Category Archives: Inspiration

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Bald, Bold and Beautiful – Being Yourself is all there is

This true story is about a women and her struggles with alopecia and how she embraced her new image, essentially it made her stronger and more confident than ever.

DSC_6912Makeup by Virginia Andalon

I was privileged to take Pascale’s boudoir photos during a fun and playful photo session just a couple of weeks ago. I had asked her if she would be a model for me, when I saw her “coming out” post on Facebook. She had been a Facebook friend of mine for years and  I always admired her fun selfie photos (with her long blonde hair) in midst of large gatherings.

When I saw her post with a bald head for the world to see, keeping her chin up high with confidence, going on with her life, I felt goose bumps running down my arms. I kind of fell in love with her strength and wanted to share her story with other women.

She exclaimed in her amazingly sexy French accent, that the timing was right, that only a month earlier she had not been ready for the world to see her bald head and had still been attempting to cover up her hair loss. At the time she was very unhappy and only a  few of her closest friends knew about her affliction.DSC_6993

Nothing happens by accident, she said. Not only was I asking her to take photos, but specifically boudoir photos, which would put her in an intimate setting with very little clothing to hide behind, and no hair! This was a true challenge, but she was ready for it.

The renowned rebel author Sabine Reichel published Pascale’s inspirational story on her bold and witty blog on Huffington Post, called ‘Gray In L.A.’

(click below for original Huffington Post article).

GRAY IN L.A.: by Sabine Reichel 

“Bald, Bold and Beautiful – Being Yourself is all there is

When Pascale B. walks down the street or goes into a store, she gets smiles, surprised looks and lots of thumbs up from men and women. They wonder, is she a model or maybe just ill? because Pascale is bald and beautiful.

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Sometimes it’s the unhappy events that turn out to be the best stylists and life changers. This 46-year-old native French mother, wife, hobby-runner and -dancer was leading a happy life in Los Angeles with her 2 beautiful kids, a nice husband and nothing to worry about. Then her hair fell out in large bushels leaving naked patches on her head. Maybe it was just stress, or early menopause, she was hoping. But the doctor’s diagnosis was devastating: Alopecia, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss. Pascale, who loved her long blonde hair was in shock and prayed that her hair would grow back real fast. But she kept loosing even bigger patches of hair – finding them on her clothes, on her pillow, in the car – and was freaking out. She was convinced people were feeling sorry for her sparse mousy hair, probably thinking that she was terminally ill. She started wearing scarves and hats – even a wig, out of desperation. But it was even worse, the fake hair looked fake, everybody could see it, and she didn’t feel like herself anymore. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alopecia_areata

Something had to be done! First she got herself a pixie cut which looked quite cool, but it didn’t last. The hair kept falling out while the stress as well as bad luck kept piling up, as it often happens when it feels as if the sky is falling down – crisis everywhere! Adding to the upheaval was the move to a new house. This couldn’t go on! Enough of this hiding and hanging onto her hair just for keeping up false appearances!DSC_7062 (1)

Pascale got all her courage together and asked a hair dresser friend to help her with the most radical decision of her life. To shave off her hair and becoming a bald woman who couldn’t hide behind her locks anymore! The shock was overwhelming but there was something not just bald, but also bold about that new, true look that seemed to bring out not just the beauty of the face much more but also turned out to boost her self-confidence. The kids got used to their bald Mom real fast, in fact, they love it now and her young daughter is her biggest cheerleader – the husband took longer to adjust to a wife who shaves her head (typical man, isn’t it? But he’s fine now).

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It didn’t take long for Pascale to feel like celebrating her private victory, so she recently “came out” on Facebook showing off her new beauty with sexy boudoir photos and re-introduced herself proudly with “This is who I am!” Her post went through the roof and other women confessed their own stories about their struggles. They thanked her for giving them the strength and the courage with her daring example. More than anything, though, they applaud her guts to throw traditional “femininity” overboard and simply risk to embrace and love yourself just the way you are.

http://www.bestboudoirla.com/ ”

published by Sabine Reichel in her Gray in L.A. column

 

 

 

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Behind the scenes Los Angeles Old Zoo boudoir photo shoot

Behind the scenes Los Angeles Old Zoo boudoir photo shoot with Best Boudoir LA

Behind the scenes Los Angeles Old Zoo boudoir photo shoot

Who says a boudoir photo shoot has to be done in a bedroom setting? Since I am located in Los Angeles, there are many fun and unusual locations available to do a boudoir photo shoot.

The reason I chose this particular location at the LA Old Zoo for this particular woman was her fun long braided hair. I visualized her in a funky, fun and off beat environment. The Old Zoo in Los Angeles offered itself perfectly as a colorful and interesting backdrop.

Behind the scenes Los Angeles Old Zoo boudoir photo shoot

If you have never been at the Old Zoo, it is worth a trip through the narrow caves, cages and graffiti, they are fun to explore. You may have to squeeze yourself through fences and small openings. Be careful where to step, there is lots of glass and gravel.

Behind the scenes Los Angeles Old Zoo boudoir photo shoot

We had fun getting ready at my house where we normally do our bedroom setting boudoir photo shoots. My makeup artist does an amazing job of accentuating a woman’s features to make her even more beautiful.

Behind the scenes Los Angeles Old Zoo boudoir photo shoot

Then we made our short drive over to Griffith Park. We brought a big blanket to hold up to cover our model while she changed her outfits. It is not a very crowded location, so changing is quite easy.

Behind the scenes Los Angeles Old Zoo boudoir photo shoot

There was another photo shoot going on right next to us in another part of the cages, as this place is very popular with other photographers. Our shoot was with minimal equipment, just a camera, a reflector and an ice light and we didn’t pull a permit with the city…shhhht! For larger projects, such as commercials with lots of equipment I would recommend checking with the city and getting a permit.

Behind the scenes Los Angeles Old Zoo boudoir photo shoot

Youngsters use this place to express themselves through graffiti. The blue graffiti below was literally still wet and we smelled the spray paint, someone must have just finished this work of art.

Behind the scenes Los Angeles Old Zoo boudoir photo shoot

My favorite spot here was the narrow stairs with a metal cage door at the end, the walls are full of colorful spray paint and the steps are illuminated with beautiful natural light. I didn’t use any flash or fill light, just as is.

Behind the scenes Los Angeles Old Zoo boudoir photo shoot

It was great to have an assistant help carrying cloths, water and spot me while climbing with my camera in hand. She also snapped some images with her iphone to show behind the scene images.

Behind the scenes Los Angeles Old Zoo boudoir photo shoot

We left all the trash as we found it there, I think it is more authentic and adds to the contrast of beauty in an environment of disrepair.

Behind the scenes Los Angeles Old Zoo boudoir photo shoot

I always take some time to show my ladies how beautiful they look on camera. It is so encouraging and surprising to them. A lot of time they will say, ‘Wow! Is that really me?!’ ‘Yup’ , I say ‘You look amazing!’ .

Behind the scenes Los Angeles Old Zoo boudoir photo shoot

We wrapped it up after I filled two SD  cards and we had more than enough images to work with. I don’t like to go on and on, but finish on a high note. After 1.5-2 hours of shooting the model and myself are getting tired, especially on a hot day like it was.

I would love to hear your feedback!

Cheers,

Beate Pilgreen

Best Boudoir LA

 

 

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Best Boudoir LA sexy over sixty photo shoot featured in Huffington Post.

Sexy Sixties and Seventies Boudoir

Best Boudoir LA sexy over sixty photo shoot featured in Huffington Post.

As a photographer I meet wonderful individuals every day, let me tell you about my encounter with an extraordinary lady I had the honor to shoot recently (pictured in this blog post).

Sabine Reichel a seasoned internationally published author, also advocate for women with gray hair, publisher of the popular Gray in LA Blog was recently featured in HuffingtonPost50 describing her boudoir experience with me as her photographer.

Best Boudoir LA sexy over sixty photo shoot featured in Huffington Post.

Namely this lady has caused me to think about my own struggles with age. I am turning 50 this year and somehow the thought, I AM TOO OLD ! has twisted my brain since my childhood.

At 11, I thought I was too old playing with barbies. At 25 I felt too old to model, at 38 I felt too old for child birth, at 45 I felt I was too old to start a new career…

Seriously! That’s just a bunch of bullshit, excuse my French!

Yes, there may be actual physical limitations, such as giving birth after menopause, but let’s be honest, most of our preconceived  notions of age are constructed in or heads and are directly influenced by what the media has presented us over the years. Sometimes it takes inspiration from ladies around us to change our outlook on age.

Best Boudoir LA sexy over sixty photo shoot featured in Huffington Post.

When I met 69 year old Sabine Reichel at an event at the posh Edison in Los Angeles I was mesmerized by her positive attitude regarding her age. She shared with me that she was contemplating to reignite her modeling career… at age 69! I was not only impressed by her flawless skin, but also by her strong feministic expression and her I-don’t-give-a-damn-what-others-think philosophy.

Best Boudoir LA sexy over sixty photo shoot featured in Huffington Post.

At the end of the evening we had not only found a new friendship, but we also planned to do a photo shoot together.  Sabine is a free spirit and since boudoir is my forte, she was game for a sexy lingerie shoot. Needless to say I was thrilled! I specialize in women over 40 and 50, to have a lady close to 70 was a great addition to my repertoire.

Best Boudoir LA sexy over sixty photo shoot featured in Huffington Post.

Yes, this lady was blessed with amazing genes, but it is her bravery and open mindedness that allowed her to discover this new side of herself.  Wrinkles, gray hair or an aching hip? So what! Get over it!

Have you ever seen photos of young super models without make up taken from an unfortunate angle…unedited? Not so hot either! So why should images  of mature ladies be different? It is the lighting the angles, makeup and editing that will make the difference for anybody in front of the camera, trust me!

Best Boudoir LA sexy over sixty photo shoot featured in Huffington Post.

Ladies of any age, do yourself a favor and don’t buy into the lies of our society, that older women should’t be shown as sensual beings.

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, SEXY AND POWERFUL!

Best Boudoir LA sexy over sixty photo shoot featured in Huffington Post.

For more info or bookings contact me at http://bestboudoirla.com/contactus

xo

Beate Pilgreen

 

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Husband's email of photoshopped boudoir photos go viral

Boudoir empowers women

10965328_10204930925065382_1847492404_nOften women put other people’s needs before their own, their spouse’s, their children’s, their household’s and their work place’s. To get pampered, to get undivided attention, to be the star in the room may seem foreign, but it feels absolutely invigorating.

After most boudoir photoshoots women will tell me how empowered and uplifted they feel. During their shoot they are allowed to show their sensual vulnerable side, gently guided by professionals without having to be in charge.

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The reveal of the finished images always brings smiles and sometimes even tears of joy to a woman’s face. Do you know that most women are unaware how beautiful they are until they actually see themselves in a boudoir photo?

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At fiftyfour years old this lady thought she couldn’t pull off showing herself in lingerie. I’d say she totally rocked it!

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When she saw the images she couldn’t believe how beautiful and elegant she looked. She is a beautiful women inside and out, before and after the makeover. What do you think?

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Boudoir Photography as a new Beginning

 

DSC_2902“After a long term relationship ended I want to rediscover myself.”  It is not the first time I hear this as a boudoir photographer.

After a breakup new beginnings are hard, we forget who we are as an individual. It can be a trying time to rediscover our center again.boudoirTo find one’s identity as a single after a relationship ends can be scary or exciting, it depends on how you look at it.

This lady decided to rediscover herself and started out with a boudoir session. She found it to be a very liberating and carthartic experience.“One of the best things I have ever done!”

To find out more about boudoir photography, contact us here:

Best Boudoir LA 

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Bio

Hi, my name is Beate Pilgreen, I was born and raised in a small town in South West Germany, where I pursued fashion, modeling and fitness. I fell in love with California in 1992 and moved permanently to Los Angeles to enjoy the sun and the beach.

I always loved photography, because when I look at photos it brings back memories and feelings from the moment they were taken. That is why I have taken a gazillion photos of my two kids growing up. We love to sit, look at old photos, laugh and remember what it was like.

Approaching my 50s rapidly and raising 2 teenagers in a busy household I have come to understand the value of taking care of myself and how to refuel my energy levels so I am a better version of Me. Sometimes taking a few hours exclusively for myself can work wonders.

A few years back I discovered how much confidence and empowerment a well organized photoshoot would bring me. Often I don’t like to have my pictures taken, because I don’t wear makeup, have my hair in a bun or wear unflattering clothes. When I decided to do a boudoir shoot for my husband’s birthday I quickly realized that it was more a gift to myself than for him. I felt sexy, desireable and beautiful again, just like before having children.

That confident feeling is what I want other women to experience. I am passionate about boudoir photography, because it highlights the beauty of every women no matter what age, size, shape or color.

I love the creative preparation to hunt for props as well as the actual process of shooting and editing which is always interesting and different. At the end it is very fulfilling to have created a lasting beautiful memory for another women to keep. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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