When the Huffington Post first approached Wolf & Rose Photography to shoot a boudoir-themed photo session, the Texas-based photographers assumed that they would be one of many submitting photos that fit the description. However, when HuffPost received the photos and conducted an interview with the subjects, Stephanie and Arryn, the focus of the story quickly shifted for the sweetest reason.
Stephanie and Arryn have been engaged since earlier this year and plan to tie the knot in February of 2019. Naturally, they recently decided to take photos to mark their engagement and set their sights on a boudoir shoot. Boudoir photography involves intimate, romantic, and sometimes erotic photography of a couple, in this case, and that’s why both Stephanie and Arryn are wearing minimal clothing in these photos. There was only one problem Stephanie foresaw in agreeing to do the photoshoot: she has always been insecure about her body and weight and wasn’t sure how she would feel about revealing herself in front of a camera.
“I remember being in junior high and looking at myself in the mirror, wondering why my stomach wasn’t the way it was ‘supposed’ to be,” she told HuffPost. “Over the years, I’ve come to accept that I am always going to be considered plus-size. I push myself out of my comfort zone by wearing clothes that I love but aren’t in society’s mold of what is acceptable for bigger women, like crop tops, tight shirts, shorter dresses and shorts. I walk around with my head high, smiling, and show no shame in myself.”
Her determination in pushing herself is what motivated her to choose this style of photography for her engagement, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t challenging for her. In society, it’s usually considered acceptable for the male in a heterosexual couple to be bigger and weigh more than the female. When couples stray from this “norm,” such as when the female weighs more or is taller than the male, others feel uncomfortable and even balk at the idea that such a couple could be successful. But that’s exactly what Stephanie and Arryn are doing as they challenge stereotypes and show that size doesn’t matter when you’re in love.
Arryn is the one that suggested the photoshoot and showed Stephanie photos of other couples who had done them, so when Bria Terry from Wolf & Rose Photography put a call out for a couple she wanted for a boudoir shoot based on HuffPost’s request, they found themselves at the center of a session in a lake the very next day. Stephanie claims that she wasn’t as nervous about being exposed as she was about seeing the final result. She was overjoyed that the photos turned out to be even better than she could have imagined.
“The first time I saw the photos, I’m not going to lie, I flushed,” Stephanie told PopSugar. “Not because I was unclothed, but I cannot think of a time where I looked so captivating and passionate. It was the first time I got to see not just the beauty in myself, but a confidence and love that was undeniable. The way Arryn and I are looking at each other is earth shattering. I could not have asked for anything better.”
Stephanie and Arryn have been together for two years, and he has always been supportive of Stephanie and let her know that he loves the way she looks no matter what. It’s his support that has empowered Stephanie even more and these photos only make their love for each other visual for everyone to see. What’s more is that the intimacy from the photoshoot has even improved their relationship in a way they didn’t expect.
“It has brought us closer; made us more intimate,” Stephanie said. “We have never experienced a scenario of being so vulnerable in front of one another with an eyewitness. It made me appreciate his love for me and made me want to be more loving towards him. When I expressed this, he told me that he felt the same.”
Terry, the photographer, said that the love that Stephanie and Arryn had for each other made photographing them that much easier. However, boudoir photography, or any sort for that matter, is no easy feat because of the intimacy that must be captured without making the situation appear awkward or forged. Terry, who is a single mom and part-time student, says that she puts her heart into capturing memories and her other work can be seen here.