How Gloria Steinem inspired me to do a boudoir shoot

I sat down with my photographer friend Sara Richardson over coffee a couple of months ago. Our conversation was dominated by the concerns of females, especially over a certain age.

This uncharted territory of aging brought to mind a few women that I admire, some that are world famous and many that are only famous to their families. All of them are strong, many times opinionated, talented and artistic. One such woman is undeniably more intriguing to me today than she was decades ago. I talked about my day with Gloria Steinem as her makeup artist and how she was one of the "coolest" women and celebrities I'd ever worked with. Gloria's ability to grow into an even more confident and sexier version of herself got me thinking: What could I do to bring on the next phase of confidence in myself? I'd been feeling down, but curious about how I could re-frame myself now. I had a break between projects and I felt it was time to use me as a model for change, literally. I know that when a woman looks and feels good about herself, she shines no matter her age, size or current look. Sara knows this too.

We did a bit of research and found a boudoir studio in Ohio that specialized in a type of boudoir with mature women. Their images represented the Holy Grail of beauty: Strength, Authenticity, Allure, Class and Creativity. These qualities translated out in images as Pure Bliss.

I stepped out of my comfort zone as a behind-the-camera artist, just as Gloria did when she took on the role as a Playboy Bunny to write an article about the Playboy Club for Show Magazine. I carefully planned our boudoir shoot, collecting images from Pinterest and other websites, shopped for a Bohemian style look that I love, and put together a list of locations that I thought might work. My goal was to see myself now at this age with this body and feel good about it all. I knew if we could have fun in this creative process, Sara and I might be on to some magic right here in our little place in Idaho. It was a long day and you'll see some of the my favorite images here. At the end of the shoot I felt taller and less burdened by the nonsense in my mind. This wasn't my "Bunny" act but it was a breakout of sorts for me. Growing older does take courage and self compassion. It takes a kind of acceptance that is unknown in youth and I have a feeling that's exactly what every sexy, mature and wildly authentic woman knows as she marches on in life.

If you'd like to know more about Sara Richardson Photography and her style of Boudoir and Beauty sessions you can contact her at: www.srichardsonphoto.com & www.facebook.com/srichardsonbeautyandboudoir.