Blog

Intimate Male Portraiture, Dallas Trip pt. 1 | Houston / Brazoria County Boudoir Photography

Owen

We know that women struggle with body image, but what about men? According to a 2015 Common Sense Media report found that body image comes into play for boys as early as age 6, and Owen is sadly no exception. It was an honor and privilege to spend a couple of hours with him on my trip to Dallas, equally capturing his vulnerability and masculinity.

Looking to invest in loving yourself, instead of changing yourself?

Limited Availability for 2019 | Embrace Boudoir | Houston Galveston Brazoria County Boudoir

 
Gabby4.jpg

Embrace Boudoir has some big news for upcoming clients regarding our 2019 availability calendar!

The team here at Embrace strives to offer the very best experience and attention for each amazing person that walks through our doors. To do so, we offer a limited number of sessions each month.

Additionally, as many of you may already know, Ashlee (the photographer) and Keelena (the boobsistant) are both pregnant! We’re so excited to be growing our families; we are both first-time moms which means life is going to change drastically, and we’ll need some time to adjust.

This means that our availability is sadly going to go down even further! So here’s what you need to know for the coming year…

 Ashlee’s 24 week 4D Ultrasound!

Ashlee’s 24 week 4D Ultrasound!

 Keelena’s 12 week 3D Ultrasound!

Keelena’s 12 week 3D Ultrasound!

As of now, there are only 60 session slots available. Some of them are already being booked!

At this time of writing this, sessions are scheduled for Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10 am (this may change based on the team’s availability). Occasionally we offer sessions on Thursdays.

We also usually take a week off either at the beginning or end of each month to make sure we’re all caught up on business tasks (editing, designing, bookkeeping, back-end stuff, etc).

Gabby1.jpg

We’re typically booking 2-3 months in advance.

We are so lucky and humbled to be the top boudoir studio in our area! This means that we book our calendar a decent length in advance. More often than not, we’re booked 2 months out. Holiday seasons are also very busy for us, especially August - December!

We recommend booking your session at least two months ahead of time; this will give you time to feel fully prepared for your session (take this time for self care, shopping, and saving up for your collection purchase!).


Here’s a look at the dates we have planned out so far (subject to change)!

January: 8th, 9th, 10th, 15th, 16th, 22nd, 23rd

February: MATERNITY LEAVE! :)

March: MATERNITY LEAVE! :)

April: 2nd, 9th, 16th, 17th, 23rd, 24th, 25th

May: 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd

June: 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 18th, 19th

July: 9th, 10th, 11th, 16th, 17th, 23rd, 24th

August: 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st

September: 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th, 17th, 18th

October: 1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 22nd, 23rd

November: 5th, 7th, 6th, 26th, 27th, 28th

December: CLOSED!

 

Invest In Yourself | Embrace Boudoir | Luxury Boudoir Photography in Texas

 
Meaghan7.jpg

There always seems to be an excuse to hold off on a boudoir session- you’ve got friends and family that you likely put first. You’ve got goals you wanna reach. You’re a busy bee.

Based on a recent survey in the Boudie Tribe, we asked “How often do you prioritize self care?” Sadly, many people don’t do anything for themselves. “What’s that?” they asked.

It’s time to turn that statistic around!

Perhaps you’ve heard of the term “body positivity” - especially since we use it a lot around these parts.

But maybe you’re not quite certain that you belong in that category. Don’t worry! We’re going to clear that up a bit for you! Body positivity is “unlearning the idea that only certain bodies are worth acceptance and praise.” It’s important to note that just because someone is body positive, doesn’t make them immune to societal beauty standards, nor that negative nag in their mind. In moments of self doubt, it’s all about catching yourself in the act and reminding yourself to treat yourself (and others) with kindness! Basically, teaching yourself to be mindful in situations where body image is involved.

So, how does an Empowerment Session
with Embrace help with that?

It’s simple, really. You set aside a day ALL about you (yes, an entire day!), you come in and get pampered, and then we guide you every step of the way through a photoshoot with the intention of smashing (with a metaphorical hammer) those deep-rooted insecurities you’ve got!

You’ve seen yourself in the mirror, you’ve seen yourself in selfies, you’ve seen yourself in pictures snapped by your friends/family, and maybe you’ve even seen yourself in professional family photographs.. but until you’ve seen yourself through the eyes of a boudoir photographer, you haven’t truly seen what you and your body are capable of.

Everyone on the Embrace team knows from personal experience, because we’ve all had our own boudoir sessions (it’s important that we keep ourselves in our clients’ shoes so we can relate!). Here’s what each of us have to say about our own experiences:

Ashlee:Before, I only saw myself as plain. Sometimes I could feel pretty, but I never saw myself as "sexy" or "magazine-worthy." That is until I saw my own boudoir photos! I was yelling, "Holy shit, that's me!" I'm happy to report the confidence I gained from my boudoir sessions has expanded into my daily life! “

Angelina: “I’ve always been told I was pretty; sometimes even beautiful. But I’ve rarely been called sexy. So rarely that when my husband called me sexy- I’d eye-roll and laugh it off in disbelief. But when I saw my images I felt sexy and desirable for the first time. I gained a confidence that I carry with me everyday.“

Keelena: “I honestly couldn't believe that it was me in my own photos. I have never seen myself from this perspective. I was in awe. I saw myself as elegant, and sexy. I secretly even laughed at myself and thought, damn, my husband means it when he says I'm hot!”

Psst: wanna see what others are saying about Embrace sessions? Click here!

So… What more is there to say?! You deserve it, even if you don’t quite know it yet…

This is your moment to celebrate the beautiful and sensual human being that you are today.

Your journey to self love deserves luxury, and that’s what Embrace Boudoir strives to provide. Every session includes the following: our exclusive prep checklist & lingerie guide, access to our bodysuit closet and accessory armoire, a one-hour photoshoot ft. up to 3 outfit changes, fully-guided posing & direction, as well as your same-day ordering appointment to view your proofs and purchase from our luxury collections!

You can enhance your boudoir experience by adding on our bombshell makeover: get full coverage airbrush foundation, contouring, eye and lip makeup, and optional fake lashes. Or, need a little extra help deciding what to wear? You can also add on a virtual shopping trip with the Ashlee (owner/photographer of Embrace Boudoir) to get the most in-depth outfit guidance!

We offer a variety of payment options.

  1. Pay in full using your Debit Card or Credit Card (most popular!).

  2. Apply for Square Installments; pay us in full and pay Square back on your own time w/ low interest.

  3. Apply for Paypal Credit; pay us in full and pay Paypal back on your own time. 6 months interest-free!

  4. Pre-session payment plans: a contract agreement is required. You’ll have 6 months to make payments; there’s no min/max to the number of payments or amounts you pay, as long as it’s paid off within the time frame! Each individual payment is non-refundable after 24 hours, and you must pay for the full experience plus minimum collection before any service is rendered. A session date is selected once your invoice is paid in-full!

Sessions begin at $300. Luxury Collections range from $999 to $2499.
See all of our investment information here!

What Are You Waiting For?!

 

Comparison is the thief of joy | Embrace Boudoir | Luxury Boudoir Photography in Brazoria County, Texas

For most of my life I looked up to people who were able to pull off the newest beauty trends, especially ones that required you to be flawless and thin. I always felt like I never measured up to those standards and it left me feeling insecure.

It took me a long time to realize that beauty trends are just... well trends.

They fade, they change, and in the end I realized the people I looked up to were filled with insecurity as well as they tried to keep up and feel relevant and beautiful. I do believe that some trends can obviously be super fun in life, but it's easy to forget that our value isn't reflected or based on what brief and short lived standards are in at the moment. I find a lot more comfort and security in myself by enjoying what my body is like, and by celebrating the diversity and beauty that is found outside of a typical magazine model.

I grew up constantly comparing myself to my older sister who I always thought was prettier than me ever since I was very young. I wasn't thin like her. I had a more muscular build and was chubbier, so in my head I thought surely everyone thinks she's beautiful and I'm ugly. I never had a lot of self confidence and I tried to hide my body, even though I was at a perfectly healthy weight. Not until after high school, and when I started working out did I really appreciate what my body was capable of, and how my strength was a beautiful thing about me-- and so what if my muscles were covered in some fat?!

When I joined the Boudie tribe I encountered Ashlee' s lovely and amazing work as well as the positive atmosphere and that gave me the final push to really accepting my own body.

Another thing that has changed the way I see myself, and others, was being able to work alongside Ashlee. As her assistant I have seen how all of these beautiful women come in for their shoots, feeling vulnerable, and leave feeling in awe of themselves. And at the end of each shoot when a client leaves I am always left in awe of them. Each person so unique and beautiful in their own way, and not just physically. So when I see other women in this way, I can't help but look at myself in the same way and think "Woah. I am extraordinary and stunning the way that I am".

I'm not really sure if I had a real fear. I just always knew I had to have a shoot with Ashlee... And it finally happened! If there was fear, there was a small fear of regretting not being able to have my shoot because I always put it off a lot. When I became pregnant I almost panicked a little thinking it was too late and I should have done this sooner! I am so relieved that I finally was able to have the boudoir experience that I always dreamed of. Hopefully someday I can have a shoot after having my baby to document my changing, beautiful body. Before my shoot I already felt pretty comfortable with myself. I would say an 8? But damn, when I saw my photos I knew I broke that 1 to 10 scale 💁‍♀️

Despite having assisted Ashlee with multiple shoots, I thought I would have it all down and not be nervous, but when it came down to it, I was still nervous! It didn't last long though. In the end we had so much fun with this shoot that the nervousness just melted away. Ashlee told me I was doing great and I felt so confident by the end of it.

I honestly couldn't believe that it was me in my own photos. I have never seen myself from this perspective. I was in awe. I saw myself as elegant, and sexy. I secretly even laughed at myself and thought, damn, my husband means it when he says I'm hot!

 The shoot itself was my favorite part. Of course I am insanely excited over the by product of the shoot, the photos themselves, but the experience itself was refreshing. It was time I got to spend to spoil myself, and celebrate me. I enjoy working with Ashlee, both as an assistant and as a client. She is funny, relatable and positive, and I always see her doing her best in giving a unique experience to each client and she gave the same great effort and energy in my shoot.

My advice would be: don't put it off! It's a vicious cycle of putting it off over and over. Treat yourself and just go for it! I had the best time during my shoot, and seeing my photos at the reveal was such a special moment. I honestly can't think of any reasons of why this whole experience wouldn't be worth it!

The Boudoir Experience | Embrace Boudoir | Houston & Co Luxury Boudoir Photography

 
Deann 2.jpg

Hello lovely reader,

If you’ve been wondering what it’s like to book a session with Embrace Boudoir, you’re in luck! Keep reading to find out some facts (and myths!) about boudoir and hear about the experience straight from the mouths of past clients!

Xo!
The Embrace Team


Top 3 Misconceptions About Boudoir

  1. I must have a significant other to do this for. WRONG! Boudoir is first and foremost for the person coming in to be photographed. It’s all about taking some time off for yourself and seeing your body from a new perspective.

  2. I must lose or gain weight before I do this. WRONG! Boudoir, ESPECIALLY Embrace Boudoir, is a body-positive genre of photography that celebrates bodies of all shapes and sizes; it’s time to set aside societal beauty standards, forgive your body for not being perfect, and start loving yourself instead!

  3. I’m not confident enough to do this. WRONG! Consider this: everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear. All you need is a little bit of courage to conquer that fearful voice in your head. Boudoir is here to help you find the confidence you have buried deep down inside of you already!

IMG_0611 copy SEPTEMBER.jpg

5 Facts About Embrace Boudoir
Empowerment Sessions

  1. We’ll provide you with our exclusive Preparation Checklist and Lingerie Guide to help you get ready for your photoshoot. The checklist goes over all the things you need to think about leading up to your session (such as appointments, or grooming tips), and the lingerie guide will help you find the best outfits. Plus, you’re welcome to email Ashlee (the owner & photographer) for any advice along the way (or even a pep talk if you start to get nervous)!

  2. We have a backup Bodysuit “closet” in the studio! We are OBSESSED with bodysuits and are currently building up stock of several different styles to have on-hand for clients who may need a little boost to their wardrobe. Right now we have sizes ranging from XS to XXL! You’ll just need to bring a black thong in case you decide to borrow one!

  3. You don’t have to know how to pose AT ALL! That’s where Ashlee’s expertise comes in. She has been a photographer for over 8 years, specializing in boudoir for nearly 3 of those. She’s also spent thousands of hours and dollars on her education, so she is comfortable posing ALL body types. There’s tips and tricks you’ll receive at the beginning of your shoot, plus you’ll receive guidance from the top of your head down to the tip of your toes. She’ll even direct you on where to look, and even remind you to breathe!

  4. Embrace photoshoots are extremely chill! Most clients add-on the bombshell makeover to their session, which gives you some extra time to relax and get pampered! During actual shoots, Ashlee brings a calm energy while Keelena brings the quirk. We usually take our time during sessions and have fun with it! There’s no pressure to be perfect, we find silly things to laugh about, and we also rock out to our pre-made Boudoir playlist (we also take requests!).

  5. You get to see your photos on the SAME DAY! No waiting with bated breathe for a sneak peek. After your shoot, we’ll go over product samples with you and send you off for a few hours. At that time we take our lunch break and then get to work culling and processing your images; we choose only the most epic photos from your session (showing a minimum of 30), color correct, and perform a basic skin smoother. Then we pick 2 or 3 to fully retouch so you can see what ALL of your images will look like after you order them. Once ready, you’ll be invited to join Ashlee virtually via an app called Zoom (it works on your computer or your phone, you just need a high speed internet connection). You’ll get to see your images, purchase your collection, and complete the paperwork all on the same day!

SYP_Kristina_SYPA_053.jpg

A Handful of Our Reviews

“If you've never done a boudoir shoot...BOOK ONE IMMEDIATELY! It's so crazy how you can go from feeling nervous about your body to feeling like the sexiest woman on the planet! Ashlee brings that out in you!!” -Kristina

“I had a great experience working with Ashlee! She was patient with me the whole time and really helped me step out of my comfort zone. I've had two sessions with her so far and I can't wait for my third.” -Monica

“Doing the photoshoot with Ashlee was an amazing experience! I've always been self conscious, but she knew exactly how to make me realize my worth. She's super professional, fun to talk with, and great at what she does! It was almost hard to believe how comfortable I was during the whole thing. “ -Amanda

"I have never met a stranger that made me so comfortable in my own skin so quickly. Doing a shoot with Ashlee was one of the best things I’ve done for myself. Thank you Ashlee for giving me that confidence boost i needed. You da best! “ -Mia

“5 stars isn't enough for Ashlee's work, she's amazing! I was terrified when I first wrote her to book my session which was a few months after I had my fourth child. Right away she wrote me back and made me understand how everything was going to go, what I need to do to prepare. She even offered to call me the day before if I was getting to nervous so she could reassure me that I was gonna rock it!” -Samantha


Still have questions? Reach out to us!

 

What to Wear: a Sneak Peek at our Lingerie Guide | Embrace Boudoir | Luxury Photography in Brazoria County, TX

 
logan.jpg

We often hear from our clients that a big part of the nerves for scheduling their boudoir session was figuring out what to wear for their shoot!

Never fear! We send out our exclusive lingerie guide with every welcome email after you book your session. It goes over our favorite brick & mortar as well as online shops to purchase from, includes a link to our fashion board on pinterest for inspiration, what NOT to wear, things to consider (such as fitting your form, necklines, textures, and more), the type of coverage you want based on your needs, and different types of lingerie styles that we recommend.

Here’s a little sneak peek into our lingerie guide!

 

Our Favorite Online Shop

BooHoo

They have great styling options for every size, great pricing, and dependable quality!

A Note About Amazon

A lot of clients love to order outfits from Amazon! This is definitely do-able, there are some great options for great prices. Just be aware that most of these outfits come from China and sizing is NOT dependable. Definitely read reviews before ordering.

Jen13.jpg
Victoria18.jpg
 

Our Favorite Brick & Mortar Shops

Victoria Secret, Torrid, and even Target/Walmart have great options!

If you go to VS/Torrid, don’t be afraid to ask an attendant for help. As for Target/WM, you’d be surprised what they have on hand that will work for boudoir sessions!

A huge bonus to going out and shopping: you get to try everything on first!

P.S. Your “birthday suit” is an option. Just saying!

General Recommendations for Your Session

  • If possible, bring more outfits with you than you plan to wear. This way we have options!

  • If you don't care for heels, you don't have to wear them. If you do bring some, I recommend avoiding ankle straps.


Pro tip!
THINK TEXTURE.

Sumptuous textures like lace, chiffon, bead-work, or embroidery lend a rich, tactile element to your photos. Avoid high-contrast patterns or prints, which are distracting. Logos or graphics are usually "don'ts." If in doubt, email me to ask my opinion!

monica5.jpg

CLOTHING. Clothing is a fantastic option for boudoir! It might sound counter-intuitive but think about a hot leather jacket; ripped jeans and a sexy bra; off the shoulder sweaters; a sheer T-shirt; a cute flannel or button up thrown over a bra. There are so many options for clothing that can be just as sexy, if not sexier than lingerie.

Maegan.jpg

BODYSUITS + TEDDIES. 100% recommended!! These are close fitting garments and are SO flattering! These are similar to one-piece swimsuits. Bodysuits are super in right now, so there are a lot that are considered 'clothing', but are super sexy for boudoir! Wear them with or without a bra underneath. If a piece is too sheer, consider layering matching high waisted undies over.

Tasha.jpg

Don’t be afraid to get creative - even shapewear can work for your boudoir session!


What NOT to Wear

  • JERSEYS. I choose not to photograph jerseys for a couple of really good reasons - first, I want the shoot to be about you, not a product/brand. Second, they simply aren't flattering on ANY body type! If you REALLY want to do a sport themed item, get a tight-fitting themed shirt that we can get wet and rip up - it'll be way sexier!

  • S/O's BUTTON DOWN. I get it, I really do but... You don't need your S/O's shirt, they're going to be excited to see your photos regardless! They are as flattering as jerseys.



That’s it for now! To see the rest of the guide, you’ll just have to book your session! ;)

Additionally, once you book you’ll be welcome to email me any time for advice. For babes who need a little EXTRA help choosing what to wear for your experience, you can also add on a 1/2 hour virtual shopping trip with me!

 

Holiday Deadline

 
ElizabethZ2.jpg

November 15th

 

Hey gorgeous babe!

There’s no better gift under the tree than a gorgeous album featuring YOU for your love. If you’ve been thinking about gifting the gift of yourself for your love this holiday season, please keep an eye on our deadlines. November 15th is our firm cutoff date for Christmas gifts.

Your session and ordering appointment MUST take place before then if you would like them in time for the holidays. Orders are due in-full, so if you want to make pre-payments get in touch with Ashlee to set up an invoice for you.

Warmly,
Embrace Boudoir Team

Something Wicked This Way Comes | Houston Galveston Brazoria County Boudoir Photography

Candyce and I got together to celebrate twofold: her witchiness, and our love for All Hallow's Eve! Interested in a Boo-doir session to celebrate the upcoming wicked holiday? Contact me

A Message from Sarah | Brazoria Harris County Boudoir Photographer

Growing up I was always picked on because of my hair color, freckles, & pasty skin.  Being one of the only red heads in school was really hard. Also growing up with my 3 brothers turned me into a tomboy. I never felt like I fit in & the other kids let me know I was different. I started getting bullied in Elementary & it got even worse when I got into High School. The bullying went from just my hair color & skin tone to my weight, the way I dressed & the way I did my hair. I started eating less, tried dressing more feminine, & even tried styling my hair different & wearing makeup but it still didn’t seem to help.  

I started acting out & soon found myself in serious trouble & put on probation. At the time it felt like my life was spiraling out of control. I felt like I was alone & my depression was so bad I was just ready to end it all. Luckily my now husband was there to help me through that tough time in my life. Jump ahead 3 years & we were pregnant with our first son. After having our son I was hit with postpartum depression but was able to jump back from it after a couple months. But after having our second son the postpartum depression hit me extremely hard. I didn’t want to leave the house, & I was disgusted by my mom body. I also was battling with my psoriasis on my scalp, face & hands.  I had started & failed so many diets until I found keto & managed to stay on it for 4 months straight it seemed to help my depression, anxiety & psoriasis. I was able to lose 30lbs but still felt like I was missing something. I had started to hear people close to me were gossiping & saying I looked like I had lost to much weight & that I looked sick. It made me feel so self conscious all over again.  

Around that time is when I had just joined Ashlee’s Boudie Tribe group & was amazed at how nice everyone was. It was hard to believe at first that there were actually women wanting to empower other women. One of the first videos I watched in the group was a self love video & what the woman said hit me hard. She said “The biggest reason people are unhappy these days are because they value somebody else’s opinion more than they value their own.”. It was true at least for me it was.  I always valued what everyone else’s opinion about the way I looked over valuing my own opinion. After realizing that it made me want to make that change to start on a journey of loving myself. At the time Ashlee was giving away a discounted session to whoever won her boudoir game. I thought to myself I’ll play but I doubt I’ll win. I ended up winning & instantly after talking to Ashlee my anxiety hit me & all I could think was “what the heck did I just get myself into” & “how can I get out of this”. My husband helped calmed me down & I could tell he was really excited for me so I decided to go ahead & go through with it.

The day of my session my nerves were so bad but Ashlee instantly put my nerves to ease as we jumped straight into taking pictures. I left feeling so confident & empowered. After my session I decided screw diets. Yes I want to be healthy & I’ll try my best to eat healthy but if I want cookies, cake or sweets in general I’ll eat it & not feel guilty. It took me awhile but I learned it’s not about the number on the scale it’s about how you feel & honestly after gaining 10 plus lbs back I feel so happy & love myself. 

I decided to do another shoot with Ashlee for a surprise for my husbands birthday but unfortunately the flood hit & during that time my husband found out about my shoot but I went ahead & still went through with it. The nerves still hit me but again Ashlee instantly made them go away & made me feel like a badass. I was blown away at my reveal of my two shoots. I couldn’t believe that was me in the pictures. Ashlee did an amazing job & has helped me find what I’ve been looking for in myself for all these years. Ashlee has inspired me to be a better woman & reach out & uplift other women. Doing these two sessions with Ashlee has honestly changed my life for the better! & I can’t wait to book my next all natural session! Thank you so much Ashlee for helping me love myself ☺️💜

Ashlee is one of the nicest people I have ever meet. I can tell that it’s more than just wanting to take pictures & get paid when it comes to Ashlee. She honestly cares about her clients & wants to uplift, empower & help them love themselves. Going into my sessions my nerves hit each time & each Ashlee eased them & made me feel comfortable. Thank you Ashlee 💜

They said the things I ate would go from my lips to my hips | Embrace Boudoir, Houston Texas Photography

"I always knew beauty came from within, but I never felt that way. I felt like I had to look a certain way to be beautiful. I was always told by people growing up about the things I ate that it would go from my lips to my hips, and that I should really watch what I eat.

People in high school called me fat and would yell thunder thighs at me from the bus windows while they threw stuff at me. I got so depressed and upset and really started focusing more on the things the said about me. It wasn't until after high school I learned what real beauty was.

Real beauty to me is being able to look in the mirror see the flaws and still love yourself regardless of what others have to say.

I was so nervous going into this photo shoot with Ashlee. I was nervous about how I was going to see myself when I got to see my photos. I was so scared about someone else seeing how my body looks under it all. Ashlee helped make everything so easy and comfortable! Although I was still somewhat nervous, she showed me one of the photos she captured and I was in awe.

My reveal day finally came and it was time to see all of my photos, I could not believe what an awesome job Ashlee did with my pictures! My favorite part of the boudoir experience was getting to wear things and show it off which I would normally NEVER do! It was alot of fun!

If you have been wanting to do a boudoir shoot, DO IT! It was so out of my comfort zone but I'm so glad I did it because it was the perfect start to my self love journey.

Yes I saw some rolls, and thought I wish it wasn't there but then I realized that's me, every roll, and every imperfection, is me and I love me. No matter how I look. Those imperfections will always be there by someone else standards of beauty, but the way I see myself is more important to me.

I'm so grateful that I was added to Embrace boudoir group, every women that posts something body positive in that group gives me the strength to know its okay to love yourself. and I just LOVE that women and supporting and lifting up other women!! 

Ashlee is an amazing photographer and knows exactly how to make you feel the most comfortable during the shoot! I just loved everything about working with Embrace boudoir!" -Brianna

I have body dysmorphia after having my twins | Embrace Boudoir, Lake Jackson, Houston, Galveston, TX

"Honestly, I was so terrified to do the shoot. I have body dis-morphia after having my twins. People always say oh you look so good after having twins and to me I’ve never been this big before so it caused me to see myself in a lot bigger light. With this shoot I couldn’t even believe the pictures , couldn’t believe it was me. Ashlee made me beyond comfortable in my body; there was no fear after she took over. She made me feel beautiful and coached me in the best sense. 

There are no words to express how grateful I was/am she changed my perspective on my body and I’m now wearing shorts I would have never worn in public. She not only photographs you but she brings your inner you to life again. Something you forgot you had. It sparks your soul back up. If you think that you will be nervous and too scared to show some skin, I can promise you she will take all the fear away. 

My favorite part of the experience was hearing her funny lines and being able to be so free during my shoot. Brought out my fun side. Also, Angelina the most kick ass make up artist ; put in work! She did a freaking astonishing job to my face. The transformation was unreal and her work during the shoot was fantastic as well. She made me feel fierce! 

After I saw my pictures I definitely cried and jumped with joy all within minutes. I will forever look at them with admiration. Not even believing it’s me but knowing it is. 

I loved everything about it ; I would do it a million times over! Thank you Ashlee for being a  phenomenal photographer & Thank you Angelina for doing the best job on my make up I could even ask for. Y’all make a killer team!

If you think you don’t want to do it because you’ll be nervous or uncomfortable; there’s no need to worry. She will take all your fears away! There’s nothing better than seeing the end result and realizing how beautiful you are and how amazing of a photographer Ashlee is. You will be beyond amazed. The love for her work shows. I would do it over and over again."

-Anastazia

I knew I had to love myself to be accepted | Embrace Boudoir | Houston, Lake Jackson, Brazoria County Intimate Photographer

Hey there, I'm Kristen!

Society’s beauty standards started at a very young age for me. I was born and raised in a small Pennsylvania town where I was the darkest person in my school. I was also the darkest person in my family and had convinced myself that I was adopted (I wasn’t)! Growing up different from everyone around me was not easy. I was made fun of for being different – you see, my heritage includes black, white, native american, and japanese. I was called names and bullied; I was often depressed and wished for lighter skin, hair, and eyes.

I eventually embraced the fact that I was different and as I got older I became happier in my own skin. I began to see the beauty in being unique! My confidence grew, and some may have even said I was cocky, but I knew I had to love myself to be accepted. By the time I graduated, I became friends with many of my former bullies. They’d gotten to know me and learned that they should question judging someone by their looks. It’s also shaped me as a person and taught me not to be like that either! I don’t care what nationality you are, if you’re gay or straight, rich or poor, fat or skinny. If someone is nice to me and I sense a genuine heart and soul, they are instantly beautiful to me.

I moved to Texas 9 years ago and I absolutely love it! I fit right in (everyone thinks I’m Hispanic). Admittedly, in the last two years or so, I’ve fallen behind on loving myself. My self-esteem hasn’t been the same after having my children, just growing older, and then being cheated on by the love of my life didn’t help. I constantly must remind myself that I am enough and try not to compare myself to others. I’ve had hardships just like anyone else, I’ve been broken, and I build myself up each time. Plus, I have two young daughters to raise and teach to believe in themselves, to be beautiful humans no matter what society throws at them! So, my boudoir photoshoot came at the PERFECT time!

Beforehand I wasn’t overly nervous, but my biggest fear was that I would have to climb mountains to feel beautiful and worthy again - my body confidence was at about a 5. From the moment I walked into Ashlee’s home, I felt extremely comfortable. Even though I’d never met her, or Angelina (the makeup artist) before, I felt like we were longtime girlfriends playing dress-up as adults! The music selection was on point and there were essential oils in the air. I loved the environment. The shoot was my favorite part of the whole experience, I felt like a model! Before even seeing my photos, I left feeling like a solid 10! I don't have to climb any mountains...I'm already on top of one screaming "I AM ENOUGH"!

When I saw my photos for the first time, I stared at them in awe. My eyes got teary. I looked at them as if I was looking at someone else, someone that I admire in every way. I looked at them and saw a woman of beauty and strength. I continued reminding myself that the gorgeous woman in the photos is ME! I deserve to feel this way every day! All woman should look at themselves this way.

To women who are thinking about having a boudoir shoot, PLEASE DO! Don't wait until you lose weight, get a boob job, a tattoo, etc.. You are beautiful just the way you are. Boudoir will show you that even if you, yourself don't believe it. I guarantee you will afterwards! It's an amazing experience to do for you! It is nourishing to the soul. No matter your size, weight, color, or other insecurities boudoir WILL knock them out! Don't wait...there's no better time than the present to look at yourself in a way you have deserved to all along.

When I first laid eyes on Ashlee's work, I knew that if I ever had a boudoir shoot she was going to be the one who did it! She is so talented! I have not seen a photographer that can do what she does! She will make any insecurity disappear. I am beyond satisfied I was able to work with her. Ashlee made me feel comfortable, confident and made me laugh. She has a way with connecting with her clients. She is a professional but she also made me feel like we were long time friends! I cannot put into words what she has done for me. Let's just say she showed me the beautiful, strong, empowered woman I forgot who I was. And for that, I cannot thank her enough! I cannot wait to book another session!


I was at a solid 3 going in | Embrace Boudoir | Lake Jackson / Houston Texas Photographer

Dear Journal,

Hello again! It’s me, Ashley. Let’s talk about the journey that has been my life.

While I have my moments where I think I’m decent looking, I’ve never considered myself beautiful or sexy. I’ve always found myself at the lower end of beauty standards with hair, makeup, body type, just the whole enchilada! From a young age I was picked on a lot. Little things at first like my freckles, but after being home-schooled for a couple years the little things got bigger. Starting from when I got back I was told I would look better if my breast were bigger. From there it was everything else. Hair, makeup, clothes, personality....it was like I got it all wrong all the time.

I graduated early and moved to Austin the very next day. It sounds fun but working every day and not going to school wasn’t wise. I was young, so I tried to keep up with everyone. In doing that, I became very angry and second, or triple guessed everything I did. And the 3 years I lived there had a big impact… on my insecurities. I was never pretty enough, never outgoing enough, I just flat out wasn’t enough!

Fast forward to today. I’m 24 years old and a mother to a cute little girl. She has helped shape me into a more understanding, reliable, and patient person. My daughter is 3 now and my stretch marks are finally lightening up – as for the rest of me, my arms, stomach, legs, and bottom are still jiggly, and I have bad cellulite. I have not “bounced back” even with trying different diets and working out.

It was only the past few years that I’ve finally started to accept myself.

I’ve been wanting to work with Ashlee at Embrace Boudoir ever since I joined the Boudie Tribe group in April 2017. I saw all of her amazing work and just wanted to be a part of it! I was so scared that I was going to be awkward, because I’ve never been good in front of a camera. That was far from how it felt though! She made me feel comfortable and showed me that I was far from awkward!

I was at a solid 3 in my confidence going in... I honestly didn’t give myself time to turn around and back out. When I left I felt like a solid 10 Queen!

Ashlee and Angelina both melted away all my doubts and fears! They both made me comfortable and joked with me and helped me along. That is honestly what I loved most. To anyone thinking about doing this, but think you can’t....DO IT! Your fears and doubts can melt away also with this truly gifted woman. I’ve recommended boudoir to some of my closest friends. And told them about how it helped change me see myself better!


 

 

I made a choice to start loving | Embrace Boudoir, Lake Jackson TX Photography

My name is Sybil, I'm 46 years young! 

My weight has been a struggle for me since I was a teenager. I never felt pretty "enough"! I never was skinny "enough"! Even my skin was not light "enough"! So imagine getting older and never overcoming those limitations put on you by yourself and inadvertently by others. Men would choose the lighter and skinnier girl, the prettier girls by society's standards. It took a lot of prayer, self-help books and B12 to finally start loving myself.

Fast forward twenty plus years, a husband and two girls later, getting older now weighs on me and once again I still doubt my worth. My body still isn't where I'd like it to be and now I have a blooming teenager who may well be getting close to dealing with the same issues I did.

So, I made a choice to start loving myself right where I am today. The boudoir session was a way to see myself as beautiful, worthy and ENOUGH!

Now I choose me over others, and think of myself first. I know if I don't I can never impart those things unto the little girls who look to me as more than enough! Wow, Wow, Wow! Plainly put, Ashlee knows what she is doing. The boudoir session was the most empowering session for me! She made me feel at home, gave me instructions on exactly what to do for each pose and I knew from her previous work that I could trust that she would help me look my best. 

Big things come in small packages. That includes Ashlee's stature, the bedroom she photographs in, and the camera she uses. Beautiful things are created during your session and if you relax and be selfish in the time you are there, you will be amazed at the beautiful images you produce!

Do it, and you'll want to do it again and again! I can't wait for my next session!

 
sybil-embrace-boudoir-lake-jackson-tx
 

If You're Reading This, I'm Sorry For Not Speaking Up | Brazoria County Boudoir Photography

I am in tears after reading Miss L's story. These are the words by the beautiful, brave woman featured in the photographs below:

 
lake-jackson-boudoir-photos
 

I've struggled with my body image my entire life.

My weight has always fluctuated and it was hard for me to find balance. I was always too fat, too skinny, too nerdy, too ugly, too mean, too WHATEVER... but never too loving. How could I be? How could I love other people when I couldn't love myself? Growing up, life was rough. Yes I was "daddy's little girl" but that was about it. Just Daddy's. My mother was virtually non existent and I think that this had such a negative impact on how I perceived myself. I felt like something was wrong with me. I was the youngest of 4 kids and she left when I was a baby. Why after me? Why were they happy after my 3 siblings but it end when I was born? I blamed myself for their marriage falling apart, but what did I know. I was just a kid. I was broken.

My dad was a single father raising 4 kids completely on his own, he did the best he could, so I'm not knocking him. I mainly wore hand-me-down clothes and attempted (key word there) to fix my own hair. That brought on a lot of bullying which made me hate myself even more. That's nothing too bad right? Most kids go through that kind of stuff. It was tolerable until I was 10. Well, here's a big truth bomb. Not to many people know this. Matter of fact, only 2 people alive know. But the truth will set you free... right?

So to my family. If you're reading this. I'm sorry for not speaking up.

When I was 10 my grandmother was dying and a family friend would come help her. Mow the grass, check off things on her honey-do list, you know that kind of stuff. He raped me. I told her and she didn't believe me. She said that no one would and that I should just keep quiet. So I did. Every time I looked in the mirror I hated myself. I felt ruined. That summer I gained a lot of weight, about 40 pounds worth. When it came time to shop for school clothes, nothing in the girls section fit, so into the boys I went. oh and did I mention I got lice too and my hair got cut to my ears? That was a great look for me (insert sarcasm here) and gave fuel to that little bullying fire.

Fast forward to 21: I had met the man of my dreams...or so I thought. We weren't together long but we quickly moved in with each other. That's when his true colors showed. He quit his job, started doing drugs and then the relationship turned abusive. Again, here I was broken. Why me? Eventually I got pregnant and left him. But of course my self perception was ruined. I couldn't stand to look in the mirror.  I'd say I was at about a 2 on most days and a 3 at best.

Deciding to apply for a boudie call shoot was stressful and scary.

What if I hated the woman the pictures showed even more? I said "what the hell" and did it anyway. I was so nervous I thought I'd puke when the day finally came for my shoot, but I'd say within a good 10-15 minutes Ashlee and Angelina had me completely comfortable, opening up and ready to be naked in front of them. While it did take me a minute to get used to Ashlee's breathing techniques, I felt so empowered during me shoot. Dare I say I felt sexy. I was STOKED to see my pictures and as good as I anticipated them being, they surpassed my expectations.

I couldn't believe that was me! Holy crap I was hot! I felt like a 10 looking at them!

I have NEVER felt like that in my life. I was in such a high that I tagged as many people as I could in her sneak peek post because I wanted to share them with the world. Now I'm about an 8 on a bad day and 9 on most. 

Society's perception of beauty can kiss my ass. We aren't cookie cutter people. There shouldn't even be a definition of beauty. Who says that we have to look a certain way or dress a certain way to be beautiful. That's bullshit and I don't know why I didn't see it sooner. My favorite part of this whole experience was finding that I can love myself and my body! I'm not the people or the trials that I've been through.

I cannot thank Ashlee enough for allowing me to see that. Now, I just want to carry a view finder around with my images and show everyone I meet! Doing a shoot rates pretty high on the list of best decisions of my life. Ashlee showed me the best possible version of myself and I am forever grateful. I would do it 10000 times over again. Ashlee was absolutely phenomenal at capturing the best possible side of myself!

brazoria-county-texas-lake-jackson-boudoir-photography

Skin-Smoothing Apps (My 2 Cents) | Embrace Boudoir

 
Untitled design.jpg
 

For some time now I've been accepting more and more friend requests on social media, which has lead to some pretty interesting observations. Today, I want to talk about a repeat observation that has, frankly, bothered me for several months: a surprising number of women like to use photo apps to edit their photos, such as but not limited to: enlarging eyes, enhancing makeup, and mostly: smoothing skin. Before I go into my thoughts on this - let me first note that my intention is not to call anyone out, or shame anyone. I just want you to know...

You are beautiful the way you are. 

As an advocate of body positivity, I want to take a moment to remind you that you are beautiful exactly the way you are. I know it can be fun to use these apps just to see what they can do, I get it, but you don't need to look like a character straight out of an anime.

When I brought this blog post up in my VIP Group, one of the ladies offered up her own experience with one of these apps. Here's her before & after and thoughts: 

 
ba-brittney.jpg

"Out of curiosity, I used an app to blur a scar I have on my abdomen, which promptly WRECKED my self esteem by setting an impossible beauty standard I physically can't live up to. I'm sharing it here to show others that it's no joke. These beauty standards apply pressure all our lives and before you know it, you're applying it to yourself and being crushed by your own false expectations. It's a vicious cycle! " - Brittney

 

Most apps are REALLY poor quality. 

It's reeeeally obvious. Like - anyone who knows you in person knows your eyes aren't that big, and digital makeup just doesn't look like real makeup. As for skin smoothing? The apps completely erase your pores, which makes you look really blurry! :( 

Think of the kids!

I hope I don't offend anyone by saying this, but I see these apps being used on children. This breaks my heart, friends! At some point, women learn that it's not okay to celebrate themselves. A Yahoo Health survey (among others, I'm sure) has found that girls as young as 9 start to feel self-conscious about their appearance. It starts YOUNG, so in order to inspire change in our culture, we have to start teaching children to be body positive sooner rather than later! 

Now as a side note!

If you're looking to do some minimalist retouching on your selfies, there are some great apps out there for that! My favorite one being Snapseed (they have no idea I'm name-dropping them right now!), which allows you to make very specific adjustments without going overboard. The app was built by Nik Software (which was acquired by Google), a developer that created a very popular & professional plugin for Photoshop - so they know their stuff! 

"But.. you're.. a photographer..you edit photos all day long.." 

Just in case you're curious - I do not edit out anything on your body that is permanent, such as scars, moles, stretch marks, etc. I MAY soften them. I only remove certain features like that by special request, and this is something that I talk to each one of my clients about, because it really is personal preference - but I believe that these differences are what truly make us unique and I don't think they take away from a person's beauty at all! 

All that being said... if you enjoy using the apps, by all means don't let me stop you! <3 

My 6-inch Scar: Kintsukuroi | Empowering Intimate Photography in Texas


 
Boudoir-photography-houston-galveston-pearland-sugarland-tx

Kintsukuroi

The Japanese art of mending broken pottery with lacquer resin laced with gold or silver. The cracks are merely a symbol representing an event that happened in the life of the object.

 
 

"It's going to be about 6 inches long." 

Hearing the surgeon tell me how long the scar was going to be rang in my ears. It hit me right in the gut... I donated 70% of my liver to my stepmothers aunt. I'd never met her, but I was a match. That's all I needed to hear.  

I'm usually nervous to show my scar because of how large it is. I have always been insecure of my stomach anyways, but now I have an eye catching "accent" or "addition" to go on it. To say I was nervous to show it was an understatement. When I gave Ash a rundown on my scar before my original boudoir photo shoot, she told me how cool she thought it was. That gave me a bit of excitement that others wouldn't see it as a "blemish" but a battle scar of hope! 

 
 
Lake-jackson-clute-angleton-freeport-surfside-boudoir
brazoria-county-photographers
 
 

When Ash told me about this photo shoot and her idea of using kintsukuroi to bind my scar, I was absolutely on-board 100%. Going back into Ash's studio I could feel the positive vibe she gives off, it just absolutely sets you at ease. I felt amazing! That is MY scar that's being showcased as this awesome accent piece! Ash told me how awesome my story and my scar was, and I just felt so powerful. I did something so extreme with my body, and I should be proud of it! I want to show off my scar now! Before, I would only show family or close friends.. or if someone asked.. but now

I feel so confident, I just want to lift my shirt and say, "Hey! I did that and I am amazing!"

sexy-photos-in-lake-jackson
lake-jackson-nude-photography

Ash is such a beautiful soul who sees the beauty in all of us that we should be seeing in ourselves. I have always had a love for my scar because it's so different and unique, but I was always insecure about what others would think.

Now, I feel like art. I am art. We are art. Art with bodies as a canvas and we are beautiful.

Thank you for helping me learn to love me, Ash.

 
 

Concept inspired by Teri Hofford.

 

August Client Spotlight | Brazoria County Boudoir Photos

 

I want my daughter to grow up knowing that no matter what she is gorgeous and to never try to conform to society's beauty standard but to set her own standards and reach for the stars no matter what anyone thinks.

 
 
Boudoir-lake-jackson
 
 

Kayla, 27

I kind of grew up feeling like I never fit into the standard of beauty. In junior high I was very much a tomboy and would wear cargo shorts and t-shirts a lot. I was teased because I didn't want to wear makeup and conform to what everyone else was doing. Because of the teasing and bullying I began to dress more feminine and start wearing makeup once I was 14 years old just so I could fit in. It didn't stop there because then it was about how I was too skinny, I wore glasses, or teased about breakouts.

I met my husband when I was 16 years old and he turned my world around. From that year in 2006 I always felt I was beautiful and was no longer uncomfortable in my own skin but that of course only lasted so long. Fast forward to 2016 and after 6 years of marriage and 2 kids I had gained 20 pounds and I no longer saw beauty in the mirror. I was no longer happy with how I looked and started to shut down.

Between the usual stress of life, marriage, kids, and work I began to suffer from anxiety and was diagnosed with depression too. Of course the medication only made me gain more weight and feel even worse about how I looked. Through all of this my husband reminded me every day how beautiful I was and that no matter what anyone thinks I should love who I am.

 
 
Brazoria-county-boudoir
 
 
Texas-boudoir
 
 

I have him to thank for finally getting the courage to do a boudoir shoot with Ashlee so that I could finally see for myself how he sees me everyday. The most important thing is to surround yourself with people that love you for who you are on the inside and out; I definitely lucked out in that category!

 
 
Brazoria-county-empowerment
 
 
Boudoir-photography-brazoria-county
 
 

Of course I was very nervous about doing this shoot because who can say they honestly are 100% comfortable being half naked in front of someone they hardly know and being photographed?! About 20 minutes into my session I just started to loosen up and Ashlee reminding me to think of my husband constantly helped a lot. We joked around a lot and just talked about life which made me much more comfortable.

Once I saw my photos I just couldn't believe it was me at first. I was wondering who that woman was on the other side of that camera and why have I never seen how beautiful I am. I suggest to any other woman that hasn't done this yet and struggles to see her own beauty and self worth... book with Ash cause you won't regret it!