Self Confidence

Surviving Abuse and Loving Life | Dallas Boudoir

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Back in December I held a model call.  I host model calls because I shoot a lot of boudoir but not a lot of women want to show off their beautiful work.  Don't get me wrong.  I get it.  Many women want to keep their intimate sessions private and I totally respect that. While I get super bummed about that I do inherently understand.  

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Therefore, I decided to host my VERY FIRST model call in Dallas.  Boy was it a freakin' success!  I actually only did it on Facebook and I got a number of cool inquiries coming in.  Since I only had a limited number of women that could participate in the model call it was hard making a final selection.  However, I was able to pick a few ladies for this project and I couldn't have been happier.

One of those ladies was Shalena.  Since then I have fallen head over heels for this beautiful soul.  Shalena was picked for this model call because her reasoning really touched me. In her email for consideration she wrote: 

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Dallas Boudoir, Boudoir Dallas, Boudoir, Boudoir Photography

"My reason is because behind every smile there is a deeper story to be told. And I am one of many survivors of mental, and sexual abuse. I've come a long way in my life. People always tell me that I have an amazing smile. But if I had a chance to tell my story, to encourage other girls/women like me, I would. It would be a privilege to be chosen. And to finally have supporters instead of users and abusers who take advantage of my beauty from within."

I have never been mentally abused but I have known people who have and I can tell you that it's very hard.  Even when said abuse stops, it's never really over for that person because they still have to live with the effects of that daily. 

Shalena is a strong woman with a beautiful personality.  She has a smile that can light up a room.  She is fun, friendly, and carries a sense of happiness that is totally infectious.  I couldn't be more happy to have shoot Shalena. 

Another thing that made Shalena stand out was her short hair.  Won't lie.  I have been LIVING to shot a woman with the same haircut and face shape as Shelana.  Short haircuts are so awesome and bold and not many women outside of Amber Rose have the balls to just rock a short cut.  Shalena knocked it out of the damn park! Lets just call Shalena's session a home run!

For the Model Call sessions I wanted to shoot it somewhere very cool so we opted for this awesome Airbnb that randomly populated days before our attended session.  The guy who owned the Airbnb was so incredibly gracious. He also turned out to be a furniture designer so the space looked extra cool.  

I love when I become closer with my clients.  They mean the absolute world to me.  Getting to know people on a deeper level for why they want to do a boudoir session has allowed me to dive deeper inside of myself to deliver the products they need.  

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Dallas Boudoir, Boudoir Dallas, Boudoir, Boudoir Photography
Dallas Boudoir, Boudoir Dallas, Boudoir, Boudoir Photography
Dallas Boudoir, Boudoir Dallas, Boudoir, Boudoir Photography
Dallas Boudoir, Boudoir Dallas, Boudoir, Boudoir Photography
Dallas Boudoir, Boudoir Dallas, Boudoir, Boudoir Photography
Dallas Boudoir, Boudoir Dallas, Boudoir, Boudoir Photography
Dallas Boudoir, Boudoir Dallas, Boudoir, Boudoir Photography
Dallas Boudoir, Boudoir Dallas, Boudoir, Boudoir Photography
Dallas Boudoir, Boudoir Dallas, Boudoir, Boudoir Photography

Didn't she rock the hell outta her session?! I hope you guys enjoyed Shalena's session as much as I did!  Just in case you're wondering Jazzy did the makeup!

In the comment section below who are some other celebrities that can rock the bald cut?

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How to Be Confident, Dallas Boudoir

Dallas Boudoir, How to be Confident

Thank you guys for joining me on this new interview series!  Each week I will highlight a different and amazing mover and shaker in the world.  For this Inaugural post it brings me great pleasure to introduce to you Celina Natalia.  Celina is an incredible business woman, model, and animal rights activist.  Today Celina will talk to you about how to become confident and three steps that you can do to help build your confidence.

How to become Confident

Being Focused Yields Confidence

Celina is one of the most confident and focused people that I know.  Being focus helps build confidence.  She stays focused by remembering that in anything that she does she has to do justice to the whole project, not just for herself.  In modeling she’s representing the makeup up artist, the hairstylist, and the photographer.  She has to give it her all in order for the photographer to be able to have useful pictures.  She understands that a shoot is a team effort and she plays a pivotal role.  

Confident People can Handle Constructive Criticism

Pro Tip: One needs to learn how to take constructive criticism well.  You don’t have to allow criticism to be a blow to your ego.  Many people want to help so you have to be open minded and willing to listen in order to help the team and yourself.  Being able to handle constructive criticism shows confidence.  When you don’t become overly emotional about feedback it tells people you’re not scared of what others have to say.  It shows that you listen and you are willing to learn.

Why Confidence is Important

Dallas Boudoir, How to be Confident

Celina believes that if you’re not confident you won’t feel good.  You have to feel good about yourself and your ability to do anything.  Part of that is building your own sense of personal trust. You have to trust yourself to do a good job.  She adds, “You must have a willingness to try.  People really value that.” No one wants be around people who don’t put in the effort.  

3 Things You can do to Build Confidence

1.) Workout

Part of feeling good about yourself and gaining confidence is being healthy and having an active lifestyle.  If you’re body isn’t healthy you’re not going to go out and do things.  After a workout you feel accomplished and it’s a positive way to start your day.  You must have a great mental and physical balance in order be productive.  Why not start your day out with a run or perhaps 30 minutes of hardcore yoga?  Organic Authority agrees with Celina.  They believe that working out changes the way you face challenges.


Start a 30 day two mile walk or run challenge first thing in the morning.  Completing a morning workout helps promote a positive can do attitude that can set the tone for the rest of the day. 

2.) Do What You Love to Do

Celina believes that happiness brings confidence.  Do you love photography?  Shoot everyday!  Do you want to be a model?  Link up with beginning photographers and make sure you do it EVERY weekend.  The more you do an act that brings you happiness through accomplishments the more willing you are to try new things within the realm to grow who you as a person.  


 Find something that you really enjoy doing and do it at least once a week.  Make sure that you schedule time around the activity to make sure you can fully enjoy it and have enough time  to complete it. Set yourself up for a win.

3.) Face Your Fears

Challenges help you grow as a person.  Complacency is the number one killer of the human spirit.  You need to do what you have the ability to do.  The main reason people don’t do this is because they feel like they are going to be judged.  Listen, no one is judging you.  In the event someone is really reflect on what that person is doing in their life… and then ask yourself, “do I really care?”  No one became great doing the same thing as the next person.  Innovation and challenge is what keeps us all going.  Stop being concerned about being judged and just do it.  


That crazy idea of business plan that you have?  In the next 7 days put it in action.  Don’t know how?  Check out my homie Regina from ByRegina who gives you detailed steps on how to create an actionable creative plan.

Dallas Boudoir, How to be Confident

Don't Half Ass!

In your Mecca to help build confidence you can’t half ass anything. You have to put genuine effort in everything that you do.  Come at it with full force.

Take into consideration that no one was born with the ability of knowing how to do something perfectly.  “You realize you will be a lot more confident when you actually put in the effort.”

Wasn’t Celina awesome?!   I really hope you guys enjoyed the video and this post.  This is why she’s one of my favorite people ever to be around.  She has a great can-do attitude, she’s willing to try new things, and she’s very open minded.  All these things helps to bring and build confidence.  

DFW Rescue Me, Dinner for Justice

As Celina stated in the video on September 11, 2015 DFW Rescue Me is having a dinner benefit to help bring donations to help abandoned and abused animals.  This event will be held at the Highland Hotel in Arlington, Texas.  The cost is $75 per plate and the event begins at 7PM.  To see more information on this annual event please check out their Facebook page for more details!

Connect with Celina

Please Tweet, SoundcloudInstagram, or leave a message on Celina’s new Faceboook page and let her know how much you enjoyed her interview with Wonderland Boudoir!

To see more photos of Celina or just to keep up with us follow us on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter! We also have a new Soundcloud page up so you can listen to all our interviews each week in podcast form!

In the comments below please let me know somethings you took away from the interview with Celina.  

Entering in a comments allows you a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to Victoria’s Secret! Contest ends September 26th, 2015 at 11:59AM.

Look at the Mirror, That’s your Competition

Look at the mirror, That's your competition


One thing I really like about myself is the fact that I don’t see other people’s success as a grade of where I am at in life.  We are all on different paths in this world  I can’t compare myself to Beyonce.  Why?  Because I’m not Beyonce. 

While I am super proud of Queen B’s accomplishments in this life I do not see her as competition because we are running in two completely different races. 

There is one person I am in completion with every week, and that’s me.  I had a friend put me in my place one day by telling me, “Don’t put hurdles in front of yourself before you get started.”  He confirmed that I was someone really special in this world, but if I kept making excuses for why I couldn’t do something I would never understand or see the gifts I was supposed to give to the world.

He was right.  The only one stopping me from accomplishing my goals was me.  Why?  Because I constantly made excuses.  The main excuses I had:

1.)    I don’t have enough time!

2.)    I can’t afford the best equipment!

3.)    I don’t know how to use that *insert software here*

4.)    I just need to get all these things right first before I do this…

5.)    I’m scared of failing


This was all bullshit. 

1.)    Of course I didn’t have enough time.  I had to be real with myself.  I wasn’t prioritizing what was important.  Partying, going out with friends, and spending all my money on fashion and events was not making me more money.   This had to stop.  If my friend didn’t understand my refocus then I had to question how good of friends we actually are.

2.)    I couldn’t afford the best equipment.  Of course I couldn’t!  I was spending my money on useless frivolous things that weren’t making me any money.   I had to curb my spending habit and make major changes in my life.   For example, instead of going out for wild parties and buying drinks my friend and I started movie night.  We kept it local and chilled. My fashion game had to come to a hault.  I had this ridiculous notion of not wearing the same outfit within the same 30 days.  Okay I am NOT some trust fund baby where I could keep buying clothes.  Now not only do I wear the same clothes in the same month I may even wear it twice I a week (don’t judge everyone is doing it) Hey black pants are black pants!  This helped me save so much money that I was able to purchase my laptop and first pro camera and lens. 

3.)    I blamed why I couldn’t do something because of my lack of knowledge.  Hey IT’S CALLED YOUTUBE!!!  We live in the information age! Nowadays computers are really affordable and most of us have data plans that allow us to watch YouTube no matter where we are.  Use YouTube as a platform to get you started… and once you get more immersed and you learn all you can from YouTube then buy subscriptions to places like or invest in workshops that you believe are going to elevate your skill.

4.)    I need to do this, that, and the other before I can get started:  *BEEP* ME! That was the lamest excuse I was giving myself.  I was not obligated to follow some set standard of rules that I magically made up and placed on myself.  For my first site under Urban Jungle Photography I told myself that I needed to have the PERFECT photography session before people would come.  No.  I didn’t. I had enough photography in my arsenal, but I had this stupid idea in my head EVERYTHING had to be perfect.  Then one day I heard someone say, “Sometimes you need to just jump and an then adjust after you completed it.  That’s what I did, and it was the best decision I ever made. Within a month of that site launching I was asked to start shooting models for magazines. Stop following stupid rules that mean nothing.

5.)    I’m scared I will fail.  Lets be honest. There is a very good chance that you just may fail.  However, not getting it right the first time doesn’t mean you’re an idiot. It means that you need to do something differently.  Even Steve Jobs was fired from Apple, and Steve Jobs helped create Apple!  Did this mean Steve jobs was a failure?  No.  In fact he came back more humble, bigger, and better.  We need failure in order to be better.  Failure is an identifier of what we need to do differently in order to achieve our goals. If anyone makes you feel bad for failing then you need to 86 them from your life.

You are your own competition. 

You are the only person standing in your way to greatness.  You can accomplish all your goals if you take the steps needed to debunk you excuses.  The best thing I did was take a day off work to write down everything that was “stopping” me  from achieving my goals and then calling myself out on it. 

Once I did that it changed my life.

Do something to change yours. 

Look in the mirror, that’s your only opponent.


In the comments below tell me how you got over you excuses to achieve your goals.

4 Actions I Take to Redefine Beauty

Four Actions that Redefine Beauty Dallas Boudoir

With so much illusion going on in the world I have to take steps to help make to redefine beauty in America.  The following actions I take work for me and I hope at least one, if not all, will work for you too.    

1.)    Being More than Happy with Who I Am!

I look in the mirror and I am so happy with what I see.  I find things that I love about myself that others may not like.  I appreciate my long muscular legs, high cheekbones, defined jawline, coco colored skin with gold and even undertones, tightly coiled natural hair, wide toothy grin, and my small button nose (that EVERYONE points out). I NEVER wear make-up (you’d be hard pressed to see me even rock lip balm).  This, to me, is beautiful.  While some people might find some of what I listed as “flaws” I see them as beautiful pieces of ancestry passed down to me through a perfect genetic combination. 


It’s important for find things beautiful about you.  What you may see as flaws others may actually envy.  Don’t use the cover of magazines for your basis for what is beautiful.  Turn to yourself and find what YOU think is beautiful. 

Not only are physical characteristics important, but so are personality traits.  I pride myself on being an even tempered nonjudgmental person.  I know that I am a good person.

Being a good person who is honest with not only the world, but with themselves, helps rebel against society’s idea of beauty.  In that growing you begin to feel more confident in whom you are as a person and your place in this life. 

2.)    I Vote with My Dollars

Voting with our dollars is the act of choosing to spend or save on products or services based on principle or ideology.  For example, I like to see a lot of movies with an all women cast or movies with people of different colors and class.  Hollywood didn’t produce a lot of Black, Asian, or Latin movies for a very long time because they didn’t feel as though the dollars were there for production.  Therefore these cultures in American had to make their own way and show Hollywood Boulevard there is real money in these demographics.  In the last five year we have seen an explosion of movies and network TV shows starring African Americans, Hispanic, and Asian Americans.  When I see a beautiful Asian woman on a cover of a magazine, I purchase it. If Zoe Saldana is on the cover of Bazaar, I’m taking it home.  Yes, I shop at Victoria’s Secret.  Why?   Because the brand LOVES women of all shapes, sizes, and colors. I mean one of their current top models is the beautiful Adrianna Lima who loves that fact that she’s Afro-Brazilian.  Yes, I am spending money with a brand that believes in embracing all facets of beauty.


I suggest voting with your dollars too.  That’s the only way these companies get it.  What drives your passion?  What do you believe in?  Then decide appropriately how to spend your discretionary income on those products and services.

3.)    Not Airbrushing Your Size Away

Lets’ admit it.  Some photographers’ Photoshop to the next level!  I mean it’s so bad that sometimes the person in the photo doesn’t even recognize themselves.  

I also feel as though over photoshopping someone sends the wrong message. It tells the women that you weren’t pretty in the first place so I’m going to slim your waist here, thighs there, resize your jawline and make your skin about 10 shades lighter.  By that time you look at your photo you are no longer seeing yourself.  You are seeing another person’s interpretation of beauty, not your own. 

At Wonderland Boudoir we only do light airbrushing.  If you have a pimple, or course we are going to edit it out.  That pimple is not part of that every day you.  If you’re skin is blotchy… of course we are going to color correct it, but no, If you’re a size 22 I’m not going to make you a size two.  I help women achieve their desired outcome by teaching them how to pose.  I even go one step further and after our boudoir session curate the best straight out of camera pictures of you and let you see the pictures pre-color correction.  You need to see that you are beautiful straight out of camera.  Woman love that because they see they are just as beautiful, if not more, than those “women on the magazine covers.”


4.)    Mentoring Young Women, Flaws are OK

Korin love the kids (you see what I did there, right?  Okay, my 90s Hip Hop heads get it).  Girls at an early age begin to depict why they aren’t as beautiful as the girl on the magazine cover.  What she doesn’t know is that the girl on the magazine cover has been HEAVILY edited (if not had body augmentation).   I love the current trend of young celebrities fighting back the magazines abuse of Photoshop.  Let’s be honest bigger breast, smaller waist, and lighter skin it’s always the right formula for “beautiful”.  These women are tired of selling a fantasy they can’t even keep up with.  When abused, Photoshop can be a tool used to uphold unrealistic and unhealthy standards of beauty.   As a world community, we need to teach our young girls that our flaws are characteristics that help us define and distinguish what makes us different and valuable.  How do we expect our young women to love themselves when the magazines are portraying a different story?  As Lady Gaga stated in her very public response to Glamour Magazine on over photoshopping her cover, “When the covers change, the culture changes.”


If you have a daughter teach her the value of individuality and why it’s important to know the difference between an illusion (abuse of Photoshop to sell magazines) and reality.  If you don’t have a daughter volunteer at great organizations like Girls Inc or Headstart.  Young ladies love seeing beautiful and confident women who look just like them.  It helps install confidence and a sense of importance. 

“Let us be that change that we want to see in this world.” -Ghandi


Question: Let me know in the comments below what steps are you taking (or will be taking) to redefine beauty for you.

Giveaway: Boudoir Divas 1500 Book or Poses.  Share this Post on Facebook or Retweet on Twitter using the Hashtag  #RedefineBeautyChangeTheCovers