Celebrating women in their rawest form

Wilma Stevens

18 July 2022

Capturing precious intimate moments on film

A picture can paint a thousand words, and a photo of women’s raw body is just that, with each curve, dimple and line telling an intimate story.
In celebration of women’s bodies, Leaf and Lace Photography is a boudoir photographer that specialises in body empowerment.
She offers both indoor and outdoor sessions that captures her female clients in their real and raw version of themselves.
Photographer Shelby Simpson explains “the name of her business came about through taking items that represented all aspects of making the brand what it is, ‘lace’ representing the boudoir side and ‘leaf’ for the outdoor sessions” which the photographer is known for.
In starting the business, she shares “I have always enjoyed photography and personally, self-empowerment is an important value to me. I started photographing myself as a way of documenting my body and journey into a womanhood. I decided to share some of the most recent photos I had taken as I truly believe these are some of the most beautiful photos, I have of myself. After sharing my pictures publicly for the first time, I ended up having someone contact me and asked if I would shoot them similarly too. This was my first Outdoor Boudoir Session and by 2018, Leaf & Lace was born.”
Every day she is so proud what she has created with Leaf & Lace, being a self-taught photographer and business owner.
She has built a space and community which celebrates the literal change in perspective that women have of their own bodies with every session that she captures.
“There are so many moments that I have during a session with my clients where I am so PROUD of them. The amount of bravery and vulnerability it takes to step outside of one’s comfort zone and in front of lens is something that I will always be proud of for my client.”
As a boudoir photographer she is heavily focused on ‘Body Acceptance’ and ‘Empowerment’ and in response does not photoshop/retouch/airbrush photos of clients as a part of the editing process.
She aims to capture the raw and real versions her clients and provide a space that they can celebrate their growth in their own Body Love Journey.
To help women on this journey, she hosts a monthly online event called ‘The Body Love Project’.
“Each month I ask my social media followers to help to vote for a theme of the event and is based on what the majority feels should be celebrated next. This theme is usually something that is considered a “flaw” and can be hard for people to give body love to (for example cellulite, stretch marks, acne, scars, back rolls etc). From the 1st of every month, I share the photo/videos/stories people feel comfortable sharing to my story to help normalise normal bodies and provide a space where people feel seen.”
Each photography session she conducts is tailored to wants of the client, the first suggestion she ask is about their vision for the photos so she can provide a space that matches and secondly and most importantly is what the client would like to wear.
“Most clients chose various lingerie and/or to do a nude session, however, I have photographed people in all sorts of clothing because that’s what made them feel empowered and confident. The third thing I always suggest is for my clients to look after themselves both mentally and physically, treat themselves kindly and do things that make them feel great leading up to their session. These things will get their endorphins pumping and help knock down any nerves their feelings before their session.”
If clients have any issues or concerns about their photography session, she is only too happy to assist, “I always provide very direct and clear instructions on how to pose for each photo and guide them throughout the whole experience.”
Going forward with the business, she has millions of ideas that she would like to implement.
“The one that I am most excited for is the introduction of group Boudoir Sessions beginning from September this year (this hasn’t been officially shared yet so anyone who is reading this, you’re getting the Leaf & Lace scoop first!). I really want to bring the Leaf & Lace community together to celebrate and support womanhood, empowerment and self-love and I couldn’t think of a better way to do it!”
To book a photography session, to ask any questions for an uplifting Body Love chat, you can contact Shelby Simpson of Leaf & Lace Photography through the website https://www.leafandlace.com.au/ or on socials