Boudoir Beauty: Cathy Empey Photography

Remember the pin-up style boudoir photoshoot I did with a bunch of girlfriends before Valentine’s day? We had so much fun primping and posing, and got some great shots that made us all feel sexy, glamorous, and beautiful! As more and more women are embracing their natural bodies and sexuality, boudoir photography is rapidly gaining popularity.

Cathy Empey, a friend and local photographer who specializes in Boudoir, is truly passionate about helping women recognize their innate beauty and love the bodies they have today. But she doesn’t just create pretty pictures. Through her work, Cathy empowers women to feel confident, strong, and gorgeous in their own skin…lumps, bumps, and wrinkles included! “Every woman is sexy,” she declared during an interview with Urban Rush. “I find it in everybody, doesn’t matter your size or age.” Cathy’s passion for boudoir and capturing a woman’s natural beauty is deeply rooted in personal experience. Towards the end of her last pregnancy, this mother of six (yes you heard correctly!) decided to commemorate the experience with a maternity photoshoot. The experience was transformational—for her self-perception and her professional direction.

“At the time, I didn’t feel great about myself. I was swollen and uncomfortable and somewhat awkward. But something magical happened after that shoot. When I got the pictures back, I saw a glow; a beauty. The happiness I was feeling on the inside was reflected back at me through the images. I couldn’t believe it was me! In that moment, I knew what I wanted to do – I wanted to help other women feel the way I felt looking at my maternity pictures.”

With her vibrant smile and fun-loving nature, it’s not hard to feel at ease around Cathy. From her subjects she extracts a raw femininity and softness, while also captivating their strength. This ability is undoubtedly the mark of a truly talented and passionate photographer, artist, and woman.


Ode to Julie: An Inspiration to All Us Curvy Girls

Julie was a young teenager when I met her. She is the daughter of one of my bosses from the first design job I ever had—over 25 years ago now. It was Julie that first came to me and said “Diane you should design a line of clothing for plus size women.” And so the seed was planted…

 Julie has always been one of my staunchest supporters. It’s been a pleasure to watch her come into her own over the years. Always a plus size, with her weight fluctuating up and down, she has come to love herself and bloom with a confidence that glows from within. She embraces life with zeal, doing crazy things like climbing rock cliffs and playing in a carnival band… just for fun!

One of Julie’s fitness goals was to sculpt her rather flat butt into one with bodacious curves. She loves to proudly show off her newfound ‘assets’, which always makes me laugh! She is also having fun dating—uncompromising in her demands on her potential partners. She loves to dress up, especially in the colour red; here she has on a fabulous custom made cape in a brilliant fire engine hue.

On her trips to Vancouver, Julie always comes to visit and buy clothes from me. We pull apart the showroom and we talk about life and love, fun times and shopping… 🙂 This time she fell in love with my new Tiffany Skirt and Switch Tunic.

What’s next for my beautiful friend? Julie is embarking on a rather interesting career path; after she gets her masters she plans on setting up a practice in sex therapy. I can’t wait to follow the next chapter of Julie’s life on her quest for happiness, fulfillment, and a career that promises to be both fascinating and rewarding. Stay tuned, with a little persuasion I’m hoping to convince her to guest blog. Way to go Julie!!

Cupid Loves Burlesque: A Valentine’s PinUp Party

As promised …. the latest installment of our girlie-fun chronicles!

It was lazy sunday morning. The weather outside was dull and typical for Vancouver in February, but a few well placed spotlights made up for the lack of daylight. A plain white canvas was hung for a backdrop and a fully charged camera ready to go. The gaggle of girls arrived, some already in make-up, others with naked faces ready for the brush and the pots of colour. Soon we had a living room full of suitcases and a kitchen full of goodies, wine, make-up, and faces preening into lighted mirrors. False eyelashes, so tricky to put on, but well worth the effort add that special glamourous touch. Black eyeliner, blush and lips red, Red, RED!

The purpose? A sexy Valentine’s photoshoot to give as gifts to that special person. I had an outfit already picked out. Red and lace, stockings, garter, corset. A real corset with steel boning in heavy red satin. I can’t think of one clothing item that does more for the waistline and the goddess within. We all brought several changes of outfits, hence the suitcases. Our hostess revealing a treasure trove of costumes, feather boas and props – from her days as a burlesque dancer – spilled gloriously all over the livingroom. More

Laugh Until your Belly Hurts…a Cure for the Winter Blues

The weather in Vancouver this time of year lends itself to indulgent pastimes. Rain can be synonymous with taking hot baths, curling up with a good book and tea in a pretty china cup. Solo is nice, but it’s way more fun to catch up on gossip and get together with girlfriends you haven’t seen for a while. Get some inspiration from your teenage years—or your teenage daughter—and host a ladies night in! There is nothing like a good belly laugh with your girlfriends. When was the last time you did something silly…just for fun?

 You could rent all your old favorite chick flicks and make home-made beauty treatments. Not only will you get some laughs out of seeing all your friends smeared in mixtures of banana, oatmeal, and honey, but you’ll also know that what’s on your skin is healthy and natural. This time last year my crazy friend invited us girls over and we had no idea what was in store for us! She had actually collected clay from a riverbed in Saskatchewan for—you got it!—mud masks. (Please God don’t let my boyfriend see this picture!!)

We dressed up in crazy, colorful wigs and silly hats. I was a Thai princess. We even belly danced. True story.

 A wine and cheese party is another great way to kick back with the girls. Everyone brings a bottle of wine and their favorite cheese to share. Have a sleepover so no one has to drive home. These days we do so much socializing and interacting on-line, we need to make the time to see our friends in person. With all the social networking sites we’re on these days, we always need new pictures to post, right? Why not use this as the excuse to get together in real time and host a picture party! Do each others’ makeup and take pictures or videos. Capture yourselves having really fun times with the people that matter most in your life. I’m stoked for this weekend’s girlie get-together. It’s going to be a picture party, with a theme. I’ll tell you all about it… next week.