My Word of the Year: Mindset | Boise Photographer

I don’t think I even knew what this meant until recently. And now it’s my Word of the Year: Mindset.

I’ve always had a pretty natural draw to positivity. It could be my personality, it could be my naïveté, but either way, I’ve never really struggled to see how blessed I am in my life. So putting an effort to have a growth mindset was never really on my radar.

However, in the last few years, I’ve been thinking more about that word and it’s potential impact on each of our lives.

Do you realize how big of a role MINDSET plays in our lives?

Mindset is my word of the year, but equally important is the word that precedes it. I’m focusing on three words that will go along with my word of the year.

Growth Mindset

The first kind of mindset I’d like is the Growth Mindset. When I make a mistake, do I believe I have the ability to learn from it and apply that knowledge next time? Or do I have a fixed mindset where I am unaware that I even made a mistake – thereby never seeing the need for improvement?

There are not many things I regret. As a matter of fact, even sitting here writing this blog post, I can only think of two things that I “regret”. And regret feels like too strong of a word for those experiences. I don’t like saying that I “regret” something. The reason is that each and every experience helps guide us to the next stage in our lives.

For the most part, I don’t make decisions that I KNOW will harm me. Every decision I make is the absolute best decision I can make, based on the knowledge I have at that very moment.

So, I don’t regret many things.

I simply learn from them. THAT is a growth mindset.

Abundance Mindset

I first hear the term “abundance mindset” last year when listening to “You Are a Badass” by Jen Sincero. She encouraged her listener to think of money in abundance. To think of it as something that comes easily, something that is attracted to me and something that has a universal supply.

This kind of thinking is scary for me. I believe that money can be used in very good ways. And living as a Christian, the verse, “Love of money is the root of all evil” is always at the forefront of my mind. However, the first part of the verse is often left out: LOVE of money. It’s often misquoted as “Money is the root of all evil.” And THAT’s where our misconception of what the bible means by this comes from.

Money is not evil. The LOVE of money is evil. When I believe that there is an abundant supply, I’m prompted to give generously & cheerfully (see HERE).

I want to believe that there is an abundant supply because I want to anonymously gift that flight attendant $10,000 to help make her dream of adopting a little one come true. How wonderful would it be to be able to provide a great home for my mom with all the help she’ll need as she ages? The idea of having my children attend any college they’d like without having to worry about loans or working 30+ hours week makes my heart sing!

You can’t tell me that those desires are wrong. Yet, they require money.

You see, money is not evil. Therefore, I am hoping for an Abundance of it this year.

Courageous Mindset

My desire for success has been there since I was a little girl.

I may not have had the best study habits in school, but I was the first 6 year old to go around the trailer park asking to shovel neighbors’ driveways for a couple of bucks.

It didn’t scare me to approach strangers’ doors to ask them if I could work for them.

That work ethic has followed me throughout the years, but unfortunately, life experiences have soiled the courage I once had with approaching people who may tell me no. I’m stopping that today. Fear will not continue to hold me back. I will move forward with courage, understanding that every “no” brings me that much closer to “yes”.

The Relationship Between Beliefs and Brain Function

The relationship between our beliefs and how our brain works is profound. Believe in yourself and realize that your ability is NOT FIXED. When you do, your brain will spark and grow when mistakes are made.

So mindset is my word of the year.

I want to have a Growth Mindset, Abundant Mindset and Courageous Mindset this year.

What’s your word of the year?

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Love

I have my own personal reasons to say Thank You to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I have three beautifully perfect mocha-drop American Dream children. Directly or indirectly, their existence is in part thanks to that wonderful man, who above all, Loved his people.

The Cosby Show

I was 6 years old, living in a trailer park off of Curtis Road. My Grandpa and Grandma were visiting us, as they had done each year for several years. I’d turned on the television to watch “The Cosby Show”. It was one of the first All-American sit-coms that featured a successful, stable black family – which was far from the stereotype at the time. As soon as I turned on the TV, my grandfather turned it off.

Happy Martin Luther King Jr Day. May we continue to spread love <3.

I knew why. He was very vocal in his distaste for “blacks”.

That’s why in 2003, when Lumuli and I had begun to talk about our future, I needed to be upfront with him.

The Need for Confrontation

“Grandpa, I wanted to call you because I love you and wanted to let you know that I am in a relationship with a black man from Kenya and I think I may marry him. I want you to continue to be a part of our lives and just wanted to tell you first.”

His response?

“I know I’ve had trouble with that in the past, but I’m working on it”.

You have NO IDEA how shocking that statement was for me to hear. What a blessing – to have my Grandfather humble himself, admit his wrongs and account for it.

My Grandfather recently passed away. He truly loved Lumuli. And Lumuli loved him.

Steering it Back to Love


We may still see racism spewed from ignorant people, but I truly believe that every single one of us has the ability to help steer the conversation back to love. That’s what Martin Luther King Jr.’s mission was all about. And although he may not have lived to see the day it happened, I believe that he influenced my Grandpa to put aside his previously held beliefs in order to love someone (who looked very differently than he’d intended) into his own family.  

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Three Helpful Tips to Starting the New Year Organized

My goal at the end of last month was to get all my ducks in a row so that I can start the New Year Organized – so I am give you three helpful tips to starting the New Year organized. I am pleased to say that I did all of that – it may have been on January 1st, but whatever. I’ll own it!

Getting Things Done (GTO)

One of the first things I did to try to start the New Year Organized, is read through the book “Getting Things Done” by David Allen. Although I’d read it some years ago, it was just as relevant today as it was then! I remember being way more productive about 10 years ago, and now I know why! It was because I read this book. I am planning on reading it at least every 5 years or so – just so that I can keep on top of my productivity! If I could tell you one thing about this book, it’s this: DO A BRAIN DUMP. Not such a lovely phrase, but really great advice!

What is a Brain Dump?

Write down EVERYTHING that’s on your mind. I did that a few days ago and it has ROCKED MY WORLD! From the desire to completely redo our landscaping, to calling to make an appointment for my nails, I wrote it down. It didn’t matter if it was a far-distant goal or a short-term need, I wrote it down. It’s AMAZING what it does for the brain – hence, BRAIN DUMP. I had five pages of random thoughts that had consumed valuable real estate in my head. Now that those items are written down, I truly feel as though I can “release” those thoughts. It’s helpful in EVERY aspect of my life, but especially when it comes to getting down to business (literally and figuratively).

After I wrote everything down, I categorized the items. I had a TON of “to organize” items, some that ended up “on calendar”, quite a few that I wanted/needed to “purchase” amongst several other categories. This helps me to sort out the items by importance, but also “if I have a little extra time”. Say I have 20 minutes before my kiddos get home from school and I’m “done” with work for the day. I can quickly look at my “to organize” category and see which drawer/closet/cabinet I can organize in that amount of time. And BAM. Another checked item on my list!

I also looked on Pinterest for some different “Getting Things Done” worksheets/templates/ideas. There is a BOATLOAD of inspiration on there. I decided to take this particular chart and draw it out on my own. I love the simplicity of the diagram. It really helps me to remember the order of his method. Here’s my board of “GTO” from Pinterest – MY BOARD – maybe you’ll find some extra ideas there!

Planner(s)

Another thing I did, which I ALSO mentioned in a previous blog post, was purchase a planner. I purchased this planner from Plum Paper.

I just received it today and I couldn’t WAIT to start writing in it. I’ve already got the next couple of weeks planned and I can’t wait to write MORE!!!

Google Calendar

The final thing I did to begin the year off right was COLOR CODE my Google Calendar. Wow. I can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner. You may be thinking – “That’s ridiculous! Paper planner AND Google?” – well, I’m trying it for now. We’ll see how it goes!

The categories I used for Color Coding my Google Calendar are:

  1. Ashki Photography (anything business related)
  2. Cecilia Appt
  3. Julius Appt
  4. Selah Appt
  5. Cyndee Appt
  6. Lumuli Appt
  7. Automatic Payments (credit card)
  8. Automatic Payments (debit card)
  9. Birthdays
  10. Check Needed (preschool, medishare, tithe, etc.)
  11. Marketing Calendar
  12. Routine Tasks (I set a “repeat” for each of these – whether it’s six weeks or once a year – it’s helpful!)
  13. Tasks (basically, a to-do list for the day)
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Planning for 2019

Planning for 2019

 

The time has come for me to plan. I realize that I am probably a little late to the game.

This year has been great for me in terms of clients, however, it’s taken me well into December!  In past years, I’ve had my last client somewhere around the middle of November. I typically enjoy the lack of “to do” lists around the holidays, but honestly – it’s been a nice change to have more clients to serve around this time of year. With the small client-load, the stress is often higher, simply because I need to make sure my marketing plan is on-point. I always say that when I’m busy with clients (in other words, providing for my family), I am less stressed than when I’m not busy (in other words, bleeding money through marketing). The clients I am privileged to hang out with during the holidays have made my holidays even brighter this year!

I Love Planning.

I’ve always been a dreamer, planner and doer.

When I started school at Boise State University, I was renting a small 900 sq ft home with my brother. After living there for a few months, I realized that if I stayed at Boise State, in 4-5 years (the amount of time it would have taken me to finish college), I would have paid over $30,000 in rent. That was NOT going to be me. I wanted to INVEST in my future. I didn’t want to be stuck with a huge student loan debt, nor did I want to flush my rent down the toilet. So I did what any 18 year old would do in their 2nd semester. I decided I was going to buy a house.

I met with Suzi Boyle to chat about what I would qualify for. She was amazing. She believed in me. Even with a $15,000/year paycheck, she went up to bat for me. She approached the president of the lending company (back when lending was more personal) and told them that she trusted that I would be a good buyer for them. I’m not sure what else she told them, but I do know that I did end up getting the loan!

I paid $58,000 for my 1200 sq ft condo in the middle of Boise, right near the Boise Towne Square Mall. I was so proud of myself, but not that surprised. Remember? I was always a dreamer.

Planning for.

With dreamers, there are goals. So for me, I had goals all throughout my life.

  1. Finish High School
  2. Buy House
  3. Do Mission Work
  4. Finish College
  5. Build House
  6. Marry
  7. Children
  8. Business
  9. Build Dream Home
  10. ?

What’s next?

2019 is Going to Be BIG.

With all of the working-out, podcast-listening, goal-making I’ve been doing over the last 2 and half months, my dreams are the biggest they’ve ever been. I don’t even see a ceiling at this point. Write a book? Done. Make 5x what I’ve ever made in a year? No problem. Achieve a goal that is frightening to even think about? No-brainer.

Getting to My Goals.

I’m excited to get to my goals. But – because I’m a planner – I want to write them down. I want to have the visual representation of what my year will look like. Here are some steps I take to plan out my year.

1. Consider Your Planner

I LOVE planners. I had one all throughout high school and college. As a Music Educator, there were no great planners, so I made my own. My planner was BOMB. It was well laid out and I LOVED using it. Since having my business, however, the planner-idea has gone by the wayside. I use the calendar on my phone, random tablets here and there, journals and sticky notes. I have purchased paper planners in the past, but I usually buy them from Ross or TJ Maxx and they’re cheap and not exactly what I want. This year, however, I am going to try “Plum Planner” (I have a code for those who would like a discount – just email me your email address and I’ll request it). It has customizable tabs and layouts. I LOVE me some vertical space for my days, easily accessible To-Do Lists and Social Media Planning. So – for a little under $50, I’ve ordered my planner. I’ll have to revisit my goals for 2019 at the end of the year to let you know whether or not I think it was a valuable investment.

Watch Your Business Grow Planning

If you are a paper person or electronics person, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you actually use whatever it is works for you.

2. Goal-Set

Planning for 2019 should be fun – this is the fun part. Where do you want to be in 12 months? Do you want to make a six-figure income? Are you hoping for more connection with Friends and Family? Will you open your first commercial space? Where do you want to be in terms of health? So many goals to set – so many exciting opportunities to be filled! When considering your goals for 2019, think of the following areas:

  1. Financial Goals – income, debt paid, savings, college funds, etc.
  2. Business Goals – revenue, number of clients/parties/new sign-ups, assets acquired, etc.
  3. Marketing Goals – Blog Posts, Social Media Posts, Emails acquired, new followers, etc.
  4. Health Goals – weight loss/gain, muscle gain, energy, hormone levels, reflection, etc.
  5. Relational/Family – spousal appreciation, gain a significant other, spend more time with kids, have a date night, etc.
  6. Electronic Goals – leave phone in kitchen at night, read maps, utilize PAPER planners :).

So many fun goals to be set! I will share some of mine a little later – when I reflect how I am doing in achieving my goals.

3. Micro-Manage Your Goals

Micro-manage is usually a bad phrase. However, it is used for good in this post! I am currently reading “The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” by David Allen. It’s the second time I’ve read it, but the first time was about 10 years ago. I’ve never struggled with being productive, but being efficiently productive might be a different story. I am hoping this book will help me with that.

Since I am actually reading it and not audible-ing it, I am only on the first chapter. After owning it for a month. BUT – the one thing that has stood out to me in this book is that each LARGE goal – HUGE dream – needs to have separate little tasks assigned to it in order to make it a feasible goal. So – your main goal might be “ORGANIZE KITCHEN”. Under that main goal, you’ll have smaller goals – like “On Monday, I will organize the junk drawer”. And “On Tuesday, I will dust the tops of the cabinets.” So – I’m micro-managing my Goals so that I can perform the smaller tasks that will ultimately take me to that goal.

Getting Things Done - Watch Your Business Grow

4. Work on Your Mindset

I know how it is. You’ve labeled yourself: “Well, I really enjoy my cup of coffee on the couch while I play Candy Crush” or “I don’t want to glorify ‘busyness’, so I’m going to just sit” or “I’ve always had a hard time seeing things through, so I’ll just resign to that reality”. Listen – we ALL have our hang-ups. But guess what? That’s YOUR hang up. Guess who can control YOUR hang ups. You and you alone. So start listening to some podcasts, reading (or listening) to some books, surrounding yourself with positive people and EXERCISING! This WILL change your mindset – I promise. And since Mindset is one of my words for 2019, I’m going to pass that right along to you.

5. Make a Word-List for 2019

Most of the time, when people talk about your “word of the year”, they simply mean ONE word. I’m big on getting the whole picture. So – to get the whole picture, I’m going to need to either expound on that word or create a few that encompass what I’m trying to achieve. Think of what you want from planning for 2019 and create a word list. Put that list in front of you – on  your bathroom mirror – above your computer – in your pantry – wherever you’re going to see it the most. SEE IT, READ IT, THINK IT. MAKE IT HAPPEN.

I hope this helps you in planning for your year.

I’m ECSTATIC for 2019. I can’t WAIT to see what’s in store. And I’m excited to bring you along in this journey.

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I Specialize in Photographing Seniors

Ashki Photography Senior Citizens

When I get asked about my business, people of question me about my specialty – “I specialize in photographing Seniors” – I have to clarify; Seniors in HIGH SCHOOL.

Not everyone knows what I mean when I say “seniors”. Most people’s minds goes straight to Senior Citizens. In this part of the country, however, Seniors in High School are a huge part of the Photography Market. For Seniors with Ashki Photography, their Senior Experience includes scouting locations that are special to them, personal wardrobe consultations, a 2 hour session (perhaps with hair and makeup) and then a customized ordering session. Their prints and products usually include a large wall portrait (or three), an album full of images from their session, gift prints, graduation cards and more!  As you can see, Senior Photography is a big deal here in Boise, Idaho.

However, over the last 18 months or so, when I’ve had to clarify “Seniors in HIGH SCHOOL”, I’ve been thinking, “Why not?”. Why not Senior Citizens? I honestly couldn’t find any reason why I wouldn’t want to photograph Senior Citizens.

They’re beautiful.

They have earned every single mark of maturity they have. Each wrinkle comes with a memory that they can recite frontwards and backwards. Every gray hair reminds them of their tenacity. Even their wardrobe tells a story that is meaningful to them. The standard of “beauty” that social media displays may only tell tales of young, successful, perfect men and women. But we often forget about the family who came before them. Those who fell into “standard of beauty” for their time. The ones who raised the mothers of those perfect men and women. These older men and women created the foundations on which our country exists. Celebrate their beauty.

They’re Loved.

I share the vision with my friend and she said to me, “Both of my Grandfathers passed away last year. What I wouldn’t give to have a beautiful, recent image of them for my home”. Just like my Seniors in High School, Senior Citizens have a family who loves them. A family who thinks they are perfect just the way they are and want to have pictures of them in their homes. Portraits that make them think of their smell, see their smile and hear their laugh. They’re so very loved.

Their Time is Short.

We don’t expect High School Seniors to pass away anytime soon, but needless to say, every one of us will pass away eventually. None of us are immortal here on Earth. It’s heartbreaking to attend the  see a photograph displayed at a funeral that is over 20 years old. A lot of changes take place in 20 years. New grandchildren, 20 more years of marriage, new great grandchildren, retirement, travel, rest. Having a recent photograph is VITAL for your family.

Because of these reasons and so many more, I want to encourage you to come see me for the Seniors in your own life. I’ll capture them smiling at the camera for a beautiful, heirloom portrait. But I’ll also take the perfect candid photograph as they whisper sweet nothings into each others ears. These images that will remind you on a daily basis of their value in your life.

The Senior Citizens in your life have done so for you. Don’t let another day pass by without getting images taken of your favorite seniors in your life. Whether they are graduating from High School or experiencing retirement, they are both important and worthy.

So now, when telling people who I specialize photographing, I simply say, “I photograph Seniors of All ages”.

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How to Prepare for a Boudoir Session

Preparing for ANY photography session, let alone a Boudoir Session, can cause stress on anyone! I understand that you are investing a lot of time, energy, effort and money into this process. I KNOW you want everything to be perfect. Believe it or not, preparing for a Boudoir Session may not be easy, but it should certainly not be stressful. I want to share with you a few tips on how to prepare for a Boudoir Session.

FIVE Ways to Prepare for your Boudoir Session

1. Look Over the Welcome Guide & Fill Out the Reservation/Information Form

There’s a ton of information in that little packet. From ideas on where to buy your wardrobe pieces to what you should do to prepare your face and body before your session! There were hours poured into that little packet – I didn’t write it to be pushed aside!  Read it and let me know if you have any questions around the content. It will help you feel prepared for your session and ready to get your sexy on!

The Welcome Guide is an important resource for YOU, but the Reservation/Information form is VITAL for ME to prepare for your session. There are some basic questions on the Questionnaire that will help me prepare best for your session. I want to be ready for you with not only your favorite champagne, but also have an idea of what kind of mood/look you’re going for – I want to be ready not only with your favorite music, but also know some of the reasoning behind why you’ve decided to book your session.

2. Browse Pinterest and/or Instagram for Some of Your Favorite Boudoir Inspiration

Pinterest is a little more reserved when it comes to finding images that are Boudoir-esque. However, you can still find some great options for gowns, oversized sweaters and lingerie. It’s also helpful for makeup and hair ideas!  You can find my Pinterest Boards HERE. If you’re looking for inspiration specifically related to Boudoir – go to Instagram and use the hashtags: #boudoir #lingerie #sensual #boudoirphotography #bodypositive. As always, feel free to follow my own Insta HERE.

3. Release Yourself From the “guilt” mindset

Women everywhere struggle with guilt. Whether it’s for a new purse, shoes, clothes or jewelry, we have a hard time purchasing things for ourselves. We also have a difficult time spending money on our well being. Massages, Nails, Lashes, Facials, Haircuts, and Personal Training are some of the less “materialistic” areas, but are still areas where women tend to find a lot of guilt. Let go of that mindset when you prepare for your Boudoir Session. I understand that it might feel a little “less-than-necessary”, but we’re talking about your well-being. I don’t know about you, but I would spend thousands of dollars on anything that would poor into my well-being. After all, this life is nothing if I’m not enjoying it. I LOVE feeling beautiful and confident. To me – those things are priceless.

4. Don’t Go Overboard on Your Wardrobe Purchases

This is about you and your beauty. NOT about the quality of clothing you’re wearing. I LOVE to shop for clothing just as much as the next girl – and in my experience, I HAVE found that if I want higher quality, I usually have to pay a little bit more.  HOWEVER – this clothing is for a photo session. The quality will not translate into your photographs. Of course you want to feel gorgeous and glamorous in the clothes you wear during your session, but you don’t have to spend a gazillion dollars to feel that way. Besides – it’s not the clothing that makes you beautiful – it’s YOU that makes the clothing beautiful!

Not only that, but even though AFTER this experience, you’ll likely choose to have another boudoir session next year or the year after that, the likelihood is that you’ll want new clothing! Unless you plan on using this clothing as a staple in your undergarment wardrobe, don’t worry about spending a pretty penny on your wardrobe.

5. Find a Get-Ready Song

You read that right. Play the song that gets you going – in the mood for a fantastic day – at least once a day the week before your session. Personally – if I need a little encouragement to jumpstart my day or start a class I’m teaching or whatever it may be, I play the song “This is Me”. I feel like that could my whole-life’s-meaning song. That song gets me going and helps me understand the importance of being myself and saying no to all the negative Nellys, Sad Sallys and Mean Girls in my head. Do yourself a favor and find your song!

I hope these tips help you prepare for your Boudoir Session with Boudoir Defined. Remember – you are INFINITELY VALUABLE and MORE LOVED than you’ll ever know!

 

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BLACK FRIDAY Boudoir SALE!

Black Friday Boudoir SALE
HAPPY THANKSGIVING – AND – HAPPY BLACK FRIDAY!

 

A Boudoir Session Has Never Been This Easy to Book!

THE SALE

ONLY VALID UNTIL SUNDAY and IS ONLY AVAILABLE TO THE FIRST 10 BEAUTIES!!!

$49 Boudoir Session Fee

INCLUDES:

Boudoir Session Reservation (normally $199)
Hair & Makeup (normally $120)
Album Upgrade (normally $150)
2018 CURRENT PRICING (prints & products are purchased separately)

That’s a SAVINGS of more than $400!!!

TO RESERVE YOUR SPOT:

Schedule Appointment

The Black Friday Deal is valid ONLY for the dates shown on the scheduling link. Once you choose a date, you’ll be take directly to a payment site. Your Session Date is NOT RESERVED until you schedule your date and PAY your session fee – NO EXCEPTIONS. After you book, you’ll receive the link to our Boudoir Defined Planning Guide. This Guide will take you through the entire process of having your Boudoir Photographs taken by Boudoir Defined and will also give you information on how to prepare for your session.

BEFORE YOU BOOK:

Most Boudoir Defined clients purchase an album of their images plus a canvas (or four). Basic Albums start at $900, but an upgraded album is included in this sale. Canvases begin at $349 and Prints begin at $99. Most Boudoir Defined Beauties invest at least $1500 into their session with many clients purchasing over that amount. A FULL price list can be seen HERE.

READY TO BOOK?

The $49 session fee is a non-refundable retainer to hold your date- NO EXCEPTIONS.  If you need to reschedule, you must CALL us at 208-761-0982 within 72 hours of your session.  Any reschedules need to take place no later than May 2019 and must be chosen from a date/time still available on our calendar.  You can reschedule 1 time with no fees if done within 72 hours of your session.  After that, there is a on-time $99 rescheduling fee. If more than two reschedules are needed, Boudoir Defined reserves the right to cancel your session and you agree to forfeit any monies paid thus far.

Schedule Appointment

STEPS TO BOOKING YOUR SESSION:

STEP 1: Review the PRICING GUIDE HERE.
STEP 2: Reserve your date.

Schedule Appointment

STEP 3: Copy & Paste code: BFB2018 (you will be charged full price if this code is not used)
STEP 4: Pay your $49 Reservation/Session Fee
STEP 5: Be on the lookout for the Boudoir Planning Guide Link that will be shown on your confirmation page as well as sent in a follow-up email.

FAQ:

-Your session takes place at our Designated Studio in Meridian, Idaho
-3-5 outfits are allowed for your session.  A list of websites I prefer to order clothing items from is available on the Boudoir Planning Guide.
-Hair and makeup will be done at the Studio and will begin at 9:00 a.m. on the day of your shoot.
-Males are not allowed in the studio while the session takes place. Females must be at least 19 to book a session. A State-Issued ID may be required to book.
-Immediately following your session, you’ll choose your images and pay for your order. ALL PAYMENTS MUST BE MADE AT THIS TIME.
-Your $49 session fee is Non-Refundable – no exceptions.  It acts as retainer to hold your date.  If you need to reschedule, please call the Studio at 208-761-0982 at least 72 hours before your shoot requesting a new date. You will choose from the remaining dates available on the calendar ONLY. If none of the remaining dates work for you, you agree to forfeit the Reservation Fee.

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Turning 40 & Lessons I’ve Learned

Oh Crap. I’m turning 40. Now what?

Turning 40 has been a little rough. Not only am I getting older, but I FEEL it as well! My body moves a little slower, my joints get a little achy and my energy lags. I’ve lost deep-rooted friendships I thought would last a lifetime through either neglect, miscommunication or differing ideologies. Additionally, I’ve hurt our family by unselfishly serving people whose only motive was to take advantage of us. It’s not been an easy road, this turning 40.

In contrast – turning 40 has also been beautiful. I’ve learned the importance of not worrying about other people’s opinions of me (which is something I will likely always have to fight against). That their opinion is honestly…none of my business. I’ve learned that even my family’s opinions are not where I should focus my energy. I’ve also learned a deeper level of God’s love for me and for all humanity. That God’s love is not conditional on my behavior or even my beliefs for that matter. And that if He gives me that much grace, I can surely extend that grace to others. My husband Lumuli and I have found a deeper friendship and relationship than we’ve ever seen before in our marriage. We know each other intimately and in turn – are able to love more intentionally and freely than ever. Most importantly, I have learned about who I am as a Child of God, Woman, Mother, Wife, Friend and Entrepreneur.

I am Worthy – even at 40.

So now, for myself, after years of telling other people how amazing and beautiful and perfect they are in this very moment – I realized I needed someone to do that for me – to make me feel beautiful & worthy at 40. Someone to help me appreciate every stretch mark, every scar and every jiggly part of this incredible life-producing body – someone to help me accept with gratitude the extra few wrinkles around my face and grays on my head – someone to help me see the value and worth around myself as I am – and someone to encourage and affirm me at this very moment.

These are just a few of the reasons I started Boudoir Defined – a Photography Studio dedicated to inspiring confidence in women.

Lessons I’ve Learned.

I have learned that turning 40 is not scary. It’s not the beginning of the end. It’s actually the beginning. The beginning of loving yourself, knowing your creator, believing in your worth and trusting that turning 40 is simply part of your journey.

Don’t forget that you, Woman, are priceless, valuable, and worthy of good relationships. You are beautiful and perfect just the way you are. You are someone who strives to be a better version of themselves, while understanding that the path to growth can sometimes be bumpy along the way.

As you continue to walk down this path of life, you’ll make new discoveries. Discoveries that may help you lose the 30 pounds you’ve been desperately trying to shed, that may help you to let go of other’s expectations of you or that may allow you to feel more confident than you’ve ever felt before. Just like any growth, you may transform into someone different – but right now? You truly are amazing. Right NOW is where you were meant to be – right NOW is your perfection.

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Please feel free to request to join our private, female-only, empowering facebook group HERE.

Boudoir Defined - Turning 40

 

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Cyndee Wanyonyi is a professional photographer in Boise, Idaho and the surrounding Treasure Valley Area. Her business, Ashki Photography, was established in 2007 as a Wedding, Senior and Family Photographer. She opened her Boudoir Division with Boudoir Defined in 2018 and hasn't looked back. Cyndee loves making real connections with her clients in order to provide for them a one-of-a-kind experience that results in AMAZING Photographs. THANK YOU for visiting our blog. If you're interested in booking a session with Cyndee, please use the contact page.