With that, I grab my bag and car keys and look in the mirror one more time. My face is flushed and my hair bouncy. Maybe I don’t have the man anymore, but I want to do this for me.

3

Ginny

I walk out of the dorm and take the elevator down to the lobby. My car is parked on the street, and I appreciate the sunny, warm day. It’s been so cloudy and rainy lately, making it so much harder to stay positive and see the bright side of life. I load my car up and put Your Best Image in my GPS, starting my drive.

When I came up with the idea for the photo shoot, I spent almost a week researching different photo studios. Many of them were ridiculously expensive and their samples left a lot to be desired. After all, I want to look sexy, but the women in their examples often looked super uncomfortable and artificially posed. I want to feel relaxed and natural. I definitely don’t want to look stiff and uneasy in my photos because these are supposed to capture me at my sexiest.

Your Best Image is probably going to be fine. They had the best reviews I could find, and the photos on their website were very tasteful. The women were on the larger side, and also had big smiles as they posed. The only thing I was a little concerned about was the address. It’s in the middle of nowhere, and pulling up to the building, the place looks a little like an abandoned warehouse. Have I made a huge mistake?

I take a deep breath, talking to myself before going inside. It’s fine, Gins, the voice in my head soothes. You need this. I pull down the driver’s side visor and look at myself in the mirror one time. I wince a bit before forcing a smile. I look good, and I’m going to take some pretty pictures. Exhaling, I get out and smooth my hair, grabbing my bag from the back seat. Here we go.

I walk from the parking lot to the warehouse entrance, noting once again how nice the sun feels on my skin. It’s the start of spring and it feels like new beginnings are truly in the works. I can hear the birds chirping in the trees and can almost smell new honeysuckle in the air.

The front entrance opens up into a lobby, which is tastefully decorated with a navy blue carpet and comfy looking furniture. There are warmly lit crystal sconces and sample photos framed on the wall. The women in the photos look gorgeous and confident. If my photos look even half that good, I’ll be pleased. I start feeling butterflies in my stomach; I’m definitely starting to get a little bit nervous.

The receptionist greets me, asking if I made an appointment. She’s young, maybe only a few years older than me. Her blonde hair and blue eyes remind me a little of Micky, and I smile shyly.

“Hi, yes. I made an appointment a few weeks ago? My name is Ginny Marmont.” I say, glad that another female is in this space.

She smiles back at me, taking my ID from my shaky hand.

“Hey Ginny, I’m Olivia. Yes, you’re right on time. I just need to scan your driver’s license. Have you ever done a boudoir photo shoot?”

I shoot her a half-smile.

“No, I haven’t. Not to sound stupid, but I’m a little bit nervous actually.” I laugh and look away, hoping she doesn’t think I’m a complete idiot.

“Don’t be nervous! And you don’t sound stupid at all. It’s totally normal to feel a little weird when you do something you haven’t done before, especially something like this. But I think you’re really going to enjoy the experience. I did one here actually, after I started working as the receptionist. It was a wonderful experience, and I can assure you that you’re in good hands.” She smiles genuinely at me, and I feel very welcome and accepted in the space. I’m really glad I chose this studio already.

“Really? That’s so cool. Did you feel uncomfortable at all during the shoot? Did you love the pictures afterwards?” She hands me back my ID and I put it back in my wallet. She thinks for a moment.

“I felt uncomfortable at first, but Castor and Corey are the best. They’ve actually won awards for their work in the past. They know how to capture an image so well, especially if you tell them what you’re going after. They also aren’t creepy and made me feel really safe, and yes, my pictures were perfect. I got them for my boyfriend, who actually broke up with me a few months ago. Go figure.” She rolls her eyes while saying the last part, and I feel in my gut that we’re going to be friends.

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