As a story teller and photographer, I love sharing and writing about all the different stories I'm honored to learn about and document. From clients to personal journeys in life, to advice and interesting things I've learned; read along and follow as I document about what's happening and all the things I'm up to. 


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April 11, 2016

Boudoir by Colleen – how I defeated myself

BOUDOIR BY COLLEEN – it’s official!!!

So super excited to announce the launch of my new website fully dedicated to empowering women and making them feel more confident in their body, beauty and themselves.

It has been such an amazing experience to put this together!!!! I feel so strongly towards Boudoir Photography. If you visit my new website, you’ll see this on the About Me Page, but I just want to take a wee bit of time and blog about it here as well:)

What seems like a very long time ago, I was in high school and quite possibly one of the most shy and quiet people you will ever come to know. I had the lowest self-esteem. I thought to myself…I’m so ugly!! I had nearly no friends, and the small amount of “friends” I had never did treat me very well and I let it happen. (with the exception of my bestie, Colleen…another girl with my same name) I don’t know why I was the way I was, but I felt so insecure all the time. Never happy with myself, my body, my life…my everything. And the sad truth is that there are thousands of girls that feel this way all the time, everyday, every waking moment. And it is NOT right!! It took so much for me to break out of that shell and finally realize that I’m okay just the way I am and that I need to love myself this same way. And what did it take?

I remember the day very very clearly. I was a senior in high school and was taking a college speech class. That week, we were all taking turns doing persuasive speeches. It was a Monday. A girl in my class stood up in the front, dressed in her OD green camouflage¬†uniform, and proceeded to give a speech on joining the National Guard. Mind you…this is pre-911 so not many folks knew what the national guard was…me included. I honestly thought that she was talking about the Peace Corps or something similar. As I sat there and listened to her 5 minute speech, I began to think…hey, I think I can do that. I like to help people:) So after class, I spoke with her and we took a trip after school to go visit the recruiter. THAT is when I realized, she meant ARMY national guard. Ooooooh. Not a minute into the conversation, I started to feel super awkward and scared. I didn’t want to join the Army, I had no intention of doing so and I had made a mistake coming here in the first place. As soon as we finished, I rushed home to find my dad…concerned about where I had been. I began to tell him and before I could finish — he said something to me that changed my life forever.

You are weak, you are pathetic. You will never accomplish or amount to anything. The best you can hope for is to marry a man, have his children and be a good wife. That is what will make your family proud.

My heart sank! In that moment, I knew…I knew that he was 100% right about the person I was and the person I would be…unless I choose to do something about it. The next day, Tuesday, I spoke to that recruiter again and by Wednesday of that week, I was in Milwaukee, swearing into the Army National Guard. My life changed and I would never ever go back.

SO….what does this have to do with boudoir??? Everything! I’ve never felt so weak, so unloved, and so small before in my life! And there are thousands of women out there everyday that never feel good enough, strong enough, pretty enough….it’s just never enough. Well, I’m telling you now.

DON’T WAIT to love yourself.

Whether it is your lack of confidence, your love handles, your baby weight that you are still trying to work off or your age! YOU can be and YOU ARE beautiful. You are a strong woman, a confident woman, and woman that loves yourself and don’t ever be your own enemy.

STOP defeating yourself and start LOVING yourself.

I defeated myself everyday and beat myself down. Telling myself that I wasn’t good enough to be anything. That I would never look good, exercise enough, eat good enough, have curves, not have curves…oh my gosh the back and forth was endless.

Someone once said to me, you are the only person that can ruin your day. So, don’t do it.

Boudoir – again…what does this all mean??? Boudoir by Colleen isn’t about getting all sexy and wearing those thigh highs with the fancy garter belts and what not. For me, my boudoir photography is about empowering everyday women to feel and look their absolute best! For all the rainy days, let’s fill your boudoir session with so much darn sunshine…that it’s bursting at the seams to shine! Let this be a reminder of how amazing, beautiful and confident you are.

So now you may be asking….what is this Groupon thing here?!?! Well, as a big kick off to my launch, I’ve decided to launch a super special deal on Groupon to help nudge those of you that are still on the fence, to take a peek and take that chance. The time isn’t…when you lose the weight…when you go tanning some more…when you grow out your hair…when you tone those arms, the time is NOW. Stop waiting and making excuses, or you’ll never get out of that rut. The time is now.

Hope on over to Groupon and Buy the deal, or visit my new website, Boudoir By Colleen and email me to schedule your boudoir session.

Lots of love goes out to all your beautiful souls out there!!

GROUPON LINK Р{Please share with any woman you feel could use a little pick me up}

  1. kat michael

    April 13th, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    $86 for boudoir photos is such a steal! These pictures are gorgeous! <3

  2. ColleenCLM

    April 13th, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    Thank you Kat! I truly wanted to give those ladies that have been putting this on the back burner, a reason to stop waiting on it and just do it!! The session is just an amazing thing and then they are welcome to purchase any products or digital files afterwards:)

  3. Michele

    April 13th, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    So exciting! I know women will be banging down your door! You seem to have an amazing personality!

  4. ColleenCLM

    April 13th, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    Awww…thanks so much Michele!! I am fully prepared for the door banging!!

  5. Jenna McCollum

    April 13th, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    Omigosh! I am so inspired that you took such a heartbreaking and hurtful comment -and from someone who is supposed to love and support you!- and turned it into your motivating force and drive to do and be better! Kudos and hugs to you!

  6. ColleenCLM

    April 13th, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    Thank you lady!!! Yes, it was so hard to hear but it needed to be done. Sometimes you have to face tough love and hard truths to realize you want more in life and more for yourself!

  7. Shannon @ KISS in the Kitchen

    April 13th, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    These photos are gorgeous! You are incredibly talented!

  8. ColleenCLM

    April 13th, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    Thank you!!

  9. Monashee

    April 13th, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    Very empowering story. Thank you for sharing. I love boudoir, it is so powerful. Best of luck with your new venture.

  10. ColleenCLM

    April 14th, 2016 at 3:33 am

    I’m glad you love boudoir too. I’m so excited for this and for all the amazing women I get to help empower.

  11. Jackie

    April 13th, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous work!!

  12. ColleenCLM

    April 14th, 2016 at 3:25 am

    Thank you so much Jackie!

  13. Carole

    April 14th, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    I have a really hard time hearing that someone in your life said something like that to you. I grew up in an abusive household and was told the same things, but they did not come from a place of truth or love. They were words of control and selfishness and anger. I hope that others who had that same experience as I did can learn that they are not weak just because someone tells them they are. It sounds like you figured that out pretty early in life, and I’m so happy you did! You were strong enough to rise above those words and prove your strength to yourself. This is beautiful work and I know it will influence the lives of many men and women who experience self doubt on a daily basis. Thank you of taking care of the hearts of others!

  14. ColleenCLM

    April 14th, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    Carole, I applaud you for sharing a bit of your story. Thank you for taking the time to share and to read my post here. I truly appreciate it.

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