Why professional hair styling and makeup makes a difference for boudoir photography

When planning a boudoir photoshoot, sometimes my clients ask me if they really need to sit in for their professional hair and boudoir photography makeup services that I provide as part of my shoot services.

My answer is always:

Hell Yes!

And here’s WHY:


What the camera sees and what we see can be different things, especially when shooting in a studio/professional setting. In order to reflect your natural beauty, we need to balance skin color and style your hair in a way that will give us consistency throughout the shoot. It doesn’t matter if we use studio strobes or natural light, in order to make sure that your skin reflects your natural colors, we need to apply some product to ensure we get the best results in camera.

Professionals makeup artists are not your average makeover newbies. They are called “pros” because they have been trained by the best industry names to to properly apply and enhance your features to give you the best, most “you” look possible.  They are able to work with a range of skin types, colors, and textures and they only used the very best of skincare products. They can contour and create a look that are designed to work through the camera so that you have your highlights on “fleek.” 😉

Whether you like the sexy and dramatic Kim Kardashian makeup style or barely-there natural look of Meghan Markle, the professionals in my team can create it all. The only thing you need to do is let them know how you would like to see yourself. You can also let me know beforehand if you have any allergies or preference for industry standard products or want an all-natural vegan ingredients product selection. I am here to accommodate all your photoshoot needs. After all, what is a boudoir photoshoot if not your going all out to love yourself in a comfortable environment?!



There is an association with being all made up and feeling confident when it comes to women and photoshoots. I want you to feel your best when we capture your transformation from an everyday hustler who juggles too many roles and demands of life into a glamour goddess who has finally decided to take time to appreciate all that she does and all that she is. Your Toronto boudoir photoshoot experience will be incomplete without the special professional styling services included in your session.

My makeup artists only use high quality makeup because it works! Whether you want to cover up blemishes or prevent shine, professional quality branded make up is the best solution. Regular makeup pigments  can be unflattering when they reflect light, giving you a shine which can be difficult to fix later but you can trust my team to make the shoot as flattering for you as possible.

Your makeup will actually STAY PUT throughout your session. You might be rolling a bed, playing with the white sheets, doing posing acrobatics with your whole body, you can rest assured that your makeup will stay fabulous throughout.

I mentioned posing acrobatics because I will make you WORK IT! But that also means that you’re going to need a hair stylist who knows how to create resilient boudoir hairstyles that can stay glamorous throughout the shoot. You will absolutely need the services of my expert hairstylist. They will help you achieve the look you really want — from sultry and sexy to sleek and elegant, or simply rolled-out-bed girl next door.





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Boudoir Photography Can Heal Sexual Trauma

One of the biggest reasons I am such a strong advocate of women taking ownership of their sexuality is my own #MeToo experiences.

TW: Sexual assault, trauma

I was 9

My friends and I were waiting outside our all girls Catholic school in Pakistan for the school bus to take us home when this man showed up on a bike, whipped out his dick, masturbated in front of us, and left the scene. He returned several times over the next few years. None of us reported to our teachers because we knew we would be blamed for a. knowing what a penis is and b. looking (without wanting to) long enough to know what he was doing. We knew we’d be blamed before we even knew what victim blaming was.

I was 13

I went shopping with my mom for Eid in Pakistan during the last few days of Ramadan (although I’m an atheist, Eid is a family celebration) when this guy groped me. My mother went ballistic and shortly the mob had taken over to teach him a lesson. I still didn’t know what consent was.

I was 15

A classmate confided how her 17 year old sister had to be given “medication” (read, drugs) a month into her marriage because she was afraid and not ready to have sex — but her family and his family thought it was necessary to consummate the marriage so they sedated her so her husband can have sex with her (read, rape her).

I was 17

I in the doctor’s office in Pakistan for my medical evaluation for my student visa to Canada because I had just secured a full ride scholarship to a private boarding school (United World Colleges) when this doctor draws the curtain asking my mother to wait on the opposite side while he takes my shirt off, asks me to lie down on the table, and fondles me while heaving for a good two minutes saying he needed to check for any lumps. Mind you, I was 17 with no familial or personal history indicating any kind of cancer in my family. The doctor was a Canadian-embassy-appointed panel physician.

Checking for breast lumps was not a Canadian embassy requirement for visa application. My mother knew something happened, might even have seen some of it, and I was quiet the rest of the way home but we didn’t say anything to each other or to any authorities lest it jeopardizes my visa application without which I would not be able to afford the same standard of education because I came from a family with extremely limited resources. Interesting fact, though, I was asked by the Canadian visa officer about a month later when I went for my final interview how come my parents were allowing me to travel across the world alone at 17 when in my “culture” that’s unheard of. I had to stop myself from rolling my eyes and simply answered that both my parents are elementary school teachers and they understand the importance of education.

I did get my visa, btw, though it was almost a week delayed from when I had to be on campus.

I was 19

I went to a party on my college campus in Indiana. It was the first semester of my freshman year. We were a couple of months in. The soccer team captain had been staring at me in the cafeteria the past few weeks but I ignored it. That night, at the party, I had one too many beers. I remember briefly dancing with him at the party but the party ended abruptly due to loud noise complaints. Since most of us were underage, there was a bit of chaos as everyone tried to rush out of the premises and back to their dorms. I remember the senior soccer team captain escorting me back to the dorm since his room was in the same hallway as mine.

The next thing I remember, trying to get his heavy and muscular body off my naked body and muttering my Nos to him. He ignores and turns me around and proceeds to rape me. My dorm building was a newer one so it had suites with semi-private bathrooms. Each bathroom was connecting two rooms. His fellow athlete from the other room enters his room through the bathroom door, sees what’s happening with me feebly trying to fight him off, laughs and says, “**** (his name), you asshole.” Turns around and walks off. I see an opportunity and turn around and summon all my strength to say, “I don’t like you, I do not want to have sex with you.” He stares at me in disbelief, says, “you don’t like me? Fine. Get your stuff and leave.” He turns around and pretends he’s fallen asleep. I grab my dress from the floor which I don’t remember taking off, put it on hastily, grab one earring I was wearing but couldn’t find the other one, grab my boots and my underwear in my hands and dash out of the door back to my room where I call my best friend over to tell her what had just happened while I tried to soothe a few bruises I had sustained on my inner thighs. The next morning, a friend of his meets me in the coffee shop and talks me down about his slutty I was on the dance floor and that I started dancing with him when I had never even spoken to him before. I pretty much lost my shit and lectured him on slut-shaming.

I didn’t go to the school or any authorities to report because I had no idea what it would mean for me, my family back in Pakistan, and where to even begin asking for help. I didn’t go open with this story until a couple of years ago.

I was 21

I was in Chicago for the night because I had an early morning flight to Pakistan for summer break leaving from Chicago O’hare. I put up a status on my Facebook before leaving for Chicago that I’ll be coming over and if there’s any friends out there who would like to hangout. A friend who I’d known since we were 14 (because my first date ever was a best friend of his), messages back that he’s moved to Chicago and would love to meet up. He also hooks me up with a good deal at an airport hotel where a cousin of his was a manager. I feel excited that I’ll get to see him after almost 4 years. He generously offers me a ride from the bus stop when I get to Chicago. His cousin comes along too. We all go for dinner and drinks. The next thing I remember, I’m naked in bed with an awful, awful headache and nausea while two men are all over me, one fiddling with a condom. I stand up abruptly. I push them off and pull all the covers on me while my head is still throbbing. I demand an explanation and I tell them I will call 911 and report them which will get them deported. They start crying and begging how they come from poor families and it took their entire family’s savings for them to come to the US to go to a community college.

I was in pain, confused, and realized I have a plane to catch in 8 hours. I asked them to leave the hotel room. I lock the room as soon as they leave. I stumble into the bathroom and see 3 used condoms in the trash can.

I felt disgusting and ashamed. I rip almost an entire roll of toilet paper to throw on top of the trash can to hide the condoms and I proceed to take a long shower. I call a close friend and tell her what happened. I called another friend on the way to the airport to tell what happened. Both of them asked me to report it right away but all I wanted to do was leave Chicago, get on that plane, and run to my mother. I text the guys where they confessed and “apologized” about raping me. I figured I will show this to the police. 30 minutes later they text saying I consented and they didn’t rape me. I was furious. I just got on the plane, never spoke to them again, and was gone from the US for another 3 months. Only after coming back I started looking into sexual assault survivors and the what to dos for reporting — I didn’t know you shouldn’t shower. I didn’t know I had a non-police route of doing a rape kit and having my testimony on record and deciding later what I wanted to do with it. I didn’t know. And I was not a dumb or stupid girl. I was a scholarship holder top of my class student — I was ridden with self-doubt in that moment.

I was 24

And newly in what’s now my current loving relationship when a family friend decides to pin me against the wall while Ali had gone to the bathroom, and tries to feel me up while I have my hands up in the air and demanding him to clear off. There were people in the house including his own wife and while a couple of them said, “****, stop being an asshole” while laughing (btw, why always this sentence?!), no one did anything in the moment. I ultimately had to touch him to push him off and his reply, “aren’t you an atheist?” He was later on reprimanded by the family and profusely apologized. But despite reluctantly forgiving him, I haven’t forgotten this and it has since left a kind of bad taste whenever I do interact with the said person — although he has never, ever crossed a line with anyone that I know of since that day. I am not defending but merely explaining how things can be complicated and repeated interactions doesn’t mean the wrongs were corrected.

And none of this is counting casual sexisms, cat calling, and other instances.

THIS is why I believe YOU.

And THIS is why I continue to fight for women and their empowerment and their liberation.

THIS is why we must raise better men.

THIS is why we must speak out.

THIS is why we should be the kind of parents children can share this with knowing that we will believe them.

THIS is why we need real life Olivia Bensons.

THIS is why we must keep fighting.

THIS is why when Trump mocked Dr. Ford, he mocked ALL WOMEN, EVERYWHERE.

This is why we must fight.

Share Your Story With Me

Toronto Boudoir Photography - Tasteful black & white sexy photoshoot for women by female photographer Alishba

Are sexy photos important for women’s empowerment?

 I posted about my Vancouver Boudoir Photography Marathon on my facebook profile describing how I recently got some heat at a Conference for my unapologetic opinions about women and sexuality. In that post, I talked about how I know from my work with women that a woman who is not sensually and sexually confident is not yet empowered. This was part of my talk at the New York Conference I was invited to speak at. As soon as I made the post,

A woman who follows me on social media asked me sarcastically that, “Yeah ass and tits shots are important for women empowerment.”

You know what I said to her?

I said: Actually, they are.

And here’s why:

When women are shamed for “leaked nudes,” it is important to normalize tits.

When women are shamed for wearing leggings that hug their asses, it is important to normalize women’s asses.

When women are made objects of tabloid cover story because of “side boob” or “nip slip,” it is important to normalize and #FreeTheNipple.

When women are blackmailed for leaked sex tapes, it is important to normalize the fact that women, too, have sex and enjoy sex.

When women are blackmailed by their exes for “revenge porn” publication, it is important to talk about privacy and take away the SHAME from women so that the only person who can be shamed or prosecuted is the person who records and releases someone’s audio-video without their consent.

And most importantly, as another reader chimed in on the post: Whatever photos we (women) want taken of ourselves are important for women empowerment!

I closed with the final statement to the woman who first commented who couldn’t imagine the fact that unclothed, revealing images of women can contribute towards women’s equality that:

As far as my list of reasons to do a boudoir shoot is concerned, I can go the fuck on, girl! 😉

Do you have something to add to this list of political reasons why women should do a boudoir photoshoot?

Send me an email and I will include your reasons to do a boudoir shoot on the blog: hello@dreamboudoirtoronto.com

Want to book a Toronto boudoir photography session with me in my empowering all-female studio?

Click below to send me your email and phone number and let’s schedule a consultation phone call!


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