08/21/2014 03:43 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Spreading My Wings...With a Little Help From My Friends

We all experience moments or events over the course of our lives that are literally life-changing, and July 30th was one of those days for me.

I have always been envious of women who had boudoir photos taken. Not just because they had the courage to do it, but because it shows they were comfortable with themselves, something I never was. And I never thought I would be, even after transitioning. But moving to Portland has been a good thing because it has allowed me to meet new people and socialize, which has been a huge lift to my self-confidence. And I'm starting to feel good about myself and my body. Confidence is an amazing thing! So, I made the decision to do something I've always wanted to try -- a photo shoot where I could open up and show the world who I am.

I first learned of Misty Mae DeChant through a mutual friend and was familiar with her work at Pink Bridge Photography in Bend Oregon. Her work is amazing, but the reason I chose her was because my friend had talked numerous times about what a good person she is and how she makes her clients feel comfortable and is able to let them be themselves and have fun. So, I contacted Misty and we set a date, and she patiently answered all my questions when I was stressing about what to wear and whether I should wear foundation and all the other umpteen details I worried about!

After spending way too much time trying to figure out what to wear, and way too much money at Victoria's Secret, I packed up my car and drove to Bend for the big day. I had my hair done the previous day and it looked so amazing that I was almost afraid to go to sleep and ruin it! But I managed to get some sleep!

I had every last detail planned out, when to start my make-up, when to eat, what clothes and shoes to take, when to pack, when to get dressed and what time to leave. I always stress about wearing foundation because I rarely wear it so I always worry it's not going to look natural. But I was pleased with how my make-up looked, which was a big relief! The day was off to a good start!

I got to her building early, of course, and found where her studio was and then sat in my car and touched up my make-up. And had a drink to calm my nerves! Finally the moment arrived, and I grabbed all my stuff and headed up to the studio. I opened the door and was greeted by Misty and instantly felt like I was meeting an old friend and knew this was going to be a great experience.

Well, to say it was great would not do it justice. I had so much fun and felt so good about myself, and laughed way more than I had in a long time. I had FUN!!! I felt pretty and sexy and I feel like she was able to capture a side of me that I'd never seen before. She'd show me some of the pictures on the viewer of her camera, and I couldn't believe that that was really me! I felt like a model and had a blast! She was so patient and worked with me to get the poses just right and let me wear all the outfits I wanted and made sure I was happy with everything. I was lost in the moment of enjoying this wonderful and amazing experience, and was totally exhausted when we finished. My brain was mush by that point, but I couldn't stop smiling!

When I got back to Portland and checked Facebook I saw that Misty had posted a couple of photos of me, and I was just speechless. The photos were amazing, and what she wrote was even more amazing and really touched me. Misty is an amazing photographer and an even better person. The pictures are better than I could ever have imagined, but the best part are the memories of the experience, and those special memories will be with me forever. There is no word to describe the experience other than magical.