Bree's Boudoir ExperienceBree shares their boudoir experience as a AGP Brand Ambassador - by Bree Fessler
My Boudoir Experience:
How Boudoir Lead Me to My Authentic Self
I was no stranger to being behind or in front of a camera but I had never experienced anything like AGP before. I became interested years ago in Abigail’s work with family photos and even wedding.
I only came across her boudoir maybe a year or so before joining the group. I always knew I believed in Abigail’s core values and loved her candidness and how real she is about her journey and what SHE defines and believes boudoir is all about.
I had never had a boudoir session before I became a brand ambassador. I had done alt modeling and cosplay photography among other things – but never something like this. I joined and was active in the group as much as possible. Something I truly believe in is lifting others up, being supportive and kind – while maintaining reality.
I firmly believe that we cannot truly be ourselves with a “good vibes only” attitude. I believe that we have to face the reality that mental illness, addiction, sadness and bad days exist. With that knowledge and reality – I believe we can find the balance of being truly happy but also embracing ours (and others) bad days/hard times.
I enjoyed being supportive and asking questions within the group constantly. Engaging with this beautifully supportive and loving community. I was shocked, surprised and elated at being chosen to represent their brand.
The day of my first full session I was filled with nervous energy. Christine came to my home to do my makeup. I had not had my makeup professionally done since 2013 and honestly it was my best experience! On the drive over I even posted silly selfies of how nervous I was and asking myself “what did I get myself into??”
When I got there I immediately felt at ease. Almost like I had stepped into a place that felt like home. Abi lovingly invited me in and directed me. I never felt lost for one second. When I felt myself get defeated with poses, started to get in my head on “how bad that photo of me probably looks” Abi was right there helping me along and immediately any self doubt went away.
Everytime she excitedly showed me one of my photos, I began to well up. I couldn’t believe who I was seeing on this camera screen. I was comfortable, warm and felt completely at ease. I struggle with anxiety daily – hour to hour. In Abi’s presence during shoots or otherwise – that anxiety becomes muted.
“My reveal was quite literally life altering.”
As Abi scrolled through my pictures – she exclaimed differently at each one. I felt alive. I felt excited. I felt beautiful. Sexy – something I can’t say I’ve ever felt behind a camera no matter how much photography I had done before. I’ve boasted the importance of self confidence a lot throughout the years – using it as a tool to lift others up or supporting them. It’s a tool I’ve often never picked up for myself. This experience gave me, finally, the self confidence j never knew I had.
Leading up to my shoot I had been digging deep through therapy and self-discovery, about my gender identity. I struggled in silence for years, questioning it. I never ever felt feminine ENOUGH. For years I couldn’t accept myself when I looked anything less than completely put together. If on a particular day I didn’t see a feminine beauty in the mirror – I became depressed and ashamed of my appearance.
By the time I reached the date of my shoot, I was beginning to come to terms with my gender identity. My reveal and the days following my experience with Abigail confirmed it for me.
I am non-binary. Gender non-conforming. It took me a long time after that to come out – but I had finally come out to myself. Accepting who I truly am made this experience even more special than it already was. Through my realization and coming out – I felt 100% comfortable with my body. No matter how I dressed or looked each day.
Though I am exploring more androgynous and sometimes masc. things – boudoir made me FINALLY lovingly embrace my femininity without the side effect of demeaning or loathing my masculinity or androgyny.
Abigail changed my life. As a friend and as someone whose been a client. Boudoir with her made me face things I never thought I would. It wrapped me in a warm hug. It completed me. My wish is that you try this for yourself and that you see who you truly are. Beautiful, capable, strong, loved and worthy.
Bree is Abigail Gingerale’s Brand Ambassador Director. They went to school for skincare that drove their passion right into special effects make-up and cosplay. They are the make-up manager and an artist for a haunted attraction in South Jersey. They are an advocate and supporter of many activist organizations. They are a mother and have dreams of entering the field of mortuary science.