Boudoir Means Beautiful

By Julie Roberts at Julie Roberts Photography

Whenever I bring up the idea of boudoir photography I get bombarded with comments from women who love the idea of a session but aren’t happy enough with their bodies to brave being in front of a camera with practically nothing on. As if “happy enough with our bodies” is something we will ever achieve. As if we need any more reminders of the body image issues that plague our culture.

I once photographed a tribe of amazing people in a primitive township in south Africa. They lived in huts with no floors, no running water … and no mirrors. Which meant they had never really seen themselves and they also had no ridiculous self hatred based on what they did/didn’t/should/shouldn’t look like. One lady had only a few teeth and wild, frizzy gray hair. She was so exciting to look at and so fun to photograph.  When I showed her the picture I had taken of her on the back on my camera she went wild with laughter. I didn’t speak Zulu and they didn’t speak English, but I still understood their incredible joy at seeing themselves for the first time.

Africa

It changed me forever.  These women certainly wouldn’t meet our ridiculous standards of beauty … but they were some of the most beautiful people I have ever seen. And they taught me a lesson in self worth that I will never forget.  Since that experience, the importance of photographing people has held a different place in my heart. A place where I realize that ALL people are beautiful. Cultural standards are meaningless here. When I have the opportunity to photograph someone, I have a chance to change how they view themselves. I’m not talking about photoshop. I am talking about seeing people as they are and finding their encompassing true, beautiful self. I have learned to find the beauty in people and show them what they look like through my eyes.

I could talk about flattering poses, angles, and light…but the most flattering thing I could ever do for someone in front of my camera is to let them see their own beauty and believe in it.  WE have to learn to believe in our beauty. We are so busy comparing ourselves to others, dwelling on the flaws, and obsessing over what we wish we looked like.  Instead of comparing ourselves and judging others, we need to offer up a little acceptance and a lot of love – for others and ourselves. We need to learn how to see our unique beauty and find joy in who we ARE. God made us…these perfectly imperfect people with silly smiles, belly rolls, crazy hair, big teeth, short legs…it’s all beautiful!

I certainly don’t have all the answers. But I feel like it’s important for me to share this and hope that I can influence at least one woman to look at herself in the mirror today and smile back. See a freckle and say “cute!” or spend a moment admiring your shape or skip the admiration and go on to sheer awe at what your amazing body has accomplished. Maybe you have climbed a mountain, run a marathon, or survived an illness. My body has grown and birthed two beautiful babies, and I am so proud of that.

I think maybe believing in our own beauty begins with simply seeing it. We see ourselves and then instead of judgment and criticism, we learn to say “okay” and maybe even “pretty”. And then we begin to feel a little more comfortable in our own skin.

When I began doing boudoir photography I never realized what a platform it would be for making this kind of change in the lives of women. The reactions surprised me as much as it did the ladies I photographed. Mostly I get comments like “I had no idea I could look like that!” And it’s not a lie! It’s just a matter of getting out from behind your own veil of self doubt and seeing some truth from someone else’s perspective.  Who knew boudoir photography could be a ministry in self worth?  It surprisingly has such a positive, powerful, and encouraging effect on everyone I’ve worked with.  Don’t we all deserve a boost in the self worth department?

And yeah … there will be gorgeous photos in the end that you might want to share with someone special.  Nothing is more exciting than delivering your “sexy book” to your husband-to-be as a major surprise wedding day gift. But what’s even better is that before you surprise him with the photos, you’ll be noticeably more confident and self assured.  And he won’t be able to figure it out what is so different but he will definitely like it!

Essentially the boudoir session itself is really all about being honest, being silly, and having a whole lot of fun in a situation that might seem intimidating at first.  It’s about going beyond your fears and insecurities and grasping onto a new way of thinking about yourself.  Give yourself permission to feel beautiful and sexy…you absolutely deserve it!  Whether you decide to do a boudoir session or not, I hope reading this has been inspiring.  And if you are interested in doing a boudoir session…I would love to have the honor!

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8 Bold Colors We Want to See in Your Spring Wedding

It’s that time of year again! Wedding season has come upon us, and the pastel wedding palettes are quickly making their way back into our Pinterest feeds and favorite wedding blogs. We agree that the light blues, baby pinks, soft greens, and pastel yellows are perfect shades for the spring season. As a bride, you shouldn’t feel cornered into using these colors for your wedding, but you also shouldn’t be intimidated by vibrant colors! We’ve come up with a list of a few bright, bold colors that you should totally incorporate into your spring wedding:

Poppy Red. Let’s face it, we’re all busting out My Chihuahua Bites to brighten up our nails this time of year–why not add it to your wedding color palette! Red hues are a bold color for every season. However, it’s most commonly seen in the colder months, so throwing in a touch of this cherry red will give new life to your spring wedding! We believe it’s best accented with blush, peach, ivory, and leafy greens.

 

Spring wedding colors

 

Magenta. Who says jewel tones are limited to fall weddings?! We like to think of magenta as poppy red’s flirtatious sister. Add a pop of magenta into your pastel color palette to create whimsy. This vibrant color can be perfectly paired with blush, tangerine, and deep purple.

 

Spring wedding colors

 

Cobalt Blue. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something *cobalt* blue! There’s something about this color palette we just can’t get over. Blue is such a classic color, you’ll never tire of seeing in your wedding photos, and the rich tones of the cobalt add an elegance unlike any other to your special day.

 

Spring wedding colors

 

Bright Yellow. Bright yellow peonies and daisies, shimmering gray table cloths, and some pops of sleek gray can modernize your spring wedding, AND it looks fabulous. It’s guaranteed to brighten any guest’s day! Despite what some may think, this color can be very versatile. We love it with lavender, dusty blue, or blush!

 

Spring wedding colors

 

Tangerine. When tastefully done, the charm of this orange hue is simply irresistible. This is one bold color you’ll need to utilize in moderation. Depending on the amount used, it can either give off a youthful, summer vibe or a chic, modern feel. We love pairing it with peaches, blush, and dark greeneries. For the ultimate wow factor, pair it with hot pink and magenta!

 

Spring wedding colors

 

Copper. Hop on over, silver and gold. There’s a new metallic in town. Rose gold and copper are becoming quite the staples in the wedding industry this year. There’s no reason you can’t make a metallic your main color–it makes a statement that will leave your guests stunned!

 

Spring wedding colors

 

Lavender. Okay, so maybe lavender isn’t exactly the first ‘bold’ color that comes to mind, but we adore it too much to leave it off the list! For this color palette, think springtime tea party–throw in a few chandeliers and beautiful drapery, and you’ve got yourself a top-tier wedding.

 

Spring wedding colors

 

Black. Black isn’t restricted to the winter months! Using black is the best way to incorporate formality into your wedding. Complement the bold, yet neutral color with ivory and sage greens to add a serene feel. The bonus to using this color – absolutely nothing clashes with it!

 

Spring wedding colors

 


 

Poppy red image credits: Cake // Bouquet & Dress // Bouquet // Shoes // Bridesmaids’ Dresses // Table Decor & Chair

Magenta image credits: Wedding Chicks

Cobalt blue image credits: Cake and Shoes // Bridesmaids and Invitations // Bottles and Place Setting // Ring

Bright yellow image credits: Chevron table runner // Bridesmaids // Skirt & Bouquet // Daisies // Flower with table runner // Invitations

Tangerine image credits: Invitations // Specialty cocktails // Groom and Bouquet // Wire Decor // Cake

Copper image credits: Candle holders // Floral arrangement // Place Setting // Calligraphy // Chair // Mug Party Favors

Lavender image credits: Invitations // Bouquet and Bridesmaids // Floral arrangement // Cake // Groom

Black image credits: Cake // Bridesmaids’ Dresses // Tuxedo // Invitations and Chalkboard Sign // Bouquet

767 Days Later

These two waited 767 days to say ‘I do,’ so to say this day was highly anticipated is an understatement. Milestone Pictures perfectly captured every moment and feeling in this wedding video. An adorable (and creative!) first look, Jennifer’s classic look and cathedral veil, and a dance floor that wasn’t empty the entire night – it was a truly unforgettable event!

Choosing Castleton Farm: Real Castleton Couples

Castleton Farms wants to share a little LOVE from our 2013 Brides and Grooms. Here, in their own words, find out what they LOVED most about their Castleton experience and find out why they decided to make Castleton their wedding venue of choice!

Bride and groom on wedding day

 “Well, for me, I knew I was only going to get married once, so I had to do it right! From the moment I saw the sheer, effortless elegance Castleton exudes, the search for my perfect venue was over.  As a full-time law student as well as part-time employee, planning a wedding wasn’t something I could possibly have time to do by myself – that’s where Darla came in. I cannot sing her praises enough. She and the Castleton crew made my entire wedding experience a true fairy tale!

Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Newton

Real couple on wedding day

“The absolute best thing about Castleton farms is Darla. She helped us make the best decisions before the wedding, and literally took care of everything we needed the day of the wedding. We loved her level of involvement! No wedding is stress free, but we are so thankful Darla was there to take care of us. We trusted her from the moment we booked the venue, and she took incredible care of us.”

Mr. and Mrs. Nick Kakanis

Carnival themed wedding

“Dreams do come true! There are not enough words to completely express our thanks and appreciation for all that Castleton did to make our day the BEST day of our lives. No detail was left undone, and the Castleton grounds looked as if they were ripped from the pages of Southern Weddings magazine. The styling team really carried out our vision of a Vintage Carnival themed wedding throughout the ceremony, Carriage House, and reception. Our guests are still swooning over how amazingly beautiful everything looked! We find it nothing less than incredible that, with the volume of weddings you all help to perfect, ours was truly so unique and everything we dreamed of. The food was absolutely delicious and unique, as was the cake. The Castleton team, led by the amazingly talented Darla Walker, exceeded all of our expectations and absolutely no detail went unnoticed or unappreciated. We could not have dreamt of a better way to begin our journey as husband and wife and we are so thankful for Castleton’s hard work, creativity, love and passion that they put into every inch of our Castleton Experience. Brides, look no more…because everything you dreamed of is about to come true!!”

Mr. and Mrs. Michael Courtney