‘Em­pow­er­ing ex­pe­ri­ence’ cap­tur­ing mo­ment in time

Gloucestershire Echo - - WEST WOMEN - By MIL­LIE REEVES

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

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