Meet the Boudie Babes - Kim Long | Mildura Boudoir Photography
CHANCES are around town or through Pure Beauty you have come across Kim Long.
Kim’s one of those people that dabbles in a lot of things. One of those people that you wonder how she has time to do it all. But she does and she does an amazing job; from being an elite ambassador for Pure Beauty, to her full time job in mental health, to volunteering, and of course who can forget - single super mum. Kim’s been with Pure Beauty since the introduction of ambassadors.
On the Facebook groups you’ll always see her name pop up beside comments full of encouragement and wisdom.
But who is Kim? What makes her tick?
She shares the honest and refreshing story of Kim Long and being an Elite Ambassador below:
So, here’s me in a nutshell…. I’m a 47 year old, single mum of two amazing boys, who both drive me nuts, but I would kill for, in the same breath.
I work full time in Mental Health (and love it), but have a habit of over committing and am looking to sink my teeth into some part time study in all of my spare time! Ha!
I was married for 12 years, and I’m now really comfortable being on my own again after my marriage broke down 2 years ago.
I hate baths, actually like long walks, on the beach or wherever! I love Reformer Pilates and practice aerial yoga at home in my aerial hammock.
But who am I as a person?
I struggle with social anxiety and have done for the past five years - which is interesting, considering I ran my own business, was always putting myself out there and attending launches, business events and promotional events, getting up and doing speeches, demonstrations and running events either by myself or with my beautiful clients to help back me up!
I’m always the first to get up and speak publicly (for Lauren), which is why many people are surprised that I struggle with social anxiety!
I am a passionate and caring person and love to give back when and where I can.
I volunteer, and get such a feeling of peace and happiness in doing so, usually to the point where I cry when I’m talking about the charity and what we do!
I am a fierce friend, although I’m useless at ringing people to catch up for a chat!
I always try to self sabotage friendships (thank-you anxiety), but I do eventually manage to talk myself out of it.
I doubt and second guess almost everything I do except for work decisions and modelling for Lauren.
But I’m constantly questioning my worth to other people which is at times really overwhelming.
Even while I’m with my friends I’m still telling myself that they will figure out I’m not worth it and stop keeping me around.
Anxiety really sucks!
I firmly believe in removing the negative and toxic relationships from my life, and living in the now and doing what I enjoy.
Other people will always have a perception of who they think you are, and you will never please everyone, so I don’t push myself on anyone or try to change their opinion of me.
I am a confident person (even with the anxiety), but am useless at making decisions about myself.
I’m fantastic at making decisions for business and steering conversations back on track!
I talk … a LOT! (And write a LOT too!)
I love having time to myself - there is nothing quite as good as losing yourself in a great book.
I have a great imagination and I love acting - a passion I haven’t followed for many a year now, but I love losing myself in a role and being completely swept up into that character.
Pure Beauty: What is your role within Pure Beauty?
Kim: My role as an Elite Ambassador is supporting Lauren in her business in any and every way possible.
This involves promotion, public speaking, sharing my beautiful images, empowering and uplifting our amazing Ambassadors and VIP Group ladies, and realistically ALL women! Talking about Pure Beauty and what it can truly do for anyone having their own shoot, considering a shoot or saving for a shoot. Knowing the business, the products and the packages available and being confident speaking about them to anyone.
I am so passionate about what Lauren does and have supported her and been so excited about this since the very second she told me what she was up to.
I’m a sounding board for Lauren, I offer my input and suggestions about so much. I give her advice, bring her back down to the boring, stable business decisions. I help paint backdrops. I make platters for everything. I drink coffee with her, laugh and play with her kids, try to get everything organised with lists and shopping and get to have beautiful photos taken of me that I get to share everywhere! I also do many of the client blogs for the website.
Pure Beauty: As an ambassador what do you want to achieve for clients before and while they have a session with Lauren?
Kim: I love it when clients come to me asking questions or to confide in me when they are terrified the day before their shoot.
I love being a calming and reassuring person that they feel they can talk to, to support them and help them realise that everything will be perfect at their shoot.
I want the clients to feel confident, but also to know that it is perfectly normal to feel nervous, scared, overwhelmed etc. the day before (because we do all feel that ping of self doubt and nervousness!).
I love helping them to realise that they are so beautiful and they will be treated as the Goddess they are on the day and all those feelings of doubt about themselves will completely vanish.
I am truly honoured that so many wonderful women have asked me questions or trusted me with their worries before their shoot and so very flattered that so many ask me if I can be there for their shoot for moral support.
I also know that they are going to have the very best time on the day, will have a sore face from laughing so much and that they will probably cry at the reveal, seeing themselves the way that everybody else does - truly beautiful and flawless!
Pure Beauty: The Pure Beauty concept, what does that mean to you?
Kim: To me Pure Beauty means to believe in yourself.
To feel uplifted, empowered, comfortable and confident in the skin you’re in.
Pure Beauty helps you see the person that you are - the way that everyone else sees you - with love, beauty and assuredness.
As Margaret Wolfe Hungerford wrote, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
Lauren’s eye (and camera lens) captures both your inner and outer beauty.
Pure Beauty: Lauren is delivering a service to women that can be life-changing. What is it like to be involved in the process of reminding all women how amazing, beautiful and unique they really are?
Kim: I really am honoured to be an Ambassador and beyond flattered that she has kept me on as an Elite Ambassador.
I get very swept up in the emotions that women go through after they have a shoot - seeing how their opinion of themselves changes so much - watching them bloom and shine and their confidence building so much.
Hearing them speak about themselves afterward is such a reward to me, because they are building themselves up every time they talk about their experience, their images and how they view themselves afterward.
It really is a life-changing process, and having gone through it myself I get caught up in the emotions and memories of what it felt like for me.
I do cry a lot!
Pure Beauty: What would you say has been your most memorable and powerful moment while being involved in Pure Beauty?
Kim: I have been lucky enough to experience a few moments but the one I always think of was during the first group ambassador shoot with Vee, Jess, Bella and Kayla.
My marriage had only just broken down, I was really at my lowest emotionally, in self confidence and I was terrified of what was to become of my kids and me with no job, the house to be sold, no income and bills piling up.
Having this mini shoot (with complete strangers) was the only thing I felt I could throw myself into and knew what I was doing!
I was so sad, and it was so hard to hold back the tears and try to hold it together.
I was truly broken and out of that, Lauren got the most incredible photo of me - this is the image that I immediately think of.
It’s powerful, it’s raw, it’s devastatingly beautiful! It reminds me of the fear, loss and sadness of that time, but I also see how far I have come. How strong I am and how I showed my kids that you can overcome anything if you put your mind to it.
Pure Beauty: To those that haven't had a shoot before, how would you describe how the session makes you feel?
Kim: A shoot can give you a different feeling each time.
It can depend on how organised you are feeling, nervousness, confidence - all of these things come into effect!
My very first shoot was amazing. I wasn’t scared or nervous - I was so ready!
I had all of my outfits (and plenty of extras), shoes and accessories.
My Pinterest Board was overflowing with ideas, I was confident, I felt amazing about myself and I wasn’t focused on any areas that weren’t my favorite.
We laughed so much and I was being silly - striking 50’s housewife poses in the kitchen of the B and B!
It definitely helped that I had known Lauren for quite a few years and she had taken many photos of me previously for the Babywearing Group, Breastfeeding Normalisation and Kangatraining.
Needless to say, I was pretty comfortable with her taking pictures of me even if I was in lingerie or almost naked.
My first ambassador shoot was so different - I was so nervous!
I had placed a lot of pressure on myself! I had such a clear vision of what I wanted. My Pinterest Board was overflowing, I had so much lingerie but I felt so disorganised!
Thankfully it doesn’t communicate in any of the photos though, and obviously the stars aligned, and we got up on the roof and out the back of the studio to get the industrial images I really wanted!
My last shoot in the sandhills was different again.
I felt confident, amazing, didn’t care about taking off my bra and throwing it away!
This was by far my absolute favorite shoot and I think that this is purely because I felt more like myself again after such a long road back!
Pure Beauty: How does it feel seeing the absolute magic Lauren creates through her work?
Kim: Lauren is incredible at what she does! She is always studying different poses, trying out different ideas and scouting for locations and props and furniture.
She did so much research about boudoir photography well before she launched her business! She really planned and thought about this in detail.
Lauren can capture the most amazing and beautiful images. She focuses on areas you love about yourself, so that you don’t needlessly focus on areas you may not love about yourself.
She is definitely a very talented photographer with an incredible eye. She will get the absolute best out of you every time and you will actually see the incredible beauty you are!
As well as that, she has scouted the very best high end product and the images just pop on that metallic paper! The products available for your images are really second to none!
Pure Beauty: Who is the most influential woman in your life and why?
Kim: I definitely have a few, but the most influential woman in my life is my amazing bestie Kylie.
This woman is a powerhouse!
Her heart is so huge and she has got me through so very much.
She is truly my rock and I couldn’t survive without her.
I’ve watched her run a national business as if it were her own, while raising three beautiful and incredible children, survive so much and still be there for so many people as their support, mentor and friend.
I look up to this incredible woman and I am so damn proud that she is in my life!
Pure Beauty: Do you have any idols in the public area you look up to and why?
Kim: I follow several Australian women - mainly mums keeping it real.
I do love Laura Mazza - Mum on the Run. Laura keeps it straight up and says it how it is. She is brutal and honest with her journey with motherhood, postnatal depression and anxiety.
And being a mum from Melbourne, I find her honesty and posts to be refreshing and relatable.
Pure Beauty: If you could send one message to all the females out there, what would it be?
Kim: Be kind to yourself!
You truly deserve the world and although you may not really believe that right now it’s true!
Everyone is beautiful, everyone has infinite potential, everyone is unique.
The perceived flaws you think you have, no-one else sees - most likely others see what you think as flawed, as perfect.
Let your inner light shine and do what makes you feel happy.
Book a session with Lauren and see yourself the way you need to see yourself!
Boost that confidence. Love yourself and love the body and skin you are in, because you are exactly as you should be! Perfect. xx
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Mildura resident and Photographer, Lauren Southwell launched Pure Beauty in late June, 2018 & is committed to helping woman feel beautiful, sexy and empowered through the art of Boudoir Photography.