Would you be photographed in your underwear? I never thought I would but that is exactly what I did when I was eight months pregnant!
I had been vaguely aware of the company FYEO (For Your Eyes Only) before my pregnancy but it wasn't until I decided I needed a lasting reminder of my bump that I really paid them attention.
I had briefly considered making a plaster cast of my expanding tummy but realised that we didn't really have the space to store or display it so opted instead for an increasingly popular bump photo shoot.
FYEO are a company offering 'Boudoir Photography' - essentially this translates to a photo shoot in your lingerie (or nude for the very brave). They offer a variety of packages e.g. 'Bride', 'Bump', 'Couples'. Needless to say, I opted for 'Boudoir Bump', booked a shoot and then wondered what had possessed me! Now, I'm not the type of person keen to strip off at the drop of a hat, but I felt it was too good an opportunity to pass up. So, despite my apprehension at exposing my three-stone-heavier-than-usual body to a stranger, I decided to shed my inhibitions and enjoy the experience....and enjoy it I did!
On arrival at the Manchester studio I was made to feel at ease instantly. It is decorated in a luxurious style and really sets the mood well. My make up was done ready for the shoot (be warned - the make up is heavy so that it shows up well on camera - I forgot this and left the studio with excessively rouged cheeks, only remembering when I saw my reflection in a shop window...don't make this mistake!!) and I was taken into the studio to change. I had chosen simple black underwear and, as customers are encouraged to bring a 'prop' with them, I had brought one of Mr T's shirts so that he could be included in the photo in some way.
The photographer was very professional and made me feel comfortable throughout, directing me into a series of 'flattering' poses - though some required a degree of flexibility that my bump did not allow for! The photos are taken in a dark room with just one female photographer present, so any self-consciousness soon disappears. In fact, the hour went really quickly and I was surprised how enjoyable it had been. It certainly felt like a real achievement especially as I haven't always felt confident with my body!
About a week after the photos were taken, I was emailed a link to my gallery and could view a selection of pictures. The package I had chosen included one print and it was so difficult making the decision on which image to choose as there were so many I loved. After a lot of deliberation I did choose one and this image is now printed on a canvas and has pride of place at the top of our stairs!
I found this experience to be a massive confidence boost, a great memento of my pregnancy and a really fun day out!