How to Look Good Naked Ottawa

We’re looking for everyday women of all shapes
and sizes for our upcoming style guide*

We want to show you how to dress and love the skin you’re in
while showing off your most sexy self.

It all starts with the right base (lingerie – bra & panty set)


Want to get involved?

Step 1: Share your most confident and sexy selfie on instagram for your chance to join in the fun.

Step 2:
Hashtag your body type:
Inverted Triangle

Step 3: Tag @amandamaylingerie & @auraatelier

Each participant will receive a 15% discount from Amanda May Lingerie & Aura Atelier!

*Must be willing to be photographed for promotional purposes

Walking the talk

Below is a post I shared on instagram this morning, and felt it was important to share on the blog for those who don’t follow us on instagram yet – which I suggest you all go and do right now if you don’t already. It’s easy, just float your mouse over to the sidebar on the left and there is a widget that will take you straight to us;)

Taken from Aura’s instagram:

I spent a lot of time on the phone yesterday answering inquiries and going over the Aura process.

When I explain to women how to complete their homework, I often use the example that I don’t like my legs. And I explain that it’s all about finding ways to appreciate the areas of your body that you feel more sensitive about. This can be done through different types lighting, posing or angles.

Because I practice what I preach, and I felt my legs deserved some love after all that talk yesterday, here is a shot I took this morning right before getting out of bed.

No photoshop just a B&W filter.


Today’s challenge, (and hopefully everyday from this day on) Stop. Breathe. And be PRESENT with your beautiful bod. You’ve only got one. Love it. #bodymindwellness #transformation #theauradiffence #bepresent #bodylove #legs #ottawaboudoirphotographer



The C word


This is something I journaled about over a year ago while in transit on the GO bus from Toronto to Hamilton. I intended to post it back then but everything happens for a reason. Timing is everything. There have been minor amendments to acknowledge where things are today.


Competition is a noun, however for the purposes better understanding the message of this post I have included the definition of the verb compete: to strive to outdo another for acknowledgment, a prize, supremacy, profit, etc.; engage in a contest

Competition is a word I’ve never fully understood. Well, no, that is true, I understand it. But most definitely do not resonate with it.

When I went to school for Creative Photography in 2003, my experience was incredible. The teachers and my fellow colleagues were so supportive and encouraging. We never worried about someone ‘stealing’ the ideas we were working on.

This was a thought that never crossed any of our minds. It never was an issue because we believed in the power of community. We wanted to see each other succeed.

We knew we all had our own individual style; our own vision. This idea of competing with one another never existed because we understood that we were all unique. No one ever produced the same work as another, even when we were assigned the exact same assignment. Which was every week. We pushed each other to think outside of the box.

(Perhaps I should stop for a moment and clarify. Not everyone ‘got it,’ but there was a large group of us that did. And we were always open welcoming not only to those in our group but with everyone in our program. Fear and competition was never a place we worked from.)

We all knew somewhere in the very core of our being, that no one could ever be our ‘competition’ because we all had had very different life experiences, and it is through our life experiences that we all see the world through different colour glasses. And we celebrated that fact.

My first college experience is one that I hold dear to my heart.

When I moved out West, and went back to school in 2009, for Journalism I was so excited to be entering into such a positive and inspiring environment again. I enjoy reinventing myself; personal growth is high on my values list.

Unfortunately, going to JA school soon revealed I was not in this same nourishing environment, I was once familiar with, and this was a hard thing for me to come to terms with. There were very few of us that didn’t have this fear of competition.

I call it fear because it is the only explanation that I’ve thought of that can begin to explain it.

In the journalism industry, there is a saying: “First, best, or different.”

It was my experience that everyone wanted to be FIRST. Some wanted to be the best, but few strived to be different.

I often wonder if this is because of the pressure of deadlines. And how much of this plays into the dying newspaper industry. Perhaps the struggle to find a way to save print media lay in the fact that not many of the people in print journalism ever focused on the different aspect. Just a thought, not a judgment.

But I digress, in JA school you keep your cards close to your chest, out of fear that someone will ‘steal’ your idea. It was a sad thing to watch. There was little creative and outside of the box thinking happening.

Come assignment times, you would go to an event and, you would see 85% of the students all standing and shooting from the same place.

And the working journalists were no better, hell, they were worse! You’d always see them at news events, shooting over each other’s shoulders. It was amusing. Had anyone of them dropped their lens an inch and a half it would have been resting on the shoulder of the ‘competition.’

I still remember the day I was at an event and a photojournalist at a local paper came in, I had met her before so I stood up from what I was about to shoot, to let her pass by and say hello. Instead, she looked me up and down, looked at what I was set up to shoot, and then knelt down right in front of me, and took the shot! I could not help but laugh out loud at the ridiculousness of her behavior.

This type of behavior is not one that I resonate with, at all. It was that moment that solidified this was not the type of environment I wanted to be immersed in everyday.

I love writing, and I love photography. I love people and I love getting to know their story. I am an innately curious person. So I naturally I thought that I would love journalism.

And I do. But I do not enjoy the industry.

I have thought a lot about being a freelancer, whereby I am not submerged in that energy every day, but still get to express passion that lives inside of me. And it is something that I will eventually revisit. But right now I am focused on Aura, and connecting with as many women as I can. Getting to know their stories, and helping to inspire them to love beautiful bodies, so that they can go out with this new found confidence and kick ass in our crazy world.

One of the talks Dan and I had in the very beginning of starting this rad little business, was that about competition. And more so how I will never bring this idea of competition into Aura. I needed him to understand how important this is to me, if we were to go into business together.

I vowed from the beginning that I would always be open and honest about how we got here. About all the tearful failures, the mornings where I just didn’t want to get out of bed, to the joyful successes, and the days that I was beaming with excitement bouncing up and down on my bed unable to curb my enthusiasm, and everything in between.

I made that promise for many reasons.

One of those reasons is because starting a business has literally been the single most difficult thing I have ever done (make no mistake, I’ve been fortunate in my short life to have had many abundant experiences) and I want to be of service to those who dare take on that same feat.

Starting a business is not for the faint of heart. And I applaud anyone willing to stick it out and make their dream a reality. It is hard work. You have to get out there every single day and bust your ass.

Starting a business, in this industry more specifically isn’t something you wake up one day and decide to do because your husband bought you a digital camera for Christmas. You will drown.

But if this is really your calling and your ready to put your blood, sweat and tears into it (no joke) and you constantly educate and reinvent yourself, you just might make it.

I have been a photographer for 13 years. I have worked in every area of photography you can imagine. I did not jump into working for myself. As I mentioned earlier, timing is everything.

It is only after 13 years that I can sit here and confidentially write this, fully owning every word of it.

I am writing this so that it has been said for all to read, that I do not believe in competition. I know that there is no one out there that can do what I do. Because they are not me.

I also know that I will not be the right fit for every client. I am ok with that. I get inquiries all the time that I never book. And I am being 100% honest with you when I say that I am ok with that. In fact, I feel great about that.

I believe that being open and honest about who I am, what drives me to do this work and who I want to work with will connect me with the clients that I am meant to work with. Since I started working from this heart-centered place, my business has exploded. I am inspired by every one of my clients, and I feel so blessed to collaborate with them.


To all the photographers out there reading this: I am writing this today to tell you I believe there is enough work to go around. Your client is out there waiting for you. All you need to do is get clear on who you are, and who it is you want to work with. I’ll say it again, Get clear on who you are and why you are in this business. Stop working from this place of fear, of competition, you don’t need to play in that sandbox. There is a wonderful community of open, welcoming and heart centered photographers out there. Won’t you join us?



Sherry Greer - October 28, 2014 - 9:16 pm

Wonderfully expressed, Tiffany. Like you, I have never understood the idea of competition with one another. We rise together as unique individuals within a community.

Diana Rickard Coote - November 4, 2014 - 3:18 am

Yes! Light-filled bubbles rise only when they rise together. And each one is beautiful. Each one is unique. Each one is air; each is light. We couldn’t exist without each one…
Together, we rise.

Klava Zykova - November 13, 2014 - 1:32 am

What a great post! I have to admit that sometimes I start to compare myself to my “competition” and then stop myself with these thoughts exactly – that we are all different and nobody can do the work the way I do it, the same way as I can’t do it “their” way. It is so liberating! And so much more rewarding to support each other!


Earlier this year I noticed something exciting happening in my work.

I was in a sales session with a client and caught myself saying, “There is always one photo from everyone’s session, that makes me say ‘WOW. This is one of my favourite photos I’ve ever taken.’”

That conversation flashed in my mind late last night, while laying out another beautiful goddess’ album proof.

When it came to laying out this particular photo, I knew it needed its own page. Truthfully, I believe the thought was DAMN, this needs to be blown up and hung in my office! But same idea.


This image is far more than a photograph. It is a moment.

A moment so special to my client, that neither you nor I will ever fully come to know. Because it is her moment.

As a viewer, it is one of those moments where you really have to stop, and just take a breath. Breathing in the awe and wonder of something so beautiful, something so peaceful.

On a personal level, it is one of those moments that fills me with so much love, to know that my client has entrusted me to share in such a sacred and vulnerable experience.


To my gorgeous client: Thank you, you beautiful goddess, for enriching my own personal life with your expansive love and openness. Meegwetch.

To those of you reading this: I challenge all of you, to be present enough, if only for today, to recognize and honour those moments in your lives where those around you are brave enough to open up and share a piece of themselves with you.



Sherry Greer - October 16, 2014 - 6:35 pm


Julie Keon - October 16, 2014 - 7:14 pm

So beautiful! Thank you for posting on LWL.

Laurie Katherine Gardner - October 16, 2014 - 11:26 pm

Wow, you are right and write very well. :)

Carol Sheehan - October 18, 2014 - 4:35 am

the vulnerability & beauty of the moment is phenomenal!

Tiffany Smith - October 30, 2014 - 2:03 pm

Thanks ladies!

The truth about why I do what I do


When was the time you celebrated you?

The honest truth about why I do what I do.

When was the last time you did something for you? To make your self feel good, just because.

When was the last time you pampered yourself?

When was the last time you looked in the mirror and not only loved what you saw but fully accepted yourself?

When was the last time you looked at your body and thought, ‘HOTDAMN, I look good!’

It is said that people buy not what you do, but WHY you do it.

So when I was asked in a marketing group last summer to think about my ‘why,’ the answer was easy – because I believe EVERY woman deserves to feel beautiful. I truly do.

It was such an easy answer for me that I thought maybe I got it wrong, as I sat there watching everyone else in the class struggle with their ‘why.’

Over the last 8 months I’ve had even more time to think about this.

What you may not know about me is that I have been studying Traditional Native Medicine since 2008. I am always working on myself to better myself, to further myself, because I believe success is holistic.

You have to be fulfilled in every aspect of your life to be successful. At least that is my definition of success.

As I continued working on my Self in my own personal healing since the marketing workshop, I discovered even more about my ‘why.’

In the tradition that I study, we are all One.
Therefore if I heal, than you heal.
And if you heal, I heal.

So as I healed through some of my personal blocks related to my success in business, I learned that the reason I believe every woman deserves to feel beautiful was because I didn’t feel beautiful.

And I believed that if I was able to facilitate an experience for my clients whereby they began to change how they viewed themselves I would begin to change how I saw myself.

You see, all my life I have struggled with my weight. I’ve been dieting since I was 10 years old.

For my thirteenth birthday my mother bought me my first gym membership, because she didn’t want the bullying I experienced in elementary school to continue as I entered high school.

Having fluctuated in size my entire life, I never felt pretty, let alone beautiful. I remember in my early 20′s dating a guy, who said to me one day, “have you ever thought about losing a little bit of weight? You know you could be really gorgeous.”

And you know what the really sad part of that was, it didn’t even hurt when he said it, because in the past I had said way worse things to myself about my body.

To give you an idea of how bad my body image was, when I moved to Calgary in August 2009, I lost a significant amount of weight between then and Christmas.

When I came home for the holidays everyone was telling me how fantastic I looked. And I honestly didn’t see a change. I thought they just forgot what I looked like or something.

Then when I visited again in the summer of 2010, I had a wedding to attend, so I had to go shopping.

I remember grabbing a size 12 skirt from the rack – I was praying, and had every finger crossed, hoping it would fit.

At this point I knew I had lost some weight, but having given up on scales years past, I didn’t know how much I had lost.

So I tried it on, and thought, ‘well, it’s a little big,’ so the sales associate kindly smiles, and returns with a size 9. I must have looked at her like she was crazy.

In my mind, there was no way it was going to fit. To my surprise, I tried it on and it fit like a glove.

That was the smallest size I had ever worn comfortably. And I still didn’t realize how great I looked.

It wasn’t until the late 2011, and I ballooned back up to a size 16, that I realized how freaking great I had looked.

So then my vicious cycle of crash dieting started again, trying to get back to where I had been.

Then one evening in late December 2012, I was talking to a friend about how my new business was going, and he asked me “so when are YOU going to do a boudoir?”

Without hesitation, the first thought that popped into my head was “when I’m not such a fatty.” And in those exact words, that was my answer to him.

His response was one that I will never forget.

He said to me “no one wants to eat in kitchen where the chef won’t eat their own cooking.”

It was like a kick in the solar plexus. My heart sunk.

He was right.

I had been trying to convince women that they didn’t need to lose weight to love and celebrate themselves, when I didn’t believe it about my own body.

So in the New Year I began planning my first boudoir. I took myself from start to finish through the journey I take my clients on.

I remember so clearly, the day that I completed my questionnaire. I had been dreading it for weeks.

One of the exercises on it is, “Write one paragraph about what you love about your body.”

It was this question that I had been avoiding. I honestly didn’t think I liked anything about my body, never mind loved anything about it.

I went down to the sauna and spent 15-20min sweating out all of the resistance I had to writing up this paragraph. And when I came out, I stood in front of the mirror for a good 45 minutes.

I started at the top of my head and went to the tip of my toes, and made myself look for at least one thing I liked about each part of my body.

And for the first time that I can ever remember, I just took myself in. I consciously let go of all of the negative thoughts that used to plague my mind when I would look at myself in the mirror, and I was just present with my body.

It was difficult at first, very difficult, to look at my self and my body with love and acceptance, because I had spent so many years looking at my self with disappointment and disapproval.

But something amazing happened while I stood there releasing the negative thoughts that came up. For every negative thought that I released there was something beautiful waiting underneath.

I was finally able to see the beauty that had been there all along.

There were many tears shed that day, and when I was done I had written three pages on what I loved about my body.

And I meant every word on that paper.

That day forever changed how I look at my body. I don’t know how to explain it, other than something shifted in me that day.

I had spent most of my life hating my body, desperately fighting to shed the weight by crash dieting and trying every crazy new workout, thinking that one day, the ever elusive someday, I would be thin enough that I could finally stop hating how I looked. That I could stop punishing myself.

That day standing in front of the mirror sweaty, exhausted and with tears kissing my cheeks was the day that I finally saw how beautiful I really am.

I am a size 12, and I am beautiful. Today.

I am no longer waiting for a day, some day in the future when I hit a magic number on the scale, to deliver my happiness package.

And I am not saying that I never have a bad body image day anymore, because I do, but they are far less frequent, and when I do have them, I no longer I hate on myself.

Instead, I sit down with my images from my boudoir shoot, and I am instantly reminded of how much I actually do love my body.

I am brought back to that day in front of the mirror, and I see how beautiful I truly am.

When people ask what I do, I am now so clear on what it is.

I inspire women to love themselves, how they are right now. What I offer is a set of stunning images that will forever remind you of that.  And I do it because I believe that you are beautiful right now, and you deserve to feel that way.

You don’t need to lose, 10, 15 or 50lbs. You are perfect, right here, and now. And I can help you see that.



P.S. If you’re interested in booking a session, we still have two appointments left for our Spring 2014 Ottawa dates, on June 1st. And if you have any questions at all, you can reach me directly via email at or by phone at 416-523-0661.

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