• Nicole Messner

THIS IS HER: NICOLE

Updated: Jan 19

My name is Nicole, and I’m writing this at age 28 but in celebration of age 29. I am a photographer who focuses on boudoir and I’m writing this to bring in the next year of life with something new, something that’s been on my mind.

Nicole Messner boudoir photographer in Ventura, CA
Photo by Brandi Crockett / Editing by Nicole

I had this idea at the end of 2020, but I have to say THANK GOODNESS I procrastinated. 2021 was such a huge year of growth for me in business, my personal life, just all around. Sometimes we put things off because life gets in the way, and for some things the timing just isn’t right. Now is the time I get to introduce HER.

The idea of HER is a blog series to feature the amazing women I photograph. To tell their stories, talk about their fears, and offer a connection. I get to connect with so many women on such a deeper level when they come in for a boudoir session and I hope to share more of these conversations.

So here we go. To kick off HER I will ring in my 29th birthday and dive a little deeper into myself.

Boudoir photographer in Ventura County California, Wise by Nicole Boudoir Photography
Photo by Le Lovely Lotus

A little about me…

Ventura is my hometown and where I spend my days. I live with my boyfriend Troy, a man who treats me well, loves me right, and has a whole lot of patience with me. If I’m not out shooting I am working at home with the company of my two fur babies at my side. I’m lucky to have a loving and supportive family, aunts, uncles, and cousins, that live locally. When I’m not working on my business (though my brain seems to always be) I love to get outside - walk the beach, hike, travel, or try something new.

New experiences are what I'm passionate about and what keeps me feeling happy and alive. There are many places to see and things to do on my bucket list.

My personality? Which one!? I can be very introverted and I love my alone time. However, I also need to socialize, see people, and get into good conversation. I have been described as ‘calm’ so many times in my life I’m starting to believe it, but on the inside I rarely feel calm at all. I am passionate about my work and improving myself. I’m a chronic over thinker. I like to think of myself as kind, sassy, loving, and I hold high standards. Goodness, describing yourself is awkward isn’t it?


In general I consider myself a confident person. Especially after diving into boudoir and finding my place and purpose in my work. Though, I am a firm believer that confidence is a tricky bitch, she’s always coming and going and hard to keep around.


What am I most confident in? Wow, what a question to kick my overthinking nature into overdrive. I’d say I am most confident in that fact that I will always strive to be better and that I have a high standard for how I want to live and how I want my relationships to be.

I struggle most to be confident in what I want out of my days. There’s just so many paths in this life and I don’t want to miss out on a beautiful existence. I often lack confidence in where to put my focus and how I want my days to look. A priority I’m working on for my 29th trip around the sun. I’m extremely hard on myself, I’m too much of a people pleaser at times, and I am my own worst critic.


Boudoir photography in Southern California, boudoir photographer in Ventura California
Photo by Brandi Crockett / Editing by Nicole

What about boudoir caught my interest?

Boudoir caught my eye for a few reasons. When working in such a vulnerable and intimate space you really need to be able to make your client feel comfortable and at ease. You need to be able to find and work with light in a more detailed manner. Plus, you are dealing with someone’s ENTIRE body!!! No flowing dresses or chunky sweaters to hide away in, you need to work with a body head to toe (not to mention every body is so different!). I love the challenge.


Boudoir is freeing, beautiful, intimate, and has lead me to some amazing conversations and new friendships.

My biggest fear with boudoir is making someone feel insecure. Women are trusting me and I work very hard to make an experience that is comfortable, easy, and rewarding. My fear is letting that someone down.

(I feel the need to put a side note in here for other photographers. Due to the intimate nature of boudoir and how insecure we are as a collective, sometimes it is not your photography that a client won’t like. Some people are battling huge insecurities and may not be happy with anything that they see. It’s a sad truth but a real one.)

Now, let me talk about getting in front of the camera! After so many sessions for clients I was dying to have one of my own! I setup the tripod and snapped some of myself a few times but it’s just not the same. So I was thrilled one day to find a message from a local photographer who’s work I really admire - her message read that she couldn’t stand it anymore, she wanted to do a session! First, wow, I was flattered. Second, I took the opportunity to suggest a collaboration and so we could capture one another.

Boudoir photographer, boudoir photography, Ventura boudoir photographer
Photo by Brandi Crockett / Editing by Me

It was freeing to be on the other side of the lens, rolling around in lingerie and my birthday suit, and to have my image captured. I felt beautiful and alive. I felt like I wanted to do this all the time.

This session helped me overcome the minor problems I had at the moment and find a new motivation to charge ahead. I still love to look at the images, they have brought me a lasting sense of pride because I can see the growth, maturity, and confidence I have found.

For anyone struggling with confidence I would, as you can guess, recommend a boudoir session. It’s scary at first but if you can book your session and show up, you won’t regret it. Once you make it, I recommend really letting go and being open to the experience. You will get so much more out of it.

In general for a confidence boost I recommend trying something new, accomplishing something that you are a little scared of, and realizing that you can try new things.

If I can leave you with any sort of advice, I would refer to a bracelet I have that says ‘Fresh Outta Fucks.’ When I start feeling insecure, or I start people pleasing, or I start putting myself last, or I start overthinking, I see this note and it reminds me to just fucking stop. We all share so many of the same worries, doubts, and insecurities. This is what I learn from talking time and time again with women at different ages and in different places in life - we all share the similar struggles.

Stop overthinking. Stop bowing down. Stop making yourself small.

Take a breath, say ‘fuck it’, and do what feels right to you. If this makes you feel free, if this makes you feel alive, if this makes you feel beautiful - then it doesn't need to make sense to anyone else.

THIS IS HER: NICOLE

Boudoir photography, black and white boudoir photography, Ojai boudoir photographer
Photo by Brandi Crockett / Editing by Nicole



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