Anna’s Boudie Babes & Women Self Empowerment Group

Meet Anna, a photographer and owner of a women’s boudoir self empowerment group. Hear her story about the group’s purpose and her goal to empower women through boudoir photography.

By Sally Stevens

I’m not sure exactly who sent me the invite to Anna’s Boudie Babes & Women Self Empowerment Group, I guess a friend who knew I could benefit from the company of fabulous women. I had heard of boudoir photography, but the idea of putting a picture of myself in lingerie on Facebook for others to look at and potentially criticize is just on the other side of my comfort zone. Throughout the past year, I have watched the group evolve to include so much more than photos. It has become a community of women empowering women, a resource for finding clothing that fits, birth control that works, and a safe space to discuss, well, anything. I became more and more curious and decided to speak with the founder of this group and find out what led so many women to share so much. 

Tell me a little about yourself. 

“My name is Anna O’Hara! I’m 24 years old, a wife, mother, Boudoir photographer, and a supporter of all things female. I was born and raised in Joplin, Missouri, and am now located a few hours outside of Joplin in Ada, Oklahoma.”

What drew you to boudoir photography?

“One of my closest friends was going through a really hard time in an abusive relationship. I was new to photography and wanted to cheer her up. I suggested getting all glammed up and putting on something she felt powerful in, and I would take photos of her! Her reaction to the photos is something I will never forget. Her confidence was immediately boosted, and she felt POWERFUL. I wanted to help other women that may, or may not be, struggling to see themselves in a new light.”

Could you explain what it is?

“My definition of Boudoir Photography may be different than yours. To me, Boudoir photography is being vulnerable, free of shame, and finding beauty in what society labels as flaws. It isn’t about “taking sexy photos in lingerie.” It is about seeing beauty in your true self {wearing} nothing but lingerie, and seeing beauty in the stretch marks, cellulite, and skin folds. It is important to me to show women that they are beautiful at all points in their life.”

What steps do you use to help women who may be self-conscious feel more comfortable? 

“Ninety-nine percent of women are self-conscious. I have never had a client that wasn’t self-conscious about something. It’s important to me to get to know all my clients a little bit before their boudoir experience to ease their worries and fears. The first step to booking a boudoir experience with me is a phone consultation. We go over fears, concerns, shoot date availability, collections, payment plans, and details of your luxury boudoir experience over the phone. If speaking on the phone gives you anxiety, my clients can receive voice messages. I have found that having me explain the process thoroughly helps my clients feel much more comfortable. I stay in close contact with my clients before their boudoir date and have them fill out surveys and forms for me along the way. On the day of your boudoir experience, we play music, have mimosas (if you’d like), and have a great time!”

Was there anything specific that led you to start your Facebook group?

“After I photographed my friend, we wanted a safe space to share her photos. That is what lead me to create my group! Not only do I share my boudoir work there, but it has also turned into a safe and uplifting community for all women.”

The group has over 9000 members, which is fantastic. Did you expect it to be this big when you started?

“I absolutely did not expect it to get so big! I am so thankful for all of the support and love from the community. Most of my group members are from Joplin, Missouri, and surrounding areas and travel to shoot with me! It warms my heart so much I don’t think I will ever be able to express my gratitude sufficiently.” 

What type of feedback have you received from your members?

“One of the reasons my group has gotten so big is that my group members love it so much. They are constantly inviting their friends and family to join!” 

In what ways did creating this group change you?

“This group has changed me in so many ways. My earliest memory of struggling with my body image is when I was seven years old. SEVEN years old. I saw a Victoria’s Secret commercial on tv, and I wondered why my legs looked larger than hers. I was very puzzled and started obsessing over my appearance after that. Normal bodies need more representation. That is what my group offers; representation of many different women in many different bodies. Self-love is HARD, but my group has helped me love and appreciate my body. It is inspiring to see someone that looks just like you be so confident. I am more confident with my body after having babies than I ever was before. I can thank the love and support of my Facebook Group for helping me on my self-love journey.”

What goals do you have for the group looking towards the future?

“I would love for my group to reach more women that need more positivity and a support system! I have so many online friends from all walks of life because of my online group. It’s nice to have a safe space to share your feelings because the world we live in can be lonely at times. My biggest dream is to create a Boudoir Empire. I want to be able to employ more women and give more job opportunities to them. I have two employees right now and would love to grow more. I dream of a world with more women in power; if I can contribute to that, I feel I am doing alright.”

After talking with Anna, I feel ready to let loose my inner diva!! If you are prepared to unleash your inner babe, you can schedule a phone consultation through the following link https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=21292271. Anna is currently booking for September and beyond. In the meantime, join this incredible community of empowered women on Facebook at   https://www.facebook.com/groups/298923407451468/.  

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