Divine Divas Celebrate International Women’s Day
The Divine Divas Girl’s Group was established by Divine Divas Boudoir Photography a year ago – with the hope that women would share their tips, inspiration and anxieties about their Boudoir Experiences. What the group has become, however, is so much more than that. It has become a platform for women to share their journeys, with us at Divine Divas, and outside of the studio. The Divine Divas Group now welcomes nearly 2000 women; a network proudly sharing their Boudoir photos, telling their stories and being met in kind, with encouragement and love.
As a result of this, The Divine Divas Group has also become the starting point for many friendships – all from women bonding over their Boudoir Experiences. It’s because of this, and the enthusiasm from the brilliant Jessie Shedden and our incredible photographers, that we were first introduced to the idea of bringing a group of women together, all of whom had found each other on the group, to celebrate International Women’s Day.
So, fast forward to the 1st March and here (at our beautiful studio in Bath) everyone was! Seven past clients who found each other on the Divine Divas Girls’ Only Group; strangers before their Divine Divas experience and living as far afield as Somerset, Wales and Herefordshire, but here they were. Drinking prosecco, behind a camera again, celebrating each other and, importantly, celebrating themselves. A celebration fit for International Women’s Day we feel…
The women that came to Divine Divas that day were Jessie Shedden, Emma Oliver, Bess Lane, Donna Osmond, Alice Moore, Sarah Jane Ilott and Donna Hall – and we’d love to let you know a bit more about each of them.
Photographer, chicken mummy, travel enthusiast and entrepreneur, Jessie came to Divine Divas burdened by a history of bullies who told her she was ‘short, overweight, and [had] a random unladylike dress sense’. Which, in her own words, left her feeling ‘suffocated and without a future’. It’s our privilege to say she did not leave feeling that way.
“So hard to put into words. Harriet and Emilie were both incredible at their roles. So loved working with Emilie – we had a blast! She was amazing at relaxing you and getting a real feel for the vibe I wanted – I had some very definite ideas but she didn’t just stick with those and consequently produced the most amazing images. Also, the FB support group was invaluable for setting you in the right mindset and giving you ideas!… I swear my cheeks are sore from smiling”
After inquiring and then spending months hiding from our calls (Donna!), Donna came to Divine Divas ‘full of self-doubt’. Being a carer to her two wonderful daughters, Donna put herself way down her list of priorities…until her shoot.
“I turned from a scared, anxious, cautious and safe 42 year old, into a wannabe vixen in no time at all. Three children later and I have stretch marks and wobbly bits. A few failed relationships in and I have zero self-esteem. Several life challenges mean I have little confidence but, wow!! This afternoon I felt confident, empowered, and full of sass. What with your reassuring comments and testimonies, to the amazing make up lady who put me at ease immediately, to the wonderful photographer who I felt such a connection with, it really totally changed the way I viewed myself. I went in saying I couldn’t relate to sexiness at all, and I couldn’t. I was unable to pout or exude any self confidence, or so I thought, but I was soon posing and even suggested I lose my bra. If you’re undecided about whether to do a shoot, please give yourself permission to just go for it and lose your inhibitions. Societies beauty standards can be shelved and your inner goddess released. I don’t even know where my goddess came from but she appeared!!!!! Brilliant.”
Meet the amazing Emma who’s graced our Boudoir Studio not once but twice! Emma came to us feeling almost sick with nerves, concerned about operation scars, stretch marks and a dent in her confidence from a history with yo-yo dieting. Things changed after she met us though…
“It took me a while to get the courage to book my shoot but I was put at ease over the phone when booking and it was explained very well. Arriving on the day was very nerve wracking, including nausea – could I even go through with this? Jo talked to me throughout my make-up session and my nerves disappeared in minutes. My make-up session (with Harriet) was like an education to me – false eyelashes, red lipstick – but wow, I looked good. Going into the photo-shoot I was relaxed but not sure how much skin I was comfortable showing. I had so much fun with my photographer. We were laughing most of the way through and I was open to all of the suggested shots. Having seen my photos, I am still amazed that it’s me, but I have so much confidence in my own image now – I would do it again in a second.”
Bess came to Divine Divas very camera shy (not even having wedding photos!) and used to a very un-glam background. However, she also had an inspirational image stuck in her head for her Boudoir shoot – a picture of Cyd Charrise which she saw years ago in a book belonging to oldest sister…
“I have never thought of the camera as my friend – you have shown me that it can be! Being inspired by a photo I have been obsessed with for 50 years and have it interpreted so well has made my decade – not just my day. Such a wonderful experience”
A fabulous lady who lacked some confidence. On arriving at our Boudoir studio, she couldn’t believe how nervous she felt. Things soon picked up when with some bubbly to hand…
“What can I say? An amazing experience from start to finish. I think everyone should experience this – a real ego boost. I have just had my viewing and can’t believe it was me. Thank you so much to all at Divine Divas, can’t believe my bum looks that good!”
A lady with a smile to die for. Having now come to Divine Divas three times, we can safely say (speaking from experience) that she is just the loveliest person around.
“A friend shared a Divine Divas post on Facebook and thank all the ‘Alice In Wonderland’ characters that she did as it was the best experience of my life. I fell down the rabbit hole and met the most wonderful people in Wonderland who made me feel and look like the most beautiful woman on the planet…There are no words to express how much of a positive effect this has had on my confidence and my life in general”
Sarah Jane Illott
Like so many of our women who come in, unfortunately, Sarah had experienced a rough time. Lacking confidence, Sarah needed something to reboot how she saw herself so she came to us for a Boudoir Experience…
“I enjoyed every moment of my Divine Divas Experience. The hair and make up! And I was so very at ease with Emilie taking my pictures, she was truly amazing! Thank you to everyone involved. I highly recommend this experience xx’
When asked what her favourite part of doing a Boudoir shoot was, Donna answered this: ‘The being made to feel special and important and beautiful . That message that I am deserving. The message that your body is fine as it is, stop hiding it away, stop focusing on the bits that bring self doubt, embrace yourself for all that you are….We all deserve to feel that way don’t we?’.
We do. And that is why we do it.
At Divine Divas we pride ourselves on not just being a photo-shoot, but being an experience. But the reason we achieve that is because we believe in the brilliance of women – with every bone in our body. We tell women they are beautiful – because they are. We tell women they are strong – because they are. There are never any exceptions to the rule. Every woman we meet amazes us.
And, consequently, by taking the time to celebrate women and their bodies, they then go on to raise others up. Like we see every day on the Divine Divas Girl’s Only Group, like we saw so vividly on the day with these amazing, strong, powerful women.
On International Women’s Day, and everyday, we hope that women everywhere are reminded of how important they are. And from Divine Divas, we’d like to say thank you – to every woman we meet, to every woman on the group – for giving us an experience in return. An experience that leaves us with a firm and unshakeable impression – the knowledge that us women are incredible