Boudoir…Is It For Me? | Jacksonville, FL

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Founder of Chestnut Artistry & Design.
Julia's mission it to transform everyday women through an impactful boudoir photoshoot experience. Learn more about Julia and how she is giving women their power back here.

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Hi, I'm Julia

Boudoir – Is It For Me?

I’ve got to say – my perspective on boudoir photography isn’t what it was. I thought I had to be at my perfect best to even think about boudoir. A little history about me…I’m 54 years old…

I’ve had a colorful life full of contradictions:

• I was a Barbizon model in my mid-teens (even though I was structurally bigger than most of the other models, which caused its own anxieties)

• Discovered a love for cars and working on them with the guys in high school

• Entered a couple of beauty pageants in my late teens

• Went into the military despite my spinal birth defect and became an aviation electronics technician on spy planes

• Became a mom, then went through a divorce

• Worked full time as a government contractor while going to school full time; was a dean’s list graduate when I got my bachelor’s degree

• Rediscovered my love of cars with my current husband and became an NHRA licensed driver

• Was a spokesmodel for a transmission company, promoting at large car shows all over the country in my 30s – in a bikini

• Was the first female project manager/PMP in my company’s history, and was a military instructor like Charlie in Top Gun

• Became a band mom and drove the band’s equipment trailer for 4 years to most of their performances

• Spent the past few years working in the automotive restoration and collision industry

• Recently became a nationally certified concealed weapons permit instructor

You’d think with ALL that I would have confidence – but not really. Being a larger framed model in the 80s when the rest of the competition was thin and wispy did some lifelong damage to my self-esteem. Pair that with my own father calling me chubby; when I was in ballet as a kid he said I wore a 4-4 instead of a tutu. That rang in my head my whole life. Not to mention I lost my mom to ovarian cancer when I was 14, largely because it was undetected due to her obesity. Enter boudoir. Julia asked for ambassadors and I thought about it but was hesitant to apply. Thought I was too old/chubby/etc.

But since I’d known Julia since my band mom days I wanted to help her promote her business and her artistic gift of seeing beauty in her clients. I applied and was accepted!

Next – the first shoot. I was soooooo nervous! Here I am with all of these younger ladies – they’re all so beautiful and don’t have the signs of age that I have. Seriously – I’m almost 30 years older than they are! I fretted about how I would photograph, if Julia was going to be able to get me posed right, were the clothes I was wearing to the shoot going to leave red marks on my skin that would show up on camera, I hadn’t been to the gym this week, I’ve been stressed and tired…seriously, I was a wreck. I had every little worry running through my head! But I got there and things were really relaxed.

Julia instantly made us all feel comfortable, played some music, and the fun began. I was sad that we had to stop when we did due to the weather because I was relaxed and enjoying myself! Not once did I feel awkward, fat, too old, etc. Julia gently coached me into the positions that would most favor me and my body. She was professional and encouraging. I felt pretty, sexy, empowered, and confident.

Later that night I got the pictures and Oh. My. Goodness! I was absolutely shocked. I showed my husband and just wept tears of happiness. I couldn’t believe I looked that AWESOME! I’ve had another photo shoot since that first one and it was even better. Even more relaxed with more incredible pictures to show for it.

There’s one more shoot and I’m really looking forward to seeing what magic Julia can do! But the best part is my confidence. Those nasty negative voices aren’t gone, but they’re a whole lot quieter and far less frequent. I smile more knowing that even thought 55 is right around the corner – I’ve still got it. I still can be attractive and feel sexy, even though I’m NOT that perfect size 6. I have crow’s feet, cellulite, an extra 10 pounds, grey hair, and imperfect teeth.

But all of that makes no difference. Julia focuses on the good stuff and helped me see how beautiful I can be.


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