As Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, I thought I’d give all the ladies out there some important advice before they book their boudoir or glamour photography sessions here in semi tundra we call Michigan.
10. Find a compatible photographer both you and your partner will be happy with. If your partner is going to pitch a fit because he thinks you showed a male photographer your undies, then the shoot will not be received as the gift you intended it to be.
9. Figure out ahead of time what your goal for the shoot is and where your personal comfort zone is. You don’t want to be pushed to do something you don’t want to do, so you should communicate this with your photographer. If they seem pushy when you talk to them, keep looking. This should be a fun thing, not a series of compromises.
8. This is by far the most vulnerable of photo shoots and it takes a lot of guts to do this, but most women come away from the shoot feeling empowered, thrilled and yes, relieved! If you’re worried, that’s perfectly normal. Communicate your fears with your photographer. They’ll probably tell you, as I would, that everybody’s nervous ahead of time and that once the session starts, the jitters will disappear. If talking to the photographer makes you uneasy, again, move on and find someone who will make you feel relaxed. No sense worrying over this; life’s too short and there are plenty of photographers out there who can make the session the fun thing it’s supposed to be. Women tell me this is a truly empowering and liberating experience, so a little bit of prep work will go a long way towards making this a really successful photo shoot.
7. Don’t worry about poses. Every single client I’ve had is worried about some body part or another. And I mean every single woman. I’m talking about those size 0 women who, like every other woman on earth, has insecurities about some body part or another. Don’t sweat it. Experienced boudoir photographers know what poses work best for different body types.
6. On a similar note, while it’s great to know which body part tickles your partner’s fancy, it’s the eyes that are by far the sexiest to me. It’s the look in the eyes that creates that sensuousness, the look of love. I’ll be honest, most of my boudoir photography clients are women I’ve never met before, so creating that amazingly sensual eye contact quickly is part of the fun for both of us.
5. These are not serious shoots. Boudoir photography is about creating an illusion and it’s a whole lot of fun. The most flattering poses are downright goofy to get into and the idea that you lounge around in your panties all day long is downright hilarious. I tackle the shoot as though this is an inside joke between us. You’re the actor and I’m the creative director. It’s a collaboration on what men think we do all day long. So don’t worry about taking it seriously. It’s only seriously fun!
4. Practice getting into what you’ll wear before you arrive at your glamour photo session. Many of these contraptions are quite challenging, so a practice run or two can really speed things along. Bring favorite props to your glamour photography session. Some of my Detroit women have brought their man’s favorite tie, or sports paraphernalia, jewelry, shoes, glasses and sometimes even their cars and motorcycles. Yes, this is about empowerment and feeling really good about yourself. If you need to bring a couple of things that help the narration of the story, then by all means, bring them along.
3. Know how you’ll use your boudoir photos ahead of time. Will you be creating an album? Is that something you want the photographer to do for you? Will your partner want these to be private? Will he be sharing them with pretty much everybody who walks into the office? Do you want ownership of the images? How soon will you get them back? All of these are nice and practical questions to know ahead of time.
2. Even though you’ll be tempted to, don’t bring someone with you. While the photo session is light and fun, having an extra set of eyes to “perform” in front of is well, just awkward. I warned you before that some of the most flattering boudoir photography poses look odd and silly. Having someone there saying you do indeed look odd and silly from their point of view is really counter-productive. And they often like to put in their two cents. Then their 10 cents and before long, they want to be Martin Scorsese (sorry, can’t think of a great Michigan director!) directing all the things they’d like to do if it was their photo session. Awkward, just awkward. The trust and bond gained by us collaborating together on producing fun and amazing photos of you works a lot better if it’s just the two of us working together. If you’re concerned about meeting a stranger, by all means bring someone who can sit out in the lobby or down in your kitchen or anywhere but where we’re shooting. I’m all for feeling as comfortable as possible.
1. THE MOST IMPORTANT BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHY ADVICE I CAN GIVE?
Once you’ve decided to do the photo shoot, you’ve selected and vetted your photographer, don’t tell anyone you’re doing it. WHAT? No really. If you want to be talked out of doing this, then start telling people what you’re planning on doing. Only a small fraction of women have the confidence and chutzpa to pull this off. Only a teeny percentage of women are willing to put themselves in such a vulnerable and humbling (and liberating) position. I’m not talking about taking their clothes off. I’ve shot hundreds of boudoir shoots and have rarely seen any private parts. It’s about the suggestion that there is something very intimate going on, the possibility that you were buck naked in front of a photographer, not the reality that it’s all sheets and positioning and moving bra straps out of the frame.
I can guarantee that if you tell your co-workers, friends and families that you’re planning on going to some photographer and getting sexy girly photos taken, they will look at you like you just announced you’re planning on jumping out of an airplane without a parachute. They wouldn’t do it. 99% of women would just not have the bravery to do this and they will try to talk you out of it. Seriously. This happens so often I decided to blog about it. If you’re on the fence, then have that debate with them and they will talk you out of it. But if this is something you really want to do (for whatever reason YOU want) then make the appointment and keep the appointment. Tell someone where you’re going, but don’t ask for their advice. If you’re getting nervous and having second thoughts about following through with the boudoir shoot, call your photographer so they can either reassure you that you’ll be fine or if you’re still wobbling, then back out. Nobody, even your photographer, should ever talk you into doing something you don’t want to do. And that includes your friends and family.