Everything You Need To Know About Boudoir Photography
The Boudoir Photography trend has been on the rise big time in the last few years. We're seeing bride's giving the photos to their grooms as a wedding day gift, girlfriends giving the photos to their boyfriends as a Valentine's Day gift, mamas-to-be having them taken to capture their pre-baby bodies, and women in general having them taken to celebrate themselves.
It's a bit terrifying though, isn't it? You're sitting there comparing yourself to unrealistic body types, thinking you can't "pull off" boudoir photos, or you're worrying about the idea of stripping down in front of a relative stranger. At least, those were precisely my thoughts when it came to picturing me doing boudoir photography.
It didn't just magically become a trend without thousands of ladies going through with it, though. So I decided to throw myself in there and do some hands on research with a few close industry friends, so that all of you fine ladies (and gents too - yes dude-oir photography is a thing!) can get over the scary misconceptions and get yourself into that studio full of confidence and self love!
We all decided to go a little offbeat for our shoots, choosing outfits that we felt comfortable in, that reflected our everyday personalities:
For my shoot, I wanted it to be more reflective of the everyday me, rather than an overdone, unrecognizable, albeit hot version of me. Instead, I opted for a very old (circa 1990) slouchy sweater and full bottom underwear with my hair in a messy top knot. I wanted to keep my makeup relatively low key, but did opt for a bold lip, as it has sort of become my trademark look. I also brought in pizza, coffee and cupcakes to incorporate into my shoot. Once I got a bit more comfortable in-front of the camera, I even allowed Charlotte to capture a few tasteful teaser shots without the sweater as well
Liana is a hair and makeup artist, who is an avid kitty snuggler, loves a good bottle of red and can often be found text-flirting with boys or getting dolled up for a date. For her shoot we pulled inspiration from all of those elements, starting with her in comfy clothes snuggling her cat and texting boys, then transitioning to her in some sexy lingerie getting ready for a night on the town.
Stacey is a wedding and boudoir photographer who is way more comfortable behind the camera rather than in front of it. She is obsessed with Doctor Who and is a self-proclaimed crazy cat lady. Most often she's at home in her robe, sipping on coffee while she edits photos.
Here are the biggest lessons we learned:
1. No, they are not going to photo-shop you to be a size zero with perky boobs and ab lines. Heartbreaking, I know. Also a blessing, though, because regardless of what you plan to use the photos for, the main purpose of boudoir photography is celebrating and loving yourself and your body as is.
2. You do not have to wear scanty lingerie if that's not your thing. If you don't feel comfortable in what you're wearing it's going to show in the photos, so pick something you feel good in.
3. You can bring props. Bring some athletic paraphernalia from a favourite sports team, a cozy blanket to drape over you, your beloved pet or even a musical instrument. The point is to help your personality shine through in the photos so grab some stuff that has meaning to you or your significant other and make some magic!
4. It's crucial that you hire a photographer that you mesh well with. When I got into the studio I felt uneasy and became very stiff and awkward. Fortunately, Stacey and Charlotte are good friends who are amazing photographers with even better personalities. They were both able to put me at ease right away, making me laugh, getting me to relax and guiding me into poses that felt natural and flattering.
5. I think the biggest takeaway from all three of us was that we all felt self-conscious when we started. We were all carrying the things we hated about our bodies into the shoot thinking, how we hate our stomach, our arms, our laugh lines. Being in clothes and makeup that we would actually wear, that just elevated our look a bit helped us feel comfortable in our own skin. When we got the photos back, we actually looked like ourselves. No one said, wow, is that really me? Because we didn't show up creating some image that we thought we needed to portray. Instead, we owned ourselves, saw the photos and thought, wow, I'm beautiful! So the biggest thing I learned was to just own it and love myself.