too.
A photo shoot is not not just about creating lasting images of you looking and feeling your best, it is a lot of fun and all in all a very positive experience.
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Kate Thompson is Confetti's features editor and wedding expert, and has worked in the wedding industry for 15 years. A widely published lifestyle writer, she has made BBC television and radio appearances discussing wedding trends in the UK.