Hey self confidence, where’ve you been my whole life?

When you feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle, how do you find and keep your self confidence on a daily basis?

Some women seem to be born with a sense of confidence. For others, it can feel elusive–appealing, but somehow out of reach. If you’re the latter, we feel you. We’ve been there and we want to help ya out.
We’ve met and photographed A LOT of women. Many of them were full of nerves when they came in to the studio, but left having crushed their shoot. So how did they manage to overcome those butterflies?  And where did they find the courage to comfort their fears?

Maggie, owner of Revealed Studio, opens up and shares ways to gain and hold on to your self confidence.

Start with the Bunny Slope.

On the path to self-love, we often stop before we even start.  The road ahead seems long and difficult. Instead of focusing on your “perfect self,” begin small. If we’re newbie skiers and went straight to the black diamonds, most of us would say “f-it!” as soon as we get off the chair lift.  While there is no short cut to confidence, like skiing, there are definite ways to help you reach the top of the mountain.


  1. 80% Attitude. Your attitude is a powerful tool in supporting your effort. Starting with “I can’t” or “not me” is self-sabotaging. Give yourself the chance with affirmative statements: “I got this” and “today, this is me.” If that’s too much, “I’ll try” or “I’m willing to” is a step in the right direction. self-confidence-revealed-studios-03
  2. True Friends. The law of attraction in physics states that “like attracts like.” Choose your tribe wisely. Unfortunately we’ve seen it more than we’d like:  a client comes in with a friend, and instead being their cheerleader, the friend turns into someone more like a frenemy. They suck the good vibes right out of the air and not only is the client left feeling bad, but our whole team needs a big “shake it off” afterwards.  Having a group of non-judgmental, positive friends will strengthen the foundation of your confidence, support it when it’s weak, and even help rebuild it when truly broken.
  3. Reflect on the Source. Is your self confidence coming from the superficial? It’s ok to feel gratitude for your body and even your appearance, but at the same time it’s important to remember it’ll only get you so far (and it’s not the most sustainable longterm).  What about feeling confident in how you’re taking care of yourself? Being good to your body and your mind—well that’s something to really feel proud about. Across the board, when you look at pyramids ranking the hierarchy of needs in humans from Oprah, to Tony Robbins, to the late American psychologist Abraham Maslow, all place your physical form at the base of the pyramid. But it’s not so important how that physical form looks, but rather how your health enables your best, fullest self.Reflect on the source. Is your confidence coming from the superficial? It’s ok to feel gratitude for your body and even your appearance, but at the same time, it’s important to remember: those surface things only get you so far (and they’re not the most sustainable longterm).  What about feeling confident in how you’re taking care of yourself? Being good to your body and your mind? That’s something to really feel proud about. Across the board, when you look at pyramids ranking the hierarchy of needs in humans from Oprah, to Tony Robbins, to the late American psychologist Abraham Maslow, all of them physical form at the bottom of the pyramid. In other words, it’s not so important how that physical form looks, but rather how your health enables your best, fullest self.
  4. Be Curious. It’s normal, and as a matter of fact, very common to be hard on yourself.  On a daily basis we’re exposed to direct and indirect messages that can lead to self-doubt.  Next time you feel that urge to cut yourself down rather than being judgmental, try being curious. For example, that’s interesting, every time I scan through instagram and see a woman with an awesome booty I start to spiral, committing to 100 squats a day till my flat butt grows an inch. What’s going on there?  Is a bigger butt gonna make me happier? Is social media making me less secure?  Try asking questions rather than immediately labeling yourself. self-confidence-revealed-studios-02
  5. You are beautiful & Unique. Comparing is a self-defeating monster. When we measure our worth alongside others, we fail to recognize the million tiny factors that make each and every one of us wholly unique and valuable in our own way. Try the curiosity trick again when you get the urge to compare.  In doing so, your mind will open up. And here’s the truth:  behind so many perfect-looking photos, there’s a level of smoke and mirrors worthy of a Las Vegas performance — photoshopped figures, strict dieting that by clinical standards would be considered an eating disorder, and a desperate need for affirmation that leads to addiction.   self-confidence-revealed-studios-01
Step-up and surprise yourself, our experience has shown that the person in the image IS that beautiful and wonderful and kind. And GREAT!  The world needs more people like that. Remind yourself of your self worth and how beautiful you are – replace jealously with admiration, free your emotional space for an abundance of joy in your heart. Wanna know another word for joy?  CONFIDENCE!
See what some of the women who joined us for our photo sessions, also known as self confidence shoots, have to say about their reviews on boudoir photography.
You can also see some of the shoots and read about these amazing, beautiful, and self confident women,
Interested in your own boudoir photography shoot and seeing your self confidence rise? Check out what our customers have to say in our boudoir photography reviews or how to prep for a boudoir photography shoot.
Empower yourself, book online with Maggie directly with your name and number and we’ll get back to you to schedule your session and answer any questions you might have.


At Revealed, we talk a lot about the power of portraiture to help heal those struggling with confidence.  It takes courage to be photographed.  It means being vulnerable and embracing your individuality.#RevealedSelf campaign
We believe in this so much that we’ve decided to practice what we preach.  For the next several weeks, each member of the Revealed team will be posting examples of our “revealed” selves–a photo showing our unique nature.  To kick things off, I’ve dug deep into my archive–all the way back to my junior year of high school–when I shaved my head. That’s right; I made like Demi Moore in G.I. Jane.
I was 16.  I was a bit dramatic. But at the time, I was just starting to feel the inklings of pressure to look a certain way (who doesn’t in high school) and wanted to push back against that current.
This picture shows me at one of my most vulnerable moments, where I confronted the notion that beauty is more than skin deep, and literally sheared off my comfort zone. It was frightening, but a move that has stayed with me as a gut check ever since.
If you’d like to share a picture of your “revealed” self, along with our team, post it using the hashtag #revealedself, and nominate others to do the same.  We’ll share your images on our social media platforms…because we could all use a little encouragement on the path to self-acceptance.


Our favorite lingerie lines that embrace female empowerment


As bridal season approaches, we found ourselves getting so inspired by new trends in lingerie. As exciting as pretty lingerie is, it’s even more exciting when the company embraces female empowerment and let’s be honest, comfort. We’ve chosen some of our favorite lingerie lines and shared below what makes them so special.


Whether you’re looking for a funky design, fun colors, or something more classic or soft, Naja has great options. And what we love most about this line, aside from these playful selections, is their commitment to helping women in underdeveloped regions by employing them. Their Underwear for Hope program can turn buying a bra into a socially responsible action.  “Two percent of every purchase you make goes toward supporting our entrepreneurial sewing program for women through local foundations. And for every bra purchase you make, you contribute directly to the employment of a single mother.”

Our favorite lingerie lines that embrace female empowerment

True & Co

This company has a seriously beautiful instagram that we can’t get enough of. True & Co allows you to customize your bra search by answering a few questions about the fits of your bras and shape of the ladies. They also embrace women of all shapes and sizes. Their mission statement feels like something that we would have written for ourselves- “We believe that knowing what makes you unique powers the design of better products for women. We celebrate what makes you so wonderfully you.”

Our favorite lingerie lines that embrace female empowerment


For the best fitting bras in the world, check out Thirdlove. They take customization one step further in order to take the stress out of finding the perfect fit. You can download their app, take a picture of yourself in a fitted tank, and it can determine your size. They even have half sizes and take into account your breast shape. It’s taking all those awkward bra fittings out of the picture so you can get a bra that makes you feel good about you. “We realized that traditional bra sizing wasn’t serving countless women whose breast sizes weren’t ‘standard’, whatever that means. We had a new mission, and set out to design bras that would really fit real women.”

Our favorite lingerie lines that embrace female empowerment












Our wish for you in 2016

Embrace a spirit of celebration with Brené Brown‘s Guideposts to wholehearted living.

It’s 2016. A new year and a new start. Our wish at Revealed is that you begin again with a spirit of celebration. Not just acceptance, but real celebration.

What’s your internal dialogue sound like?

Consider the tone you use toward yourself. Is it kind? Would you talk to your friend, sister, or mom that way?

Realign your thinking, directing thoughts away from self-doubt and criticism.

Instead, we wish for you rejoice in the good. It’s there, we promise.

How to let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are.

Brené Brown is an expert in this field. She offers such great wisdom for “letting go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embracing who you are.”

If you’re struggling with this, her guideposts for Wholehearted Living are a great jumping off point.

Here’s to 2016.

Much love,
The Revealed Team

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10 guideposts to wholehearted living

What we can learn from Demi Lovato’s nude photo shoot

Often when I met someone new and they learn I’m a boudoir photographer, I hear, “I would love to do that, but I just need to lose another 10 pounds.”
I actually had this very conversation last week. At the time I thought to myself, “my prayer for her (for every woman) is that rather than spending the time and energy hating on her body image and resorting to surgery or a strict diet, she could focus instead on discovering ways to love herself, right where she is, and at every stage in life– to be her own friend and biggest advocate, rather than worst critic…”
Demi Lovato, like many women, struggled with a negative body image and eating disorder. This photo shoot was a big triumph for her–going completely bare-no makeup, no photoshop, no clothes. What a brave move. Make sure to watch the video where she explains her choice.

Fall 2015 Changes

Exciting changes happening for our Chicago Boudoir Studio

Hello lovelies, 

Thank you so much for visiting and returning to the Revealed Studios blog! As we continue our work of celebrating women through photography, we love knowing our mission hits home with many of you out there. Over the past year, we’ve seen a lot of growth and many changes. We’ve worked with more women than ever, helping them experience the liberating and healing power of boudoir. We’ve photographed women from Texas to Australia, from their twenties to their seventies.

As our business expanded, we’ve continued thinking deeply about why we do this work.  Yes, it’s fun and fulfilling on a very basic level (we get to serve gals champagne, get them all glam’d up, then honor our love of photography by capturing it all on camera). But what really makes our hearts, is watching the celebration that occurs during the Reveal Session when we witness women see themselves in a whole new light. Watching as someone is overcome by their pictures to the point of tears is incredibly moving. It’s during those moments that we know the value of this experience is more than skin deep. It reaffirms our mission and inspires us to do more.

This year we introduced our Real Women of Revealed campaign. We began this series to honor the amazing women we’re surrounded by who embody the idea that beauty is more than appearance. We’ve featured some very remarkable women, and now that summer is winding down, we’re looking forward to sharing others. We want to invite our past and future clients to submit their own recommendations for this opportunity. Each participant will receive the ultimate day of glamour, including professional hair and makeup, as well as a magazine-like portrait shoot, with an accompanying written feature sharing why this person was chosen. Interested?  Please contact us at [email protected] to find our more information.

chicago portraits of Alicia Roman and Sandy GoldbergThis fall, we’re also introducing a few very exciting new services. We can’t share the details just yet, but I will tell you it’s perfect for the client wanting more than a paper product from their boudoir experience.

chicago boudoir films

As for the service we can talk about, it comes from hearing client after client tell our makeup artists, “I have no idea how to do my makeup,” or “I only know the basics for applying makeup,” and “I wish I knew some techniques for mixing up my makeup routine.

Well, you asked, we’re answering. We’re introducing makeup workshops at the studio. This is the opportunity to come back for an intimate lesson with our artists, who will walk you through their techniques for everyday makeup to special occasion looks. They’ll share tips on correcting dark circles under the eyes, a common complaint for new moms, and how to make your eyes pop without looking heavy-handed.  Participants will get an inside scoop on the best products on the market and one-on-one help practicing techniques.

makeup classes chicago

My last announcement comes with a heavy heart. After five successful years of partnership, Laurie Peacock has made the decision to pursue her love of family photography and writing. We’re all very sad to see Laurie go, but are so excited to see her shine in this new direction.  Here’s a message from Laurie:

“It’s with sadness that I am leaving Revealed Studios. It was a tough decision, but I’m leaving to pursue other endeavors.  Helping women see their beauty and power has been a life-affirming opportunity and one I will cherish always.

Thanks to all who have made my stay at Revealed be an inspiring and uplifting experience. Keep embracing your imperfections and strutting your sexy and amazing bodies.”

I, along with everyone working with Revealed, will cherish the imprint Laurie’s left on the company. We’ll miss many things about having Laurie at the studio, her contagious, releasing laugh most of all.  -Maggie

Real Women of Revealed Feature: Dr. Sandy Goldberg

Celebrating a woman who champions other women

Known as “Aunt Sandy” to many, A Silver Lining Foundation Founder Dr. Sandy Goldberg is dedicated to providing free mammograms to women who can’t afford them.

In 2000, Dr. Sandy was told she had breast cancer and would need surgery immediately. As a contributor on nutrition for NBC Chicago, she had the unique opportunity to share her experience with thousands of viewers in what became an intimate documentation of her 14-month journey treating and–ultimately– surviving breast cancer.

During that time, she received countless calls from strangers going through a similar experience, only without the financial means to receive the same level of care. Dr. Sandy became the point person to many, offering advice and a compassionate ear to those who couldn’t afford top-of-the-line care. After one day full of these calls, she returned home and burst into tears at the disparity between others’ treatment and her own. Her husband (a straight-talker!) said “what are you going to do about it?”

Her answer: “start a foundation.” And that’s how A Silver Lining Foundation (ASLF) was born.

Dr. Sandy’s mother was an immigrant to America from Russia and each month, when it came time to pay the bills, set aside a portion for others. She always heard her mom say in Yiddish, “we’re all family. We have to help each other through the tough times.” This way of thinking stuck with Dr. Sandy and eventually became the philosophy behind ASLF.

With Mother’s Day fast approaching, we are honored to feature Dr. Sandy as a Real Woman of Revealed. Like many of our own mothers, she’s an example of someone with a fountain of beauty streaming from her heart that nourishes those around her.

This Mother’s Day, we’re celebrating Dr. Sandy and A Silver Lining Foundation by partnering with The Hue Studio to raise money for ASLF’s Buy a Mom a Mammogram® Program. Revealed will be donating 25% of all proceeds from any Mother’s Day photo shoot to this important cause. We hope this gives you another reason to pamper your mother this year with a makeover and photoshoot. You can even jump in the pictures with your mom to capture the moment together. Know your gift will help a great cause, because like Dr. Sandy believes, we’re all family.

chicago portrait photos Chicago-woman-portrait-photography_0008
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A Silver Lining Foundation Founder Dr. Sandy Goldberg feature is part of our on-going series, Real Women of Revealed -a collection of photos and stories of inspirational women we feel exemplify beauty beyond appearance. Click here to see more from this series.

Real Woman of Revealed NBC Chicago Weather woman Alicia Roman

Alicia Roman Photoshoot & Real Woman of Revealed

We’re thrilled to feature the lovely Alicia Roman, meteorologist for NBC Chicago today on our blog. Besides being gorgeous and talented, Alicia is kind, funny, and a giver.  She doesn’t take life too seriously and manages to stay grounded in an industry where that can be tough to maintain.

What inspired you to pursue meteorology? 

I’ve always been fascinated with weather. When I was little (4 years old) – my dad was working construction and depended on the weather to “cooperate” or his job would be canceled. I would wake up early in the morning with him at 5 am to watch the weather channel (which was in its infancy then).

Also, he loved watching thunderstorms on our front porch. We would watch together – he would explain things to me and then we would run inside, turn on the weather channel and watch the radar for our area. After that, I had a meteorologist come to my school when I was in fourth grade and I was sold by then!

You were on the host committee for Tickled Pink, can you tell us a little about the organization and why you choose to support the cause? 

My mother is a two-time cancer survivor – breast and colon cancer. She is amazing, such a strong woman.  I am so motivated by her strength and perseverance during that time. Its very important to me to help and be an advocate for these organizations such as Tickled Pink.

What’s a day off like for you?

Hah! Well now a days – my days off are consumed with wedding planning ( getting married at the end of the year). But really, other than that, I like to wake up, watch the news, do a little work on the internet (emails and such), go to the gym, then come home to make a wonderful dinner followed by either binge watching netflix or tv with my fiancé! That is a perfect day off for me! 

What makes you feel confident?

Knowing myself and what I stand for and believe in. Over the years it has been very hard to find that confidence. For me, I think it came later in life. Once I was confident in myself – my confidence at work came next, then with friends and etc.

What makes you feel beautiful? 

Knowing that I am loved and I am happy with myself and what I am doing in this life, makes me feel beautiful. I have a wonderful family, network of friends and an AMAZING fiancé, all of whom would do anything to help me & I to help them.

Who are some women who have inspired you throughout your life and why?

My mother of course for her courage and strength.

Work related: Ever since the Weather Channel first aired – I LOVED Vivian Brown, and still do. She is still working at the station today. She has such elegance and grace when she gives her forecast, I’ve always tried to model myself after her.

In an industry where there’s so much focus on appearance, how do you stay grounded?

For me, I grew up in a humble household. I was taught to be grateful for everything you have, even if that includes beauty.

I’ve never been really comfortable being in the spotlight, so I have no problems staying grounded in that way, however,  I work in a business that allows me to teach people about weather and protect them in times when the weather can be dangerous. 

Do you have any words of advice for younger women struggling with their confidence?

In this day in age with, social media, magazines, photoshop etc…  it is extremely hard for us to focus on what really matters, which is looking inward and realizing that we are so much more than what we see in the mirror. Be yourself and be happy – that is the real beauty in life!















Maggie in Thailand

Travel Photography by Maggie Rife Ponce

Maggie has been taking a much needed vacation in Thailand. We’ve been missing her, but she sent us these beautiful photos to share with you.

On a personal note, I, Laurie, am so grateful for Maggie manning the Studio while I was on bed rest and maternity leave for twins.  She did an awesome job and was sooo busy. Love you and thankful for all you do.








Client Valerie Groth writes about her boudoir shoot

Real Client, Valerie Groth talks about her boudoir photo shoot


Chicago boudoir photography


It may go without saying, but Laurie and I (Maggie) are people people.  We LOVE the moment our clients walk through the door and we finally get to put a face to all the emails!  We’re replenished by these encounters because our shoots are opportunities to get to know the lovely ladies we photograph, who are often talented, intelligent professionals that leave us inspired!

Valerie Groth is one such example.  A life and career coach, she has a background working with inner city students as a counselor before becoming her own boss in recent years.  She now empowers clients to overcome fear and transform their life through self-confidence building experiences.  She’s a great coach because she practices what she preaches–like doing a boudoir shoot!  Valerie told us during her session that she was nervous about the idea, but never one to back down from a challenge, she booked anyway.

She has generously shared a boudoir shoot testimonial, where you’ll read how it was not something just to give her boyfriend, but with her 30th birthday on the horizon, a great way to celebrate where she is at in life.  This is exactly what we like to hear at Revealed. We want our clients to walk a little taller after their shoot and embrace just how beautiful they are today.  We hope you enjoy ready about Valerie’s experience.  Feel free to share your own thoughts in the comment section!  We invite your to share how you’ve tackled self-doubt or challenged yourself to something out of your comfort zone!

In a few days, we’ll be following up this post with another feature from Valerie.  Where she’ll share the story behind the picture below.  In between posts, make sure to check out her website at www.InspirationWithVal.com and follow her on Twitter at @ValerieGroth.

Valerie’s Testimonial:

“I’ve been hearing about boudoir photography shoots for a couple years now, and to be honest my first reaction was that it was something I would NEVER do.  However, after a friend had a great experience, I decided to give it a shot. I decided to go with Revealed Studios since I loved the photos they had displayed on their website, and also because in the video on their website Maggie and Laurie seemed very sweet and down to earth.  I set up an appointment with Maggie via email and the scheduling process was quick and easy. 

When I got to the Revealed studio, I was immediately impressed with the gorgeous space.  It’s set up and decorated in a way that feels comfortable and romantic – which is exactly the type of ambience you need to get photographed in your lingerie!

 While Maggie got everything set up for the shoot, Tonya did my hair and makeup and she did an amazing job!  I am normally really picky about how my makeup looks and as a result I generally don’t like how professional makeup artists do my makeup.  However, Tonya made me look beautiful and natural, and I just adored the way she styled my hair!

 I brought numerous ‘outfits’ with me and Maggie did a great job helping me decide what to go with and which outfits would look best.  While I brought some of my own jewelry, they also have a great selection of gorgeous jewelry that you can borrow to wear during the shoot, as well.

 When it came time to get started, I was so nervous at first – but my discomfort didn’t last long!  I normally feel really awkward during solo photo shoots but Maggie and Tonya were awesome and helping me pose in a way that looked great but that also felt natural. Trust me – if I can do it, anyone can!!

 Before long I was actually enjoying myself.  It sounds silly, but being all dressed up with your hair and makeup done and being photographed makes you feel like you get to be a celebrity or a model for the day – and who wouldn’t want to feel like that?

 When I went back for my second appointment to pick out which photos to use, Maggie was incredibly helpful and made the process very easy and simple.  And when I received the final product, I was so impressed!  The photos looked gorgeous and the book is high-quality.  

 But I haven’t even touched on the main reason I loved my boudoir shoot, a reason which I think may surprise you.  Stay tuned for Part 2 to learn what my boudoir shoot and this photo have in common…. 




Beyoncé and Boudoir

What we can learn from Beyoncé

We love Beyoncé! While working on our new studio, we’ve been dancing and singing to her new album, Beyoncé.  While looking on youtube for her new videos, I ran across this older video, Best Thing I Never Had, and was struck how much it was like a boudoir shoot. The way Beyoncé moves her body and looks into the camera is so elegant, sexy and confident. Check it out for posing inspiration.

Women who inspire us: Spanx Founder Sara Blakely

As a female centric business, we find inspiration in many places, from sigh inducing scenes in our favorite movies, to the pages of fashion magazines where the sets send our creative wheels spinning.  When it comes to the business though, we find confidence in the success stories of other female entrepreneurs out there making it happen.


In a new blog post series, we’ll be running short features on those women changing the World. We’re starting today with Spanx founder, Sara Blakely.  One night before a party, out of desperation, the thirty something grab her scissors and in a brash move, severed her panty hose just above the knees. The rest of the night, she walked with comfort, knowing her rump looked smooth and her tummy felt supported.  She thought, this is it, these footless panty hose are going to change the way women wear clothes.

Blakely’s passion and dedication pushed her forward, despite road block after road block. Her “crazy invention” has now become a billion dollar business as a result of her tireless commitment to the brand.

She has now expanded her mission beyond helping women feel and look beautiful through her products, by creating the Sara Blakey Foundation, which is “dedicated to helping women globally and locally through education and entrepreneurship. By finding the future female entrepreneurs and leaders of the world and giving them the “leg-up” they need to succeed, the whole world will benefit.”
Watch her share her story during a TED talk herehttp://www.inc.com/sara-blakely/the-spanx-story-how-sara-blakely-turned-footless-pantyhose-into-a-business.html.html

Inspired by Audrey Hepburn

Taking inspiration from this Audrey Hepburn quote…

We love Audrey Hepburn.  Turns out her quotes are just as powerful as her images and movies.  Along with her quotes, here are two Revealed images that we’d like to think evoke the spirit of Audrey.

“There is more to sex appeal than just measurements. I don’t need a bedroom to prove my womanliness. I can convey just as much sex appeal, picking apples off a tree or standing in the rain.” – Audrey Hepburn

 women portraits inspired by Audrey Hepburn quote


“I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and… I believe in miracles.” – Audrey Hepburn


women portraits inspired by Audrey Hepburn quote