A few thoughts and a little back story from Efena.
“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 had 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.
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 Sloane and Victoria Reynolds 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 introductry emails to signing the contract is so streamlined; you just end up focusing on being thoroughly excited the whole time.
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.
She said/he said from Cassie and Steve. The chillest, nicest couple ever.
“Stormy has boudoir photography down to a fine art, so when I had the opportunity to shoot with her again and bring my other half with me, I was on cloud nine. The whole experience with Stormy is of no comparison. It was amazing to feel so at ease and see my boyfriend getting on like we were a group of old friends, talking fine dining, job quirks and cute pet prospects whilst shooting glorious imagery. Stormy radiates calmness and positivity because she is such a genuine and uplifting person to be with. I was naturally quite nervous of this photoshoot because not only I am so insecure about my smile but Steve was never exactly a ‘photo kind of guy’ but I was confident that Stormy, with her keen eye and gentle prompts, wouldn’t do anything that was less than fantastic and the images are the proof in the pudding. Stormy made us both feel like we were magnificent together and the photos reflect that calm, happy and comfortable feeling on camera resulting in the most beautiful pictures of us. I definitely welled up when I saw them because having something so perfect of someone you adore is just indescribable. Here’s to my new favourite photo of us both smiling! Who’d have thought it?”
“If you’d have told me 10 years ago that I’d be in front of a camera I would have laughed, because I am the last person who would consider having general photos at the pub, let alone a boudoir shoot. But now, I can say nothing has made me feel so good. I was nervous and shy at the thought of being in my underwear in an intimate setting with my girlfriend, but I soon realised, after meeting Stormy, that everything was going to be fine. Stormy’s nature being so welcoming, friendly and conversational made the whole experience really enjoyable, and when I saw the photos it certainly exceeded my expectations. Seeing yourself in such a light for the first time really is sensational, I’ve never seen myself as a handsome man, but this experience has made me feel more confident. I’m definitely not ashamed to say I showed everyone those photos because they made me so proud and happy and it was wonderful being able to share that with an amazing photographer and the woman of my dreams.”
TESTIMONIALS: Cassie + Steve was last modified: July 14th, 2017 by Stormy Sloane
It was my pleasure to work with Ms. A a few weeks back, and she’s very kindly provided a report on our time together. You can find her thoughts below:)
In this image, A is wearing the Agent Provocateur Lacy Bra (£85) and Suspender Belt (£75). We paired these with stockings, heels, and (if I’m remembering correctly) black knickers from another AP set with a slightly better fit. Mixing black on black is a great trick – you can almost never tell in a photograph, and in ensures you get a fit and cut you like.
If you’re new to Agent Provocateur, their lingerie is beautiful and well made. I definitely recommend it if you’re looking for something luxurious or unique. I find their sizing to be pretty consistent across different styles, but as they have their own 1-5 sizing scale it’s worth trying a few things on your first time (or ordering a size up and down). They have an excellent return policy so nothing to worry about. I also highly, highly recommend looking out for the legendary AP online sales, where you can get up to 70% off even their best pieces.
“I was incredibly pleased with my photoshoot with Stormy, and I loved the pictures that she took! 🙂 There were so many pictures that I liked that it was difficult to decide which to go in the app and in the album! The photos were beautifully shot, with a real variety of styles and background; some are more dramatic and sexy, whilst others are more playful and elegant.
Stormy was very professional throughout and did a really great job. I was really pleased with the location that Stormy chose for the shoot – the light in the space was great, and it allowed for different looks. Stormy also did a great job beforehand about advising on what looks might work best for me. On the day, Stormy was very friendly and it was a really fun experience! Debbie did a great job with my make-up too; I love my smokey eyes in the pictures!
I would really recommend working with Stormy. Not only do I love the pictures, but its nice to work with such a professional and friendly person. I hope to have another shoot in the future!”
Client testimonials: What Ms. A said was last modified: April 18th, 2017 by Stormy Sloane
I’ll let Olivia, my new favourite wedding planner, tell you about her experience in her own words. A few screen shots below, and a full writeup (plus some fun wedding mood boards, ideas, and advice) is available on her blog, Nulyweds.
Olivia is lovely, I thoroughly enjoyed working with her. I feel certain that if I hired her for a wedding everything would go smoothly and look more put together than I could possibly manage on my own. If you’re in the market for an organised, reliable wedding planner who loves bright colours and knows how to create a magazine-worthy tablescape, I’d check her out:)
“There I was. My big nose, my flat chest, my ski-like feet – all together, all beautiful. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It has been a week since I received the photos and I still haven’t come down from that inner sense of confidence. Every woman deserves to feel this way…”
What she said: wedding planner Olivia on her first boudoir photo shoot was last modified: April 18th, 2017 by Stormy Sloane
“My shoot with Stormy was nothing short of fantastic! I have done a few photo shoots in the past, but my shoot with Stormy is easily one of the best shoots that I’ve ever done. I was made to feel welcome from the moment I walked in, and I felt so comfortable working with her. She clearly has a strong understanding of how to bring out the best in every person she photographs.
When I received the finished photos I was completely blown away! Not only are the photos flattering and well edited, but I feel like I can see the true version of myself looking my absolute best in them, rather than someone else’s idea of how I need to be changed and edited to qualify as ‘beautiful’. The photos are phenomenal, and I absolutely love them. Everyone I’ve shown the photos to loves them too!
Thank you for such an amazing experience Stormy, I can’t recommend you highly enough!”
What she said: Imogen’s testimonial was last modified: April 18th, 2017 by Stormy Sloane
We are now back home now and getting over our jet lag. I wanted to write to you as soon as we saw the pictures, but we got a bit busy. So here goes…WOW!!!! really Stormy, it was absolutely exquisite. You really have given us a wonderful experience and a memory we will physically treasure always. Thank you for that. Thank you for making it so comfortable and enriching in every way. I can never remember my mirror showing me that fantastic a body :)))) Lying on a cold floor has never been so rewarding…Please convey my thanks to your makeup artist Gemma too, she was absolutely wonderful with her work and her personality…and you both make a wonderful team. My husband and I genuinely thank you for all that you have created, and wish you and Gemma all the very best and success in all that you do.
What She Said: Mrs. P, couple’s boudoir was last modified: December 4th, 2014 by Stormy Sloane