What is boudoir? A guide to why it is not what you think

Boudoir as a photographic discipline has a lot of nay-sayers, a lot of people who do not understand what it is and why clients chose to do a boudoir shoot. There are many who view it being as bad as starring in your own soft porn.

That is not boudoir. Certainly it isn’t the type of boudoir that I shoot. Every client I have ever had has either been doing a shoot to boost their self-confidence, or as a little romantic gift for their partner – or a mix of both. Most of my clients do not want their images shared by me publicly – they are private sessions for their own private use. Some agree that I can share images that cannot be identified as them, some of my clients love their images so much they wan to share them with other people so those others can see how awesome they look and do it themselves.

But isn’t it wrong?

I have heard people say it is a sin to be part of a boudoir session. My answer is this: if you choose to do a boudoir session for yourself, to feel good about yourself – you are both celebrating the form that God gave you, and boosting how you feel as a person.  I don’t see anything wrong with that. By creating a private space, boudoir sessions often give women space away from their children, from their chores, and their jobs – even if it is just for an hour – and allow a woman to feel beautiful, sexy, and the centre of attention.

If you are doing the images for your partner – you have already committed your body to that person, as well as your person – giving them a gift of you is honoring that choice. Men are very visual and are surrounded by images of beautiful women – in magazines, on billboards, on the TV – surely having an intimate set of photographs of your partner, the person you love, and have those pop up in his head, is something far more special?

Boudoir photo sessions can give a woman the boost she needs to feel sexy in her relationship – and we all know, the better you feel about yourself the more fun you can have.

So, should I do a boudoir session?

Well, my opinion is obviously yes!! I always say that you have to try anything at least once. 

If you are doing it for your partner, book yourself a slot at least a month before whatever occasion you are giving the images to them – whether that is an anniversary, a surprise gift for the morning of the wedding, Valentines Day, their birthday, or just because. This gives you enough time to do the shoot and choose your images, and for them to head to my printer and be back in plenty of time. The last thing you want to do is rush.

If you are doing it for yourself, there is no better time than now. Not when you lose weight, not when you have had your hair done – right now. I am the person that makes the magic come to life, I work with a fabulous make-up and hair artist, who will bring out your best features and make you feel like a real diva for a day. You don’t need to worry about anything but posing.

If you are not feeling brave enough to do it by yourself – grab a group of girlfriends and book a boudoir marathon (one day, you and all your friends, a bunch of champagne, and a whole lot of moral support and laughs).

Won’t it be weird being semi-clothed in front of a stranger?

I am a female photographer with a lot of training, who has also been a boudoir shoot client! I know exactly how you are feeling (omg my cellulite), and I am an expert at putting you at ease. By the time you saunter out of my studio, you will walking on clouds. 

We also do the shoot at your own pace, if you feel uncomfortable, we shoot what works for you. Remember – this is about you, I won’t shoot anything you don’t like.

I also conduct a pre-shoot consult to find out what style of shoot suits you, whether there are any colors you want included (your partner’s favorite sports team jersey for example), and we also discuss your goals for the shoot, what parts of your body you and your partner love, and which you would rather I don’t focus on. We also discuss whether you want slightly heavier editing (reducing stomach’s is a popular choice), and how we can achieve that. 

Find your power

Most importantly, boudoir is empowerment. Us women are bombarded by images of perfect airbrushed celebrities and models, and we look at our own bodies with dismay. C-section scars, stretch marks, saggy bits that didn’t used to be there, wrinkles (when did that line get there?), and more. We have them. We all have them no matter what age or size we are.

Now is the time to embrace YOU. Love your body and your shape. Love yourself first.