I wrote this article for the blog Salt & Nectar.
Even before the clock strikes midnight and the famous ball drops signaling the arrival of 2012, we’ve all contemplated our resolutions as we move forward into the New Year. For women, especially moms, it’s no surprise that we commonly resolve to get fit, lose weight, or improve what we deem to be physical imperfections. While this sounds like it’s all about the superficial, it’s not. The real goal is to feel confident—it’s empowering to see yourself and feel strong and sexy in your skin. And speaking from experience, you don’t need celeb-worthy abs to own it and feel like a goddess.
I’ve been fortunate to be on both sides of the lens for boudoir pictures. I do boudoir shoots as a photographer, and last year I had a shoot done for myself. These aren’t the mall glamour shots of the 1980s and 90s. Rather, they are the updated, much more fun version (however, feather boas may still be involved).
Boudoir, originating from late 18th century French word, is translated as a woman’s bedroom or a private sitting room. Boudoir photography is very personalized, intimate, and uniquely tailored to each woman, especially because I like to do my shoots in the client’s home (although hotel rooms and secluded outdoor areas make for great backdrops too). Most of the shots are taken in the bedroom, but I often utilize other areas of the home that are unique to the client’s personality. For example, sexy shots of a woman who likes to bake in the kitchen, something exciting in the office of someone who works from home, fun shots involving the power tools of a client whose husband is a carpenter, and so on. My husband and I are wine lovers and when I had my boudoir shoot done I did some pictures involving our wet bar and wine. It was fun and definitely fit my personality.
It’s almost always true that women are nervous at the beginning of the shoot. It’s not easy to strip down to your skivvies and look comfortable. I must be the exception because I wasn’t nervous for my shoot (maybe it’s because I’m used to shooting them myself). I had spent the previous month purchasing fun lingerie and sexy high heels that my husband had never seen, and I was excited to wear it all. Maybe it the music set the mood? I listened to the Gotan Project. Something about Latin music makes me feel sexy. So, I always have clients put on music that makes them feel sexy—a little Britney Spears or jazz inspires the transformation. And if a glass of wine helps to calm your nerves, I say go for it! I want my clients to relax and feel comfortable. Sometimes having a close friend around for the shoot helps clients have fun (cheerleader and comic relief at the ready).
Next, I have the client set out all of the outfits or lingerie she wants to use. We usually start with the most modest piece. Once we start shooting and she sees how amazing she looks in the pictures, the nervousness fades away and she starts having a lot of fun. By the end of the shoot, the client is always feeling hot, sexy, and confident. It’s a serious ego boost. I even had one client get pregnant the evening after her boudoir shoot. Both of us still laugh about that.
Every woman has a unique body, and let’s be honest, childbearing doesn’t exactly enhance our assets. As a photographer, I work hard to help clients pose to play up their favorite features and sometimes hide others. I never pose a client in a position that is unflattering to her body. This results in great shots that are unique to each woman.
Do you still think you have to have a perfect body to get great boudoir shots? As I said before, you don’t! I promise. Rare is the woman that doesn’t feel self-conscious about some part of her body. Want to know something else? I can enhance the photos as much as a client wants. This usually includes getting rid of cellulite (because really, who wants photos of that?), making sure the skin on the face looks smooth, and hiding blemishes. I try to keep my edits very natural and yet make each client look radiant.
When is the best time to do a boudoir shoot?
NOW! There’s no time like the present.
I wanted to do mine before I turned 30. I thought it would be fun to remember my body in my last year of my 20s. I gave the book to my husband as aValentine’s Gift, and let me tell you, it was probably one of his favorite gifts ever. It made me feel incredibly good about myself to be able to do something like that after having two kids. I loved that he was looking through a book filled with sexy images of ME and ogling ME. I think it is extra important after having kids that a woman takes special time to take off the “mommy hat” and put on the “sexy wife hat” or “simply sexy for yourself hat.” It’s easy to throw on our comfy sweats and put our hair in a ponytail each day. Changing diapers, feeding kids, and cleaning up messes all day long does not do much for the sexy department. Pulling out my boudoir book and looking through it reminds me that I am not simply a mom but my husband’s hot wife and a confident woman. A healthy marriage needs some fun, especially when there are little ones in the equation, and a boudoir book is not only a great way to add some of that but to see yourself in a confident, new light.
I encourage you to have boudoir pictures taken, you will not regret it, and neither will your man or significant other! You know how they say when the going gets tough the tough gets going? Well, when life gets busy, you need to still get busy.
Don’t forget, I’m offering a boudoir special through the month of January. Now is the perfect time to book your shoot.