Most of my photo shoots are for a reason. Some of them are for En Femme, some are the annual MN T-Girls shoot, some are for reviews, and some are just for fun.
It’s easy to get burnt out on them, though. Don’t get me wrong, I heart them but they do take a lot of planning and coordination between Shannonlee, makeup appointments, shooting locations, and other logistics. Some shoots have requirements, such as a specific location or vibe that is needed. Usually this is requested of En Femme and it’s actually fun figuring out the perfect location. In 2019 we did a shoot for En Femme’s winter line and we were tasked with finding a location that was very Christmasy. I think it’s safe to say we nailed it.
I actually like working with guidelines like this. I think when you are given such specifications your most creative work can happen.
When I did my last shoot it was going to be all about lingerie and most of the shots were going to be for reviewing two new bra and panty sets and new forms for The Breast Form Store. Since the shoot was going to be in a hotel room we decided to do some dress shots around the hotel itself. Since this was the first shoot since November, and my first time completely en femme since then, I was excited for the shoot. I had a new dress, new forms, and a killer makeover and I was excited for the day. I felt cute, and I thought I looked cute (please note that looking cute and feeling cute are not always hand-in-hand).
We started with a few shots in the hotel room….
…then moved to the balcony when the wind decided to play.
After the shots in the room we took to exploring the hotel.
I love these shots, I love this dress. I think you can see my excitement and confidence shine through. This is pretty typical of the first outfit of a shoot and is pretty different than the final outfit of the day which I will talk about in a future post.
There are certain colors that are.. “off limits” for boys. Pink, that’s a significant one, but there are others. Like lilac. Sure men might wear a lilac dress shirt, but it’s a light purple shirt, thank you very much.
But come on, it’s lilac.
And I heart lilac.
I mean, it’s a beautiful flower and it smells lovely, but the color is so feminine.
The bra has all my favorite details, a feminine pattern around the mesh cups, a tiny bow in the middle. The bra sparkles with a touch of glitter. And! It’s a pocket bra for your forms. But with or without forms this bra is sexy and innocent.
The matching panty is super cute and while I don’t normally like boy-short type panties, I really liked this pair. It’s designed to be worn over a gaff (which is helpful when it comes to boy-shorts) but tucking is also comfortable with this panty.
And the back is lacy and seductive.
I hope you like these photos! I do realize that the color of this set is actually lavender (according to the website), I just think lilac is more femme. 🙂
I buy my lingerie from a few different places online but the only lingerie boutique I frequent regularly (though not regularly enough) Is Allure. Allure has different locations throughout the country and are very accommodating to girls like us. In fact, I had a bra fitting there!
I have always been fascinated and enamored with corsets. Sexy, beautiful, elaborate, little details… I’ve owned a few in my life but it wasn’t until I started to wear a proper one from Glamorous Corset.
I didn’t really understand or appreciate the difference a quality, real corset can make. How much work it takes to get used to a proper one, and the correct way to wear one. It requires discipline and patience. As I seasoned my corset I realized that as sexy as corsets are, they are also versatile. A perfect balance of beauty and practicality.
When I worked up the courage to do a lingerie shoot, I knew I had to wear my corset. I feel these shots capture beauty, power, and vulnerability.
Have you ever felt like something was both inevitable and not going to happen in a million years?
Have you ever done something that felt the complete opposite than you expected?
That was this past Saturday in a nutshell.
A few weeks ago The Breast Form Store sent over a few items for me to sample and review. Some new forms (more on those later but OMG), a new gaff, and some lingerie. Usually when I am sent clothes to review I will have professional photos taken by my friend Shannonlee. When I have done reviews for gaffs, lingerie, or a corset I have used product pictures from the designer’s website to illustrate my review. But this time… I couldn’t stop thinking about if I wanted to do a lingerie shoot for the review. I am not sure what changed my mind from something I didn’t think, or want to happen in a million years to something I sorta kinda maybe wanted to do, but honestly I think it’s the past year that has really shaped my perspective on life.
A funny thing happened around my last birthday. I noticed I started to think about, well, the end of my life. Not to sound dramatic and I know I have a lot of time left (fingers crossed), but I spent a lot of time thinking about what I want to do with the rest of my life. Some of my thoughts were practical, such as making sure my wife and I were financially stable, some of it was more fun, like planning a vacation. These thoughts, combined with how COVID has really impacted the world and has limited what we can and should do, I thought about life is short and things we want to do could stop being an option very suddenly. Sure, I want to go on a trip and yes I want to go to the mall without a mask but it’s not smart to do either of these things right now. A year and a half ago no one would have thought that life would be like this. But it is, and could be for a long time.
The idea of a lingerie shoot terrified me and at the same time the fear wasn’t stopping me from thinking about it. I talked to my wife about what I was thinking and we had a good conversation about everything from what I was feeling about life and time running out and fears of someone we know stumbling across the pictures (because let’s face it, if I am going to do it I am likely posting the photos) to what I wanted, and didn’t want if I did the shoot. After our talk, I felt lighter. I didn’t realize how crushing my feelings of life running out were impacting me. Honestly? I realized I was scared of getting old, getting sick, not being able to do things I wanted to do, whether it was a boudoir shoot or going for a run. I know the day will come when I shouldn’t be driving (and yes I know that day is decades away) or or doing things that I take for granted. I don’t want to regret things I could have done. Things that I want to do but kept putting off, whether it was a lingerie shoot or visiting Italy.
So I did it.
The shoot, not the trip. At least not yet.
The shoot happened almost 48 hours from me writing this and I am still processing it. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I was surprised at how… nervous and awkward I felt. I’ve done a lot of shoots over the last five years. Some for fun, some for reviews, some for En Femme. I’ve worn everything from wrap dresses to PVC skirts to pants so I am accustomed to being photographed in a lot of different outfits. But stockings and bras? Good god. Lingerie is something one wears for themselves, for intimate moments, for sleeping. Lingerie is personal, private, and a secret. Wearing lingerie when someone other than my wife is in the room is a… well, I felt as uncomfortable and as awkward as you can imagine. I felt silly. Although I wasn’t expecting it to be… I don’t know, erotic, I didn’t expect it to be a big deal considering my previous shoots and outfits. I felt exposed and nervous. Not exactly strutting out of a comfort zone.
As the shoot progressed I felt a little less nervous and self-conscious. Shannonlee always helps me come out of my shell a bit and she was as professional as it gets. She is also my friend. I can’t imagine letting anyone else photograph me for a shoot like this.
I’ll (probably) post the finished shots, but I wanted to share some pictures from that day. These were taken with an iPhone (please excuse the quality) and haven’t been touched up with lighting and whatever magic Shannonlee does. They are also in black and white because, well, black and white is… forgiving. Let’s leave it at that.
As I write this I can honestly say I am glad I did this, even with all the nervousness and anxiety the day brought. I can’t say I will ever do this again, but I think this is one less thing I will have on my list of regrets when things like this aren’t an option anymore.
On this date in 2019 I was getting ready for a business trip. I woke up early on the first day of 2020 and I spent New Year’s Day in airports and a hotel. I thought about what the next twelve months would bring and there was the typical optimism and planning and dreaming about what lay ahead. I knew there would be frustrations and disappointments and unexpected events, but no one really could have predicted what this year was going to be like. There are so many things we do now, whether it is wearing a mask while we hope the store has some toilet paper left, video calls with our parents, and staying six feet apart if we have to run errands. Each of these things would have seemed bizarre 52 weeks ago but this is our reality now.
In some ways it shows how fragile our lives are, and how quickly and how much a life can change. It also shows how resilient we can be. It’s not easy but we are clinging and dreaming of a better day. The vaccine, new leadership, seeing family, resuming our precious little lives.
Optimism and the start of a new year go together like a cute panty and matching bra.
This morning I am thinking about dreams deferred and the hope of tomorrow. Chances to take, opportunities to seek out, and yes, outfits to wear. I never said I wasn’t shallow. 🙂
I bought a dress to wear for the MN T-Girls Halloween party. It looked like a fairy dress and I thought it would look cute with wings. As the party approached my enthusiasm for the event started to dwindle. Weather was getting colder, confirmed COVID cases began to rise, and it was time to face the inevitability of a worsening winter. The early days of the virus were scary and hard, but soon warmer weather gave us more options. We could be outside! We could see a friend (distanced socially, of course) at a park, we could leave our homes. But the colder weather meant these days were over for the moment. I didn’t put the effort or energy into my costume that I had planned but I still had a cute dress (and tiara) to wear for the party. The party was fun but for me there was a gloominess that hung over me. Many of the girls who came to last year’s party weren’t there because of COVID and I knew that I had to suspend future events for a while.
This dress looked cute online, and to my delight was even cuter in real life. I loved it, it’s fun to wear (especially with a petticoat to give it that extra floof), and it shows off my legs lol. It’s a beautiful party dress. Looking at this dress is a little bittersweet. This is not a time for parties, not when it’s not safe to gather. It’s not a time to celebrate when so many people have lost their lives, their family members, their jobs.
November’s MN T-Girls event was the annual photo shoot. I knew it was likely the last time I would see my friends for a while. I look forward to all of our events, especially the photo shoot but knowing I wouldn’t see the girls for a while made me sad. I picked my outfits for the day, and at the last minute I took this dress.
I thought about how it was a party dress, and I thought about fun it would be to wear for a New Year’s Eve party, a party that wouldn’t be happening this year. I suppose it was like wearing a gown for a prom I wouldn’t be going to. As Shannonlee clicked away with her camera, my smile, my posing, my thoughts all seemed to shift a little. T-Girls have a special relationship with clothes, they are a representation of our gender identity, they symbolize who we are. Like a t-shirt of a favorite band reminding us of a concert from a long time ago, a dress can bring up memories. I thought about this dress, I thought about the Halloween party and how it was tinged with sadness for that night. I thought about wearing it to parties that were not going to happen for a while. I closed my eyes as Shannonlee took photos and I let these feelings take over. I thought about the losses from the year, the uncertainty of tomorrow. I thought about my friends, I thought about the holiday party that wouldn’t happen, I thought about everything. I stopped posing and just stood there and remained very still until I came out a weird trance-like state.
Goodness this all sounds very supernatural and pretentious, doesn’t it?
I always look forward to getting my photos back and I was particularly curious as to how the photos of this dress would look. The pictures of this outfit started off fun, but as time passed I could see in the photos how my thoughts and emotions started to took over. I look at peace. I wasn’t.
I don’t want to start anything in the comments, but it’s obvious that I think that our current president is a complete disaster. But as I type this we will have a new president in a few weeks. I am not saying Biden is a savior or perfect or anything. He has his faults and again I don’t want to get inundated with messages or whatever. We have two vaccines. My job is starting to make plans for a return to normalcy. This year has been hell but we can see a new day ahead.
If this year taught me anything it’s that our lives can be upended quickly and in more ways than we can imagine. We needed to adapt and we did. We can change how we do things, whether it is how we work, how we support a local business, how we stay in touch with friends. Time and life is precious and we don’t need to adhere to the rules that we think we have. Yes, I miss not having a holiday party with friends this year, but why not throw a glamorous party in April? We don’t need a reason other than we are celebrating being alive, and surviving. Have a new costume party in June, wear a ballgown to Target.
I am excited to get vaccinated. I am excited to go out to dinner. I am excited to leave my mask at home. I am excited to hug my mom. I am excited rejoin my lives and have new adventures. New parties, new outfits, new celebrations, new opportunities.
This year a million plans went out the window and for the most part I remained optimistic. It wasn’t easy. I still made plans and I knew there was always a likely chance they would be canceled or postponed.
I like looking forward to things and events and like every year I was excited about the MN T-Girls Holiday Party. As soon as the weather starts to turn colder I start looking for my dress. Most of the time it’s sparkly.