+44 (0)7799 390468 Stormy@RebelandRomance.com
Boudoir with a wheelchair: Efena’s #nofear photo shoot in London

Boudoir with a wheelchair: Efena’s #nofear photo shoot in London

A special treat on the blog today: beautiful, inspiring, unstoppable Efe!

boudoir photography for wheelchair users london

 

I’ve been hoping to work with someone like Efena for ages, and I finally got my chance a few weeks ago. We had a great shoot – one that felt like it had real soul and purpose and left everyone feeling really proud.

What struck me most about Efe is the way her presence influences the people around her – I’m 100% convinced she makes those around her more grateful, more optimistic, more humble. Efe has been on an incredibly challenging journey the last few years, one she didn’t ask for and never could have expected. I’m in awe of how resilient she is, plus she has this giant, contagious smile and a graceful style that makes you love her straight away.

Personally, I found spending time with Efe a bit like going to church – you watch and you listen, and then you realise: the whole point is love. I left the shoot wanting to be kinder and more grateful, and to lead with an open heart. If you spend several hours physically moving a person’s legs into position with your own hands, you end up feeling incredibly grateful for your own working, functioning, slightly below average looking legs. It’s not fair what happened to Efe and I wish it hadn’t, but my oh my is she styling it out with grace and courage. I’m so grateful to have met her and to be able to show her how beautiful she looks to the rest of us.

 

boudoir photography for wheelchair users london

I asked Efe if she would like to share her thoughts at this point of her journey, and she ever so kindly sent me this:

EFE SAYS:

“Marking the three year anniversary of the horrific and catastrophic car accident that rendered me paralysed from the waist down was indubitably a bittersweet experience. On April 21, 2014, a doctor broke my heart in a way I never thought was possible; when he told me I had a complete thoracic spinal cord injury. In layman’s terms, this directly translates to zero possibility of ever walking again.

 

Cut to April 2017. Months prior, I decided the best way to celebrate how far I haf come was through what I call my #NoFear photoshoot. Inspired by the LA-based wheelchair model/makeup artist Steph Aiello, I wanted to send a clear message with the pictures.

 

The idea behind #NoFear is simple. My aim is to shatter misconceptions of disabilities whilst spreading awareness of spinal cord injuries. To show that being disabled does not necessarily translate to being unable.”

boudoir photography for wheelchair users london

boudoir photography for wheelchair users london

 

“Being suddenly confined to a wheelchair is certainly no walk in the park. Side effects of a spinal cord injury include sporadic & crippling nerve pain, bouts of insomnia and working out regularly becomes an excruciating must to facilitate recovery.

 

Stormy and Victoria were the fantastic team behind my amazing photos. Our natural chemistry and undeniable synergy made my first professional shoot extremely fun and comfortable. Everything was utter perfection. The location, the wardrobe, the shoes and especially the make-up. My eyebrows were totally on fleek!

 

Without Stormy’s genius guidance, my poses would probably have been kinda lacklustre. She has this ineffable way of making you feel immediately at ease; the shots can’t help but be absolutely beautiful. She creates an atmosphere of comfort and giddyness. Furthermore, the entire process from introductory emails to signing the contract is so streamlined; you just end up focusing on being thoroughly excited the whole time.”

 

boudoir photography for wheelchair users london

boudoir photography for wheelchair users london

Through some divine connection, Rebel and Romance and Efena Smiles (my social media brand) have produced something much larger than us. To me, they defied, nay obliterated my expectations. These photos declare that my disability isn’ t going to hold me back from ‘overcoming paralysis one step at a time’ (which has been my manta for the last couple of years).

 

All I can really say is a massive thank you to Stormy and Vic for helping me illustrate #NoFear in powerful, perception-altering visual imagery.

 

The photos really speak for themselves.

 

Love ya Stormy
Xxxx

 

Efena E. Otobo
Freelance Writer and Blogger
Website: https://efenasmiles.wordpress.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/efenasmiles/
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/efenasmiles

boudoir photography for wheelchair users london

Back at you babe, it was an absolute pleasure:) Efe is wearing a beaded romper and heels from River Island above.

boudoir photography for wheelchair users london

We wanted to make sure we were showing Efe’s wheelchair in at least a few images – not so much as an aid but as more of a high tech, futuristic accessory. If you’re curious about it, or know someone who might be, it’s made by a an American company called WHILL.

boudoir photography for wheelchair users london

This is the first time Efe has worn lingerie since the accident <3. Pink satin sleep set from Victoria’s Secret, floral crown from Monsoon.

boudoir photography for wheelchair users london

That prize winning smile I was telling you about:)

boudoir photography for wheelchair users london

And a COVERGIRL shot if I ever saw one. Victoria did a top notch job, as always.

boudoir photography for wheelchair users london

Moody beauty.

boudoir photography for wheelchair users london

Efe’s brother was on hand to help with some of the logistics of getting on and off the terrace, which is the only part of this shoot venue that is not wheelchair accessible. But what a view right? Efe is wearing a gold embroidered party dress from Topshop.

boudoir photography for wheelchair users london

boudoir photography for wheelchair users london

Efe, you’re honestly amazing! Thanks again for a wonderful, inspiring shoot. Can’t wait to see what the future holds for you:)

 xxxxx Stormy

 

Bump Boudoir – Tanja’s pregnancy photo shoot in London

Bump Boudoir – Tanja’s pregnancy photo shoot in London

As you all know, I’m terribly behind with this blog – Tanja and I shot this bump boudoir session around Easter! Better late than never though…right? Say yes, because everything from here on out is likely to be late lol!

Anyway, it’s always lovely to photograph women who are growing little ones, but as a lot of my clients prefer to keep these images private it’s an extra special treat to have a few images to share with you:) Please enjoy.

pregnant brunette in white lingerie

It’s no picnic being heavily pregnant, and although you’d never know it from these Tanja was feeling pretty worn out. This is nearly always the case with pregnant clients, which is why I’m in favour of bump sessions that are both quick and barefoot. Simple lingerie is all you need for a look like this.

pregnant woman posing in lingerie in front of french doors

We borrowed Tanja’s friend’s flat for the shoot – a magical little haven in the city that looks half French and half rainforest.

pregnant model in sheer lace dress

Tanja found this gown for cheap (somewhere like Amazon or Ebay), and it’s such a lovely way to show off a new figure.

heavily pregnant bump photoshoot in white lace gown

The sheer lace is still sexy, but it’s less revealing than lingerie. Not to mention it will give you a bit more coverage if, you know, you’re not really feeling the water retention and cellulite that usually joins the party about now.

sexy pregnancy photos with brunette woman in front of fireplace

I mean – pregnant and super hot are not mutually exclusive. These aren’t the images you show your in laws, but you ought to have them for yourself. You’ve earned them.

pregnant woman in front of fireplace

Bump by firelight. The front split on this piece works really well for showing off a belly, and it is especially good for taking attention away from any baby-induced love handles.

pregnant woman in pink lingerie in front of french doors

Hot pink, because we can.

brunette pregnant woman in french mansion

Gaahh this woman. She makes it look effortless.

pregnant woman in pink lingerie

I mean, it’s not though. Boudoir photo shoots are hard work, which is why we’ll keep it short if you’ve got a baby on board.

new mother photo shoot in underwear

New momma love <3

pregnancy photos in blue lingerie

Another simple lingerie set, this one in a baby blue:)

pregnant woman in swim suit and tropical setting

The garden was so tropical – a perfect set for swimwear.

sexy pregnancy photo shoot in tropical setting miami

Can you believe this was in London?

model portfolio headshots in swimwear and tropical miami location

Beautiful new editorial style headshots with our two minutes of sunshine.

pregnant woman in one piece bathing suit

Plunging one piece. Grainy black and white. Messy hair. Everything working together here.

tropical pregnancy swimwear photo shoot

A few more commercially toned images from this set as well.

model portfolio headshots in rainforest setting

Ahhh Thailand – you’re on my list!

pregnant woman in red dress in london

We did a bit of street style / bloggery type fashion too.

cute pregnancy outfit london

Such a cute outfit right?

pregnant woman in floral dress in london

And finally a floral dress that makes it look 10x warmer than it was;)

Tanja you were fab, thank you! Best wishes for the three of you <3

xx Stormy

 

 

 

 

New Orleans with Adrienne

New Orleans with Adrienne

On the blog today: Adrienne in New Orleans

This was a shoot we threw together at the end of a very busy day, so everything was a little rushed and haphazard. Adrienne did her own hair and makeup (on the bathroom floor no less – sorrryyyy again Adriene! you’re such a trooper), and we were racing against the setting sun from the get go. All that considered, I’m pretty happy with the way things turned out.

Loved this iron gate/door thing.

We lost the light really early on, so we ended up having to go for a moody, dramatic look. It doesn’t quite fit the lingerie, but A still looks fab.

Silver leafed mirrored cupboard doors for the win.

A little window light.

Ahhh to be blonde…

Moody in motion

Our final look was a topless look with a pair of high waisted bottoms.

This purple wall. I through it looked gross but I am converted.

This shot on the right is probably my favourite.

Just hanging out in the doorway, as you do.

A few final images on the bed. I loved this chandelier lamp thing.

And a few of these because you know I love this pose

A, thanks for being so cool about everything!

xx Stormy

NYC Boudoir Photography: Mrs. A in a Brooklyn brownstone

NYC Boudoir Photography: Mrs. A in a Brooklyn brownstone

NYC Boudoir Photography: Anna

I’m so pleased to finally be sharing Anna’s NYC boudoir photography session with you. It’s been months since we met up in Brooklyn and created these images, but that means nothing – this shoot is definetly in my top 5 favourites of the year.

I’m struggling with what to tell you about Anna because I’m just so fangirl impressed by her. She’s gracious and cool and funny. She wears all the hats at once (wife, mother, entrepreneur, etc.). Plus, she’s got great style, and an effortless kind of beauty that can’t be denied.

NYC boudoir photography

Anna doesn’t wear much makeup in her everyday life, so she was understandably nervous about makeup for her shoot. Unfortunately, a lot of newer makeup artists just don’t know what to do with skin or facial features different from their own. It’s very common for black women to come away from a new makeup artist looking ashy and slightly dead. Anna introduced me to the official term for this, which I now use at all the time; “funeral face.”

I insist on professional, experienced makeup artists that come by way of recommendation whenever possible. If you’re in London, I’d be happy to recommend a few genius girls. If you’re further afield, it’s best to get a recommendation from someone you trust, or you can ask a great wedding or boudoir photographer in your area for a few suggestions. You also want to make sure there are women who look like you in the makeup artist’s portfolio. Don’t allow yourself to be the first and only Chinese face she or he has touched.

Thankfully, I had brilliant makeup artist Victoria with me, and we convinced our lovely client we knew what we were doing;) Of course the result turned out stunning, but with such natural beauty and incredible cheekbones I never had any doubt.

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We started off with this cute cotton ribbed bodysuit with snap front. Anna is wearing her husband’s favourite earrings.

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I like starting with a barefoot set. There’s a lot to think about when posing, and it helps if you’re not trying to balance in sky high heels right from the start.

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If you’re like me and constantly have a hair band on your wrist, please help me remember to have you take it off lol! We usually catch it eventually, but missed in in this image on the right.

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HOT

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Historic woodwork and natural window light for these.

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A quick wardrobe change and we have a completely different look – just add heels, a high waisted lace lingerie set, and throw your hair up.

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For me, working on location is about making the best use of a space and it’s available light. Often (who am I kidding, always) this means I work up a sweat rearranging furniture, but it’s worth it. I do NYC boudoir photography sessions in a variety of locations, we can chat about the sort of look and feel you’re after for your own shoot.

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Louboutins and booty for the win.

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A high waisted knicker might not seem like your thing, but I’d encourage to give them a try. They are almost universally flattering, so you might like it better on your body than you do on the hanger.

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A few gorgeous details.

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Love love love these.
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I mean, doesn’t Anna just look divine?

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Hands down, my favourite image of the shoot. #slay

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I love it so much I’m posting it twice.

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A few floor poses. How much you’re able to arch depends on your flexibility and bone structure, but don’t worry – any amount makes for a great shot.

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I’m a little bit obsessed with this image too.

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A stretchy, form-fitting piece like this is great for showing shape and curves. They also tend to be more comfortable than regular lingerie and work well for bending and arching.

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I hold shoots in lots of fancy and unique places, but it’s certainly not required. All you really need is simple bedding and good light.

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I do quite like a window though.

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A sneaky peek through the doorway…

nyc-boudoir-photography_0164…and these killer shoes;)

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Anna, you blew the roof off. Until next spring!

xx

Stormy

P.S. If you’re interested in your own NYC boudoir photography session, please feel free to get in touch or add yourself to the list. My next planned trip is spring of 2017, and I’ll be setting dates and locations very soon:)

Curvy Boudoir Photography: Mollie

Curvy Boudoir Photography: Mollie

Curvy Boudoir Photography: Mollie

On the blog today – a few stills from Mollie’s curvy boudoir photography shoot (finally). Mollie and I connected via Instagram and managed to pull a shoot, wardrobe, and full team together in something like three days, which surely must be a record.

Our inspiration for this shoot started with an iconic image of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and grew into a mood board that felt like Sunday morning. We really wanted to keep things fresh and natural, and brilliant makeup artist Victoria created the perfect look to match our brief. Undone, tousled curls by yours truly.

curvy-boudoir-photography_0137

Mollie is wearing the ASOS Billie Lace High Leg Body £20.00 in navy, which is available in various colours and sizes in the main line. There are also a few colour options and sizes 18-30 in the curve line.

curvy-boudoir-photography_0138

It’s a lovely piece, and lots of clients have been bringing in lately. The high cut legs can be quite a challenging cut though, so if you’re a bit conscious of your hips I’d suggest a lower cut leg. Something like the Y.A.S Wing Lace Bodystocking £40.00 (XS -XL) or the Mimi Holliday Bisou Bisou Sugar Body £84.00 (XS-XL) would be a good alternative.

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A few cute and playful shots on the bed.

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Mollie is wearing one of Rosie for Autograph’s never fail lingerie sets, available at M&S. This bra is the Silk & Lace Padded Plunge Bra A-E in Alabaster, paired with matching knickers. The bra retails for £26 and the High Leg Silk and Lace Knickers for £12.50

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Mollie is such a class act, you’d love her. You can’t not love her really. She’s the sort of person that sends handwritten thank you notes, which always impresses me so much.
curvy-boudoir-photography_0131This was the image we both had in our heads and the inspiration for the shoot. Wardrobe credits: feather duvet. Scandalous.

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A final shot in the copper tub. Naked again lol!

Mollie, you were SO LOVELY. Until next time…

xx

Stormy

 

boudoir photo shoot with Mayse

boudoir photo shoot with Mayse

Boudoir photo shoot with Mayse at the London penthouse

A few favourites from my recent boudoir photo shoot with Brazilian beauty Mayse…

I owe a huge thank you to our makeup artist Sadaf, who did a top notch job sorting out hair, makeup, and all the wardrobe for this shoot. We managed three completely different looks in about 45 min., and there’s no way I could have done it without her.

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For the first look, M is wearing this beautiful set from supermodel-turned-lingerie-designer, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Her lingerie line is called “Rosie for Autograph” and it’s been a favourite of mine for ages now. It’s beautiful, romantic, comes in great colour and size options, and is available for affordable prices at Marks & Spencer of all places.
london-boudoir-photographer_0122This is the Silk & Lace Padded Plunge Bra (£16-26, A-E) in Antique Green colour. However, it’s not green, definetly more of an aqua/blue colour. The Matching knickers are £8-£12.50 and come in sizes 6-20. Some colours of this particular knicker style have sold out online, but there are more coordinating options available in slightly different cuts.
london-boudoir-photographer_0123If Rosie’s line is available in your size, you owe it to yourself to take a look. So many clients bring her pieces in for their boudoir photo shoot, and everyone seems to love it.
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It was lovely working with M. She’s only been in the UK a short time but was a real pro, which was a blessing with our tight timeline. Additionally, her eyes are literally half the size of her head?!

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Plus – that faaaace.

For makeup, Sadaf did a gorgeous dark eye, paired with a neutral lip and great skin.

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This is the navy “Midnight Hours” body from Free People, available (in slim pickings) from various retailers. ASOS has a few sizes in black on clearance, and Urban Outfitters and Revolve each have one colour which is not available at Free People website, but both are sold out at the moment. Alternatively, you can purchase this body directly from FreePeople for £68-78 in a range of colours, and in sizes XS-L .

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GORG

boudoir photo shoot R&R

For shoots like this, a neutral nail colour is usually best. A good french tip or nude-y colour will coordinate with all the different wardrobe pieces you bring. Also, remember your toes will show up in a few images too.

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Finally, a cheap and cheerful set from M&S. We can’t all be lingerie snobs all the time, and sets like these are a great addition to your everyday lingerie. This is the matching “Penelope” bra and knicker set, available in A-DD (£4-14) and 6-20 (£4-6). This colour is called “red mix.”

boudoir photo shoot London

Yes babes. Thanks for a fab shoot.

xx

Stormy