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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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How Rachel went from

I HAVE never enjoyed having my photograph taken and am rarely happy with how my pictures turn out.

So, when I was asked to participate in a Boudoir photo shoot with Dalton photographer, Lorraine Oates, my first reaction was, no chance!

Google boudoir and you will find the following adjectives; sensuous, sexy, discreet and nude.

And with little real knowledge of what a boudoir shoot would entail, my research certainly didn’t inspire me to change my mind.

Advertised as the ultimate in sophistication and glamour, Lorraine’s boudoir shoots promise to make real women look and feel fantastic.

But if I found a clothed shoot daunting, attempting to take a successful shot in my underwear would surely be impossible?

Assured that I could be as modest or as brave as I liked, I eventually agreed to meet Lorraine at her Powder and Paint studio, in a quest to finally capture the perfect picture.

Browsing Lorraine’s website prior to my arrival, I discovered page after page of testimonials from women who claimed that experiencing a boudoir shoot had helped to raise their self-esteem.

And arriving at the studio armed with a bag filled with sequins and skimpy lace pieces, I was definitely in need of a confidence boost.

But from the moment I met Lorraine, all my fears dissipated.

Led into a backroom for a natter on the sofa, it quickly became clear that Lorraine’s main passion is making women look and feel fab.

“It is a great feeling to be able to make women feel more confident about their bodies,” she explained. Adding: “I have customers of all ages, shapes and sizes, and my photos prove that every woman can look beautiful.”

A professionally trained make-up artist, Lorraine’s amazing transformations offer women the chance to experiment with Hollywood glamour, have a go at burlesque or flirt with vintage seduction.

And hoping to look like a 1950s pin up, I opted for the latter.

Beginning my makeover Lorraine applied, layers of eye shadow and liner to create smokey eyes, before adding some ridiculously long eye lashes, which she promised would give me cat-like eyes.

Opting to keep my hair straight and sleek, it was then time for an outfit change before being whisked upstairs to the boudoir studio for some serious pouting.

Feeling slightly self-conscious, it was decided that my first few shots would be fully clothed, giving me time to perfect the facial expressions and sometimes awkward positions that were needed to transform me into the next Rita Hayworth.

Being camera shy, I did find it difficult to look at the lens seductively or pose in an alluring manner, but the girls-only policy and relaxing background music eventually helped to put me at ease.

Slowly beginning to get into the swing of things, I decided that I felt comfortable enough to bare my stomach – and as someone who hates showing my belly even at the pool or on holiday this was a true testament to Lorraine’s personable character.

Lasting a good couple of hours, the shoot left me feeling totally relaxed, liberated and due to some encouraging ‘hmm’s and haa’s’, excited to see how the pictures would turn out.

Having taken advantage of the desire package, costing £190, my photos would be creatively edited and re-touched, before I would be allowed back to the studio for a viewing, to choose a framed and mounted 10 x 8 picture of my choice.

The end result was unbelievable.

Returning to the studio with my partner in tow, Lorraine offered us both a bucks fizz while we settled down to watch a slide show of some of my best pics.

As I am used to having trouble finding a nice Facebook profile picture or passport photo, it was a bizarre experience to be spoilt for choice when deciding which picture to have framed.

Although I was nervous to begin with the boudoir shoot proved to be an experience I would definitely repeat again, and I would recommended it to anyone.

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