Cork, Ireland


I'm not the type of person that would normally book a boudoir session. I'm shy. I don't like when people look at me. I was the kid that never raised their hand in class simply to avoid everyone turning around to hear what I had to say. Boudoir always felt like I would be saying "look at me, look at me". Plus, if I'm being honest, I just didn't have the self esteem to wear next to nothing in front of a camera.

Then something happened. I got sick. Like really sick. Like, cancer sick. I spent 3 years feeling like my body was betraying me at every step, that it was my enemy.

On the other side of cancer and recovery I realized I had to make peace with my body in some way. Easier said than done. Ashley suggested a boudoir session while we were in Ireland for our anniversary photos with her. I wasn't into the idea. We were already taking this big trip to celebrate and flying her over for the photos. That was enough for me. But I realized that I was only celebrating my health. Not my body. It took some coaxing from Ashley. Like. A lot of coaxing in the months leading up to it. I still wasn't sold. I was still too mad at my body to consider it even close to beautiful. Slowly tho, Ashley talked with me about all the amazing things my body had done for me over the last three years. I'd never once considered the fact that my body could be on my side. That it was as distressed as I was at having to fight the battles I was fighting.

I don't know how it happened, but I slowly started looking for something to wear and talking with her about how and where we'd shoot. Even on the morning of the shoot, what I was about to do still didn't feel real.

Here's the thing about shooting with Ashley though. And it's the reason that my husband and I have taken anniversary photos with her every year for the past 7 years. She makes you feel safe. And seen. Seen in a way you don't even see yourself until you see the photos.

The morning we shot my boudoir session we laughed and played and were our normal selves. It was so easy.

I saw my strength in the photos afterward. Strength I guess I knew had been there for three long years, through three surgeries, three recoveries, and more tears than I could ever count. But I didn't see it until she showed it to me.

I didn’t see my strength and beauty until she helped me see it in myself.

I look at those photos any time I'm feeling down or doubting myself in any way. Whenever I need to find my strength I look at those photos and I see me, the way Ashley sees me. The way, I now, see myself.

Jen W.

Los Angeles, CA

I have a confession. I didn’t do boudoir photos for my husband. I’m not going to lie, that was my excuse, but I did this session for me. For all those years of thinking “Someday I'll be hot enough. Someday i’ll get that six-pack.” 

Today it feels like everyone is more than you. Better, hotter, more accomplished than you could ever hope to be. Well, I still don’t have a six-pack, but I know that today and every day I am enough.

One of my favorite songs is Lana Del Ray’s “Young and Beautiful” because she keeps asking, “Will you still love me when I'm no longer beautiful? I know you will, I know you will…” She asks again and again, ultimately unsure if her man will still love her when she’s no longer beautiful. To me this song describes so many of us today. So much value in our culture is based on beauty, but our physical beauty is fleeting and that’s scary.

Part of me wanted to document my young and beautiful stage. But doing this shoot I felt freed from society’s beauty standards. This shoot said, “This is me. Regardless of my beauty, or lack of beauty, I am worthy of these photos.”

When I reached out to Ashley I told her I was working out to try and look better for the shoot. She told me I was perfect as I was. She was right.

Ashley peels back the layers you put up for the public and shows the true you. You might feel vulnerable showing your sexuality, but ultimately it is empowering. By showing my body I was fighting the beauty standards forced onto me by society. I got to say, “This is me - my way.” I got to celebrate my body in a way that felt right and beautiful. I wasn’t very good at sultry. I smiled and laughed the majority of the shoot, but that’s so me.


Ashley captured my beauty. She captured my joy.  
She captures the light shining through

Juliana E.