I've always loved taking pictures. I never went far without a camera in my hand. I have lots of pictures of my kids, vacations and my family. When I die, I know my kids are going to be overwhelmed with all the pictures I will be leaving behind!!
My hobby really started to grow into a bigger dream when I joined a photography group at Faith Family Church. My sister Gloria also loves photography. While in college, she was a photographer for the Texarkana Gazette. She took some awesome photos for them! So I invited Gloria to join this photography group with me.
We show up at the first meeting and everyone pulls out their big fancy Canon cameras, including Gloria. I was so embarrassed - I was not about to pull out my little Panasonic Lumix! We were sitting in a circle with everyone taking turns. When it came to me I told them "no way! I am not pulling out my little camera!" They insisted so I reluctantly showed them my Panasonic. They were so gracious telling me what a great little camera that was. I had always thought it was a great little camera, until that night! Oh no.
Then Gloria and her hubby Kelly signed up for a photography course at Victoria College and invited me to join them. One requirement was that we bring the manual that came with our camera. I remember the instructor telling us that so few people ever actually study the manual. In my case, he was right - I had flipped through it but never really studied it. I learned a lot about my little Panasonic!!
Next time I found myself with some extra money I decided to buy a grown up camera. Because everyone in the photography group seemed to trust Canon, I went with that brand. I even blindly purchased a couple of expensive lenses to go with it. Now I was proud to pull out my camera equipment!!
Fast forward a few months. I started to be asked to photograph other people. My confidence was slowly growing as I was learning more about my camera and the art of photography. Then out of no where - an idea hit my brain. Boudoir.
Boudoir? Where did that come from? I had never even seen a Boudoir photo!!! So I googled Boudoir Photography and was immediately drawn to it. I had never seen such beautiful pictures of women in my life. I immediately knew I wanted to try this.
I shared my dream with my daughter Desiree. She loved the idea. So did her friend Heather (my daughter from another mother!). Heather said "I would love to do that!" I was like - Really??? When? We scheduled a date - Oct 7, 2012.
On October 7, 2012, I did my very first Boudoir photo shoot. Heather showed up with beautiful lingerie, shoes and jewelry. She was awesome! We had a blast and I was hooked. On Oct 13, 2012, I posted a picture of Heather on my facebook page and Sande Bilton Photography was born.
I have obviously branched out into other types of photography like weddings and seniors but Boudior photography is my favorite type of photo shoot.
Boudoir Photography is a very misunderstood art. A lot of people's first thought is that Boudoir is like what you see in Playboy or Penthouse. That is not the case at all. That is pornography. There is a big difference, especially in my studio.
My photos are never nudes. My models are all dressed in beautiful lingerie or otherwise completely covered with a sheet or blanket and give the illusion of nudity while never actually crossing that line. My photos are tasteful and elegant. And empowering. Every single one of my photo shoots have left my models feeling beautiful and confident. And thinking you have to have a perfect body is a misconception! A woman is beautiful at any size. I've had skinny, I've had curvy and all sizes in between. Every photo shoot has been fun - I play a variety of energetic music and serve wine or champagne. We have a blast!!!
I will forever be grateful to Heather for being my very brave first model. She absolutely rocked the shoot, even with an inexperienced (but eager) photographer. 3 years later - it is still my favorite thing to do. My speciality.