More than "boudoir"

If you’re wondering why the word “boudoir” doesn’t show up in any description of our experiences, it’s because we didn’t want to be tied down to that style of portraiture. Falling back in love with yourself is not limited to stylized, sexy sessions.

For example, I feel my best, my most loved, my most whole, when I’m around my daughter. She changed everything about my life and redefined what love and selflessness means to me. Nothing compares to how my entire world changed when she came in to my life.

She Shines is solely about what brings you bliss; that bliss is unlimited. There is no defining box and there are no rules on how we feel our best! So whatever that bliss is for you… whatever that happiness is, or that confidence, or sexiness, or whatever it is that makes you feel whole; let us capture THAT.

In honor of International Women's Day!

We're so excited to announce that we have come together with
Truth BE Worn & SBDesignCo. to create an experience for professional women.

She Succeeds & She Shines

This experience is designed to represent women in both professional and personal facets of their lives. Have you ever heard the phrase "Dress for the job you want"? Well we have taken that saying to a more practical and truthful meaning. Jill Marple-McCabe, from Truth BE Worn, has designed her entire business model around wrapping women in a custom designed dress that speaks their truth. After a personal consultation, you both learn about your own "truth" in words that represent YOU. Those words are then embroidered on a custom fitted WRAP dress that serves as a timeless, wearable reminder of who you are and what shines from within.

Her purpose has served as an inspiration for us and for Susan of SBDesignCo. By chance, we collaborated during an evening where Jill brought some of the amazing women she is connected with to Susan's studio in Manayunk. These women showed up in need of professionally photographed headshots to represent their brand and their personality. Each participant then sat in a mini consultation with Erika so she could learn about who they are, how they see themselves, and how they want to be seen by others. This intimate portrait is designed to capture their essence and their truth as a woman, outside of any professional setting.

The juxtaposition of these two photographic experiences, allows each woman to embrace both sides of her life; who she is in her field/career, and who she is behind the curtain, when the "wardrobe" she's carefully calculated comes off.

 
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New Year, New Goals

Hi there... I'm Erika!

 
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While I won't ever claim to be a blogger (or at least a good one), I've been feeling more compelled to write down my thoughts, plans, and exciting ideas for the future of She Shines.

So here goes one, of many, posts that hopefully engage some of you for a little feedback!

You may or may not have noticed that over the small lifespan of this project, I've attempted to steer away from using the word "Boudoir" as much as possible. It may seem, at its most simplistic, that this is exactly what She Shines is; but that's what I'm hoping to change.

For me, this is so much more than me wanting women to feel beautiful and sexy and empowered by getting naked; instead, I want for my models to "strip down" their insecurities, reservations, judgements, criticisms, and negativity. I want to show them that no matter what society puts out there in the world and what trolls out there want to break them down, beauty is still theirs to own. It’s as if we contain our empowerment to feel beautiful in this little jar and we keep it safe from the world. We won’t put it out there because the jar may break and we can’t catch the pieces to put them back. Or at least open it and let it out there in the world!

While this analogy works with the idea of my models literally stripping down, I'm incredibly sensitive to the fact that a lot of the body image issues start at a much younger age. I spent my youth hiding under huge clothes and ponytails so that I would attempt to never draw attention to myself. A distinct memory I've carried with me for years was a day I felt emboldened to wear a tight shirt. As I passed a cheerleader in the hallway, she made up a cheer about how fat I was. I was humiliated, crying in the bathroom, wishing I could just disappear.

It pains me to think there could ever be a moment in the future, where my daughter wishes to disappear from existence. I can't stop the bullies from spewing their hatred into this world, but I believe I can build a force within each and every model that can't be reckoned with; not even with the most vile and hate filled word vomit.

So now you're likely wondering how I can, appropriately, open up this experience to young girls.


Here's my idea!

As a young girl once myself, I've had my fair share of female role models. Women I've looked up to for different reasons... famous or not, there is an abundance of female influences that have gotten me to where I am today.

So why not be photographed like one of these women? Why not strip away all of that hatred about what we "need to change to be accepted" and embody the spirit of someone who refused to change. Celebrate those who gave a grand old middle finger to every single obstacle thrown her way because of gender identity, race, sexual orientation, weight, body type, heritage, religion, etc. The spectrum of positive influences is vast and incredible! Let's celebrate ourselves by honoring the trailblazers of feminine force and empowerment!

So.... Who's in?!

Let me know what you think below

Opnion Poll *
Have an idea or comment? We'd love to hear!

Faunbrook Bed & Breakfast

It's been almost a week and I'm still coming down from the high of last Sunday. There is something magical about being in a space filled with like minded, beautiful and empowering women; it's a force to be reckoned with. That said, Faunbrook Bed & Breakfast in West Chester provided the most perfect environment for us all to come together.

"Faunbrook is perfect for overnight stays, events, holiday parties, and parent visits to West Chester University — or even a staycation in West Chester, PA. Established in 1860, Faunbrook is a Victorian inn set atop a hill overlooking the wooded 2-acre Brandywine Valley property."

We met in the parlor and got to know each other over champagne, cheese and fruit, while Heather from Something You, On-Site Beauty gave each model 5-star hair and makeup services. For each shoot, we had access to two of their seven incredible rooms. Edith and Isabel.

Both charming in their own way, Edith provided a light romantic and whimsical space with french doors, delicate designs and a huge tub; while Isabel had darker decor, a canopy bed, and vintage lace curtains that decorated the room with it's beautiful pattern when the sun was setting.

We can't thank Lori enough for hosting us at her beautiful inn and we hope to host more events here in the future!


Our next event will be held December 16 at Aframe by Lokal along the Maurice River in New Jersey.

Along with our normal experience, we are now offering an upgraded experience that is perfect for you and a group of your close girlfriends to enjoy! After your session, your photographer will create a short slideshow of your images. Choose your favorite to have printed as an 11x14 on-site. When everyone is finished their session, enjoy an encaustic workshop with local artist, Leah Macdonald. You will learn, first hand, how to create a painting from your beautiful photograph, using beeswax, stencils and acrylics to create your own one-of-a-kind piece of fine art to honor your experience with us and your beauty. Click HERE to schedule a consult and reserve your spot.  

Welcome Letter

What began as one simple request by a dear friend for a boudoir shoot, quickly transcended into a new incredible venture for us! From finding the most perfect backdrops at the City Hall Grand Hotel in Williamsport, to hesitantly advertising for a few extra raised hands to join us, we created a therapeutic experience for ourselves as well as everyone else who joined us that day. We never expected the kind of feedback we received!

Our idea was to make women feel good about themselves; our wildest dreams were to create a body positive and powerful experience that made everyone that stepped into our common area bask in the limitless diversity of beauty! Our wildest dreams came true... One of our participants even said this has helped her relationship with her spouse! That brought tears to our eyes because it was more than we ever could have asked for.

After we came back down from the incredible high we were on, we created She Shines as an effort to expand this venture. Now we are on a mission to chase that feeling of excitement and empowerment and we hope you enjoy the ride with us. Follow site and social media platforms to keep up to date on our portfolio and upcoming events and opportunities!

Warmly,

Keeley & Erika