Boudoir Photography Goes Abroad!!!

SO MUCH has happened this year and we're only halfway through May! We finally moved into our house in February (why yes, those are angels singing), I went to Japan for two weeks in April and just got back from being in Paris/Italy a few days ago. I know. This is literally the coolest my life has ever been or will ever be again, lol! Don't worry though. I'm still my geeky, silly self even when I'm halfway around the world. 

If you follow me on instagram, you've already seen all the globetrotting going on and I'm sure some of you are wondering what that's all about...wellllllll, I'm thrilled to announce a new addition *no, mom, I'm not pregnant*  to my business! 

In addition to my Atlanta studio, I am rolling out an International Boudoir Photography option! Since I went full time with photography, I've chased what inspires me, worked toward it with everything I have and the clients have come. I love photographing people in love, which is why I started in engagement/wedding photography. I love empowering women by showing them how beautiful they are, which is why I opened the boudoir studio. Another thing I love is traveling-I know, I know-who doesn't, right?! Not just to beautiful all-inclusive resorts to relax (although, I never mind planting my behind in the sand with a good book and a beer), but adventurous travel. The kind that gets you off the beaten path, away from the hoard of tourists, to the more authentic experiences a new city has to offer. Where you get to see real life and connect with incredible new people. The kind that allows me to create jaw-dropping, epic images of my gorgeous clients. Pictures that truly embody their strength, character and soul.

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I know. I know. You're all thinking what my husband said to me when I first started chewing on the idea a few years ago..."isn't this all just a ploy so you get to travel the world?" Um. YES. Absolutely. 100%. #sorrynotsorry

I've done a few sessions in other places in the US, but my biggest hangup with taking it international has always been logistics. There are just so many things I don't know. How do I know the places I want to shoot won't be covered in roaches when we get there? How do I know the beautiful pink-sand beach isn't also home to a rare, deadly jellyfish? How do I know the rules to follow so you don't get screamed at and popped in the butt by a naked, towel-weilding woman in an onsen...that last scenario *may* have happened...

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Enter AdventureWomen. AdventureWomen is a company who specializes in small group travel for women and they are INCREDIBLE. They've been recognized by Conde Nast, Travel + Leisure, National Geographic Traveler, Forbes, USA Today, The New York Times...the list goes on and on. They are legit and they know their stuff. I went on my first trip with them to Japan in April and it blew away every expectation I had. We got to have lunch with a maiko (apprentice geisha). We got to hike a mountain alongside a mountain priestess. We got to meet Ama divers (women who free-dive without equipment) and they cooked us a lunch from what they caught on their dive the day before. We got to hike the Kumano Kodo to a small village of 400 people where local women taught us how to roll sushi (*clears throat* I'm basically a sushi-rolling pro now). I had so many once-in-a-lifetime experiences, PLUS I met incredible women both on the trip and in Japan who I know will become lifelong friends. I also got to meet the owner of the company, Judi Wineland. Y'all. She is one of the most fascinating, engaging, energetic and just plain fun women I've ever met. Plus, she's been doing this since the 70's and MAN! has she got some stories...

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Next, I'm headed to Indonesia with AdventureWomen at the end of June along with some of my past clients as a trial run (ya know, to figure out all the other things I don't know yet.) THEN if all goes well...

AdventureWomen and Meagan O Photography will partner in 2019 to host the Trip of a Lifetime for 8-12 women, which will include an EPIC boudoir session as part of the incredible itinerary!!!! AdventureWomen will create the itinerary and handle the logistics and I will bring my camera, creativity and enthusiastic self!!! *Queue confetti, music, fireworks and dancing monkeys* 

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Maybe it will be in Paris and we'll shoot in a glamorous chateau with magnificent, sprawling gardens! Maybe it will be in Italy and we'll shoot in an old castle turned winery! Maybe it will be in India and we'll shoot in an ornate palace! Maybe it will be in Bali and we'll rent a gorgeous private island! GAHHHH! The world is our oyster and I'm SO SO SO EXCITED!!! (For my past clients, YES! The trip will be announced to you first, giving you first dibs if you want your second/third/fourth boudoir session to be abroad!) 

Have you got an awesome idea about where we should go?? I'd love to hear your thoughts!!! 

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Beauty Detective

I don't like feeling unattractive. Whether it be because I haven't showered in a few days and I'm starting to get a little ripe, or because my attitude has taken a nose-dive and I'm taking it out on the human closest in proximity. I don't think anyone enjoys feeling unattractive. We're social creatures who want other people to desire our presence. 

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One particularly unattractive movement for me happened during first nap I took with my husband back when we were dating. It was ten years ago and we'd been dating for a few months-it was getting more serious, but was still pretty new. My sweet grandfather who'd been diagnosed with Sundowners Dementia was admitted to the hospital. Sundowners just means you experience your dementia symptoms more intensely at night (confusion/paranoia/fear/etc). We knew it would be easier for him if someone he knew was there in case he woke up in the night. Due to some of the drugs he was on, he would also hallucinate. So he and I spent most of the night waving at the "red balloons" in the "parade" instead of sleeping. 

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The next morning, Matt picked me up early and took me straight to look at apartments because my lease was up the following week and I *still* hadn't found a new place. We looked until around 3:30pm, then headed back to his condo where he cuddled up with me so I could take a little nap. When I woke up, I realized my cheek was wet. I groggily picked my head up off his shoulder and realized with horror that there was a HUGE, wet, drool spot on his chest. It was the size of my freaking hand!!!! I turned to the clock and saw it was past 7:00pm. As in-I'd been asleep like that for over THREE HOURS!!! As I'm taking in each little horrific nugget of information, I realize that Matt is awake and is starting to chuckle. Turns out, he didn't sleep AT ALL and had been awake the entire time. He then (still chuckling) says, "do you always snore like that?" OMG...OMG...OMG!!!!!! 

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That is most definitely NOT how I pictured my first nap with Matt going. I'd imagined gently drifting to sleep cuddled up together. Him waking before me to silently take in my beautiful, sleeping face. My hair spilling perfectly over the pillow, skin luminous, cheeks slightly flushed, lashes long, breath somehow minted. NOT mouth open, drooling like a faucet, sawing logs like my father while Matt looked on for over three hours. 

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Now, Matt doesn't look back on that memory of me as unattractive. He says for him it was sweet and intimate and he was thankful I was getting the sleep I needed. I'm pretty sure he was met with an impressively dramatic eye-roll from me. The thing is it doesn't matter how much Matt means it. In that moment, he could've performed a one-man show about my beauty complete with singing, tap-dancing and glitter, but if I don't feel attractive there's no way I'm going to believe him. 

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How women feel about themselves matters. A lot. This is the reason I tell my clients who are gifting their images to their man that he isn't my client. A quick iPhone pic of you half dressed would thrill them. No, my client is the woman in front of me. She's who I want to reveal her beauty to. That's why the medium I use is so important-she won't believe me telling her she's beautiful either! Nope. She needs to decide for herself. I'm like the detective. My job is to survey the scene and take pictures of the evidence. Then she can piece together everything I've gathered and conclude that she is indeed beautiful. Attractive. Alluring. Worthy. Enough. Beautiful.

2017: A Weighty Joy

I love the contemplative reflection a new year brings. That feeling of turning a new page or starting a new chapter. For me this contemplation begins at the start of advent (the church season leading up to Christmas) and continues through the new year. Advent is about sitting in the darkness and creating space for God to move in you as you wait for the promised Light. I've never been one who enjoys New Year's Eve itself-it seems to be one of those holidays where my expectations always exceed my reality. I find myself wanting to experience something momentous and dramatic, as if it were possible to bottle six weeks of reflection and squeeze it into a 10 second countdown. Which is why this year I rang in the new year watching The Crown, drinking wine and eating a Papa John's cinnamon roll dessert. 

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2017 was a conundrum. A year of blessing and pain. Abundance and loss. Excitement and devastation. In business, it was my best year yet. I met so many stunning women who inspired me with their stories and trusted me to photograph their unique beauty, which allowed us to create art together. My family continued to heal and grow stronger together after the emotional loss we experienced two years ago. I found an incredible therapist who has helped guide me towards profound insight into my life. 

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2017 was also the year Matt and I spent building our first house. We waited six months for the city to grant us permission to build our house. Selected every paint color and drawer pull. Every light fixture and appliance. Poured over financials to get the lenders the information they needed. Wrote the Thanksgiving menu we'd serve both our families as first time hosts. Pictured where we'd put the Christmas tree. Waited and waited and waited. Only to have it burn down 5 days before we were supposed to close. As in start completely over. As in take the house back down to the slab and wait some more. 

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It's a strange sort of loss to lose something you never actually experienced. You can't reflect over memories because all you have was what you imagined. I hear about this from clients all the time-my women who want desperately to be mothers, but can't have a child. Women who enter into or walk away from a marriage only to find their new reality isn't at all what they imagined. Women who become mothers, yet recognize themselves less and less. There is a type of grief that can be born when our imagined reality meets our actual reality and finds it unrecognizable.

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But the opposite is also true. There is a strange sort of joy that comes when you expect things to be unbearable and they end up being something you savor. A different joy. A dark joy. A weighty joy. I fully expected the last few months of the year to be full of pain. I thought I'd be sad when we drove to our families homes for Thanksgiving instead of having it in our new house. I thought it would break my heart to put our Christmas tree up in our condo again instead of the new spot where I imagined it standing all year. But isn't it the very fingerprint of God that He can take such deep pain and bring about deep peace. He reformed the season into something I savored. He walked with me through my devastating disappointment and brought me a season I never would have had if our plans had gone the way we expected. A season of "one last time's" instead of a season of "this again". A season of growth and solidity. A season of hardship as a pathway to peace.

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I have great expectations for 2018. It will be the year that begins with us getting to finally move into our house. It will be the year I roll out international boudoir with trips already planned for Japan, Paris, Italy, Indonesia and Bali. It will be the year I continue to be intentional in carving out space for God. I'm sure it will also bring expectations that don't match reality-as every year before has brought, but those will just be places where I'll wait expectantly for God's fingerprint. 

Happy New Year, everyone!

Selfie: A Woman's Boudoir Photography Experience

This is a blog written by one of my GORGEOUS client's!!! It details her experience in the studio-it's long, but SO SO SO worth the read if you're considering a boudoir session!!!

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I think I was around 13 when I first had a desire to know what I looked like. I remember buying a handheld mirror and studying my face in it. I looked unfamiliar to myself and I wondered if somehow I had missed an important milestone in my childhood. I committed my features to memory and promptly lost interest.  

I count myself very fortunate to have been generally absent any unhealthy body image issues as a teen and young woman.  To my mom's credit, I wholeheartedly embraced her wise mantra, 'beauty is on the inside' and was spared the agony so many young women inflict upon themselves, striving for a beauty ideal only obtainable through photoshop and eating disorders.  

Perhaps this is the reason that my minds' selfies are all time-stamped. I have a handful of discrete images in my memory of my appearance.
The first, mentioned above, at 13, handheld mirror, indian style on my bed.
Another at 16, likely an attempt to understand what my newfound first love saw in me.
Then my next mental selfie isn't until 23, a new mother with Baby Todd in my arms. I know exactly what I looked like then.
Another time stamp in the year 2000, when I came out at age 26. I immediately cut my hair short in celebration of my new identity and wanting to look the part.
34 years old: a brush with my mortality had clarified much in my life..suddenly, looking the part wasn't as important as looking like myself. I let my hair grow out, embraced its newfound curl and my femininity.

And then, at 35, there's a shift in my mental selfie album, from snapshots to a flickering film strip. Paradoxically during some of the happiest years of my life, I was my most body self-conscious...perhaps it was the hyper focus on my fitness or perhaps the constant desire to document the joy in my life, or more likely - the combination of the two.  Regardless, both came to an abrupt halt when my marriage ended and with that loss, the film strip snapped. 

In the years since, while I've healed in many ways, I've also resigned myself to the loss of my 'glory days' and accordingly my mind's selfie camera hadn't bothered to document my appearance, instead creating a self-image from behind my eyes that was essentially adequate and unremarkable.

And all of that is the prologue to what has spurred me to write today. 

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Amid an internet search for a lifestyle photographer to document myself and the boys, before the imminent empty nest, I stumbled upon a photographer of an entirely different nature and fell in love with her work.  Her eye for composition and lighting and the mood her work captured - I felt an immediate connection to her art.  (Because there was really no other word for it.)  

I read every word of her website, (including three and a half years of blogs), embracing her bubbly enthusiastic personality juxtaposed with the creative intensity evident in her photography.

But --- Meagan was a boudoir photographer. Gulp. What did it mean that I felt this strong pull to book a session of nearly naked, sexy photos of myself?? I didn't think for a second that I would walk away from the endeavor with photos that looked like the women on her website. I've already established that I believed my glory days were behind me, right? But I emailed anyway, tentatively, asking for a price list and hoping both that I could and couldn't afford the investment. The latter would make the decision a lot easier, after all. 

Her nearly immediate reply began with: "Thanks so much for reaching out!!! I would love love LOVE to get you in the studio for a boudoir session!" and went on to explain the ins and outs of the process in similar exclamation-point-laden excitement. I could hardly believe this giddy woman was the same one with what must be serious, technical skills and a mad eye for finding beauty in women. (Spoiler alert: She's one and the same. Imagine tigger, from winnie the pooh, with a creative streak that rivals the greats.)  

I scheduled her first available date - which was six extremely long weeks away - and descended into an obsessive internet vortex of lingerie shopping and boudoir photography study. Being the information junkie that I am, I quieted my nerves with an overload of learning. My research bore out two things in very short order: 
1. There's a science to this art. The extreme technicality of the posing, lighting, and shooting gave me some reassurance that little relied on me.
2. Very few photographers in this space have mastered both aspects: science and art. Meagan's portfolio left no doubt I had chosen one of the best.

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As the day approached, my emotions were a curious mix of optimism and skepticism. 

The day of the shoot...well, it rolled out just like I expected. Hair, makeup, posing instructions, lingerie that did nothing to conceal my insecurities...but, as promised, Meagan left no oxygen in the room to feed my fear. Her supreme command of every finger, angle, and shadow required my full attention and it was only once I got home, afterwards, that my nerves found their voice in my psyche. 

I'd read blogs from dozens of women touting the confidence boost and empowerment they felt when walking out of their boudoir shoots. I, on the other hand, feared that I hadn't been able to relax enough or that I wasn't connecting enough in the ways I was supposed to. I feared that I wouldn't recognize myself in the finished images. And, to make matters worse, my anxiety post-shoot served to amplify my anxiety. Maybe I don't feel the way most women do because I didn't do it right! 

Thankfully it was only a week between my shoot and my reveal appointment. I don't think I could have held my breath much longer than that. I spent most of the week reviewing all the technical details I'd found in my initial research, reassuring myself that Meagan did it right, even if I didn't. 

At the reveal appointment, Meagan greeted me with a big hug, gushing about how much she loved my images. She says that to all the girls, my inner voice chided. 

And then she started the slide show.  'Seven minutes, two songs, five seconds on each picture' - she prepped me. 

I didn't hear the first song at all. I think my brain was receiving maximum input from my eyes instead and struggling to make sense of it all. That can't be me. But wait, it is!  

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As my shock took a step back, relief sidled up next to it and tried to make space at the table for pride, who had the assignment of rating images with 'one for no', 'three for maybe' or 'five for must have.' Going through the images one by one, I heard myself saying 'five' over and over, and then my voice cracked. Tears filled my eyes. As it turns out, pride wasn't used to having much of a voice about my appearance...not in a long time. The realization was startling and cathartic and overwhelming. 

I left my appointment with all the images. All 57 images, to be exact.  After fearing there wouldn't be enough to make a small album, I floated out on a cloud of disbelief. It's been three days and I think I've probably looked through them 57 times. I've shown only very few, to very few...and yet, the simple knowledge that they exist has fired up that selfie camera in my mind. 

I've come to realize - through this experience - that my selfie snapshots have been triggered by love, most often for or from someone else. But, for the first time in 30 years perhaps, I am both the giver and receiver of that love. I am beautiful in my own eyes and that's enough.  

This blog was originally posted here and if you want to read more of her gorgeous writing, DEFINITELY check it out!!!

Embarrassing Boudoir Questions

It sucks when you're in a situation where you have a ton of questions you feel like you can't ask because it will make you look stupid. I definitely felt that way preparing for my first brazilian wax. I had so many questions-lots of them embarrassing-what if I'm on my period? How long does the hair need to be? How long is too long? The LAST thing I wanted was to butterfly open for the technician only for her to arch an eyebrow disdainfully dismiss me. I mean can you imagine!?!?  Luckily, I'm have a fairly high embarrassment threshold-so I always just risk it and ask anyway. 

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In fact since September 2016, I have camped out in the "Hi, my name is Meagan and I have no idea what I'm doing" camp. It's how I introduce myself nowadays. My husband and I have been building a house for the past year. Our first home purchase. Yes, it is true what they is a taxing, terrible process that will suck your soul dry and make your eyes bleed. Ok...maybe it hasn't been *that*  bad. But it's close.

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Pretty much every conversation involves some form of me asking stupid questions that have obvious answers to all other parties involved. How many CFM's does that kitchen hood have?? Why is that important? Any ideas...???  ME NEITHER! But I embrace the awkward and ask anyway. Just be glad you don't have to hear my conversations with my lender...

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I know, I know. It'll all be worth it when it's over. I mean, we won't have to get dressed to take our dog out anymore because we'll have a yard. We will have actual doors instead of our open loft so if the cats decide to lose their damn minds at 3AM, we can shut the door! The beauty of a closed door has never meant so much. We'll also have closets AND a garage-meaning under our bed will no longer have to house both the wrapping paper and Matt's car tools. 

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I say all of this to let you know that it is completely normal to have questions about your boudoir sessions-I expect it actually. You will have LOTS and some of them may be sensitive or embarrassing. Only they totally aren't because I promise-I PROMISE-I've heard them before. I also really really REALLY want you to feel as comfortable as humanly possible when you arrive at the studio. Seriously. It's so important to me that I wrote the sentence with three "really's" and bold font with caps-lock. If you're concerned or even just curious as you prep for your boudoir session, adopt the Meagan O principle and ask away! 

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Also, we close on September 15th. Pray for us.

What to Wear When You're Naked?

What does one wear when one is going to get naked...? Sounds like a weird Yoda-type question. Naked you are...clothes you need *read in Yoda's voice*. The world of lingerie is a strange, uncomfortable, overwhelming one. Everything from wearing the right size bra to what kind of thigh highs do I purchase? It's a lot to think about. I think most women immediately think matching bra & panty sets are the base for most lingerie looks. Which, of course, is pretty fear-inducing as the majority of women are also sensitive about that middle region of their body that is most prominently displayed in that look. But there is a lot more to lingerie than bras and panties! A few things you ought to know...

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1.) Teddies Not to be confused with the teddy bear. A teddy is basically the same as a one-piece bathing suit-but cut out of a lingerie material. They are usually sleeveless, as bodysuits are the ones with sleeves. Both are awesome lingerie choices. A few years ago I used to have to beg my girls to wear them, but they are making quite the comeback now. They photograph like a dream. They come up high on the sides, making your legs look extra long and cover the tummy area making most of my clients feel more comfortable. This is a flattering look for everyone! 

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2.) Chemises The chemise (pronounced with an "sh" sound) used to be known as a loose fitting thigh-length nightgown. Now, they come in styles that contour your body (which is always preferable in images!) This is great for women who want to conceal the tummy and upper thighs. Plus, you can dress these up with some thigh-highs and you're ready to GO! Which brings me to my next point...

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3.) Thigh-Highs/Stockings I used to hate these little buggers. First off, they always seemed to come with that plastic stuff at the top, which squeezed my thighs right where I'd prefer them never to be squeezed. Secondly, they are so flippin hard to get on and connected! The first time I attempted these for my husband was when we were on our honeymoon. I tried over and over to get them on and ended up in the bathroom for 15 mins, sweating as the garters kept popping off. Yeah, those suckers ended up in the trash. What I didn't know then was that they made them without the pesky plastic at the top, which means everyone can wear them and they'll look awesome! And don't worry, I'll be there to help get them on you-I'm a pro now! 

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4.) Robe/Men's Shirt/Over-sized Sweater If you do have a bra & panty look you love, but you're worried about showing your stomach, you can always bring something to throw over it. It's super sexy to have on some cute bra/panty set under an over-sized sweater. Just be sure it's on the thin side and that the neckline can hang off your shoulder comfortably. 

The goal is to push yourself a little bit out of your comfort zone when selecting your outfits for your session while still keeping it "you". Be sure to buy the right size too! When in doubt, I'd rather it be too big than too small (we can always tie/pin/booby trap it tighter).  Happy shopping!

I'll Show You Mine if You Show Me Yours...

The biggest fear most women have about doing a boudoir session is that at some point, somehow they will end up embarrassed. UGH. Is there anything worse? We will go to extensive lengths to avoid embarrassment. I should know-I do embarrassing stuff all the time! A few weeks ago, I finally stopped by the City Winery at Ponce City Market, which is down the street from the studio. I meant to run in and grab a bottle of wine...ya know, because it's the "City's Winery" and I assumed it was just a wine shop.

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I park my car, ascend the stairs and walk confidently into Or maybe a bistro...I'm not totally sure what the difference is. The adorable hostess was super nice and friendly when she asked how many were in my party? I feigned "looking around" and whipped out my phone as I said to her, "I guess they aren't here yet..." She said, "No problem, would you like to be seated now?" And I responded with a knowing glance and a roll of my eyes (whilst also looking intently at my phone-so my story was believable) "No, no. I'll just call her to see where she is...". **Giggle, giggle-silly imaginary friend...sigh...always late**. Then I walked out the door with my asleep cell phone pressed to my ear as if in rapt conversation. Here's the thing, the hostess was sweet as pie. I'm sure they sell bottles of wine and if I had just admitted what I was confused around/asked her if I could buy a bottle, I'm sure it would've been fine. But I couldn't! I was EMBARRASSED! 

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Typically, what closely follows embarrassment is a big, dark, thick cloud of shame followed by a showering of guilt resulting in a litany of "how could I ever think I could do this" or "I knew this was a waste of money" or "obviously I'm too fat/old/ugly to have a boudoir session done". You think you'll be embarrassed about how your images will turn out or because you can't do the posing or because you won't know what to do or because you will be that one girl out of everyone who gets a puzzled look from me as I struggle to create a good image. For the record, you're wrong. (No shame intended!) 

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I know. Who here has ever been embarrassed-show of hands?! Oh...everyone?? We've ALL been there. And we all knows how sucky it is to feel like the odd woman out. I am here to tell you that your boudoir session won't be anything close to that. You will actually leave your session feeling like a goddess-like you can take on the world! You will have conquered something you didn't even know you were fighting with in the first place. Buuutttttt...I also know you don't believe me. The next best thing is for me to even the playing field. SO! Here are a few embarrassing facts about me:

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1) I sweat. A lot. I'm not sure what it is...but ever since I've worked out with a trainer, I sweat like a man running a marathon. I know. It's gross. But that's just who I am at this point. 

2) Left and right are hard. I will almost always get it wrong during your shoot...I have no excuse. After shooting 300 women, I should have it down, but I don't.

3) It took me two months to say "boudoir" properly and confidently when I launched my business. You're welcome all you voicemailer's. I hear that tremor and pause in your voice. I know your pain.

4) I'm a true crime junky. Sometimes I may end a call in the checkout line at Publix and a bloody murder story will begin playing full blast..."and then her mangled body was found in the hollow of a tree..." I swear, anything you buy will be creepy after that...tampons, steak, apples...doesn't matter. 

5) I can't NOT fill silences. Example, at my home church:

*Guy with bandaged hand walks up to me*

Me: Oh no! What happened??

Him: I shook hands with a drill press.

Me: Ohhhh noooooo...ummm...did it hurt?

Him: Um. Yeah.

Me: least it didn't do any irreversible damage....

Him: *holds up his hand, which is now missing 2 1/2 fingers.*

Seriously. That happened. 

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Ok-now that you know mine, I hope you'll be more comfortable believing that this will be embarrassing (it won't!) And if for some reason it'll be in great company! 


Woman. The word is so powerful it can stand alone. It takes the understanding of a woman to comprehend the true complexity of the word. Woman. A woman is a daughter, wife and mother. A woman is a friend and confidant. A woman is a professional, a decision-maker and a trendsetter.   A woman is a communicator, motivator and an executer. Every woman I know effortlessly assumes the multifaceted role of woman. Unfortunately, every woman I know rarely experiences the opportunity to marvel in the simplistic joy of being a woman. 

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To have someone obsess over my hair, as I do my daughter's each day before school. To have someone fuss over the small details, as I do my husband's tie each morning before work. To have someone cater to my needs, as I do visitors to my home. To have someone be completely consumed with my expectations, concerns and hesitations, as I do my clients at work.  These are the experiences that made the Meagan O Photography experience phenomenal.

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With each shot, I learned to embrace my imperfections. With each shot, I learned to own my place in this world. With each shot, I learned to aim higher. With each shot, I learned to love myself just a little more. With each shot, I learned to let go of all the things preventing me from being the best woman I can be. With each shot, I learned the true joy of simply being a woman; a bold, courageous, witty, strong, multifaceted woman.

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Meagan O Photography was a liberating tribute of womanhood. Don’t deny yourself. You deserve to just be a woman. 

- T.D.W. Jackson

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Memorial Day Mini Boudoir Sessions!

April 2015 was the month I took my first full-service boudoir client in the Meagan O Studio. *Insert happy dance* It's been 2 years of incredible, beautiful clients, lasting memories and lots of laughter. To celebrate, for the first time in over two years I am offering one day of mini-sessions!

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If I'm being totally honest, I don't love shooting mini-sessions...I know right, great way to start-lol! What I mean is I really prefer to shoot one girl per day and give her 4-5 hours of my undivided attention. I want it to be all about her! I like getting to know her during hair/makeup, making her feel at ease and comfortable and taking our time while we shoot different outfits in different spots around the studio. However, I also understand that lots of women flat out can't afford to spend $1,200-$4,000 on boudoir pictures. Mini-sessions are still super fun and a little easier on the wallet! This is extra special because I don't typically offer minis-so it's only good for Memorial Day! 

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This is perfect for that bride who wants to get something special for her man. Or the 1 year anniversary. Or the woman who just wants to have a few gorgeous/sexy images of herself. If you're super-shy or nervous, I'm really good at making the experience feel approachable and fun. If you're super duper DUPER nervous, maybe consider saving up and booking a full session instead so we can take a little more time with you.  

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Details: The mini-sessions will be held on Memorial Day (Monday, May 29th). You will be able to choose one outfit (although, you can bring more if you want me to weigh in on which one to pick). We will spend 45 mins shooting you in one set in my studio of your choice (the bed/the stairs/the window/etc.) I will then select your 10 best images to edit and they will be delivered to you via an online album. I'll email you tips and tricks as well as additional information and my boudoir contract once we get you on the calendar. 

Looking forward to getting y'all in the studio! :-D Happy 2 year anniversary to us!!! <3


Curvy Girls! Just say YES!

Disclaimer: I did not write this. One of my INCREDIBLE, FABULOUS clients did! Here's what she had to say about her boudoir experience! 

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"Meagan is the best and if you just say yes, you will have so much fun and you (and others) will love your images!  Hey, I get it, I’m a curvy girl – I thought, how can I ever be comfortable enough to dress in lingerie and have a stranger take intimate photos of me, and think they are going to be sexy or beautiful – right… I did it and I think my images are amazing!  

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We are our own worst critic, aren’t we?  We don’t believe it when people say we are beautiful or sexy because we don’t believe it ourselves do we?  Well, each of us is our own kind of beautiful!  

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Just say yes!  You can do it, and your images will be sexy and beautiful.  You just have to let yourself go.  It’s not about trusting Meagan because she (and team) is the best at what she does, so let go of that concern.  It is about removing your doubt, trusting yourself, giving in to the process and just letting go and having fun!  Be prepared though, Meagan puts you in some crazy ass positions and you will think to yourself – she is CRAZY, how can this possibly be a good photo?  Well, once I saw the actual photo from that whacked out position, it was one of my favorites!  

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Yes, I have cheeser thighs and flabby arms. A big booty and I don’t have a flat belly, plus all those other things that you might be thinking about.  Meagan is amazing with angles and positioning you to show off the amazing YOU!  Don’t be shy, get into it. Be as silly, sensual, sexy and as naughty as you want to be!  When will you have another opportunity to just BE the amazing you!?

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I can’t wait to do it again someday!"

Unkept Secrets

I LOVE SURPRISES. Like love LOVE LOVE. I love being both the supriser and the suprisee. There's just something about not knowing about something awesome that someone else has thoughtfully selected/planned/purchased for you. A big chunk of my clients do a boudoir session in order to surprise their significant other with an incredible gift. Don't get me wrong-boudoir photos are always a crowd pleaser. But it can be tough and even a little stressful to put something so elaborate together. There have been a few clients who had the surprise get spoiled/found out early-but every single one says that they're significant other finding out actually made the entire process more fun. 

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Let me explain. If you're doing this as a surprise, usually you buy some new lingerie that you have to purchase on a card he doesn't have access to you can shell out some cash for. You also use that method of payment to book the session with me. I legit had one client take $20 cash back every time she went to Kroger for a year. She brought a huge wad of cash to her reveal. Nothing wrong with that-it may have felt a little like a drug deal, but that just made it funny. However, I know she planned and worked for a year to save enough in such a way that he wouldn't know about it.

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Then you hide any new lingerie until your shoot. For some girls this is easy and for us open-concept loft owners, there's a bit more of a struggle. From the trunk of your car to the drawer beneath your over-there are some crazy places my clients have chosen. The vegetable drawer of the fridge included (because "he never eats his veggies anyway!") Then you have to figure out some reason for you to be gone for 4-5 hours the day of your session. Followed by a reason you leave with no makeup on and come back with a face full of the stuff and big, voluminous hair. Uhhhh...Sephora was having a makeover day? My bestie wanted to play around with some new makeup and hair stuff? Some guys will buy any lie and others (like my hubby) would be skeptical and just ask more questions...

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Most of my clients take everything off again before they leave and just throw their hair up-which kinda sucks because you looking freaking H-O-T! You should be on your way out to paint the town red! Plus, you have such a great time at the actual shoot all you're going to want to do is tell him all about it...and you can't if you're trying to keep the surprise a secret. Finally, you have to figure out a way to come back for the reveal and purchase the pics so he doesn't know what you've done and still doesn't suspect anything. That's a lot of mental gymnastics. You can totally do it-lots of my clients have-but I think sometimes my clients underestimate how much fun it can be to have your significant other along for the ride. 

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First of all, you can still surprise him with the fact that you've chosen to do this for him! Maybe you get one new lingerie outfit and wrap it for him. When he opens it, you let him know that you decided to book a boudoir session for him and this is the first outfit you've selected to bring along. But he gets to help decide on the rest. Talk to him about what he likes and what he'd want to see in the images. Make a pinterest inspiration board together or go through the some lingerie websites. 

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On the day of your session, have him drive you and pick you up when we're finished. Make sure y'all have a babysitter for the kids/furkids and reservations somewhere special because you are going to be looking SO fine! Shoot, maybe even book a hotel room and stay in the city that night. That way, over a candlelit dinner you can gush about the details of the session. Finally, let him come along with you to the reveal to see the images and experience seeing them for the first time together. You'll get to see what he really wants and y'all can decide together what to purchase. Just be sure to discuss budget beforehand because he's gonna want it ALLLL! 

Boudoir: With or Without a Friend?

To bring or not to bring...that is the question. And I totally get it. When faced with a challenge that makes me feel overwhelmed or out of my element, my answer is it's always best to BYOF-bring your own friend! 

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If you don't know me, I've been acting since I was seven years old. Once, when I was filming a movie in Savannah eight years or so ago. I'd taken one of my best friends (my brother, Matt-yes, I married a "Matt" and have a brother "Matt" who are not the same person because that would be gross) along for the ride. The scene we happened to be filming that weekend was super intense and involved me sprinting through dense forest after a girl for most of it. I went into the trailer to change into my costume-some jeans, a tank top and a zip-up hoodie they provided. They had two brand new pairs of jeans for me to try in my typical sizes-one a size 6 and one a size 8. I went to pull up the size 6 and could not get them past my thighs...not good. So I switched to the size 8 pants. I got them on, but they were a *liiiitttle tight*. Realizing I was going to be sprinting through the woods and would need a tad bit more wiggle room to do so, I began to do some squat/lunge/stretches across the trailer. You probably see where this is going...I went down for one last long squat stretch and spilt those suckers right down the seam. From crotch to knee. 

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This was no minor tear. There was no hiding it. And it wasn't like I could pretend it happened as I sprinted through the woods as I hadn't even exited the trailer yet. Trust me, I considered my options...a rabid raccoon with a denim fetish...the lotion they gave me for my legs must contain some sort of blue jean specific acid and burned through the pants...I could remove all the thread quickly from each pair and pretend they "came like that"...Nope. None of that was going to work. I felt like Ross when he had his leather pants debacle. And if you don't know, Ross is a character on Friends and the leather pants debacle is one of the funniest scenes of any television show ever

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Nope. Instead, I had to come out and tell the costumer and the director that I'd spit the pants and that I couldn't get the other pair up high enough to cover the areas not suitable for children. Meaning we had to hold off shooting this scene until one of the PAs could run back into town (30 minutes away mind you) to purchase me new pants once the stores opened two hours later. Meaning the entire freaking crew would know that we were going to have to delay shooting for around three hours because my thighs decided to take a cue from the Hulk and that pair of pants was their first victim. Yeah. I have never been more thankful for having one of my best friends there in. My. Life. Matt's presence made it a lot easier on me when the costume designer later decided to make a snide comment about my lunch order in front of the crew. His presence also kept me from hurdling the table and strangling that same annoyingly insensitive costume designer when she decided to bring up my thighs-busting-through-pants moment for group mealtime conversation. Twice. 

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That said, you can ABSOLUTELY bring a friend with you to your boudoir session. He/she can accompany you to the studio, enjoy champagne with you during hair and makeup and see you all the way into the first outfit to freak out over how stunning you look. BUT after that they have to head out. I know, I know that seems scary now. But while we shoot your session, I require it to be just the two of us. Everyone else (including hair and makeup) leaves. Here's why: I am SUPER-DUPER committed to getting the most gorgeous images of you. I am going to tell you what to do with your face, hands, shoulders, stomach...all of the things! And sometimes it's just flat out going to feel weird. You may have your legs up the wall, head tilted back, hands in your hair, lips parted...and be thinking, "there is no WAY this is going to make a good picture."


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I've found that in those moments, if you have a sister/mom/best friend/boyfriend present it intensifies how self-conscious you feel-regardless of how comfortable you are with them or me. You may exchange glances with your friend and their face may confirm your worst fears-that you do indeed look completely ridiculous. But they have no idea what my camera is seeing in that moment. Maybe I'm zoomed in on your cleavage. Maybe I'm silhouetting you. Maybe I'm getting a completely different angle. Either way, when it's just the two of us you are more likely to just go with it and trust me. Ask any of my previous clients...they all have a moment during their reveal when they say, "Ohhhhhhh! THAT'S what you were getting when I was against the wall/bent over the chair/contorted like a pretzel." Yup. There is always a method to my crazy madness. Good news is, I'm pretty comfortable to be around. And bonus, if you find yourself ripping some item of your clothing at some point, you can take solace in knowing that I know exactly how that feels and we can laugh about it together. 

The Naked Truth About Boudoir

One of my FABULOUS (as in all caps and bolded font fabulous) clients named Dana Scott wrote such an incredibly accurate depiction of her experience leading up to and throughout the actual boudoir shoot. This is what most of my clients experience and her words are perfection! She has been so kind as to let me copy and paste her words verbatim, use her images and her name so that anyone who's considering this knows how it goes.'s a look at how a boudoir session goes through the eyes of the stunning Dana who had her shoot just a few short weeks ago...

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"Had the address in my maps app. Had all the lingerie stuffed into a plastic bag in my trunk because I snuck it out when he was asleep the night before the shoot. It was a wadded up pile of lace and garters in a Kroger shopping bag. I had a sitter for the kids and an excuse for why I wouldn't be home. I was ready!!! And the night before-he was snoring, none the wiser. But it was 11:00 and I was.....

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Nervous. And a little afraid. I tossed and turned wondering, "What if I I don't look like those girls on her website?" "What if my stomach is too fat?"
"I have those stretch marks on my ass/stomach/breasts." "Does she Photoshop?" "Damn it's a lot of money. I should've emailed her or called and ask her if she can remove that stretch mark/tattoo/scar before I committed to spend this much."

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Turn over. Rearrange blankets. Stress.

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That was the night before. I even appreciate that part of the process because it makes the actual shoot that much better. So I arrived for my shoot super early and nervous! I brought a bottle of champagne. I met my glam squad and sat in a chair drinking my champs and getting my makeup and hair done. The makeup is a lot. It takes forever. But I was a hot number. I looked so pretty and glamorous! Did I say it takes forever? Well it does. Can I tell you the coolest thing about Meagan? She was THERE!!! The whole time through the whole makeup and hair process. She hung out for that part when she didn't really have to. She got to know ME. What makes me tick, what I'm afraid of, what I want to celebrate. And when hair and makeup was done-it was go time. And I wasn't shy or insecure or afraid anymore. I felt pretty sexy as a matter of fact. 

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We hit the ground running. And for 3 hours I felt like a sexy super model. Meagan didn't make me feel sexy. She loved and coached and directed and dominated her art in a way that created mutual respect and pulled a confidence from me that I've long forgotten. She allowed me to BE sexy. And it felt really good. She is full of direction and had me posing and contorting in ways I didn't know I could. It was a long, fun, exhilaring day. I left exhausted and hungry but felt like a million bucks! I came home and after a nap and a meal had fabulous sex with my husband. He didn't know what had come over me and I absolutely can't wait to show him!!!"

Failing to be Sexy

I don't care about the NFL. Mostly because if it isn’t college football and it won’t impact UGA, I don’t really give a flying flip about the game. But you know how they have the ability to do an instant replay of any play at anytime? Man! That. Must. Suck. I mean, I guess when you’re “on” and you make a fantastic play, it probably rocks. But what about when you mess up? And then they play it over. And over. And over. From a million different angles. In HD. For an audience of hundreds of thousands of people to see. Hoooolllllyyyy crap am I glad my career doesn’t have the ability to do that. I mean-yuck!

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No one likes to fail. Failure is the suckiest. And when we do fail, we’d rather not discuss/relive/revisit those moments. One of the biggest issues for women who are *considering* booking a boudoir session is that they have a complete misconception around how it will go and ultimately, they imagine they’ll fail.

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How they THINK the service will go:

Step 1- Immediately after booking they think they are going to spend a ton of money on getting their nails done, buying lingerie, getting various waxes, freshening their highlights, maybe getting a spray tan, and anything else that will make them feel “ready”.

Step 2- They think they are going to show up to the studio a shaky bundle of nerves. They will then greet the photographer who they think will judge their thighs/stomach/size of their head/shape of their ears/angle of their elbows. They will surely have spent all that money on all the wrong things. They will probably hate their hair and despise the makeup.

Step 3- They think they will begin the shoot with the sullen, expressionless photographer who will continue to stare at them, waiting for them to perform and saying over and over “Come onnnnnnnn!!! Just be sexy! No. Not like that. Just BE sexy...ya Do you know what sexy is…? Ugh...nevermind.” They think the photographer will then continue to shoot passively, passing constant judgement on all parts of their body and eventually will just move onto different sets and outfits once they’ve gotten one or two shots that “will do, I guess.”

Step 4- They think they will leave in tears feeling disgusting and terrible about themselves, go immediately to Wendy’s for a burger and then to McDonald’s for the fries (because that’s the best of both world’s...oh, you’ve never done neither…). They will think there’s no way the photographer will have gotten anything good and use the drive home to wrack their brain around what other options they can gift their significant other for Valentine’s/their birthday/anniversary because there’s no way the pictures will look good.

Step 5- They think that they will come back to view their images only to find that their worst fears are confirmed and the pictures are terrible. None of them will even be passable. They think they will look awkward and fat and worse than they ever thought they could look. They think they will leave with nothing except a deeper hatred for their physical appearance than they had before the shoot.

They think they will FAIL miserably and horridly.

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Buuuuuuuuutttttttttttt (come on, you knew I had a “but” coming!) they are WRONG!!!!!!!

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Here’s how the session will ACTUALLY go:

Step 1- Immediately after booking you are going to spend a bit (maybe a ton-that’s your call) of money on getting your nails done, buying lingerie, getting various waxes, freshening your highlights, maybe getting a spray tan, and anything else that will make you feel “ready”. Yeah...this step is pretty accurate from the first scenario. The big difference being that I will be a resource available for you all along the way. I will weigh in on your lingerie options and let you know if I think the spray tan is absolutely necessary or if you should go with a teddy over a corset. 

Step 2- You will show up to the studio to an *almost* obnoxiously upbeat photographer (ME!) who will quite possible talk your ear off (it's happened before). I will introduce you to my incredible hair & makeup staff who will make you feel comfortable and at ease. We will chat while you get ready and I’ll get to know about you and what you’re looking to get out of the shoot. I will then sort through all the outfits you bring and plan the best shoot possible for your body, lingerie, comfort level and personality at the same time. There is NO negative judgement in this or any step. I look at how I can best highlight your gorgeous features and plan around that.

Step 3- You will go through a 10-15 minute “teach” of my posing so you can see exactly what I’m referring to when I’m talking you through it. I will never ever EVER ask you to “Be sexy”. Everything I will use to pose you will be concrete direction like “arch your back” or “breath through your mouth”. All of my instruction is informed by what we do physically when we are aroused/flirt/desire someone. It’s science!!!

Step 4- You will leave feeling like a freaking ROCKSTAR! In fact, I just shot a client who said that was one of the things that shocked her the most. She thought she would leave feeling insecure about the shoot, but she left super excited to come back and see her images. Doesn’t mean you won’t hit Wendy’s/McDonald’s on your way home...but it will be in celebration, not defeat!

Step 5- You will come back for your reveal and FREAK OUT over how stunningly gorgeous you are!!! You will be giddy and worry more about how you are going to keep yourself from showing him all of the things early because you’ll be so excited to see his reaction. Or, if the shoot is just for you, you will check the mailbox constantly waiting for your pictures to arrive!

I’ve shot over 200 women at this point, and I’ve never had anyone hate their images. I feel like that gives me some authority in which to say that the one thing that absolutely, positively won’t happen is that YOU WILL NOT FAIL!!! (*Note* Those last four words are shouted with the same fervor Gandalf uses when he exclaims "YOU SHALL NOT PASSSSSS!")

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Shots Fired...By Cupid

OHMYGOSH HIIIII! What’s up, ladies!?! How are you all doing!?! Doing the dance of Christmas madness?? Shopping/baking/planning/listing like crazy!? How are the kids…!?

Whenever it’s been a sec since my last blog, I always feel the need to start my next blog with some sort of “greeting”. As if we’ve bumped into each other at the supermarket over grapefruit and oranges or something. Then I write it out and promptly delete it because that’s ridiculous. But today, I thought I’d let you see how much I’ve missed you all...and let’s be honest, I am ridiculous!!! I’ve also had three cups of coffee…

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93.5% of the time someone asks me how I’m doing, my response begins with “I’ve been insanely busy lately…” Don’t get me wrong, it’s always true (as it is for most of us) but the past two months have been


type of busy.

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Why has it been so busy you ask? Well, because I valiantly (haha, re:stupidly) decided that my Christmas rush was the perfect time to take on more than my typical share of clients AND MOVE STUDIOS AT THE SAME GOD-FORSAKEN TIME!!! It’s actually great now...I think the all caps and bolding of that last sentence was just a little residual PTSD-no biggie.

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That’s right! Between worrying about the toxicity of dry shampoo and if I’ll ever have a conversation with my husband that doesn’t begin with “Food. Me. Now.” the Meagan O Studio officially moved to Telephone Factory Lofts (828 Ralph McGill Blvd. #313 Atlanta, GA 30306). We put down new marble floors upstairs, hung the chandelier, wired and hung beauty lights in the hair/makeup area and VIOLA!!! A beautiful, shiny, new studio conveniently located on the beltline, walking distance to Ponce City Market-where I have already spent way too much money enjoying myself in between clients. (Seriously, that place is the BEST! #takemymoney) In fact, all of these images were actually taken in the new space! (Aren’t these women GORG!?!) All that just in time for most of my Christmas clients-which means, ALL of my Valentine’s Day clients get to enjoy the swanky new space for their photo session!

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The Valentine’s rush started about a week ago and the cut off is the last week of January and there are spots available. SO! If you want to make sure that fat, child pigeon lands his arrow squarely on your significant other making for an extra special V-Day, be sure to get in touch!

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Now, I’m off to wrap Christmas presents next to my Christmas tree in Christmas pajamas whilst watching a Christmas movie because my part-elf self wants to soak up every second of Christmas I can! (Picture below is proof of Elfness and perhaps the most accurate visual representation of my personality.)

Make it the Best Christmas EVER!

You guys. It's almost that time of year again...GAH! I can't. Freaking. WAIT!

Hi. If this is your first time to the site, my name is Meagan and I'm a Christmas-holic...Chirstmas-aholic...? Whichever. I. LOVE. CHRISTMAS!!!!!!! That said, I married one of the most difficult men on the face of the planet to buy for. I'm one of those "wants to surprise you with something amazing that you never knew you needed in your life before I happened upon it and so thoughtfully got it for you" types of people. My hubby is one of those "I want this exact thing and it really will make me so incredibly happy I can't even begin to describe my's the link to the exact thing I want" types of people. It has been a problem in the past, not gonna lie. In fact, I've bought Matt countless things for his car he loves to modify that I absolutely couldn't tell you what those things were or what they did. I've also surprised Matt with countless things I thought he'd be super duper pumped about...only to watch it gather dust in the corner of our closet...

BUT! I have the ultimate gift idea for you to get your man this Christmas. It's a he's-never-gonna-guess-it, it'll-leave-his-jaw-on-the-floor type of present. Give him gorgeous boudoir photos!!!

Now. Here's the other honest truth though. This will require you to be brave. It will also require you to ignore that stupid voice in your head that's whispering lies like "you're too fat to do that" or "you're a grandma-grandma's aren't supposed to do that" or "this annoyingly chipper photographer could never get good (let alone great) photos of you". That voice is dumb and flat out wrong-time to cut out her tongue since she doesn't tend to listen to "SHUT UP!" I'll lend you the scissors.

You are stunning and your pictures will be some of the most beautiful images ever! I will be there with you every step of the way from helping you select lingerie to setting you up with my glamorizing team to posing and lighting you so that even your jaw will drop when you see the pictures. For serious.

If you are interested in booking for Christmas, here are the deadlines you need to know about:

December 9th-If you are looking to order a tangible product and want to have your sexy images under the tree by Christmas morning, your order must be completed by December 9th.

December 18-This is the cutoff date if you are planning to order digital images only (which are released the day of your reveal).

Last year, Christmas booked up crazy-super-duper fast, so if you're interested inquire asap!