I’ve been shooting boudoir for over a decade now and I still get super excited to see what will be revealed when my boudoir client opens their suitcases! From retro pinup lingerie to floor length sequin gowns and head to toe latex, we’ve had it all in the boudoir. One of my favourite suitcases, though, belongs to returning client Jennifer Christine, who recently brought in a collection of decadent costumes she’d hired from the National Theatre! I caught up with Jennifer to find out more about the inspiration behind this boudoir shoot and those gorgeous costumes…
Occupation: Postgraduate Researcher in History
How would your best friend describe you? She said I’m smart, well-traveled, and funny.
Name three things that you always carry with you? I’m very forgetful, so I have to write down my daily plans in my diary. I carry it with me everywhere so I can jot down my future plans. It’s always nice to have something to look forward to. I send so many letters and postcards to my friends around the world, so I always have a packet of stamps in my wallet. In my purses, I always leave enough room for a book so I can read on the tube, bus, or when I’m waiting for someone.
What was the last book you read? For my studies, I have to research any given aspect of the 1960s. I chose a topic I absolutely adore, the art of Peter Max. I’m now reading The Universe of Peter Max and I never want it to end. His use of colour and extreme optimism fills me with so much joy and inspiration.
What inspired you to book a photoshoot? I have been a longtime fan of Ella (Miss Victory Violet)’s instagram account and all of her beautiful vintage modeling. When I saw that she was doing a set of photoshoots in London with Tigz, I let it pass me by the first time. After seeing how beautiful all the shots were, I was full of regret for not having taken advantage of the opportunity. So when the offer came up again, I immediately jumped on it! And when I went, I loved it so much that I booked another photoshoot.
Who would play you in a movie of your life? I’ve had quite a few people tell me that I look like Sansa from Game of Thrones, so if Sophie Turner could do a good American accent, I reckon she’d be a shoo-in for the part.
Whats the most interesting thing about you that the internet doesn’t know about you yet? I’d say the internet, apart from LinkedIn, doesn’t know that I speak 4 languages and am learning 2 more. English is my native language, and I speak French and Spanish with near-native fluency (though they are getting a bit rusty). I speak Polish proficiently, though I’m very shy about it. And I started learning Germany and Yiddish last year.
Tell us about one of the outfits you wore for your shoot – why do you love it? For my second photoshoot, I rented a few outfits from the National Theatre Costume Hire. When I went, I had free reign to run around a giant warehouse full of costumes that were made for use in the National Theatre. It was a blast! I picked up three outfits there, but my favourite was a pink studded corset with a flower train and matching shorts. I added a ‘20s diamond headband and satin gloves to the outfit. It was something I would never have worn otherwise, and it was absolutely fabulous. One of the challenges I made for myself during this photoshoot was to get comfortable with my arms. I have always hated how my arms look, but I knew that Tigz and Ella would make me look and feel beautiful, so I really felt safe exposing my arms in the shoot. It has helped so much; the photos look gorgeous, arms and all!
Describe your shoot experience? Absolutely amazing. The hour of styling was so great because not only did I get to be pampered, but we had some great banter as well. When we moved up to the studio, it was so easy to be in front of the camera. I usually feel a bit awkward posing, but if I was at a loss for how to hold myself, Tigz immediately told me where to look, how to get into the right light, where to put my hands, etc. Honestly, the whole thing made me feel like a professional, even though I am definitely not. And like I said, it is a safe space for me to push my boundaries and self-confidence. Tigz makes you feel beautiful during the shoot and brings out that beauty with her camera.
What song gets you on the dancefloor? For some reason, the Beatles are the soundtrack to my self-isolation, and I always dance to Lovely Rita.
What are you most proud of in your career so far? I was just accepted to the PhD program at my university. It was a risky decision moving to London without knowing if I would be able to start the PhD program, so I’m proud that I took the leap and it worked out. I was also just awarded a grant to study German in Berlin over the summer, so fingers crossed that it truly happens. It is such an honour to even be considered, though.
What is your top body confidence tip? It took me a long time to learn to love my body, but I would have to say just finding clothes that fit. Don’t force yourself into the latest fashion trends if they don’t fit you well. Don’t buy sizes that aren’t right for you just because they are what’s available. I got into vintage fashion because the shapes are right for my body and I’m much more comfortable in these clothes. Now, I am beginning to realise that I love flowy garments and maybe I should have a few more of those in the closet. Find what works for your body and what makes you feel right, and the rest will come.
What will your autobiography be called? Partheno-Jen-isis
If you could be a model for any brand, which brand would it be and why? I love brands, and I definitely buy things that are new, but I know that fashion, especially fast fashion, is a huge polluter and contributor to climate change. If I could choose, I would model for second-hand stores. If I had to go with one new brand, I’d probably go with My Sleeping Gypsy or Lena Hoschek, because I adore their designs but they are a bit too expensive for me to buy on my own.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about booking a session of their own? Book it! Do it! Click the button! The shoots came for me at a time when I was struggling to love my body. I had gained weight and wasn’t really feeling myself. After the shoots, I could not believe how beautiful I looked! The experience was amazing and the results were shocking. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
What exciting project are you working on right now? Right now I am working on my research, but in my spare time I write chronic illness articles, plan events for the UK Art Deco Society, and have just started painting.
Want to push beyond your comfort zones like Jennifer Christine? Take her advice and ‘Book it! Do it! Click the button!‘ – let me help you take the next step on your body confidence journey.