makeover

Mrs. G {CT Boudoir Portraits}

This gorgeous woman, wife and dog-momma is a genetic counselor who grew to have a passion for this career when she pursued healthcare education options in college, after initially wanting to be a doctor. Mrs. G and her husband are very active in her church. They volunteer quite a bit there. They also have close families and love to spend time with them. She is definitely introverted, so sometimes she needs re-charge time at home. She's a homebody who loves to write (she's an avid journal-er), knit, craft and read. Her favorite book is The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, though she also indulges in the Chronicals of Narnia and Little House On the Prairie Series.

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This girl LOVES food! Making it, baking it, eating it, going somewhere else to eat it, along with traveling - she'll take a good road trip any day!  Maine is her destination of choice, as her family has a perfect little cabin there.  You'll find her unwinding to a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, and occasionally a cold beer.  If you want the key to her tummy, feed her some delicious seafood pasta and you can't go wrong!

When she finds time to snuggle on the couch and binge-watch her favorite Netflix series, she typically chooses between Office and Parks & Recreation.  She loves the humor of them both. When she's in the mood for a bit more drama, Mrs. G will turn on Call the Midwife.

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I asked this gorgeous woman what her favorite quote was and she had a tough time coming up with one.  She loves reading and writing, so words are so powerful for her, so she couldn't just choose one.  She narrowed down to FOUR!

"He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8

"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind." -C.S. Lewi

"Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone - we find it with another." -Thomas Merton

And a bonus, which seems fitting for this purpose:

"She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come." Proverbs 31:25

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One of Mrs. G's insecurities has always been how young she looks. She is 30 and has never understood our society's compulsion to look young - she's never understood why you'd be embarrassed to be the age you are! But since she was 12, people always say she looks like she's 12. And 12 is just an age she didn't like being, and that she would never want to be again.

She understands that people don't say that she looks young to be unkind - a lot of people think it's a compliment. (Although, really, who wants to look like a tween?) Mrs. G has worked towards caring less when they say it.

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If she could send her 13-year-old self one message, she would say:

"beauty is from the inside. When someone's not beautiful on the inside, it will show on the outside. There are so many ways to be beautiful. Find what makes you beautiful and be grateful for those things, and stay away from people who want you to stay in a cycle of insecurity."

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Mrs. G has always looked up to her mom because she is so fearless in a lot of areas that Mrs. G is not fearless in. She is so good at starting conversations, which is something that I Mrs. G is terrible at, and not being concerned about what other people think about her. Her mom has also always been such a good mom to her brothers and herself. For all that confidence that she has, though, one area she's not confident or positive in is the way she looks, and Mrs. G wishes her mother was.

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These pictures are a gift for her husband, as something special for him, but they (and the process) is also a gift for herself. She would like these pictures to hold this time in their lives as a memory - a time when they are married, and in love, and before they have babies - and also to hold this time for herself as memory. She is so excited to have children with her husband, and she's been really cherishing her pre-baby time right now, so this seems like a special way to celebrate as they get ready for the next step!

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Testimonial:

"This was a wonderful experience and I can’t say enough good things! Let me start by telling you too much about myself. I’ve been considering doing a boudoir session since 2011, when I was in my early twenties. It always was put on the back burner: how do you find someone to take pictures of you in your underwear and be sure they won’t murder you or that your pictures won’t end up on your mom’s Facebook wall? Fast forward to 2018, when some wacky train of thought and Pinterest browsing led to me Googling “boudoir photographers near me,” and I came across Sasha!

I was immediately drawn in by Sasha’s website and how much helpful information she gives you about boudoir sessions there. I also loved her style: not too over-the-top, but airy and natural “I-woke-up-like-this” photos. I saw so much variety in the different clients she photographed and it showed that Sasha really listens to her clients and that their sessions are reflections of them.

Then from the beginning, I had such an amazing experience with Sasha. She met with me for about an hour just to show me her studio, the products she has, and to answer my questions. She was very supportive of my idea to use my wedding dress, which is so special to me to be able to use it again! I also did an in-person wardrobe consultation. I used some of the items from her wardrobe – a bodysuit, a bra and panty set, a sheer robe, a necklace, and a floral crown. (The floral crown shows the session was also for me – my husband has never said, “You know what’s sexy? Floral crowns!”)

The day of the shoot was a wonderful pampering day. Christen was amazing with hair and makeup and it was so laid back, like hanging out with two friends. I did start to get a little nervous when we started shooting. Have you ever thought something would be a cute candid picture of you and when you see it you realize you actually have a triple chin and scrunch your eyes really asymmetrically? I have. In addition to the fear that I would look rabid instead of sexy, I was intimidated about having to pull out sexy poses, but Sasha is so great at directing you while she’s shooting. She gives you very specific instructions and helps you account for all parts of your body, the position of your hands, feet, arms, legs, chin. It makes it easy! Let me ask you, are you the type of person who prides themselves on being excellent at following directions at the doctor’s office? (I know this is weird, but surely I’m not the only one.) You’ll be great at this!

Sasha and Christen make you feel so at-ease. At one point, I was on the bed flipping my hair, and Christen is alongside the bed, dancing to make me laugh! Sasha is also so encouraging while she shoots. I walked away with the impression that she thinks all women are beautiful and wants them to feel good in their own skin.

These would be my litmus test questions for you if you’re considering it: do you like feeling beautiful? Do you like feeling good in your own skin? Do you like being pampered? Would you like to meet a very lovely and very down-to-Earth person who will help you do those things? Would you like a beautiful and forever gift for yourself and possibly your partner? Then you are worth it!"

Courtney {Military Spouse, Boudoir Portraits}

This stunning Navy wife came to the studio back in November to gift her husband (and herself as well) a shoot to celebrate the hard work and dedication she's put into reaching a weight loss goal while he is deployed.

Courtney has three dogs, and admits she works way too much... but who can blame her! Her husband is deployed, and sometimes, working is the only way to keep busy and help the time pass until he comes home.

Sasha Dale Photography, curvy girl boudoir, boudoir photography, military spouse

Sasha Dale Photography, curvy girl boudoir, boudoir photography, military spouse

When she has free time, Courtney loves to kayak and do anything that brings her outdoors.  If the weather isn't the best, she enjoys curling up and reading a book.

Sasha Dale Photography, curvy girl boudoir, boudoir photography, military spouse

Sasha Dale Photography, curvy girl boudoir, boudoir photography, military spouse

Favorite Inspirational Quote:

"A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new"

Sasha Dale Photography, curvy girl boudoir, boudoir photography, military spouse

Sasha Dale Photography, curvy girl boudoir, boudoir photography, military spouse

Courtney's Testimonial:

"Sasha was absolutely amazing, she made me feel so beautiful and comfortable in my own skin. I would highly recommend her, When I went and looked at my photos it was me, it wasn't so photoshopped that I couldn't recognize myself. It was an amazing experience that I would highly recommend to anyone questioning doing a Boudoir photo shoot to do it with Sasha!!!"

Heidi J. {CT Boudoir Portraits}

This newly empty-nester works from home as she owns a sign/promotional business.  She loves being with her husband and when she has the chance, to relax, she enjoys laying on the beach with him, quilting, reading and working out.

Sasha Dale Photography, surrogate mother, boudoir portraits, business headshots

Sasha Dale Photography, surrogate mother, boudoir portraits, business headshots

I asked Heidi what message she wishes she could give young girls about self image.  She said this:

"This is a very difficult topic for me. When I hear "self-image" I think of size. I think obesity is a major problem in society that is overlooked. I think it is important to be healthy. I think you can be healthy at 5'7 and 130 pounds, but I also think you can be healthy at 5'7 and 160 pounds. I do not think you can be healthy at 5'7 and 220 pounds. And I don't think I am currently healthy at 5'7 and 105 pounds. I think we get too wrapped up in..."body size doesn't matter." It does matter. Obesity is passed down from generation to generation. Killing your kids by allowing them to overeat (causing heart issues, diabetes, and a string of problems later in life, including depression and other mental issues) is no different than killing your kids by letting them starve. My point is, it is important to be healthy. You can be many different weights and be healthy. As long as you are eating right, and exercising daily, you shouldn't worry about how you look. Because chances are, if you are actually doing those two things, you are exactly where you should be. I would be a terrible person to mentor young girls about self-image...because I don't fall into that category of adults that will lie to a child in order to spare feelings. I would be straight up honest (which is frowned upon). If a young lady came to me, and she was obese (I am talking obviously obese), and she asked me if I thought she was fat, I would return the question to her. If she said no, I might lead her in the direction of, "Do you think there is more you could do to be more healthy for your heart?" If she is honest, she would say, "Yes." If she isn't, I would encourage her to be honest with herself. I think sugar-coating is EXTREMELY dangerous in this area. This goes both directions (as far as being underweight). Educating children on a healthy lifestyle is SO very important...with that said, it is a fine line to walk. I struggle very much with my weight on a daily basis. I tend to overcompensate for a husband trying to lose weight. It is almost like I take on his struggle, internalizing it making it worse for myself. People look at me and think, "What is she talking about, she knows nothing! She is skinny!" What they don't understand is, I wasn't always thin, and I too struggle daily with trying to be healthy. Under-eating is just as bad for you as overeating. So I too, have work to do. I don't know anyone that doesn't have work to do as far as being healthy. It should be a daily focus in all homes and in all lives (including mine). If we are healthy, we will feel good about ourselves. When we feel good about ourselves, we have a good self-image. With that comes confidence. With confidence comes leadership. I want nothing more than ALL young girls having confident, healthy women to inspire them."

Sasha Dale Photography, surrogate mother, boudoir portraits, cozy sweater

Sasha Dale Photography, surrogate mother, boudoir portraits, cozy sweater

Heidi's husband gave this session to her as a gift for the hard work she'd been putting in on her body over the years.  She has been a surrogate three times and has given birth to two sets of twins and then the last one was an 11 pound baby. She has worked very hard to get her body back in shape. After working for two years, she was left with hanging skin that left her feeling ugly. She felt that she had done so much hard work and didn't get to see the results she expected based on the effort she put in. After talking to a plastic surgeon, she decided to do the Mommy Makeover which included a slightly larger bust size and a tummy tuck. Shortly after the healing process, she was able to see abs for the first time in MANY years she she'd been working so hard to get!! All of her hard work was there, it was just hidden under years of baby-carrying skin.

Sasha Dale Photography, surrogate mother, boudoir portraits, ribbed shirt, sexy casual

Sasha Dale Photography, surrogate mother, boudoir portraits, ribbed shirt, sexy casual

A few of her favorite things:

Favorite Book: Little Women

Favorite TV Series: Ray Donovan

Favorite Movie: Titanic

Sasha Dale Photography, surrogate mother, boudoir portraits, lace kimono

Sasha Dale Photography, surrogate mother, boudoir portraits, lace kimono

Heidi's favorite quote:

"The children don't have to come FROM you, they go THROUGH you"

One of the biggest reasons I admire Heidi so much is her selflessness in sacrificing her body for strangers, not once, not twice, but THREE times to provide a safe and nourishing home to 5 beautiful babies to grow strong until they were ready to meet their parents. Yes - you read that right! Two of those pregnancies were twins and in her third surrogate pregnancy, she birthed an 11lb baby! She also birthed and raised a biological son of her own, as well as welcomed a German foreign exchange student into her home for a year, and her niece for two years.

Sasha Dale Photography, surrogate mother, boudoir portraits, tub, clawfoot, black and white

Sasha Dale Photography, surrogate mother, boudoir portraits, tub, clawfoot, black and white

Heidi's journey through motherhood is so incredibly humbling, it's hard to put into words. There is no ONE way to be a mother, and she is the ULTIMATE example of this.

Sasha Dale Photography, surrogate mother, boudoir portraits, tattood girls

Sasha Dale Photography, surrogate mother, boudoir portraits, tattood girls

To commemorate her journey and all of the children that have come from her and/or gone 'through' her, Heidi had a stunning tattoo created along her C-Section line that features the 6 children she birthed and the two that stayed with her for a short time. The bird still on the branch represents her own son who will never truly leave her, while the rest of the birds represent the others who spent a short while in her life, but will forever be in her heart.

Sasha Dale Photography, surrogate mother, boudoir portraits, his shirt, tshirt, cozy shirt, flirty

Sasha Dale Photography, surrogate mother, boudoir portraits, his shirt, tshirt, cozy shirt, flirty

Heidi's Testimonial

"Empowering.

I don't like having my picture taken. I don't even like looking in the mirror at my body. I have put my body through years of tanning, years of pregnancies, years of eating all the wrong things. I have put my body through over-exercising in an attempt to be beautiful. My lower arms hold scars when my heart couldn't deal. For years I have thrown my body, soul, and mind in and out of depression like a yo-yo desperately trying to find a permanent place to stop.

My husband gave me the gift of a boudoir session with Sasha Dale for my birthday. I happened to mention once that I thought that would be fun. He remembered. As I stared down at the gift card, panic set in. How would I do this? My body? A camera? No way.

I work from home, and the card sat on my desk undisturbed for four months. One afternoon, my husband pulled a folder off of my desk. That folder caught the edge of the elegant white gift card, sending it to the floor. I picked it up, and reread it. I sat down and emailed Sasha for an appointment. I had a couple weeks to prepare. A couple weeks turned into a couple days, which quickly turned into a couple of hours. To say I was nervous, is an understatement. I was beside myself. The two days before I spent time shopping trying to find something suitable. I walked out of each store burdened with defeat that was spilling down my face. I opened a new email more than three times and typed, "I'm going to need to reschedule..."  Three times I closed those emails without saving changes.

Sasha Dale Photography, surrogate mother, boudoir portraits, cowgirl hat, floor poses

Sasha Dale Photography, surrogate mother, boudoir portraits, cowgirl hat, floor poses

...continued below... An hour before my appointment, I carefully blow-dried my hair, reminding myself this is why I don't blow dry my hair. Gray hairs sprouted in all directions screaming their individuality. I covered my face with moisturizer, looking closely at the wrinkles around my eyes...silently cursing myself for ever thinking tanning beds were a good idea. I put on sweats and a sweatshirt, because this is my comfort zone. My go to. Cover it all up.

I drove the quick drive, sat in my car taking slow deep breaths before heading into the studio.

When I walked into the studio, I was quickly greeted by Sasha. I'm not an outgoing person. In reality, I avoid people like the plague. Sasha is one of those down to earth people that immediately makes you feel like family.  My heart quickly slowed to a normal pace as my make-up and hair were done by Chelsea.  My chair was turned away from the mirror as I chatted with the two of them.  When Chelsea was done with me, Sasha said, “Okay, it’s go time!” I hopped up, turning towards the dressing room.  She said, “Aren’t you going to look in the mirror?”  I turned quickly and looked into the mirror. I saw myself. Me. I wasn’t made up to be some woman I am not.  It was me.  Wrinkles and years of tanning still there, but turned into something that resembled beauty. Chelsea not only made me feel beautiful, but she did it in a way that let me still be me.  She looked at me and she read me.  Then, she painted me.  I didn’t just look pretty, I felt elegant and beautiful.  

I spent the next couple hours in front of Sasha.  Thankfully, she guided me on how to sit, stand, pose.  She told me when to smile and when to relax.  She made me laugh in her attempts to actually try to make me laugh.  She fluttered around me like a butterfly sharing it’s beauty.  She made me feel comfortable.  She made me feel strong.  She made me feel empowered.  

Her attention to detail is incredible. Every hair, every smile, every pose…was planned.  She was in her element and it was apparent.  There is something about being around people that know what they want.  The confidence…she was professional, but in a way that made her feel more like a sister than a photographer.  She strategically helped me feel comfortable in my own skin.  

This entire process from the time I opened that card, was empowering.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but now looking back, I see it.  Empowering means to make someone stronger and more confident in their daily walk of life.  When that card fell, I took control of my insecurities, and set the appointment.  When I dried my hair and saw the gray, I took control of those negative thoughts by getting in the car.  When I looked in the mirror after my makeup and hair were done, I immediately felt confident.  Chelsea empowered me to be me.  As I changed in and out of clothes over the next two hours, Sasha empowered me to love me.  She assured me along the way, showing me quick pictures flipping through them telling me how much she was loving them.  After each group of shots, my confidence slowly made its way to the top of the hill…thanks to her assertiveness and passion.  

We all have things we don’t like about our bodies.  We all have scars, whether they are on the inside or outside.  And we are all beautiful.  It is hard to feel that way sometimes, but this session, gave me the confidence I needed.  It was empowering.  Every flaw felt empowering.  I felt ravishing in nakedness. And that was okay!  Sasha Dale made it okay.  She looks through a small hole, and she turns lighting, objects, and an insecure woman into a piece of empowering, exquisite art.  That, is a gift. "    -Heidi

Victoria's Milkbath {CT Boudoir Photography}

With the help of Nicole Dawson of Beauty by Mineko, we transformed Victoria into a milk bath goddess for her shoot.  How stunning?!  Fresh flowers (from the sale section of the grocery store of course), a cannister of powdered milk and a few dainty lingerie pieces from none other than Amazon is all we needed to pull this shoot together. Isn't she stunning?

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CT Glamour Portraits {Ericca}

There are 168 hours in one week.  Women's Health Magazine states that women on average, spend 7 hours during the week getting ready for their day, 35 hours per week at the office and 15 hours per week in their cars.  According to a study done by Forbes, women spend an average of 11-30 hours per week with their kids. An article in TIME magazine recognizes that the average woman spends 1-2 hours per day doing chores.  Factoring in about 42 hours per week of sleep and about 21 hours per week prepping and eating meals - that leaves about 4 whole hours to herself.  That's just over 30 minutes per day.

Every hard working woman and mother deserves a day with ZERO chores, ZERO duties, ZERO responsibilities.

ct glamour photography, glamour portaits, bridal photography, bride, white dress, backlighting, hair and makeup

ct glamour photography, glamour portaits, bridal photography, bride, white dress, backlighting, hair and makeup

Ericca is a high school teacher who puts in countless hours per week into her job and spreading education and knowledge to dozens of other peoples children.  We already know that teachers are overworked and underpaid as it is - so we can imagine how much free time she has to herself.  She goes home to a beautiful baby girl in which she cares for, not to mention the daily commute to drop her off and pick her up from daycare and the other activities that fill her calendar such as toddler swim lessons!  She shares household management with her husband...and currently they are waiting on the arrival of a new HIVE shipment so that she and her husband may harvest fresh honey for her family and friends.

This busy hardworking mama totally deserved a day of beauty and relaxation, free of work, free of chores, free of children.

ct glamour photography, glamour portaits, bridal photography, bride, white dress, backlighting, hair and makeup

ct glamour photography, glamour portaits, bridal photography, bride, white dress, backlighting, hair and makeup

We explored two looks with Ericca's session.  First - we had her bring her wedding gown.  How many women look at that dress in their closets and wish they could wear it again??  And boy - did she wear it well!  Her hair and make-up was beautifully done by the talented Chelsea Dae with Beauty by Chelsea Dae.  We decided to do the first series of images in-front of a simple window with a few layers of sheer curtains to diffuse the light to create a gorgeous soft back-lit portrait.

ct glamour photography, glamour portaits, bridal photography, bride, white dress, backlighting, hair and makeup

ct glamour photography, glamour portaits, bridal photography, bride, white dress, backlighting, hair and makeup

For Ericca's next look, we took her hair up, just a bit.  She brought along a gorgeous cocktail dress, neutral in color with stunning beadwork across the neckline.  We decided to photograph her on two different backdrops for this to add a little more drama.  Can you notice the mood change between backdrops?  The lighter drop creates an artistic and airy feel while the dark almost creates a feel as if she will be attending a dinner party in a New York City penthouse :)

ct glamour photography, glamour portaits, bridal photography, bride, white dress, backlighting, hair and makeup

ct glamour photography, glamour portaits, bridal photography, bride, white dress, backlighting, hair and makeup

ct glamour photography, glamour portaits, bridal photography, bride, white dress, backlighting, hair and makeup

ct glamour photography, glamour portaits, bridal photography, bride, white dress, backlighting, hair and makeup

ct glamour photography, glamour portaits, bridal photography, bride, white dress, backlighting, hair and makeup

ct glamour photography, glamour portaits, bridal photography, bride, white dress, backlighting, hair and makeup

I can't imagine these portraits turning out any better than they did, and I know Ericca deserved this day of beauty!

How about a little before and after transformation?

BEFORE AND AFTER 1

BEFORE AND AFTER 1