Greetings and Salutations, to Ladies from all walks of life!
Today I wanted to address the numerous questions I receive about about Boudoir Photography!
My Photography business has a wide range of services, I do everything from Engagements, senior portraits, special events, product photography, fashion shoots, newborns, Quinceañeras, and yeah- I do nudes, too. Wanna fight?
My zest for life leads me in all directions; directions that are ever moving, and always intersecting. The lives we live are Beautiful, messy, confusing, and absolutely worth cherishing. Thats why going from a newborn shoot one day, to a Boudoir shoot the next day, is an easy transition for me.
But here is the thing, Boudoir is an art, and its loaded with an emotional fervor like no other thing. Its participants, are eager to explore intimate ideas, but are doing so with photographers, who they entrust will respect, and execute the session with class, and respect.
There are so many questions I receive from people on a daily basis, people locally, and around the country are eager to understand how they can feel safe with such a intimate experience, and want to know what they should expect, and even, if its okay to ask! I would like to consider Boudoir, a specialty of mine, and I know a thing or two, about the importance to assuring the safety, and security of this intimate experience, so I am sharing with you today, my most frequently asked questions!
Caution- Photos of Women at their finest ahead.
1. Okay, I am interested in this whole Boudoir thing, but I don't even know where to start! How do I go about finding a reputable photographer?
Ask around! Friends, and colleagues in your area may have booked sessions in the past, and can be excellent references! I would estimate that around 50% of my current customer base is from word of mouth alone. These first hand accounts are worth a lot, when dealing in such intimate services. Hearing peoples first hand accounts of positive experiences is helpful when vetting a potential Photographer! Once you have personal accounts, and have vetted the potential Photogs work, you can feel comfortable knowing whether or not the experience will be consistent with the experience you are looking for.
If you are unable to find personal references in your area, you could just hop on the ole google browser, and type in "Boudoir Photographer in my area". Though there may be numerous hits, you can start sifting through potential photogs, and reach out directly.
Most importantly, in both cases, ask questions, ask to see a body of work, and make sure you are made to feel comfortable! A good Boudoir Photographer knows the hesitant nature of many clients, and takes special care to make sure you are at the helm of your experience.
2. I want to book a session, but I just want to lose another 10lbs, should I wait?
lol, right? I've been losing 10lbs for the past 3 years.
As women, we are bombarded with constant noise from media outlets. And images of what the acceptable female form is, is hopelessly embedded into our psyche.
But you know what? The right time to do something for you, is always now, and I will tell you why.
A Boudoir client of mine recently shared with me, that at the time of her session, she was in the "Worst shape of my life", but she had made a decision to move forward anyway, because she was so sick of making excuses for herself. Fast forward a year after her session, and she told me that she was so glad she decided to have her session. She shared with me that it was a turning point in her life, where she had to learn to really appreciate her body, even when she felt at her worst, so she could really learn to love her body at its best.
I'd have to agree with her. Having had 3 Children myself, I often see fluctuations in weight, shape, and muscle tone. I've shot my own Boudoir sessions over the years, Ive done it even when I thought I looked horrible, or felt unfit. I haven't once regretted it, I only look on, and appreciate my body, in all its forms.
3. Oh dear God, what have I done. I booked a session, and I don't know what to wear. Where do I go? is there some sort of helpline?
If you asked me to name my most asked question, it is most certainly this! And for me, it isn't a simple answer.
Of course, traditional Lingerie, nighties, heels, lacy bralettes are most often suggested for Boudoir sessions, and I always recommend those. But I also talk about exploring your individual identity in regards to what you consider intimate.
Ask yourself, what makes you feel sexy or, empowered? I have seen Sports jerseys, cowboy boots, garter belts, Fur coats, silk robes, gowns, all walks of funky panties, oversized Mens shirts, and TONS of roller-skates.
Most often, I see a mix of lingerie, accessories, and Sports jerseys. But again, don't limit yourself! What feels, and looks sexy to me, is something different for you. My job, is to capture you feeling your best.
4. How should I prepare for my session? Spray Tans seem like a legit idea, right?
So, word on the street is, people still spray tan, and no judgments here, but if you do choose to do some sort of tanning, spray tans typically leave residue, and streaks. #nothot
Depending on whether or not your session includes professional hair and makeup, you should show up with a clean face and hair. Make sure to stay fully hydrated for the 24 hours before your session. Make sure to wear loose fitting clothing, yoga pants, and non-constrictive bras are best. Tight clothing leaves lines on your skin, and this is easily preventable.
5. What, if any items should I bring to my session?
Aside from whatever recommended clothing items, its always a good idea to bring extra high-heels, necklaces, robes, or whatever items you may wish to use for your session.
As far as "Props" go, that can really cover anything. I've had Women bring in footballs, fishing poles, and one even brought in a wrestling championship belt. I'll cover how accessories like that can be included in your session in the following question.
6. So I saw this thing on Pinterest, can we maybe try it?
Dependent on your photographer, they may have specific styles, and poses they stick to. I certainly have several go-to poses that translates well for all body types. But I personally love seeing clients desired poses, it helps me understand their style, and I am ultimately able to fulfill their needs best.
7. What if I don't want to show certain body parts, or maybe want to bare it all?
If you are ever led to believe you are required to have any level of nudity in any situation, Girl, RUN.
Though, any level of suggestion, or undress is appropriate, it is not required. I personally advocate for my clients to be in full control of their sessions.
8. Okay, but is it weird if I am doing a session, as a gift to myself?
Honey Child, Kid Rock was just in the Whitehouse, but you are worried about feeling out of place?
Its common for me to get Women of all ages, all careers, all body types, and all relationship statuses. Boudoir is a excellent, and romantic gift to give to a partner on holidays, or as a wedding gift, but its an equally important gift to give yourself!
When done right, Boudoir can be a very real, and empowering experience. It can be confidence booster in difficult times, a healing process, or even a great way to take back control, after leaving a bad relationship.
One of the most powerful sessions I had, was a friend of mine, who had just completed chemo and radiation for breast cancer. Being the bad bitch that she is, she brought a wonder woman costume. I get tears every time I see that playful image. When I see that image before me, I see a survivor, a warrior, who decided to commemorate her body, even after the brutal abuses of chemo.
9. I Love My Photos! I feel like a Phoenix, ready to rise! But now, I want to make sure my Photos stay private, how can I ensure my Photos are protected?
I'm an artist, I'm fun, and fancy free, and I keep my contracts simple. But to maintain the privacy of each client, I have specific contracts that protect the rights of Boudoir clients, and specifically state that these photos, will only be seen by them, unless specific releases are signed.
Privacy and respect are paramount. And while I have clients that are so happy to allow me to share their positive experiences, there are clients who work in our communities, whose careers could be derailed if images of them surfaced. So do make sure to verify the policies and contracts of Photographers you choose to work with.
10. I feel empowered, free, and sexy! How do I go about getting prints, or an album?
Go on with your bad self!
A lot of Photogs have specific policies regarding photo releases, and printing rights, and there are a great many reasons for that. So make sure you are able to ask your photographer about their policies.
As for me, I across the board offer printing rights, and I guarantee a specific number of images for each Boudoir session. Very straightforward. But in the case of Boudoir clients, I highly recommend that any prints or photo products go through the photographer. These images are generally only meant to be seen by the people whom you choose, but your rights can easily be violated when you put your photos in the hands of Photo Kiosks.
Not to mention, why pay a fancy Photographer, if you will end up getting low quality prints?
Well, I hope to have been any sort of help along your journey. If you have any more questions, I am your gal! And if you feel so inclined to share this gospel, may the force of "The Boudie" be with you!