Today I am sharing images I took of myself.

My journey of self love and acceptance has always been in motion, however there has been a big shift in my life over the last 6 months. It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve chosen the path I’m on and have decided to focus on, and surround myself with, happiness and positive energy.  This includes the thoughts in my head when I look in the mirror.  As a result, I’m smiling more, sleeping better, and have lost a total of 30lbs. I feel great. For the first time (maybe ever), I feel happy with the way I look. When I look in the mirror I think, ‘Hey, I look pretty good today’, instead of “Wow I look like shit and need to lose weight”.

Getting to this place has not been easy, especially since I work with women every single day. We all have this insane (self imposed?) pressure to be perfect. Always a spot that could be thinner, more perky, less textured.  There have been times where someone has told me she feels ‘chunky’, when she clearly has defined abs. Seriously?  We regularly get emails from potential clients saying things like “I have cellulite, but none of the girls on your site do, can I still have a boudoir session?” or “I need to lose 10lbs, can I still do a shoot?”. I realize that this is my fault.

I take full responsibility for leading people to believe that this ‘perfection’ exists. I’m here to say that it doesn’t, but there IS something called Photoshop.

During the editing process, I clean up under the eyes, remove blemishes, soften fine lines and will smooth out skin texture. I will also use Photoshop to manipulate lines, which means defining the waist, slimming arms, tucking in little bulges and rounding out the bum. I push pixels around so that women will be happy with the way they look.

What if we were already happy with the way we look?

I decided that if I want to see this change happen, then I have to stand up and participate. Be brave and inspire others to gather that bravery for themselves.

So I’m sharing images I took of myself this past weekend, using a tripod, remote control and a mannequin to stand in for setting the focus point. This was a fun exercise for me and got to laugh at myself a bit, mostly because of all the steps involved and trying to hide the remote and ‘look sexy’ at the same time haha! I think now this will be a regular practice for me as I found it truly inspiring to try new things and not be afraid to fail.

I will let you know that I have done blemish removal and a light skin smoothing on these images. The camera can exaggerate skin texture and pores so I have retouched these to reflect what I think the human eye actually would see. I’ve left my shape as-is, because, hey, I’ve got curves and I like them. I will admit though, even though I am happy in my skin, it was physically uncomfortable for me to not photoshop my images to make myself appear thinner, more ‘perfect’. How messed up is that?! I’m still trying to decide if this is because it’s a habit because of my work or if it’s because I am afraid of being judged.

So, here I am anyway. I hope this gives you even just a smidge of inspiration to work on showing yourself the love you deserve.


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22 Responses to Vancouver Boudoir Photography: Photographer Self Portraits

  1. Mitch says:

    Hi, I just read your story and I love it. Then I saw your pictures!!! All I can say is, WOW!!!!!!!! You are absolutely stunning!!!!! I have made similar decisions in my life last year and it has been amazing!!! Keep it up you deserve to love yourself and your life!!!! You are beautiful!!!!

  2. Hailey says:


    I’m so glad you did this, for yourself and for us. I am a photographer and I Photoshop about the same as you do on my own boudoir clients (and even on self portraits I’ve taken.) I think my process is minimal, but sometimes I question what I’m doing because it’s only adding to this negative rap us women have on our bodies. I personally am at my heaviest right now, and yet my body shape and size looks exactly like yours in these self portraits – and you look hot! So thank you for opening my eyes to see my own body in a different light. We need to stop being so hard on ourselves.

    These images are beautiful! YOU are beautiful.

  3. Brooke says:

    Wow you look amazing, what a challenge to do it with a remote!

  4. Michelle says:

    Jennifer, you are absolutely beautiful!!! Congratulations on your journey….as you said, it is not easy. I have been a firm believer in positive affirmation for many years. It makes all the difference in one’s life. Awesome pictures!!! Thanks for sharing.

  5. You. Are. A. Goddess. Jennifer Williams!! Thank you for being so brave. Sharing unretouched boudoir images of yourself is a true act of bravery! Unretouched photos are something I encourage my clients to accept, but it is hard when you want to see yourself as a perfect being. These images of you are so gorgeous, fun and real. Big love to you! xoxo

  6. Janelle says:

    Wowwww!!! You are stunning AND such an inspiration!!!!! Love your work xo

  7. Esther J says:

    Your work was already inspiring to me, but the fact that you got in front of the camera and embraced your curves and your beauty is even more inspiring. These photos could not have been more perfect! You are a beautiful woman who deserves to be happy! <3

  8. Stephanie says:

    I love, love, love this post! I’ve been following you some time because if I lived anywhere remotely close to Canada, a shoot with you would be a must. Thanks for the reaffirmation and positivity you’re providing. You look amazing in your photos.

  9. Kaycee says:

    Jen you are beautiful! This is an awesome blog post!

  10. Toan Nguyen says:

    After reading your story, I want to say bravo! It must be very hard to disciplined yourself to lose that much weight and in to be in front of the camera. I agree that the conception of beauty in our society is somehow “wrong”. You are a very beautiful woman and a very good photographer.

  11. Seriously…woman you are GORGEOUS. You have a beautiful body. I almost want to do a session now…

  12. Adena says:

    Jennifer! Are you kidding me? You are flawless. I’m a boudoir photographer in Denver and I can totally relate to the way you have felt in the past. You are top notch. A super hero in my eyes. Thank you for being bold and challenging us all to do the same.

  13. Lyssa says:

    Absolutely love love love this post! You look amazing!! 100% agree with everything you said. You look beautiful!

  14. Jenna Van Essen says:

    Hey Jen,

    I shot with gloss last August during the model call and I gushed about how much I’ve always loved your style of photography. I have to say that I love you even more now! It takes so much to courage to get IN FRONT of that camera lense and you look dynamite! As a curvy girl myself, You just made my day.I have just started making a lot of smart health decisions in the past month and when I’m ready again, I want to have a shoot with you!

    Ps LOVE the stockings 🙂

  15. Lori says:

    You look amazing!! Thank you for always helping us accept our bodies for what they are. Photoshop never hurt anyone ,let’s face it, we all have mirrors and know every crease, cellulite, and scar intimately. Looking forward to working with you again in the future…you know, when I’ve lost a few pounds…lol. Beautiful lady, inside & out!

  16. Jillian says:

    Ridiculous. It’s RIDICULOUS what a babe you are! Thank you for inspiring confidence in women of every size and shape. We all deserve that 🙂

  17. Jen, your self boudoir photos are simple gorgeous! So brave of you too to bare your soul and body, I really commend you 🙂 Love your photography, such an inspiration to us all.


  18. carla says:

    holy shit, jen!!!! you are a mega babe. always were, but- wow- these photos are amazing! and i love what you said in your post. admire your honesty and bravery. xo

  19. […] Jennifer Williams, an extremely talented boudoir photographer based in rainy Vancouver, BC, shares her own boudoir self-portraits, as well as writes a wonderful article on the use of post-processing to make her clients, and herself, more ‘picture perfect.’ Read the whole article here. […]

  20. I loved what you did here! More boudoir photographers should follow suit. It is very well know in Dallas that I do not manipulate size of shape of my clients because I want to promote self love and beauty. I have found that when I pose my clients right there is no need toPhotoshop anything other than blemishes and evening out skin complexion. The “flaws” that we are see are characteristics that make us unique and individual. When my clients sees her photos I want her to actually see herself.

  21. Rachael says:

    You are an inspiration! I love your story and absolutely stunning photos.

  22. […] last weekend I took about 30 minutes to shoot some more boudoir self portraits!  Just like my last boudoir selfie shoot, I did not photoshop myself to look thinner, I left my curves alone, and did a light skin smoothing […]

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