Have you ever done a boudoir shoot before?
No I have never done a boudoir shoot before.
Why did you do your boudoir shoot?
My girlfriend did one and she said that it was amazing and really helped her feel valued and empowered. She added me to the VIP group. She also knew that I have been on a journey of finding myself again, to love myself again.
What was your favorite part of the session?
My favourite part of the whole experience is how I felt leaving the session. Seeing and feeling me. I don't know if that make sense but it was like I have come so far over the past six months to know me again and here I was. I was a force that I missed.
What did doing this shoot do for your self confidence, self worth, and self image? Tell me your story.
So my story is a long one. The long of the short of it. Over the past 6 years, I have lost a lot. First my best friend, my hero, my dad. He always encouraged me to go for what I want and did whatever he could to help get me to my dreams. After he passed my husband and I experience 5 miscarriages, although I say we, he was never a part of that feeling, he didn't really connect with it all be he even told me once because he likes it always being all about him. So I suffered through the loss of my dad and then the loss of 5 of what I am guessing would be beautiful babies. I then became pregnant with our Rainbow Baby and boy am I lucky. During the first year of her life, my brother-in-law was experiencing a lot of turmoil and well it effected the whole family. I also decided to fall on ice and shatter my ankle and am now part machine. This all affected me, my life, my self-esteem. I am the person that likes to help others before I help myself. I remember telling the social worker at my bedside oh I got this. I had 5 miscarriages, I now have my girl, nothing can take that high from me but little did I know something did. me breaking my ankle, me not being able to care the way I wanted to for my 15 wk old baby, me not being able to breast feed this beautiful girl anymore because I was on medication out the Waz zoo. I understood but parts of me were dying inside. Then it hit harder before my daughter turned one, my brother-in-law committed suicide and our world crashed more. My husband went into a depression without seeking help and I decided that I got this for everyone on my in-law side ... again, just like I did when my dad died. As one of Ryan's friends said I was the rock of the Retzlaff family. While boy did that rock start to crack and break. Then I did something amazing, Todd and I hosted a car show for those who are suffering with mental health and raise $4000 for the different services here in Calgary. It was great or so I thought but what we were doing is putting our emotions into a show and not working through them so when it came time after the show things started to break away, my husband was suffering and wouldn't talk about it, told me that I was always analysing him and we cracked, so we separated, the whole blame was on me, It was my fault he was the way he was what he told me. So with lots counselling for myself I built myself back up! It was work and I mean a lot of work and still it work. But I am getting a little closer every day to the person that I know that I am. To me! So when my girlfriend told me how she felt after doing the shoot I was like I have to do this for me... Something for me and me only. I walked into the shoot totally nervous because I had gained 60 lbs back over all the mental anguish and didn't like who I was at that point in time well not who I was but my shell of me. to me I was FAT, and I wasn't sure how to love myself for letting myself get as big as I have on this journey. BUT let me tell you DAMN! I love the way that I look in these photos. I can't believe these are me. I love the boost I got in my self-confidence,, self-esteem and my self-imagine. Now a happy note. My husband has done a lot of work on himself, so We did decide to give it another shot. He has told me he already knew I was this beautiful and wished I could see it like he does.
Was your experience what you were expecting? If not, how was it different?
No it wasn't what I was expecting. It was even more then that only because I am on this journey to work on me and this really helped open it up to me that even though I am 60 lbs heavier then I was I am still beautiful, gorgeous and most of all I am still ME.
What was the best part of your experience? Would you change anything?
The positive vibe during the whole session, the laughing and smiling. You know you had a great time by how much your face hurts from smiling when you leave or even the next day. I didn't feel like any of my smiles were fake. I loved the whole thing.