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!