Saturday, August 21, 2010

Picture this: the hot model in the glossy photo is YOU

Look through your photo albums or files. Do you like the way you look? How many of your pictures portray you at your best - as radiant, confident, sexy and gorgeous?

Not many I bet. In fact, I bet you're hardly in many of them, because we women are often the ones taking the pictures of everybody else.

Yeah, the kids look cute and the scenery is beautiful. But don't we deserve to have some pictures of ourselves where we aren't squinting into the wind, serving up birthday cake, or wearing a clown costume?
 Francesca relaxes as Sylvi applies her make up.

We're surrounded with images of beautiful, sultry women like Jenifer Aniston, Christina Hendricks, and Halle Berry. But even for those lovely actresses, flattering photographs take effort. They've been professionally made up, lit, posed, and retouched.

Here on the North Shore, you can get some of that star treatment for yourself.  Sylvi Davidson and Gina Sanders of Enamour Photography in Highland Park are devoted to bringing out the inner and outer beauty of regular chicks like us and capturing it on film. Women of all ages, sizes and stages come to them for an intimate photo session designed to showcase and celebrate their unique beauty.

I had the opportunity to join them as they prepped Francesca, a 44 year-old wife and mom, for her Enamour experience.

Francesca was hesitant about doing what's known as a "boudoir photography" session at first, but she's had a tough year. Work, parenting and helping a family member through an illness had left her exhausted and stressed out.

"I'd like to do something special and intimate for myself," she said, "To remind me of who I am."

Francesca was a bit nervous about posing provocatively. "I'm worried that I might look or feel silly," she said. "But I know Gina and Sylvi will make me feel comfortable."

Gina tests the lighting for the shoot.
That's for sure.  Gina, Enamour's photographer, and creative director/make-up artist Sylvi are incredibly nurturing, positive and passionate about their work. Their goal for a shoot is to create a safe haven where their client can relax and celebrate herself.

"We make our client the center of attention - and she loves it," said Sylvi.

"We help her see all the little parts of herself that are beautiful," added Gina. "Women on the North Shore are very critical of their appearance. Here, they are lifted up, not put down."

The experience can be powerful and transforming. Many women, when they first see their portfolio and how sensuous and plain hot they look, burst into tears.

 "They've never seen themselves this way before," said Sylvi. "This is girl therapy."

Francesca was hopeful she'd feel the same way. "I feel like I look good," she said, "but I'm not that confident. I'd like to push the boundaries today. I  hope to discover something deeper about my inner self. And, I'd like to have fun!"

I didn't stay for the shoot itself, but the lead-up was nothing but fun. Sylvi applied gorgeous, dramatic make-up to Francesca, and she and Gina helped Francesca select a variety of sexy (but tasteful) outfits to pose in. While some Enamour clients do choose to pose in the nude, that wasn't Francesca's plan. Her shoot was going to be in the style of old Hollywood glamour.

"I hope I look fabulous," she said, beginning to get excited. "I'd like to have a couple nice pieces to share with my daughter one day, to show her you can be beautiful inside and out at any age."

Of course, Francesca's husband is looking forward to seeing the photographs too. Check back in a few days to see the results of Francesca's shoot as we share some of her favorite shots here.

For more information about Enamour, visit their website at


Kelly Davis said...

Great post! Gina is an amazing person and talented photographer and its obvious that Sylvi does great work too judging by the beauty she has brought out in all of the 'models' on the Enamour website. Great team. Love it :)

Photos by Andie said...

I will be sharing this blog with my girlfriends!!!

Marjie Killeen said...

Thanks so much Kelly and Andie. I can't wait to see the photos from Francesca's shoot and talk to her about how she feels about them.

Anonymous said...

1) What did you do to "deserve to have some pictures of ourselves where we aren't..."
2) Francesca's "had a tough year. Work, parenting and helping a family member through an illness had left her exhausted and stressed out." Hello? THAT'S LIFE! You don't need some kind of prize for normal lifetime BS, Deal with it...
3) "To remind me of who I am" Listen if you need made up, lit, posed, and retouched photos of yourself to remind you of who you are, I believe there is something else wrong between your ears.

Jamie said...

New to your blog,gonna sign up to follow. I love how the 40's are now celebrated. And yes, I am ALWAYS the photographer in our family, therefore everyone thinks I never go on any family vacations. Mmmm...something needs to be done about that. Can't wait to see update. Jamie

Marjie Killeen said...

Hey Anonymous,

Thanks so much for reading my blog and responding to it, even though you aren't a fan of my subject matter.

The point of my blog is this - to uplift and inspire women over 40 to feel good about themselves, not in spite of getting older, but because of it.

Most of us don't need to be told that real life means caring for our family, holding down a job, and being responsible members of our community. We're already doing that.

What we chicks need, in this youth-obsessed society, is a reminder that we are still relevant, happening and hot. And if that means we go pole-dancing, or flirt, or get some sexy pics taken of ourselves - I for one, am all for it!

I wish I knew if you were a man or a woman, but either way, please keep reading and commenting if you're interested.

Best, Marjie

Marjie Killeen said...

Thanks so much for reading. I've previewed Francesca's pics and they are gorgeous. Should have my next post very soon.


Luna said...

Francesca looks and sounds amazing!
Hats off to her for doing what most of us wish we could do.
Anonymous is either jealous or mentally challenged. To vent with such hostility is in poor taste.
Great work Gina and Sylvi!!!