"Breaking Out of My Shell." - Audra's Story

I am so thrilled with the proofs I just received from my photo shoot! Here is my story.

I am 39 years old and a stay-at-home mother of five gorgeous children. Growing up, I was raised in a very conservative home where I was taught to suppress sexuality. We didn’t talk about it, were encouraged to “deny the flesh,” and to be sexy was perceived as a very negative thing. I’ve always had a very negative body image and have been a modest person to the extreme for fear of sinning against God or causing others to "stumble.”

I got married in 2005 to an amazing man with a very different upbringing. Our sex life has always been fantastic, and he has always loved me and found me sexy regardless of the changes my body has been through in bearing our five children. Still, I never felt like a beautiful or sexy woman. After 15 years of marriage, this lack of confidence was beginning to have negative side effects on both of us. In early 2020 — in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic and shutdown — I decided to do a complete overhaul on my health and body image. I lost 30 pounds, and to celebrate I got my boobs done (which is something that would have been unheard of and very frowned upon in my previous communities). I also started therapy and went on a journey to undo some of the negative, harmful ways of thinking that had kept me living in fear, embarrassment and shame for so long.

I was finally seeing myself as valuable, beautiful, sexy and WORTHY.

As we approached our 16th wedding anniversary, I decided to do something I had always admired and wanted to do, but had been taught was inappropriate and scandalous — I decided to give MYSELF (and my husband) a boudoir photo shoot experience as a symbolic way to break out of the shell I had been living under once and for all. I started researching and quickly chose Sugar and Spice Photography based on the amazing quality of their portfolio.

I was so thrilled with the entire process. Jenny was there to greet me the morning of my shoot and made me look and feel fabulous. She helped me pick out amazing outfits and accessories, which would have been overwhelming for me otherwise (the selection is TREMENDOUS!). During the shoot, both Jenny and Leslie were so relaxed and helpful, posing me in ways I never would have thought of and getting all the best angles.

I was blown away watching the proofs pop up on the computer screen...

...was that REALLY ME?! I left feeling so empowered and sexy. I ordered a rush image to give to my hubby for our anniversary three days and had the photo within 24 hours. The rest of the proofs came just over a week later, and once again, I’m in awe. My hubby and I were looking through them this morning, and he had to stop because he was getting too “worked up” to leave for work, LOL! :) They really look like magazine quality photos, and the hair and makeup look so good. This experience has helped me in many ways, but most of all it helped me to see that I truly am STUNNING and sexy, and I need to stop putting myself down, rejecting compliments and living under shame about my body and my sexuality. Now I get to pass this confidence and strength to my three beautiful daughters. THANK YOU for this incredible experience. I WILL be back! ;) ~Audra


We're sure you hear this all the time, but NO WAY are you 39!!! And FIVE children? WOW!!!

One of the owners grew up surrounded by a similar belief system regarding sexuality, and totally get having to "break out of that shell". Praying for blessings - over and above what you could ever ask or think - for your family...and especially your marriage!!!

xoxo, the Sugar & Spice Girls


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Sugar & Spice Photography is a Minnesota based, women-owned small business that specializes in boudoir and pinup photography.