Jaime booked a Connecticut Boudoir session while visiting from her sunny state of California. I asked her a little about herself, so this part is paraphrased from her questionnaire!: Jaime is currently an emergency department nurse in San Diego. She and her husband didn't plan to stay in California, they only intended to travel nurse around the United States before going back home to Connecticut - but the scenery out there plus the friends that they made were to great to pass up. She does admit that they will eventually move back when kids are on the horizon, but for now - they are still newlyweds and enjoying themselves!
They recently completed a trip to Europe where they hiked along the Tour du Mont Blanc, a 170 km journey that took them 11 days!
"We learned so much about how to encourage and push each other, and are closer now. The trip helped us realize we want to make our forever home with our family close to nature and the solitude that only trees and mountains can offer. It's amazing how little you miss technology (phones, games, tv, radio) when you're in the midst of amazing company."
Jaime and her husband plan to hike the base camp of Mount Everest in November, followed by a trip to Spain and Germany next year!!! THAT'S IMPRESSIVE!
Jaime enjoys starting her work days off with a run along the beach to clear her mind and relax. She has made many of her life decisions on one of these runs! She also really enjoys snuggling up with a good book and a cup of coffee!
Jaime's favorite inspirational quote: "Because in the end, you won't remember the time you spent in the office, or mowing your lawn. Go climb that goddamn mountain." Jack Kerouac
This quote is the reason Jaime went to Europe to hike. It reminded her that moments and experiences are more important than worrying about when she will buy a house, how she will afford this or that, or how long until they pay off their loans.
I asked Jaime what message she wishes to share with young girls about self-image:
"Especially for girls in high school, self-image is always in the back of your mind. I remember never being able to afford the brand names like Abercrombie, American Eagle or North Face. Every new school year meant a trip to Goodwill to pick out school clothes. I remember thinking that the other girls and guys wouldn't think I was cool or want to be friends with me because I dressed differently. Now, 10 years later, I wish I could have told myself that no one remembers what you wear in high school. I can't recall one single outfit. But I CAN recall emotions I felt, friends I made and conversations I had. I spent so much of those 4 years worrying what other people thought of me. I wish I had spent more time loving who I was. 10 years later, I only have 3 friends from high school who I still talk to, and a handful of people whom I consider "friends for life". I have an amazing husband, am working a career where I wear pajamas to work (I am a nurse and wear scrubs every day), and honestly can't remember the last time I wore jeans or a brand label. I am loved, and no one I know cares whether I wear make-up, blow dry my hair or wear heels to the bar, and I couldn't be happier. Don't wast time worrying about what society wants you to look like or care about. Find what makes you happy and you will discover a better self-image every day."
I asked Jaime another question, if there was someone that she looks up to and inspires her, and this was her response:
"I have looked up to many people in my life, but for this album, my inspiration comes from one of my best friends. She is a mother, a loving wife, and the best friend that everyone wants. She had a full time job, and still never forgets an anniversary or birthday, even if she's calling someone while simultaneously fighting chaos in the home or changing a diaper. I have no idea how she fits 40 hours of responsibilities into a 24 hour day. Even though she has 4 children, owns her own business, and volunteers for her community and the fire department on the side, she has always reminded me how important it is to spend time with your husband or significant other. She told me that it is too easy to always talk about the children, or work, or what you have to do tomorrow. The hard part is making sure you and your partner have intimacy and exclusivity in certain conversations. Your spouse should be your best friend and the most important person in your life. When I was getting married one year ago, I stood there in my wedding dress thinking of her and her words. Because of her advice, I know I've married the person right for me. Everyday inspiration doesn't have to come from superheroes, but for me, it did come from a friend who is truly more amazing than Wonder Woman."
I ask all of my clients why they want their portraits taken. Jaime wanted to remember herself in her 20's.
"I am really just wanting a before picture of myself incase my body is destroyed by my future children. :) I'm also looking for a way to rediscover how I feel about myself for my husband since 30 is on the horizon. I want him to have pictures of me, knowing I was thinking of him during the shoot and the outfits I picked out were for him. I also hope he realizes that I'm putting myself out there and reaching a certain zone of uncomfortableness because I love him and I know he will love these photos forever. Skin stretches and firmness fades, but these pictures will be forever. I want both of us to remember, while our marriage, future life/children, and age will change us, we should never forget how important intimacy is in a marriage and a successful relationship."
"Want a ridiculously truth-reporting review of a self-conscious girl taking nearly naked pictures in front of some peers? Well here ya go...
I asked Sasha Dale to help me do a boudoir session for my husband for Christmas. I live in San Diego, and she has her studio in Connecticut. I really wanted to have her take the pictures since 1) we went to high school together so maybe I would feel a little more comfortable, 2) her online blog was great and 3) I love to support local business. I knew I would be home after a hiking trip in Europe and scheduled the session for September 2016.
"What the f@&$ was I thinking?" This was my only thought the day before the shoot. I was an idiot. Duh, of course a hiking trip through Europe would involve lots of pasta and wine and cause me to bloat like a gluten-free hipster eating a 6-pack of cupcakes.
Of course my family would make our favorite sugar-packed and carb-full meals when we were home to try to persuade us to move back home. Of course I would be too busy to make it to the gym between visiting with family of friends. Again, "what the f@&$ was I thinking?"
Here I am, trying to slim down in a day like a girl the night before her wedding. I'm standing in front of the mirror with whatever lingerie I bought for the shoot with my best Victoria's Secret model pose. And then of course I do what every girl does in sexy underwear: start to pick out my flaws. "Whatever," I say. "I'll just have her airbrush all that crap out." The truth: no matter what size you are (size 0 or size 120), you are always going to find something wrong with yourself.
So I woke up early, headed to the studio, and forgot to remember something. I went to high school with Sasha. She saw me in all my awkward glory, wearing overalls and crushing on boys who would never like me back and being all geeky. Now she's gonna see me naked. Sasha: the perfect-bodied, funny, cute, cheerleader-slash-gymnast who was the coolest. Great.
And I'm over here trying to look classy like:
I even tried spray-tanning so I had a little color during the shoot to boost my self-esteem, which didn't work out so well in my favor:
Anyway, I got to the studio and put on my bravest face before I knocked on the door.
And there was Sasha - refreshingly warm and welcoming and offering coffee (my hero!). She sat me down with Chelsea to do my make up and hair and we chatted away like no time had passed at all. Chelsea was amazing and made me look so beautiful that I nearly fell on the floor. And did you know she is barely old enough to have an alcoholic drink but she can do make up better than Jay Manuel?
Now was the uncomfortable part. Yet, I never felt shy or ashamed or embarrassed in any part of the shoot. Sasha was there to remind me the reason for doing this - for my husband and to empower myself. We laughed the whole way through while I was the least dressed I had ever been in front of anyone with a camera. No, I am not a model. No, I didn't magically have 6-pack abs during the shoot. Yes, I had cellulite and awkward facial expressions and a muffin top. And YES, I felt FABULOUS!
The whole time I felt beautiful, which wasn't hard with Sasha's encouragement. She was incredibly talented with hiding parts I was embarrassed about. She was sensitive to temperature, lighting, and angles. Sasha was organized and had a list of poses to do that were tailored just for me based on my Pinterest board and our previous conversations. I never felt pressured or pushed for time. She had amazing accessories to add to make the photo even more special (like a turquoise coffee cup since I love coffee and it's my favorite color).
Of course, I did ask her to photoshop my boobs bigger (who wouldn't with my itty bitties?) but she gently reminded me that this was not for the media, but for my husband and myself to have memories of what my husband fell in love with. These photographs will be forever and when I'm old and wrinkly we can look back at how silly I was for being self-conscious and remember how amazing Sasha made me feel.
Sasha was incredibly warm and thoughtful. Her blog and page are easy to navigate and very professional. Every woman looks better than a model because they have real bodies and real stories and still look beautiful. In truth, no woman wants to see a perfect model do a boudoir shoot, they want to see real women feeling confident in their skin because they want to feel the same way.
Was it expensive?
Sure, all high quality things have a cost.
Will I ever regret the amount I spent? Absolutely not. Her service is great and communication with her is timely and consistent. I got my pictures and products back quickly and it was easy to make changes to my order.
Was I impressed?
Were there pictures I didn't like?
Of course, but the ones I loved much outweighed the ones I didn't like. Remember, we are our own greatest critics. One particular photo I did not like was my husband's favorite!
Did my husband like the photos?
You should have seen his jaw drop when I surprised him on Christmas. It was the most amazing feeling. And he felt special that they were just for him.
Could you say Sasha Dale made our marriage better?
Well, I'm not saying these pictures made our marriage better, but I'm also not not saying it didn't help a few things...
In a sense, this is the new type of "glamour shot" that was popular in the past. It is a way to spend time to get to know yourself and empower those confident thoughts of ourselves we all know we have. Do it for yourself, your significant other, who you will become in the future, or for whoever the heck you want. If this is what you want to experience, definitely contact Sasha Dale Photography."