Putting images of yourself on the internet scantily clad is always going to be an intimidating thing to do at first. I'm very happy with the way that I look and a lot of that stems from the fact that I am very aware that Photoshop, plastic surgery and airbrushing are all very common in this day and age so I stopped comparing myself to others about two years ago and my life is a lot better for it. My main concern was someone commenting on my body in a way that might make me feel differently about it but I have to say that the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
Across the Claudia May Lingerie website, each product has a "Claudia Says" caption as to why we stock that particular product. I want customers to know that I am as passionate about the products that I stock as I say I am. I don't wear mediocre lingerie and I do believe in wearing your best sets everyday, I wouldn't have Claudia May Lingerie if I believed otherwise. Even when I'm not leaving the house I could be in lounge wear with a beautiful set of underwear on underneath so becoming the face of the brand was a way of saying "I practice what I preach".
Posting images of myself for my brand opened CML up to a whole new world of lovely ladies in the industry. There's a close knit group of lingerie lovers across the web and I've got to know lots of them in the last year. The lovely photographer of my last shoot, Vicky, is a woman who I met through Instagram who turned out to live not too far from me. Up until then all of the images were done on self time with a tripod stand. The personalised images have increased the social media engagement rate and website traffic. I'm sure this is this is due to the fact we now post original content.
I was asked about how posting photos of myself in lingerie on the internet affects my relationship. There are some girls who have lingerie accounts that their boyfriends either don't know about or they don't approve of. I was new to the dating scene when I became the face of the brand and I had a conflict about how it might affect dating and future relationships. It was probably the main thing that would have stopped me going forward with it because some people confuse a love of lingerie for a love of being promiscuous. Claudia May Lingerie is my business and passion project and I figured if someone couldn't support what I do or couldn't be respectful then it wasn't a relationship I needed to be in. Much to my happiness I now have a very supportive partner who really encourages this aspect of my brand.
Lets talk about Photoshop.
In a world of filters, airbrush and plastic surgery I always want to show honest photos of myself. I have never altered the shape of my body and I never will. Of course on all images, brightness, saturation etc... Gets altered, this is mainly to try and get the products showcased in the most accurate representation of what they look like in real life. I am happy to admit that if I have had a spot or something similar somewhere on my body and it's appeared on the day of a shoot, I will edit it out. I don't airbrush my skin but little "imperfections" that aren't a consistent part of my body I don't mind removing because if you saw me in person you would think I look the same. I also have a birth mark on my neck which much to my disappointment looks like a faded love bite. This isn't a great look for a brand that isn't trying to promote sex, so on close up images where it stands out, it gets blurred out. And on occasions I've whitened my teeth because shadows and lighting etc.. Don't always play to my advantage.
It's been a year since I started posting photos of myself in lingerie for Claudia May Lingerie. It's actually been an incredibly rewarding experience both professionally and personally. I would absolutely recommend that every woman has a boudoir shoot at some point in their life. It's so important to have images of yourself and your body that you love, and remember that it is a mindset you have to have and loving your body and not comparing it to others is so incredibly important!
What are your thoughts? Would you ever take part in a lingerie photo shoot?