I NEVER IMAGINED I COULD BE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE- TORONTO BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHER

I met Caitlin at a women’s retreat a few years ago. I knew she had a huge heart right away. She is truly beautiful inside and out. Keep reading to hear about her experience with her boudoir photoshoot.

WHY DID YOU WANT TO DO A BOUDOIR SESSION FOR YOURSELF?

I wanted to do a boudoir session for myself because I’ve always had a very low self-esteem. Despite generous compliments I have received, I see a skewed image when I look in the mirror, and when I see pictures of myself, too. For as long as I can remember I’ve focused on my many ‘flaws’, as opposed to the qualities I should be proud of.

Heck, deep down I know I should be proud of my flaws, too! 

I had admired boudoir photos over time and always appreciated how confident and brave the people in them seemed, but I never imagined I could be one of those people.

Just before I became a mom I had worked diligently to be in the best shape I’d ever been in. I was more confident then than I’d ever been, too, and had considered booking a boudoir session before getting pregnant ‘as a keepsake’. But then I got pregnant quickly, and my pregnancy kicked my butt. I was sick for the full nine months, ate poorly because of that, and basically ‘let myself go’. I assumed my chance of ever (even remotely confidently) doing a boudoir session was lost.

But then I met Sam at a women’s retreat.

I knew she was going to be there, and was offering mini-sessions to anyone interested. I was sure I wouldn’t participate, but packed some outfit options ‘just in case’.  

Funny enough I did participate, but didn’t wear a single one of the options I’d brought. I lent them out instead. 


It must have been a mix of the positive, encouraging women I was surrounded with, the energy of the retreat we were experiencing together, plus the feeling I immediately got from Sam that led me to get in front of her camera. I barely wore makeup, did nothing with my hair, and wore a white cut off tank top and jean shorts. So simple, and yet when I got my three images back, it was like I was looking at a stranger. I saw someone confident, brave and beautiful. It was so empowering to connect my reaction to the images to the fact that the subject was me.

Years of rampant and constant self-criticism paired with growing, birthing and nursing a child hadn’t ‘ruined’ me, after all; quite the contrary. Those three initial images (plus the feeling I had while Sam was taking them) were life changing.

I knew from that experience that I would someday do a full session with Sam.

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toronto boudoir photographer
toronto boudoir photographer

HOW DID YOU FEEL DURING YOUR SHOOT?

Sam may not have known, but when I arrived on the day of my shoot I was an insecure ball of nerves. I had gained a fair amount of weight since the mini-session we’d done. My life course had taken a drastic turn. I had been feeling small and ‘stuck’. It didn’t help that the night before something had happened to shake my confidence to the core. I was not feeling physically OR mentally prepared, but I knew I couldn’t cancel, so I followed through.

I was met by Sam and Cassandra (hair and makeup) who immediately made me feel at ease. They both have a subtle and yet powerful energy that lifted my spirits (and my confidence). I felt comfortable. I felt cared for. I felt seen. I was heard.

Cassandra did my hair and makeup in such a way that I felt my features were enhanced, but I wasn’t hidden. I wasn’t over-done. I was still ‘me’.

And then there was my shoot…


I felt shaky and unsure at first. But with Sam’s directions, her positivity, and her reactions, my confidence grew and grew. Throughout the shoot my nerves dissipated entirely. I was still me, but with layers and years of doubt stripped away. I wasn’t overthinking anymore. I wasn’t doing the photos for anyone other than myself. I got out of my head and trusted myself. Sam made it feel like I’d done it a million times. I felt so safe and celebrated.

I arrived that day feeling small, scared, insecure and sad, and she lifted me out of all of that and reminded me that I matter. I am enough. I am beautiful. I am worthy.

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toronto boudoir photographer
toronto boudoir photographer
toronto boudoir photographer

HOW DID YOU FEEL THE FIRST TIME YOU SAW YOUR IMAGES?

I remember telling Sam that I wished she’d videotaped my reactions to the slideshow of my images. I had no idea what to expect.

I loved that she had put her favourites from the shoot into a slideshow, with empowering music in the background. I also loved that she added motivational messages throughout the slideshow. But what I especially loved was that she left me alone to experience them the first time alone. If she’d been with me, I would have had an audience; someone to react for. Someone whose presence I’d be hyper aware of; not wanting to react in any way to let her down.

I felt so many emotions as I saw myself come up on her screen. I laughed (out of shock and disbelief). I cried. I was amazed by the woman in front of me. It sank in slowly but surely that the beautiful, confident and BRAVE woman in the photos was in fact me. I was in total awe; not only of myself, but of Sam’s talent and abilities to help women look – but more importantly FEEL – their best.

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toronto boudoir photographer
toronto boudoir photographer
toronto boudoir photographer

HAS THE EXPERIENCE CHANGED THE WAY YOU VIEW YOURSELF?

Absolutely! That’s an understatement.

I think especially because I am a wife and mom. Too often other people’s needs and comforts are my priority. I don’t have the time or energy for myself that I wish I had. I always feel like the day is over and I’ve done little to care for myself; and it shows. Not just physically, but mentally and spiritually, too. I feel deflated and drained so much of the time. And I am fully aware that may never change.

But now I know what I’m capable of. Sam helped me to see what’s under the layers, and what will always be at my core. And it’s so much more than the hair. The makeup. The outfits. The poses. The setting. The lighting. The editing.

What I see when I look at my pictures is a woman who matters. A woman who, under layers of doubt and insecurity and giving and serving others, still exists. Yes, I know my photos are beautiful. A lot came together that day to make that happen. But it’s more than the beautiful woman I see in the photos that has changed the way I view myself; it’s the spark in her I can feel again when I see them. It’s like I’m transported back in time.

It’s so much more than how I looked, and it’s all about how I felt.

Sam captured my confidence. Sam captured my cheeky side. Sam captured how powerful, classy and capable I am as a woman. 

No matter what my future holds, I will forever have how Sam made me feel that day frozen in time. To this day (months later) I return to them when I’m feeling lost, trapped, alone, insecure, anxious or unworthy. It’s incredible how that’s often the nudge (or the kick in the pants and shake up) I need to remember I’m more than all of that.

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toronto boudoir photographer
toronto boudoir photographer

WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THIS EXPERIENCE TO OTHER WOMEN?

Heck yes! Mothers or not. Wives or not. Confident or not. This experience from stem to stern opened my eyes (and my heart). I now see myself in a brand new way. I feel an ease in my own skin I didn’t have before. It has shaped how I see myself (physically and beyond), and has even shaped my relationships.

The way my boudoir session with Sam has changed me is not something you can put a price tag on. I will always and forever be eternally grateful for how Sam put me in front of myself and helped me admire who I saw. It’s something I don’t think I’d ever (truly) felt before.

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toronto boudoir photographer
toronto boudoir photography
toronto boudoir photographer

CREATIVE FUN WITH FINN- TORONTO BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHER

I had so much fun shooting this creative session with Finn, who is a non-binary human from Toronto, who I met over Instagram.

We had fun shooting some not so “traditional” boudoir and getting sticky with honey to create some really awesome texture photos, which you can check out below!

I have promised myself that once a month, I will try my very best to do a creative shoot, just for fun, with no intent. To challenge myself to stay creative, and try new things with my photography!

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toronto boudoir photographer
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LOVE IS LOVE- TORONTO BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHER

I recently made the switch from photographing exclusively women, to including men in front of my lens as well. My first male shoot ended up being a couples session with Mark and Mario.

I had never posed men before, yet alone two of them at the same time. I honestly didn’t have to do much work because these guys were so comfortable with each other, I think they forgot I was there shooting at times.

I couldn’t have asked for a better couple to photograph for my intro to male boudoir. Mark, was so sweet and soft spoken. Mario was the joker, who had us laughing almost the whole time. Their personalities compliment each other so well. I am so happy I got to capture their love.

Enjoy some beautiful moments from their session below.

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toronto boudoir photographer
toronto boudoir photographer
toronto boudoir photographer
toronto boudoir photographer

NEW LOOK, WHO DIS?- TORONTO BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHER

I have been shooting solely boudoir for over three years now, after making the switch from an "everything" photographer (new borns, weddings, families, product, whatever I could get) 

I made the switch to boudoir, because I fell in love with the way it makes women FEEL. Sometimes my clients have NEVER seen themselves as beautiful. So being able to show women their sexy, feminine side and the impact it has on them, made me never look back from boudoir.

Over the last few years shooting boudoir, I have used many different studios, but none of them were ever designed by me. I was using hotels, Air Bnb, commercial studios, but never had my own personal space.

I am now pleased to announce that I have my OWN unique studio space. Here is a recent shoot in my personal studio. There aren't many distractions or props, because the focus should be the woman!

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toronto boudoir photographer
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toronto boudoir photographer
toronto boudoir photographer
toronto boudoir photographer
toronto boudoir photographer
toronto boudoir photographer
toronto boudoir photographer
toronto boudoir photographer
Model: Tasha  Hair and Makeup: Cassandra Campbell

Model: Tasha

Hair and Makeup: Cassandra Campbell

Succulent SuperSHEroes!-TORONTO BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHER

I had the pleasure to photograph the absolutely stunning Rachel of The Succulent Six!

If you haven't had heard of The Succulent Six, they are an amazing group of badass body positive babes from Toronto. They have a brilliant series on CBC that you can watch here. 

As described on their website: 

"Our team of "pseudo-superSHEroes" was formed on International No Diet Day 2016, united on a mission of body acceptance. We like to challenge each other by taking on special missions that push us out of our comfort zones and champion self-love in all shapes and sizes. With our new series, we invite the viewer to come along with us as we partner with a special guest ”Succulent Sixth” get out of our comfort zones, and complete missions that champion self-love in all shapes and sizes."

If you've been following me for a while, you know that I myself am a Body Positive Activist. I accept all bodies into my studio regardless of weight, size, or ability. I believe all women are worthy of feeling beautiful and having stunning portraits taken of themselves.

Photographing other BOPO Babes like Rachel and the ladies from The Succulent Six makes me BEYOND happy. We are on a mission to bring marginalized bodies to the mainstream! Enjoy the images from Rachel's session below. Sorry not sorry for making your JAW DROP TO THE FLOOR!!

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toronto boudoir photographer
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toronto boudoir photographer
toronto boudoir photographer
toronto boudoir photographer

If you are interested in having your own body positive boudoir photo shoot experience, contact me here and lets chat about creating a new perspective of yourself!

THE EMPOWERMENT OF BOUDOIR IS INSURMOUNTABLE. TORONTO BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHER.

Adina is an amazing woman who has overcome so much in her life. She is SUCH a badass hard working babe. Her confidence is amazing to watch. She did this for nobody but herself, and now has these gorgeous photos to remind her of the badass that she is.

toronto boudoir photographer

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO DO A BOUDOIR SHOOT?

I have done five other boudoir shots in the past and love my photographer and her team.  I saw Sam's work a couple of years ago and reached out about options.  I loved the studio she shot in and thought a different lens would be fun. 

My main reasons for doing these are typically in celebration of something.  My first was my first 60 lbs I lost, and a few in between celebrated new relationships and times in my life. 

I kept putting this off and after the loss of my dad and a very emotional break up, I knew it was time to do something for myself that reminded me of my inner beauty.  I was losing confidence and my general Adina mojo, which started to really get me down.  

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HOW DID YOU FEEL DURING YOUR SHOOT?

For those who have done shoots with me in the past, I'm very comfortable with my body so walking around naked or partially naked isn't a big deal.  I believe this to be a form of art so I have little reservation, however, there still needs to be a certain level of professionalism and tact and Sam showed me this. 

It was just her and I during the shot and no complicated equipment.  I loved it being just her and her camera. She was open to some of my own suggestions, especially the one with the smoke and book!  I think that turned out just perfect.  I could feel my mood changing and was so happy, especially during the time I was in, to push myself to do it!

toronto boudoir photographer
toronto boudoir photographer

HOW DID YOU FEEL AFTER SEEING YOUR IMAGES FOR THE FIRST TIME?

Sam did an amazing job at showcasing my images in a slide show when I first showed up.  It was a lot to take in.  I didn't recognize myself in some of them - not physically, but just the confidence that I thought I had lost.  I was proud of what I saw. She captured my essence perfectly.

toronto boudoir photographer

WOULD YOU RECOMMEND A BOUDOIR SHOOT TO OTHER WOMEN?

Being a plus size woman, I believe in embracing your body and loving it. While there are a lot of days I struggle, the empowerment of boudoir is insurmountable. It can quickly remind you that you are beautiful, help you find the confidence and courage you may not have ever had or through life, let slip from your grip.  I recommend boudoir for individuals (dudes and ladies) and would love to do a couple's shoot down the road some day, even if it's with my cat!

Adina has an awesome Blog. It is raw, honest and very inspiring. If you'd like to check it out you can do so here: https://discoveryourstrength.me 

FASHION QUEEN. TORONTO BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHER.

This was my second time photographing this beauty. The first time, we did a very soft, classic boudoir shoot. This time, we decided to go for something a little different. We wanted to try out a high contrast, edgy look, and I am loving the result! 

Nicole is a stylist, so that always means awesome wardrobe! If you're looking for an amazing stylist in Toronto, be sure to look up @nicolecontador.stylist on Instagram, she's amazing!

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toronto boudoir photographer
toronto boudoir photographer
toronto boudoir photographer
toronto boudoir photographer
toronto boudoir photographer
toronto boudoir photographer

I'VE ALWAYS BEEN SHY. TORONTO BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHER

I recently got to photograph this bombshell! Read on to hear about her experience:

What made you want to do a boudoir shoot?

I wanted to do a boudoir shoot because I have always been shy and insecure. I felt it would help me build some confidence in myself, which it definitely did! It was an amazing experience. I loved everything about it.

toronto boudoir photographer
toronto boudoir photographer
toronto boudoir photographer

How did you feel during your boudoir shoot?

  I felt beautiful, fierce, and empowered. I was very comfortable it amazing.

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toronto boudoir photographer

how did you feel when you saw your images for the first time?

 I was amazed and very excited. I couldn't stop smiling they were all perfect , I couldn't choose just one favorite.

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toronto boudoir photographer

Has doing a boudoir shoot helped your confidence?

YES it definitely has helped my confidence. Now I feel more comfortable in my own skin, and can embrace myself for who I am.

toronto boudoir photographer
toronto boudoir photographer

It is answers like this, that make me feel like I am making a difference in the lives of women. If I can make a woman hold her head a little higher, feel a little sexier, gain her confidence back OR have confidence in herself for the first time, then I've done my job. 

If you'd like more information about a boudoir photo shoot, lets chat! 

SWEATER WEATHER. TORONTO BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHER.

Here is a recent session of the stunning Miss E in her lifestyle boudoir session. 

I've always been a fan of non-traditional lingerie, and this session is just another reason to prove why!  No lacy lingerie, no high heels, no hair blowing in the wind. Just pure and natural beauty.

I've always been a fan of non-traditional lingerie, and this session is just another reason to prove why!

No lacy lingerie, no high heels, no hair blowing in the wind. Just pure and natural beauty.

To some women, feeling empowered can mean different things, which is totally fine!  Some women feel their sexiest when they are dolled up, while others feel sexy "sweatpants, hair tied, chilling with no makeup on", In the words of Drake.  There is no style which is better than the other. Each woman is unique and badass in their own way. Every woman is worthy of feeling beautiful no matter what.

To some women, feeling empowered can mean different things, which is totally fine!

Some women feel their sexiest when they are dolled up, while others feel sexy "sweatpants, hair tied, chilling with no makeup on", In the words of Drake.

There is no style which is better than the other. Each woman is unique and badass in their own way. Every woman is worthy of feeling beautiful no matter what.

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toronto boudoir photographer
toronto boudoir studio
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ALL BODIES ARE GOOD BODIES. TORONTO BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHER.

At Crave Boudoir, we are inclusive of ALL bodies. 

Bodies with abs, and bodies with jiggly bits. ALL are welcome in my studio, and ALL are important valuable bodies.

There is no one body type that trumps the other. I want to make that clear. 

A woman's body is her choice to do what she wants with. 

If a woman loves working out, that's fine.

If a woman loves tacos, that's fine.

If a woman chooses to have plastic surgery, that's fine.

No one body is better than the other. Our bodies as women ARE SO POWERFUL! Our bodies are our vessels which take us on this adventure called life.

My goal is to make you feel like a damn Queen no matter what your size. I want you to realize that life is NOT ALL ABOUT YOUR BODY!

We are all unique, sexy, beautiful babes. I am so happy to be able to show so many women they are perfect just the way they are. 

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toronto boudoir photographer
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toronto boudoir photographer
toronto boudoir photographer

DO SOMETHING THAT SCARES YOU. TORONTO BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHER.

Recently, I had the privilege to photograph my friend Miss K.

We met at our past office job. We instantly clicked. You know those people who come into your life and the conversation flows without effort? That's what I had with Miss K.

When Miss K found out I was shooting boudoir on the side, she was intrigued, and we always kind of joked about her coming in for a shoot. Then years later, as we have both moved on to better jobs (LIKE PHOTOGRAPHING AND EMPOWERING WOMEN!) she stepped into my studio. 

We laughed our asses off at the fact that we met in an office, and now I am photographing her half nude. Miss K left feeling like an empowered goddess!

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toronto boudoir photographer
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toronto boudoir photographer

I couldn't muster the confidence to accept my appearance. TORONTO BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHER.

There were a lot of reasons why I did my boudoir shoot but one of them was because I have always had insecurities about my looks. Despite the many people that told me I should feel otherwise, I couldn’t muster the confidence to accept my appearance.

I always felt stuck as the awkward 14 year old that didn’t really get noticed by anyone as being beautiful or significant. I always felt a little invisible as silly as it is to say. Doing my boudoir shoot was my way of finally overcoming the negative perception of myself. To finally own “DAMN, GIRL YOU LOOKING DAMN GOOD” and nothing less.  

toronto boudoir

Working with Samantha during the shoot really led to the affirmation of my positive perception of myself; that I am confident, feminine, and sexy.

toronto boudoir
toronto boudoir
It is hard to describe the experience other than “transformative” because it really is a personal journey. The emotional and mental aspect of this boudoir shoot is so important to me because if I did not take the physical risk, I don’t think i would feel secure in how I feel and perceive myself.   There is no better feeling than accepting and loving who you are whole heartedly.

It is hard to describe the experience other than “transformative” because it really is a personal journey. The emotional and mental aspect of this boudoir shoot is so important to me because if I did not take the physical risk, I don’t think i would feel secure in how I feel and perceive myself. 

There is no better feeling than accepting and loving who you are whole heartedly.

toronto boudoir
toronto boudoir
toronto boudoir
toronto boudoir
toronto boudoir

FLORIDA CURVES

This September I travelled to Boca Grande, Florida for a photography workshop called Florida Curves. We got to photograph 3 models all with different body types, who were all EQUALLY stunning as you will see below.

I went in to the workshop thinking I would learn some lighting and editing techniques, which I TOTALLY did as you will see in this blog. However, little did I know how much I would learn about myself in the two days I spent in a house with the most incredible group of women photographers.

We got silly.

We got vulnerable.

We got fierce.

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During the workshop, the teachers asked us our "WHY". Why do we shoot boudoir?

Of course my first thought was "I love to empower women and help them embrace their bodies" 

Then we were asked to think deeper than that. I began to think of my own journey to loving my body the way I do today.

I thought back to my childhood- always being called "skinny minnie" by my family and how uncomfortable it made me feel. Even though I was thin, I was so self conscious of my body. I would wear a t-shirt over my swim suit to the public pool as an attempt to cover my flat chest. I would wear baggy t-shirts and sweaters to school because I wanted to hide that I didn't have hips, and felt my body was too boyish to be seen.

My body didn't look like the other girls in my class. I can even remember in middle school, wearing two bras under my shirt to a party to try and make my boobs bigger!

During college when I gained some weight and got some boobies, I still wasn't happy with my body. It is so hard to love yourself when you are constantly bombarded with images in the media that show you an unachievable standard of beauty.

There is a common misconception that skinny=happy. That could not be further from the truth. You never know someone's insecurities based on their size. 

It wasn't until I discovered boudoir photography that I started to truly love my body just the way it is. I saw the impact the photos had on my clients. Sometimes these women are seeing themselves as beautiful for the very first time in their life, and it is a very powerful feeling to give someone that gift.

I started to realize that there is no such thing as the perfect body. All bodies are valuable and all bodies are unique. Women's bodies allow us to live, love, thrive, laugh, succeed, learn, grow babies, travel, dance, and of course, eat all the pizza!! Our bodies are capable of SO many amazing things, I finally learned it doesn't have to be perfectly chiseled in order to be happy with life.

Fast forward to current day, where I no longer am ashamed of my body. At the workshop I did not cover my body on the beach, but rather frolicked nude and went skinny dipping with the entire group of women at the workshop. It was one of the most surreal and amazing moments in my life. I felt completely free and happy.  

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Here you can see images of the three models from the workshop.

Three different bodies. Three valuable bodies.

Toronto boudoir photography
toronto boudoir photography
toronto boudoir photography