Whenever we think of boudoir photography, we typically picture lacy lingerie and pearls, beds and bedrooms, a photographic gift—perhaps for a wedding, an anniversary, or Valentine’s—for a significant other.  

This is not the type of boudoir photography Allie Monday creates.

Instead, Monday’s typical client is the woman who is “learning to know and accept herself.” Her photographs are ones of beauty and art, photos that “celebrate the life you’ve survived and the body that has gotten you through it.”

These are photographs one gives to oneself.

Photography by Allie Monday.

After taking standard boudoir photography for five years, Monday had a revelation: “I stopped asking women what their partners liked about their bodies and began asking them what they liked about themselves,” she says. “This changed everything.”

Ladygroove, Monday’s Village-based photography studio, specializes in documenting a loving relationship between a woman and her body in the present moment, not what she once was or hopes to be in the future. Monday’s process involves learning each client: how she views herself, her personality, her body image journey, and what she hopes to get out of the session. “Expectations and intentions are powerful,” she says.

During each shoot, Monday uses a lot of positive affirmation, and perhaps most importantly, she is transparent about her own personal struggles. “I’m right there with everyone else saying that I have not figured out this life.” These methods combine to make the experience one of connection and comfort—so the clients’ ultimate photos reveal their truest, most intimate beings.

Originally from Albany, Georgia, Monday relocated to Greenville with her husband, commercial photographer Levi Monday, to whom she credits teaching her the technical foundations of fine art  photography. She was drawn to The Village for the location of her studio because of its “rawness,” its “real-life” vibe: “I thrive on being on the edge of something that isn’t fully birthed. And I wanted to be a part of that process in The Village,” she says.

Stepping aside of her typical boudoir photography shoots (although none could be described as “typical”), Monday photographed the eight women entrepreneurs and creative leaders for this issue’s “This Woman’s Work” feature (page 76), an experience she says pushed her out of her comfort zone and deeply inspired her. “Every single one of these women is actually doing something,” she says. “They are facing their fears, seeing how they can contribute, and taking actions to make The Village, and their own dreams, a reality. That’s empowering and oh-so-comforting. I feel grateful and less alone that these women (and many others who have gone before us) are doing the work to make The Village a place of safety, diversity, and beauty.”

And while Monday learned a lot through this experience, she says, “I’d bet money that each woman learned a thing or two about her own self from being photographed for this issue. And that’s kind of the point of Ladygroove.”

For more information or to schedule a photography session with Allie Monday, visit www.iamladygroove.com.