When we were little girls, my sister and I had a dressing up box, filled with all the things we needed to turn us into princesses, fairies and white witches. It was our favourite way to amuse ourselves and was always magical, transporting us to different times and imaginary countries, where we were the heroines, saving the day in some imagined adventure.
Recently, I experienced a dressing up experience for grown up princesses. Talented photographer, Sharon Simpson, invited me to be part of a boudoir shoot party, where she was going to create the magic that would cause us to revisit those childhood feelings of being fabulous, beautiful and invincible, once more.
Women are like buds, we need the warmth of the sun to unfurl our petals and really flower.
It wasn’t compulsory for us to get down to our underwear but Sharon had photographed me in my lingerie before and I knew she would create a safe, relaxing and fun environment, where it would be possible to unwrap my sensual self and feel utterly beautiful. Not perfect, you understand, but my own, utterly beautiful self, which is far better. We were also asked to bring along anything else that we would like to be photographed in, so I put my favourite Ghost sheath in my dressing up bag and headed off to meet the other ladies, in anticipation of what was going to be a very enjoyable day.
When I arrived at Sharon’s home, where she was hosting the event, two of the other guests had already arrived. The set up was very professional. There was a sense of excitement as we were shown to the dressing room where we would change into a robe and slippers, ready to go and be transformed by hair stylist and a makeup artist who were waiting for us downstairs. More ladies were arriving and eventually six of us were ready for our close up, Mr De Mille, or should I say, Ms Simpson. Sharon had supplied delicious nibbles to graze on while we were waiting for our turn in front of the camera and we had each bought a bottle of something fizzy, so the atmosphere was soon as bubbly as the liquid in our glasses.
It was great fun, not only to have our own hair and make up done but to watch the other ladies. Different aspects of their personalities began to shine through, as the transformation team worked with them. Both Deborah David, Hair Stylist, and Rose, make up artist, did wonderful work. They let us tell them our ideas, then created the look we had asked for. Every woman looked stunning, yet like themselves. It was fascinating to watch our alter egos start to emerge. Each one was treated with approval, appreciation and praise. It was such a lovely environment. Women are like buds, we need the warmth of the sun to unfurl our petals and really flower. We were all basking in the sunshine that filled the room. And that was before the shooting started! Part of the pleasure of the event was having the opportunity to meet some very interesting women and share our stories at out leisure. Most of them had children, so coming along for the day was a gift to themselves of delicious ‘me’ time, which every woman needs, but mothers don’t often get. Another lovely element of the day.
After more delicious food, which Sharon had supplied for our lunch, the moment I had been waiting for had arrived. It was time to change for my shoot. I had decided to just be photographed in the Ghost dress and my hair and make up had been styled to complement the look. I stepped into the studio feeling like a 1940’s screen goddess, which I was thoroughly enjoying. I hadn’t felt like that since my dressing up box. As before, Sharon’s direction was supportive and relaxing. The session seemed to pass in a moment, I was having so much fun.I had a sneak preview of one of the shots and it was very pleased with the result. She had made me look stunning. The combination of a great atmosphere, professional hair and make up and a brilliant photographer had combined to allow my feminine essence to shine. It felt very beautiful and as though a slumbering part of me had woken up That feeling has stayed with me since the shoot. Not in an arrogant, self-satisfied way. No, it’s just that having my sensuous, feminine self awaken, I don’t feel like going back to sleep, again. A selection of the photographs are available to view on Sharon’s website.
The boudoir party is an experience I would thoroughly recommend to every woman. Whether it’s an alternative hen night, a special birthday celebration or just the opportunity to bring dear friends together for some quality catching up time, it will be magical. Reminiscent of the days when you teetered about in your mother’s old shoes (except now we have got the walk down, ladies) and her cut off evening dress, you will recapture those delicious fairy-tale feelings and leave with a swing in your step, not to mention a sway in your hips. And on those days that you are sure that your bum really does look the size of Brighton seafront, you will be able to bring out those photos to remind you, it’s just an off day and you are, in reality, gorgeous. Because every woman – young, old, black white – is gorgeous, we just don’’t acknowledge it enough. Sometimes we need a delightfully indulgent experience, like a boudoir shoot party, to remind us.
Sharon’s gorgeous work can be viewed at her website: www.sharonsimpson.co.uk