‘Empowering experience’ capturing moment in time
JUDGING for this year’s West Women of the Year takes place next week.
We will announcing our list of the 100 most inspirational women in the west the following week.
And the campaign with culminate with an awards ceremony at The Passenger Shed, Bristol Temple Meads on May 16.
Among the awards handed out will be the Most Inspirational Woman in the West: The People’s Choice.
Chosen by readers, the award is sponsored by Divine Divas, a professional boudoir photography studio in Bath.
Part of Spirit Photographic, the studio has been offering sensual shoots for nine years.
Many clients are looking for a selfconfidence boost, have achieved a milestone such as a dramatic weight loss or simply want to have a fun, selfindulgent shoot.
For Jeni Baker the shoot held a significant importance.
Although she had always fancied trying a boudoir photoshoot, it was not until she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017 that she took the plunge.
She said: “I was told I had to have a mastectomy so I decided I really had to get the photographs done before I lost my breast.
“I have never been particularly body confident but my boobs had always been one of my favourite assets.
“The thought of never having cleavage again meant I knew I had to get a lasting memorial for them.”
In the days leading up to the shoot, Jeni had some nerves, especially as clients are asked to come without makeup.
“You turn up for the shoot bare faced and hair not done, feeling frumpy,” she said.
“Being shown all these photos of beautiful sexy women so you can get an idea of what sort of poses you wanted to do – yes I was nervous.”
But nerves settled down once she met the team.
“Everyone was really friendly,” she said. “I discussed with the photographer Jesse which photos I liked, but told him I knew he wasn’t a miracle worker and I was aware I wasn’t as slim as some of the women in the photographs. He said to leave it with him.
“Stylist Jo did a fabulous job of my make-up and that coupled with the glass of bubbly put me at ease.”
When it came to the shoot, it didn’t take long for Jeni to get into the swing of things.
“I am pear shaped and have a rather large bottom. I couldn’t believe it when Jesse was telling me to stick it out as far as I could – I’m used to trying to minimise it, not accentuate it.
“But he made me feel relaxed and I trusted that he knew what he was doing so I went with the flow.
“When he gave me a peek at one of the photos he’d taken, I couldn’t believe it was me I was looking at.”
She continued: “I looked like all the other beautiful women I had seen on the studio walls and on the Facebook page.
“From that moment I just relaxed and embraced my inner diva.
“I couldn’t believe I was having so much fun. The smiles in the shoot were very natural.”
Each client is invited back to view their photos with many taking their partner along with them.
“My husband came with me to the viewing,” she said. “I was so nervous, but again was put at ease
“My husband didn’t say much but I could tell by his face he was as impressed as I was.
“All my friends and family were very supportive of the shoot, especially as they all knew about the upcoming mastectomy. “
“It was exactly what I needed to boost me at such a difficult time.”
She continued: “I would recommend it to anyone to do, whatever their age or size. It is a totally amazing experience which is uplifting and empowering.
“I am thinking of having another one since I have had breast reconstruction.
“They are not as perfect as they were before but this is the new me and I know I will still look amazing.
“Plus I feel like I want to show my new boobs off.”
Pictures from Jeni Baker’s photshoot with Divine Divas