Since it’s part of my daily life, sometimes I forget that the world of boudoir photography still has details that make many women blush, giggle, or qualify their questions with, "I hope this doesn't sound weird but I was wondering if..."
I also recognize that for many women who would love to do a photoshoot like this, those questions hold them back because it's nerve-wracking to call up a stranger like me and ask them! I mean, most people who call me second-guess their ability to pronounce the word "boudoir" so it's not surprising that they're bashful to ask if I'll photograph them nude.
First things first: Some advice I give to every client at their boudoir consultation is: Wear whatever makes you feel sexy. We plan five different outfits so there's a variety, and I think many women are surprised at the amount of outfit options for boudoir. In fact, one of my favorites is just a white sheet. But since there are so many boudoir portraits I don’t share publicly, I can understand why most of our clients have very similar concerns! And that leads me to the first question:
1. WILL YOU POST MY BOUDOIR PHOTOS ONLINE?
That is completely up to you. 90% of my finished boudoir work is seen only by my client and myself. Your privacy is my number one priority. Some women believe these photos are for their/their partner's eyes only. Some would be comfortable with me sharing, but their career prohibits it. Others have told me they'd be honored to be featured on my Instagram, and one even said, "I'm fine either way, but since I'm curvy I want other curvy women to see my photos and be encouraged that they can do this too." So, like I said, it's entirely up to you. At your ordering session, you tell me WHICH images you'd be okay with me posting and on what platforms. After all, I'm here to serve you and give you a great experience.
2. DO I NEED TO SHAVE *EVERY*WHERE?
Once again, that is up to you. The majority of my clients choose to shave/wax before their shoot, but if you feel sexier NOT doing so, don't! If you're undecided, the only reason I'd advise you to is the same reason I retouch things like bruises and blemishes out of photos: To remove distractions. You should see YOU first when you look at the portrait, and I want you to feel sexy, powerful, and beautiful. So again, take this into consideration and decide what you're comfortable with.
3. IS IT OKAY IF I WEAR __________?
You fill in the blank however you want, and it’s fine by me. The thing I've learned in nearly decade of doing women's portraiture is that it's my job to create a safe and empowering environment for each woman no matter what makes her feel sexy, and every woman has her “thing.” Several years ago, a very straight-laced and shy client arrived to her shoot and proceeded to pull thigh-high leather boots and matching gloves out of her duffel bag. "My husband's request," she started to explain, but I smiled and reassured her “You don’t have to justify anything to me.” No matter how cozy or kinky your outfit looks, if it empowers you, you don’t have to ask my permission.
4. IS IT WEIRD TO DO THIS IF I DON'T HAVE A PARTNER?
If you'd asked me this question 7 or 8 years ago, I would have said yes. Because of my belief system at the time, I viewed a woman's boudoir photos and sexuality as something only for her husband... I've since come to see sexuality as so much more personal and something every woman (and human) has to own before they can fully share it with someone else. Whether you have a partner or not, your boudoir shoot is really for you. Earlier this year, I had a client fly in from across the country to do a half glam/ half boudoir photo shoot to celebrate her 21st birthday. She shared with me that she'd recently worked through the damage of years of sexual abuse, and that this shoot was to celebrate her body - her body that had for much of her adult life only brought her shame. As part of her healing process, she wanted to celebrate herself and when she saw her final portraits, we both cried.
If you happen to have a partner who enjoys looking at the portraits, that is definitely a bonus! Time and time again my past clients tell me things their partner told them when they saw their boudoir photos: "I'm so touched that you went out of your comfort zone to do this for me." "I can tell this experience made you feel beautiful, and that change in you is what I appreciate most!" "I'm so glad you did this boudoir shoot because you can finally see yourself the way I see you."
5. IS IT OKAY TO WEAR NOTHING AT ALL?
More often than not, I get a bashful request for fine art nude portraits. But I love it! I know this client is ready to get out of her comfort zone and how empowered she's going to feel. I think the female body is the most beautiful piece of artwork ever created and is therefore the most inspiring. Besides, some women just aren't into lingerie. They'd rather wear nothing but a strategically placed white sheet, a curtain, or high heels. I always ask ahead of time what words you'd use to describe your ideal portraits, so pair your artistic vision with my detailed posing direction, and I promise you'll feel confident.
Here's the bottom line: If you want this experience, all you have to do is reach out. There's no question I haven't been asked, no story I haven't heard. Friend, when you come into my studio to be photographed, I honor the vulnerability you dive into. I know it's scary but I also know how thrilled you're going to be with the results! "Losing ten pounds" won't necessarily make you more confident - but showing up for yourself will.
Ready to reach out and start talking details? Contact me here.