Name: Andy & Carly
From Andy’s Perspective:
So, up to this point I’ve been the lucky one. I’ve been to Mighty Aphrodite twice before with my wife, I’ve met Leigh and Zena twice, I know their kind personalities put people at ease. I know the format and layout of the day. I know Catherine will expertly and professionally do Carly’s hair and make up while we all sit and have a cup of tea and have a conversation while Leigh sets up his lighting. I know all this. But this is where it get’s a bit different this time, you see, up until now I’ve sat and watched my wife pose for photos and we both loved every second of it. This time I’m joining her in front of the camera for a couples shoot…
Carly and I have talked about this for a while, and the photos that hang on the wall of our bedroom are testament to how hot she is, Leigh’s photography, and how much we enjoyed the previous trips to the studio.
My nerves kicked in… not when we arrived for our shoot, but when I clicked the button to confirm the deposit… We’ve only gone and done it… no backing out now!
Like a lot of 36 year old happily married guys that work at a desk staring at numbers all day- I wasn't in the shape of my football playing early twenties… at best I was a bit overweight and not particularly toned.
I’ll list the insecurities and stupid thoughts that went through my head:
I’ll look rubbish in photos
My arms wont be big enough
My tummy wont be flat enough
I don't know how to pose and I’ll mess it up
I don't look like a Hollister model with my shirt off
Only my wife has seen me naked in years!
If any of these are familiar to any of you reading, you’ll know the dread is real! But clicking the accept button was probably one of the best decisions we’ve made in years. I had a goal, I had a deadline, and I sure as hell wasn't gonna let Carly down by looking overweight when I knew how amazing she would look. We gave ourselves four months, and in that time I hit the gym hard. We changed our diet; we became far more conscious of all our choices when we went out for dinner- one of our favourite things to do.
So fast forward 4 months, one and a half stone lighter, fit as I’ve been in years, I’m sitting in Leigh and Zena’s office drinking a coffee. I know the routine, I know Catherine is about to do Carly’s make up, and yup, Leigh is going to get the lighting just right. But this is different, this is nerve wracking, I’m about to strip down as well… what was I thinking?? Leigh takes some test shots of Carly to get the lighting just so… then it’s my turn to join her on the bed. Deep breaths.. here we go!
And you know what? Five minutes into it, I’m actually fine and really starting to enjoy it! There were a couple of moments during the set that stand out for me: taking my boxers off wasn't a big deal the way Leigh and Zena had made me feel at ease. I had seen them do it before with Carly in the previous shoots, but this was first hand experience. Also, I have decent size scarring on my back from a childhood operation and this has always made me self-conscious about not having my top on. Leigh asked a simple question- “Scar, in or out”, when I said “in”, it was a simple “ok that’s fine”, and we moved on as if he had just asked me if I wanted another coffee! That really was a big moment for me.
As usual we saw the photos as we went along, and we loved every moment of it. One hundred or so photos later, I was done, and I got to relax, as Carly was about to do a solo set. I could’ve gone on for another hundred!
Gents, I guess if you have had a discussion with your better half about doing a couple’s set but have had some of the insecurities I had- my advice would be, just go for it! This has been a lifestyle changing experience for me, and one of the best things I have ever done. You will love it.
Now over to Carly!
I feel like a seasoned professional, going into my third studio session with Leigh and Zena and certainly, I didn’t have the same nerves that I had previously! I was really looking forward to our Satin Sheets couple’s shoot and then my solo Darkest Desires set. The couple’s shoot was everything I expected it to be and I was sure that, despite his nerves, Andy would get into the swing of things after a few shots and he did! I’m so pleased to have some amazing shots of both of us to hang in the bedroom, instead of just ones of me on my own.
For the Darkest Desires set, Andy and I talked about taking some ‘props’ with us and settled on a sparkly riding crop and a back restraint, both of which did look great in the pictures. Due to the theme, my outfit choice was much more adventurous than previous sets. I settled with an under bust corset, which actually became a really good focal point for the shoot and stayed on the entire time. I think this set was the most challenging out of all the ones I have done; just for holding quite difficult poses and in a corset that doesn’t allow much wiggle room but the pay off was seeing those shots afterwards, they really are works of art!
The pictures from both sets were so amazing that we could not just cut it down to the 10 as part of the package, as hard as we tried – this is testament to Leigh’s photography skills!
We can’t thank Leigh and Zena enough for the wonderful work they do; work that will be hanging on our walls, I’m sure, for years to come!