I love it when women start the process of approaching a boudoir shoot. You’re cautious, you’ve got lots of questions… and deep down inside you know this is something you want to do. It’s thrilling and nerve wracking. It’s unknown and exciting. You build trust with me along the way, and part of that comes through asking the questions that have been holding you back from this experience. Some of these questions I get a lot and usually address one-on-one with women, but I want to take a chance to talk about a few here (these are all real questions submitted by women interested in a boudoir shoot) …
* “This might be a weird question, lol, but do you provide a lot of direction during the boudoir shoots? I literally have no clue what I would do in one and in my head imagine something that would end up being an awkward Amy Schumer skit, HA!”
I love this question because it came from one of our “repeat offender” clients who we have photographed many times. Those of you who I have photographed know that during your session or wedding portrait time, I might set up a moment and give you a little instruction, but then I let you act naturally within that structured moment. When it comes to boudoir, I approach it all very differently. I have learned that if I stop talking or directing, that’s when you start to worry. I take my job very seriously to keep directing you and encouraging you at all times. I will even show you the back of the camera periodically to show you how amazing you are looking in camera. This shoot is usually very outside-the-box for women — no one comes into this shoot feeling like they know exactly what to do. For other types of shoots I do not always feel this way, but with boudoir I do feel like it’s really helpful to look at boudoir poses on pinterest. I even suggest pinning your favorite poses and trying them out before you get to the shoot. While I do guide you and pose you the whole way through, I think it doesn’t hurt to already know how it feels to move and place your body in the poses that speak to you.
* “I’m interested in doing a boudoir shoot, but hesitant too and wanted to get your thoughts. I’ve gained weight since having my first baby and I have the typical Mommy ‘scars’ all over my belly. Would a boudoir shoot still look good if I did it? I know my hubby would love it but I want to look sexy, too. Thoughts?”
I believe that all women can be photographed in a way that is flattering to their body, and it is my job to figure out how to photograph each woman to showcase her unique beauty. I have learned that each woman approaches her body differently. Some women have scars that they want to show in their images and they don’t want me to photoshop away. Other women have scars that they would rather not show in their images. These could be scars from surgeries, accidents, pregnancies, etc. I do ask ahead of time if there are any scars that I need to be sensitive to. You can always choose outfits that will cover your scars if you don’t want them shown, or we can also do other things in posing to help hide the scars. You are right though, sweet woman asking this question, your husband loves you with or without those scars!!
* “I am really not your typical girly girl who would actually wear lingerie, but I do love this concept. Do you have any suggestions on outfits/clothes that I can wear in this shoot that show who I am?” similarly… “What if someone (like me!) is normally super conservative and modest?”
While boudoir is typically known for it’s lingerie or implied nudity, it is completely up to you how you would like to dress for your shoot. You can go the “traditionally boudoir” route of lingerie/bra&panty sets for your shoot, or you can think outside of the box with other types of clothing that make you feel sexy. Often women approach the shoot wanting to stay very covered up but then as the shoot goes on they get braver. You could wear a cardigan with flirty briefs, or knee high socks with your favorite form-fitted t-shirt. Kimonos are popular right now and can photograph beautifully, managing to be sexy yet covering a modest amount. Some women approach outfits for boudoir shoots and want to feel like themselves, wearing things they might normally wear, just in a different way. Other women feel that a boudoir shoot is so outside of the box for them that they might as well go wild and choose outfits they would never think to wear in any other context. Check back soon for a blog post with visual examples of outfit options.
My NUMBER ONE RULE when it comes to what to wear to your boudoir shoot is this – wear things that you love how they look on you. This means that you know they are the right size for your body (who cares what size it is, let’s ignore those numbers and letters on the tag). If something isn’t the right size then it might create some spillage of skin that you don’t love, which can be fixed with the correct size. This also means that you have tried on the items before coming to the shoot, so you know what you look like in them. Which means that you know that they fit. The boudoir experience already makes you feel vulnerable so do yourself the favor of choosing outfits that make you feel good so you don’t have to worry about them.
* “Will the shoot be done by a female and not shown on the blog to protect my modesty?”
These are two questions that I get over and over, so I do address them in my initial emails with women when they inquire about booking a boudoir shoot. The shoot is done by a woman – either myself (Ashley) or in some cases April, who is also a Story Photographer and was the first in the Raleigh area to begin shooting boudoir. I cull and edit all images from beginning to end. We even work with female hair and makeup artists.
I wrote a few months ago in great detail about the subject of sharing and not sharing your boudoir shoot on the blog. I take this matter very seriously and would never share any image from your shoot without your direct and specific permission. You trusting me is key to the boudoir experience and I would not want to do anything to break that trust with you. After your shoot we talk about the different ways you could choose to share your shoot – publicly on the blog, privately in a gallery with women interested in a boudoir shoot, privately with your images in sample albums that women look through on the day of their shoot. Or you can choose not to share your images at all. That is completely up to you.
**** I AM CURRENTLY RUNNING A SPECIAL FOR BOUDOIR SHOOTS BOOKED FOR JULY 2015! I HAVE NEVER RUN A SPECIAL BEFORE AND MIGHT NEVER DO IT AGAIN. IT’S A GREAT TIME TO BOOK YOUR BOUDOIR SHOOT WITH US!!! ****