Hey, maybe you should save up to splurge on a professional sexy photo shoot, just for yourself

People can be really judgmental when it comes to women who take pictures of themselves. For some reason, even in this climate of growing body positivity, the mere act of taking and appreciating a picture of yourself is loaded with implications about your self esteem and body image. Our official stance: to hell with the haters. This year, to take the selfie love a step further, maaaaybe you should even make a resolution to splurge on a professional sexy photo shoot, even if you never end up displaying the pictures in your home or on Instagram. But if you do that too, consider it liked by us.

Loving yourself is not crime.

A photo shoot with a pro is way different from a selfie, of course, but the the motivations behind it are pretty much the same. A selfie is just a DIY portrait, after all. Taking a picture of yourself, in any way, is a way to tell the world that you feel worthy of being captured in time, which takes a whole lotta self love. But when some women love themselves and their bodies, it can really bothers people. A 2013 study from the University of Toronto found that people think selfie-takers are “vain,” which might be just one of the excuses you use to talk yourself out of a personal, sexy, styled, photo shoot, or worse, feel like you’re just some silly, self-obsessed millennial. 

According to the Daily Mail, the researchers in this study “found taking regular selfies may increase people’s susceptibility to self-favoring bias, causing them to overestimate the attractiveness of their photos more and more over time.” We don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like a bad thing. What’s so bad about people, women especially, “favoring” themselves and “overestimating” their looks? Who set the baseline for attractiveness? When you see a study linking selfie taking and self esteem, it’s worth questioning the methods and the focus groups, since there are a ton of presumptions that have to be made when you’re talking about what’s “attractive” and what is an “acceptable” amount of self love.

Being a narcissist is a real personality disorder, so we should be careful about how we throw the word around, lest it lose its meaning and we have trouble spotting actual narcissists. A narcissist is a person who has a “pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy.” Wanting to have a few good pictures of yourself does not, in any sense of the word, make you a narcissist, so don’t let anyone judge you out of booking a good photographer for yourself.

There a ton of studies that show that selfie-taking can lead to lower self-esteem, mainly through methods that gauged how young women felt when looking at other people’s selfies and getting “likes” of their own. Some people think selfies and self portraits are a total crock of steamy, sexist sh*t, yet another way women allow society to judge them or tell them *how* they should look.

But for every one of those hot, also kind of sexist takes (why is it so bad for women to love themselves?!), there’s another one that says taking pictures of yourself actually boosts confidence. One study, done at the University of California, found that taking selfies actually “promoted happiness.” In other words, the more you do it, the more you love the act and what you’re seeing.

So in the name of a confidence boost and flipping the bird to anyone who wants to judge you for being confident, you should start googling photographers for your own sexy, personal photo shoot.

There are so many reasons to gift yourself a photo shoot — because you want to remember what your twenty-something body looks like when you’re old, to capture your pregnancy, to celebrate a victory over a health battle, or just because you want to have a hot picture of yourself in your living room, Kris Jenner-style. Actually, one of the things we love most about the Kardashians is their proclivity for hiring professional photographers to capture them whenever they’re having a major life moment, be it a “revenge body” or just because they’re bored.

There’s a reason wealthy people do this for themselves all the time: Good pictures cost money. When you start researching a sexy photo shoot, you’ll likely come across deals and specials for a “boudoir” photo shoot, which is one way to go. In these shoots, you can wear lingerie or nothing at all. Think, for example, the cover of Maxim or Playboy, which is pretty hot (albeit problematic in a lot of ways, which your shoot obviously doesn’t need to be).Sometimes, they’ll even throw in hair and makeup for a price, which is a huge bonus, since finding your own glam squad can be half the battle. If you’re gonna do this, you wanna really do it, right? When it comes to pricing, these kinds of photographers will have set package prices and might also have props and sets for you to pick from. Sometimes they’ll have costume lingerie you can wear, but you’ll usually also bring your own “looks.”

Those boudoir packages are all well and good for some people, but in our experience, it often leads to a photographer sort of directing how you look sexy. Yes, in a way, that’s what all photographers do, but instead of focusing on YOU, a boudoir shoot runs the risk of someone hustling you into a bodysuit you’d never wear and some heels just because they only have an hour until their next booking. It’s a personal choice, but another way to go is to just find a really good photographer in your area and tell them that you want to do photo shoot that makes you look sexy, maybe even nude.

Whether you want someone to dress you up and have a fun day of it, or you want to be entirely in the creative driver’s seat, there are photographers out there who can make this a reality. Go on in, girl, and have a blast.

A big plus to hiring a pro to shoot your hot self: They know people who can make the experience even more amazing. They’ll probably know a makeup artist, or you can call a local beauty school and hire one on the cheap. You’re going to have these pictures forever and you’re paying good money for them, so getting some sexy shots that you really, really love is the goal. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s not necessary or narcissistic to get yourself a sexy photo shoot. They probably just wish they’d thought of it first.

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