The Complete History of Andrea Murphy and Boudoir Photography

  With the launch of my brand new website (and are we loving it?! I know I am!) I made the decision to start advertising that I do boudoir photography. Boudoir photography is something we’ve always done, and we do a lot of it, though I’ve always been somewhat hesitant to display it on my website. Boudoir photography is of an intimate nature and my client’s privacy is of the utmost importance to me. And understandably some clients want their images kept private. Beyond that, I want people to understand my heart when it comes to boudoir photography. Having a session of this nature is an empowering and super fun experience. I understand that it’s not for everyone – And that’s okay. I’m aware that some people find it offensive, and I want to avoid offending people as much as possible. I want those that might not understand boudoir photography to know that it’s not trashy or pornography. What I show on my website is tamer than what you might even see in a lingerie advertisement. For those reasons, I’ve mostly kept it off my website and blog. I’ve found over the last few years that the perception of boudoir photography has changed significantly. My hope is that I can share how these women walk out of their session feeling like a million bucks and how it truly changes their perception of themselves. So here we are!


I’ve been shooting boudoir sessions since before I really even knew a name for them. While I was studying photography at OSU (go Pokes!) the photography students were always photographing each other, and well, it’s easy to get college girls to take their clothes off. And the rest is history! Totally, totally joking of course. What really happened was that I wanted to create a modern take on a pin-up photo for an assignment. After that project I realized not only how much fun I had photographing it, but how much the woman I photographed felt like a goddess afterwards! Photography is great, but there’s something awesome about being able to have an affect on a woman’s perception about herself through my art. I was hooked from that point on.


After launching my business in 2008, I dived into boudoir marathons and parties and have grown the business each year. I’ve photographed women of literally every size and shape. I’ve photographed women who walked into the shoot like they owned the place, and ones that were so nervous they were nearly in tears. When I started I felt like boudoir was for younger women, how young and foolish I was. Plenty of women have boudoir sessions for wedding gifts or one year anniversaries, but a very large percentage of my clients are middle aged and beyond. They might be doing the session for a significant other, but many of them are doing it just for themselves! Not gonna lie, those are my favorites. Women have boudoir sessions to celebrate a birthday, a big career change, a significant change in their appearance, or just to remind themselves that they’re a sexy chick!  I can say with confidence, with no intention of boasting, that my boudoir clients no matter their age or reason for their session, walk out of my studio feeling like total hotties!


For your boudoir pictures we will book three appointments with you. The first appointment is your pre-consultation. At this appointment you’ll have a chance to get to know me because, let’s be real, you want to make sure I’m not creepy. We’ll discuss ideas for outfits/looks, plans for the shoot itself, and go over all the options of how to use your images (hint: you’re going to want them all.) The second appointment is your photo shoot itself, and you have the choice of a 1 or 2 hour session. We have a gorgeous studio at 51st and Yale in Tulsa and have so many different sets and backdrops. We can create sets and looks so that there’s no need to rent a hotel room. (I admit I have a problem – I buy all the couches. I currently have 5 sofas in the studio.) We work closely with a few hair and makeup artists who will come to our studio for glamming and pampering. You can even sip champagne if you want. 7-10 days after your photo shoot you’ll come back to the studio for your reveal session with me where we’ll go through your images one by one and decide which ones to use in your book, prints, image boxes, and digital copies. I will “hold your hand” throughout that appointment and make it stress free and fun.

  Boudoir sessions are one of my (many) favorite parts about my job and we’d love to get you set up with an appointment. Just hit the “contact” button and drop us a line. If you’re interested in boudoir, check back often. This is only the beginning of a number of blogs featuring boudoir because I’m passionate about helping you better understand this sexy and empowering art form.

Miami Maternity Session – Part One

   A couple months back I got a message from a past client that I opened while I was feeding my baby. I wasn’t paying close attention and skimmed through it quickly. I read that she was pregnant and wanted to do a maternity session. Great! I LOVED working with her before and was excited to create a maternity session for her. We’ve photographed her bridal photos (which are some of my favorites ever) and a shoot with her and her husband when they first purchased their home.  Later I went back and actually read the message and come to find out it said she was pregnant, wanted a maternity session, and wanted to do them somewhere warm and beachy. Okay I’m gonna level with y’all. I know as photographers we’re supposed to talk about how fabulous our lives are and how we’re jet setters, this is totally normal for me, and blah blah blah. But someone wanting to take me somewhere to photograph them other than Tulsa?! Like, for real?! I get excited about going to Bartlesville for heaven’s sake! Needless to say, I was thrilled! She decided on Miami and a few weeks later we were boarding her jet and she was flying us there. (We will have an entire blog post, coming soon, just documenting the trip itself. So stay tuned for that.)
The first day of shooting we started on the southernmost point of South Beach. We had to contend with crazy wind, 4 cruise ships passing, and a few hundred beach goers, but the result was fantastic!! Betty is gorgeous all the time, but pregnancy looks wonderful on her. She rocked each session and looking at this one right now, I’m going to say that it’s my favorite. (I will also say each of the others are my favorite when I blog them.) Betty’s husband Dave was a great sport being thrown in here and there for photos and then acting as guard for all of our gear.
I’ll stop gushing and get to the reason you’re here anyway: Betty’s Miami beach maternity photos!


Okay that didn’t last very long – more gushing. But we just need to take a minute and talk about this photo!!! Are you kidding me with this gorgeousness?! It’s probably my favorite maternity photo ever!!

Part 2 at the Biltmore Hotel coming sometime soon!

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Eliza’s Birth Story

I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.
 1 Samuel 1:27

 I love reading birth stories, and I’m so glad I wrote out my story with my first child, Nola. I definitely wanted to do it with baby #2 but, as the plight of the second born goes, it’s taken me awhile. (She just turned 5 months this week.) Truth be told, I’m writing this out mostly for me. If you like birth stories, you might be interested. If not, just keep scrolling for pretty weddings. 🙂
The birth of my first daughter was difficult, traumatic, and I have a lot of sadness that goes along with it. I’m thankful to say Eliza’s birth was so very different from Nola’s.
Immediately after Nola was born I was told by my midwife and doctor that a v-bac wasn’t in my future. Being the hippy I am, that was something I grieved, but I became aware of family centered/natural c-sections and my hope was to achieve one.
My doctor had retired from OB and so I went in search for the perfect doctor for the birth of my second child. From the get-go I was told (and knew in my gut) that Dr. Corey Babb was the doctor I wanted.  I met with a few doctors – one delightful doctor made me cry buckets of tears. Discouraged and overwhelmed I called my dear friend, Elisabeth, and she was able to pull some strings and get me an appointment with Dr. Babb. I’m very thankful he took me on because I was already over halfway through my pregnancy.


That morning in September finally arrived and it was so surreal walking into the hospital knowing that I would be holding my baby shortly. When we arrived, April was already there with her camera. (I should mention that she lives almost an hour from St. Francis, I literally live across the street, and she still beat us.) The hospital was a bit chaotic that morning so Nola kept us entertained until we were called back. (In the top photo above she’s showing us how big she thought Eliza would be.) I wasn’t nervous at all and we were laughing and having a good time.

They called me back to prep for surgery and the nerves hit, and they hit hard. My previous experience giving birth I wasn’t able to get anything I wished for because of how things transpired. I lowered my expectations waaay down this time and had only 3 wishes: I wanted my photographer in the room, I wanted my placenta for encapsulation (I know I know, ew,) and if Eliza checked out fine I wanted to be able to hold her while the surgery was finished. I had already okayed all three things with Dr. Babb. Unfortunately, the nurse prepping me was not comfortable with the placenta encapsulation, doubted I’d be able to have my photographer present, and gave me a definite ‘no’ on getting to hold Eliza because they were understaffed. Being the pregnant, hormonal, and suddenly very nervous person I was, the tears started coming. I could handle the rest, but the thought of once again not being able to hold my baby right away just broke me. All the sadness of not holding or seeing Nola for almost a day after she was born came flooding back.

Pretty soon, here comes Dr. Babb who sits down on the edge of my bed and says he’s taken care of everything and I’ll be able to hold my baby as long as she’s doing fine. (Okay guys, if you haven’t figured it out yet this blog is kind of a “rah-rah Dr. Babb” story.)
My intention was for my dad to pray over us before I was taken back, but by the time my parents got to the room I was weepy and nervous and I knew if my dad was praying the weeping would continue and it would scare Nola. I knew he had already been, and would continue, to pray so we skipped that part. He took Nola with him so he and she could have a fun day together.

   As I was being rolled into the O.R. I could hear someone say my name and then a nurse (I believe she’s a nurse. Lisa, please forgive me if I’m wrong) say “Andrea Murphy? As in Andrea Murphy the photographer??” (Suddenly not weepy and feeling like a celebrity!) I replied that yes I was indeed Andrea Murphy the photographer and she said “Oh I have your pictures all over my house, you photographed my daughter’s wedding a few years back”. Nothing like “getting recognized” moments before you have your guts sliced open. One of my favorite moments of this story, for sure!


When you have a c-section you go to the O.R. without your spouse or “person.” This was the aspect that worried me the most. In my first c-section I was mostly crazed and was knocked out shortly thereafter. In the cesareans I’ve photographed, I wasn’t permitted in at this point so I had no idea what to expect. The surgical staff were all sooo kind and wonderful and Dr. Babb actually lets you hang on to him during the spinal.  I’ve been in cold operating rooms before, and this one seemed exceptionally freezing, but as soon as those drugs kicked in I was warm all over. It was really lovely. Mmm…. drugs.
Patrick and April were brought in after surgery started. Patrick wasn’t able to be present for Nola’s birth because I was all the way under so it was just as exciting for him as it was for me to fully experience the birth of our child for the first time. I was surprised at what a happy place an operating room could be. We were smiling and chatting and Patrick and I just kept looking at each other with that “Is this real life?” expression on our faces. In just a few quick moments Dr. Babb said, “Are you ready to meet your baby?” and I felt a tug and he pulled her out of me.


I was literally speechless. It’s something I’ve never experienced before in my life. I opened my mouth to say something and nothing came out (except for a few happy sobs). I was finally able to form words and the first thing I spoke over her was “I love her so much”. (I’m so thankful I wasn’t able to form the words a moment before because what I would have first said was “She has no hair!” hahaha!) I just stared at her for a couple seconds until Dr. Babb told me I could hold her. It was honestly the greatest moment of my life. Being able to touch my baby right away, to be the first one (other than the doctor of course) to touch her meant the world to me. She was tiny and perfect and beautiful. April has said she wished she had taken video at the moment just to hear the things Patrick and I were saying. We were just overwhelmed.

They took her away for just a few minutes and I could hear her screaming her head off the whole time. It was wonderful. P.S. How hot is my husband in scrubs?

As soon as she was done with a few quick tests she was back in my arms for the remainder of most the surgery.


Although I’d photographed a number of c-sections, I always had in my mind that it wasn’t as great as natural birth or that it couldn’t compare or compete. But I’m hear to tell you I was wrong. It was absolutely beautiful and memorable and wonderful and all the good things. Even the experience of being able to have her with me the whole hospital stay was just surreal. So for those c-section mamas that aren’t given an alternative, know that it can be a healing and redemptive experience. Also, for those wondering: recovering from a planned c-section after an emergency c-section under general anesthesia is a cakewalk!! So much easier. I’m so thankful for the whole experience, I truly wasn’t aware of all that I had missed before.

Eliza Tess
Born September 20, 2016 at 10:51am
Weighing 6 pounds 13 ounces
20 inches long


Thank you again to my fantastic second shooter and dear friend April for these photos. I treasure them so very much.

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Suzanne & Brian’s Dresser Mansion Wedding

Suzanne and Brian. They give me all the ooey-gooey feelings when I think about their wedding. As a photographer, its always exciting when you just love a bride and groom. But sometimes you get the opportunity to get to know their families a little bit more than usual and it just makes things all the more special. Suzanne and her sisters… they’re some of my favorites. I’d admit it. They’ve got the “Oklahoma girl” total package: big blonde hair, darling personalities, and the sweetest Okie accents.
No matter how many weddings I’ve photographed at Dresser Mansion (and I believe its probably close to 100 at this point), I never tire of it. Its a beautiful venue and was the perfect backdrop for Suzanne and Brian’s spring wedding.
Congrats again to the sweet couple!

Suzanne getting ready will be one of those wedding moments that always stands out in my head. She had her sisters, niece, and bff all getting her ready. They were all talking at once and fussing over her. It was quite a situation getting her dressed. When the dress was finally on, Suzanne looked over at me with this exasperated look on her face and I nearly collapsed with laughter.


Y’all. Those photos right there are an argument for first looks. Imagine being able to just experience that moment and fully be in it – Not worrying about who was looking at you, trying to stifle tears, or smiling. Just being in that moment with the love of your life. I’d argue that it couldn’t be beat. 🙂

 

Vendors
Cake: All Things Cake
Dress: David’s Bridal
Florist: Bridal Garden
Caterer: Goodies Catering
Officiant: Rev. Jay Howell
Makeup: Starla Ward
Videography: South Street Vizuels