Timeless Beauty of Becoming | Boston Boudoir Photographer

Debby is 52, a mother, a dancer, a writer. She came to my Boston studio in Medford, MA much the same as she came into the world, thinking things would go a certain way. Much to her surprise, she left changed.  

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Her Story

Debby lead an exciting life as a professional ballroom dancer in California. She got a marketing degree after receiving some advice from her mother that there's no money in journalism. After graduating she realized she still loved to write and didn't want to put down the pen. In order to be able to write she knew she had to get a job, so she answered an ad, "Dance teacher wanted. No experience necessary." She had no idea it was ballroom, she wouldn't have gone if she knew because she thought ballroom was for old people. “Turns out it was an audition for their training class and I cried on the way home, knowing I had found my life plan... I would write in the morning and dance in the evening.”

Black Tie Ribbon Top from Femme Boutique Boston

Black Tie Ribbon Top from Femme Boutique Boston

Peach Blanket Scarf from Femme Boutique Boston

Peach Blanket Scarf from Femme Boutique Boston

Where does one get so much energy to work hard at multiple dreams at once? I’m amazed at the art of what’s possible. “I did not let my energy age,” she told me. “Almost like grapes becoming wine… maybe [at first] I kept my energy stuck as a grape...in my forties, I wasn't sure there was life after grapehood,” she confesses. “It’s in the last year or two that I have discovered the potent beauty of emerging from a crushed grape into a delicious wine.”

I’m turning 32 this year and getting married to an incredible man I’ve shared my life with in the past five years, much like Debby I’m jumping into a new life stage. If there was a way to fast forward 20 years later and learn from a fabulous woman who has so much wisdom to share, why wouldn’t I take advantage of it?! I was so interested in what she had to share. It’s a precious gift when a client opens her heart and shares her realization.

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Black Ally Vest from Femme Boutique Boston

Black Ally Vest from Femme Boutique Boston

The Shoot

“I think youth, and success, are seductive. Once we find them, we are tempted to hold on to them. First, because we love them. Then because we are comfortable in them. And then because we are afraid there isn't anything else.” I was blown away of what Debby said and I couldn’t agree more! We look for happiness in how we look, our careers, the new outfit, or our car. But if you look deeper into it, none of these things provide us lasting happiness. We all grow old and start to have more lines on our faces that shows our wisdom and life experience. Overtime things we’ve purchased has lost it’s sheen. How we perceive the world has a huge impact on our own happiness. If we think wow we have everything we need then we feel the surplus and richness. You are more beautiful, powerful and inspiring than the woman you see in the mirror. Most of us just haven’t realized it yet!

“I planned on wearing my husband's shirt, black sheer hose, and a black lacy push-up bra.  During the sessions, Melissa convinced me to take off the hose and the push up bra, basically losing the accoutrements that were supposed to make me sexy.  So I was stunned to see a raw and strong woman in the pictures.  So much sexier without the distractions. I honestly had no idea.”

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The Aftermath

“As a professional ballroom dancer, I used my body to express my emotions on the dance floor. Then I became a mother and a writer. I traded my feathers and rhinestones for flannel pajamas as my extroverted life morphed into a more introverted life. Maybe it's because I still teach dancing, but my self-image was still wrapped in the packaging of who I used to be. And for the past few years, I have had trouble presenting that because it didn't feel honest anymore.” Debby’s pictures became the validation that she is an expression of what she’s become - like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly and that there was beauty in both.

"The feeling I had when I saw the pictures, which was completely and totally unexpected, was freedom.  If I'm really the person in the pictures, I can stop pretending to be something I used to be. That what I am now is exactly what I am meant to be.  And that my outside actually matches my inside, which I didn't even realize I didn't believe was true." she shared.

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Druzy Stone Pendant from Femme Boutique Boston

Druzy Stone Pendant from Femme Boutique Boston

I asked her what are you most grateful of and she said “I am most grateful to find out that aging is awesome and I wish it wasn't such a well kept secret.”

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If you're curious about the whole process, get in touch. I'd love to chat and connect!


To read more stories like Debby’s, click here to check out Melinda’s story! Also, thank you to Femme Boutique Boston for the beautiful pieces Debby wore! They are giving Melissa Luella Photography and Velvet Journal fans 20% off with promo code VELVET20 for a limited time only. Visit Femme Boutique Boston for more stunning pieces.

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