• Ellen

Ellen's Story

My experience at BYB Photography truly cannot be described in words, but I'll try my hardest to explain so that you know exactly why you have to give it a go!

My experience started with my best friend. She had many body confidence issues and not just your average "I look fat in this", I mean she REALLY struggled. I've known her for 17 years and tell her often how beautiful she is, but she just didn't see it and HATED her body. Seriously hated it. Then one day I see a post from her BYB experience. I sobbed with pride that she had managed to do something so out of her comfort zone. The second I spoke to her about she told me I had to do it. She'd become an ambassador and wanted me to have an experience just like her. I knew my friend hated being exposed, so seeing that she had braved being photographed in lingerie I agreed to do it even though I was terrified.

A couple of days before my experience, Nicola called me and basically pre-empted every single fear I could have had and quashed them. I immediately knew she would be a wonderful person to spend the day with, even if I hated all my photos - simply because of her professionalisms and kind nature. Something you need to know is that I have anxiety and have previously had depression. At the time of my photoshoot it was severe and I was going through a bad patch of intense anxiety. The minute I walked through BYB Photography's doors I felt like I was walking into the most familiar place. I'd never even been to the area, let along the building, but I felt welcomed in as though I was a regular visitor. I had my hair and makeup sorted beautifully. The MUA matched my makeup to my outfits and styled my hair so flawlessly! I was in love with the look, but still thought I would end up hating my pictures.

The photographer was a wonderful woman who told me not to worry! I looked terrified, so she made me laugh to calm my nerves. For the whole time I was with her she made me smile. Naturally, not forced! I enjoyed my photoshoot so much and her attention to detail was incredible. she asked me if any of my scars had significance to me, or if I would like them edited out. I am just extremely clumsy, so my scars had no meaning. The editor expertly edited out all my bruises and scars at my request. Still, I thought I would hate my pictures!

Then came the part I was dreading the most - viewing my images. When I entered the room, I saw the first image across from Nicola and I cried! I was so excited that I liked just one that I was done; I almost felt like I didn't need to see any more! Of course Nicola went through the whole reel anyway! I looked closely at every single image searching for a flaw in my body, face, smile, etc. With approximately 80 photos, I liked them all! For that moment, I had no flaws. All I had was pride. Pride for the confidence that BYB helped me find and gratitude for them to helping me hold onto it.

As I had been so incredibly nervous, then suddenly elated, I had a panic attack as the adrenaline left my body. But Nicola and the team didn't even bat an eyelid! They let me get some air so that I could calm down and return in my own time. She didn't let me feel embarrassed or uncomfortable. She hugged me and told me that she was proud of me.

I love my pictures. They're for me, to remind me that I can, I should and I will. I can't wait to return for another experience at BYB Photography. They help you to be yourself and be proud! BYB, thank you for everything you are continuing to give me even 4 months following my experience.

Ellen x

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