My boudoir blunder

I haven't shared this story with too many people, but it is a really important part of why I started Kayla Petrosky Photography, and now seems like the perfect time to share it. I've struggled with my body image a lot over the last few years, especially since having Jude, so when I received a suggested post on a certain social media site that shared a giveaway for a free boudoir session, I applied for it. And I won!

I was so excited for the experience! I drove 45 minutes to meet with the photographer and look through albums of her work. It was breathtaking and empowering and I couldn't wait to schedule my session. But then she showed me the pricing sheet. I was immediately taken aback. Price sheet? I won a free session? Turns out the "free session" was just to cover the studio, hair + makeup, and her "sitting fee" and I would still need to pay for photos. Prior to this experience I had never worked with a photographer that charged per photo, so I was in new territory. I figured it wouldn't be a big deal, I could buy 10 photos or an album or something like that. But I was wrong. The cost of an album was more than my monthly mortgage payment and 10 photos would've been enough to put a down payment on a car. I instantly closed up the price sheet, sat it on the table, and informed the photographer that I would no longer be using the "free session" as I walked out the door. Truth be told, I was completely embarrassed to have been caught so off guard and made to feel like photos of me were so far out of my budget that they weren't worth having.

Luckily, I came home and rebounded. I knew there had to be someone out there who wasn't going to ask me to spend as much on my session as the previous photographer, and I was right. I came across the wonderful Amanda Berry Photography, who not only provided me with an incredible session experience, but also became a dear friend.

The birth of boudoir by kayla

 After my experience with Amanda, I decided to give boudoir a go for myself. I asked a few of my brides and friends if they'd be interested in helping me build my boudoir portfolio and I was incredibly surprised when so many of them responded with an enthusiastic "YES!".

As the day approached I couldn't tell if I was more excited or nervous... these women were trusting me with an incredibly vulnerable project. Being a woman these days means endless scrutiny of your body, and most often the harshest criticisms come from our own minds. I wanted to make sure everyone who booked a session felt confident in their skin and found a way to love their bodies. I wanted to create an experience for everyone so they'd be set up for success from start to finish! Blush757 was on-site to do everyone's makeup (and they crushed it by the way), there was bubbly to enjoy, and snacks to keep folks from getting hangry. Boudoir is a WORKOUT and I was not having anyone get light headed on me! We had music playing, lots of girl talk, and plenty of good vibes going all day long. By the time we were done for the day, I was physically exhausted but mentally on a high. Boudoir photography was such an impactful way to lift women up and show them how amazing they truly are - inside and out.

When these clients started sharing their images on social media, so many people reached out to me to book a session. Between weddings and studio access, it was challenging to fit everyone into my schedule, so I set up a time to do another round of minis. I cannot wait for April 21st because I know we are going to have another round of empowering photo sessions for so many women! Head to the bottom of the blog post to sign up for your session!

Why you should book a boudoir session

I've said plenty about my perspective here, so I thought I'd share a few quotes from the amazing, gorgeous women who have trusted me with their boudoir sessions...

While I feel like I've mastered false confidence, I was terrified to be in such a vulnerable place for this photoshoot. Kayla, however, could not have made this experience more comfortable and seamless. From start to finish I felt secure and relaxed. Kayla guided me through the poses and gave me the boosts of confidence I needed to really lean into the process. The end results were incredible, and I had the opportunity to find beauty in myself in ways I didn't know I could. I would highly recommend a boudoir shoot with Kayla. Very satisfied bride AND groom ;)

-MM, 2024 Boudoir by Kayla client

As soon as I walked in the studio for my boudoir session, Kayla brought the fun and put my nerves at ease. In working with her, it’s clear she is someone who appreciates the fine details and prioritizes her client's experience – from working with me to gather inspiration weeks in advance, to collaborating on a playlist so my favorite music was on, to even providing refreshments on the day of the shoot! She created such a safe space where we were able to experiment with different poses and sets within the studio. I was worried I would feel self-conscious about some of the photos but when I got my gallery, I was amazed by how beautiful and confident every single one of her photos made me feel. I know that my fiancé and I will treasure these photos for years to come!

-DD, 2024 Boudoir by Kayla client

There's one more chance to do boudoir with me before we move out of Hampton Roads. I'm offering mini sessions on Sunday, April 21st. Grab your spot today!