Boudoir photography has gained significant popularity in recent years, offering individuals an opportunity to capture intimate and empowering images. However, not all boudoir experiences are created equal. I recently heard a story that made me want to remind all of us that any photo shoot, boudoir or otherwise should always be a fun, safe and empowering experience. So with that, here are key things that should NOT happen:
- Lack of Information or Q&A Session: A negative experience often begins with a lack of information or a thorough Q&A session. This critical step is essential for the photographer to understand your expectations, comfort level, and boundaries. Without proper communication, the end result may not align with your vision, leaving you disappointed. It’s also the first step to safety. You should get to know your photographer as much as he or she gets to know you. If you are having a session with me, you and I will spend plenty of time talking, getting to know each other, what makes you feel beautiful, and how I can help you feel and look your best self.
- Hotel Room Setting: One hallmark of an unfavorable shoot, and potentially dangerous situation, is the use of a hotel room rather than a dedicated studio or a public location that allows for photo shoots. Hotel rooms lack the necessary ambiance, lighting, and professional equipment that can elevate the quality of the photographs. The story shared with me included a hotel room with a photographer that was not the person that booked the shoot and was someone that spoke a different language so communication was very poor. Location and communication are key ingredients to ensuring your safety and comfort. If YOU want to use a hotel room it should be a place of YOUR choosing.
- Lack of Privacy: Another downside of a negative boudoir experience is the absence of privacy. A professional boudoir shoot should be conducted in a private setting, ensuring that only necessary personnel and anyone you want there are present. When other people you don’t know are around, it can create a discomforting atmosphere, inhibiting your ability to express yourself freely.
- Inability to Bring a Friend or Significant Other: Some groups restrict you from bringing a friend or significant other for support and reassurance. I completely disagree with this. Having a trusted companion by your side can alleviate nervousness and enhance your overall comfort level, resulting in more authentic and confident photographs.
- Too good to be true (cheap sessions): Choosing an inexpensive photo shoot might seem like a cost-effective option at first glance. However, it often comes with compromises in terms of quality, professionalism, and attention to detail. Photographers who offer rock-bottom prices may lack the necessary skills and experience to create stunning images that truly reflect your unique personality. Cheap photographers can actually hurt your boudoir experience if they don’t know how to pose you in a flattering way. It could turn what is supposed to be empowering into self-loathing.
Ok, now that we covered the things to avoid let’s talk about what a really amazing experience should be like when you have a professional photo session:
- Q&A Session: A positive experience typically begins with a thorough Q&A session. The photographer takes the time to understand your personality, style preferences, and comfort level. This conversation enables them to tailor the shoot to your unique needs and desires, resulting in images that truly represent you.
- Dedicated Studio or Public Location: Empowering shoots are conducted in a dedicated photography studio, a place of your choosing, or a public location that specifically accommodates photo shoots. These settings provide a professional environment, equipped with proper lighting, props, and backdrops that can enhance the overall aesthetics of the photographs.
- The Option to Bring Someone Else: Feeling comfortable and safe during any shoot is paramount. I don’t allow other people to be present during the session. I want clients to be comfortable and not worry about another set of eyes looking at them, however, they can bring someone while in hair & makeup but once we start shooting they need to go! This is about you and who you want to be in the moment. The best time to bring someone is the ordering appointment to hype you up. We do not want negativity before, during, or after the session. Overall, this is a tricky subject because it depends on whom you bring.
- Comfort and Safety: In a positive boudoir experience, you should feel comfortable and safe throughout the entire process. Professional photographers prioritize your well-being and ensure that your boundaries are respected. This creates an environment where you can express yourself freely, resulting in intimate and empowering images.
Choosing the right photographer can make a world of difference in your overall experience and the quality of the final photographs. Don’t settle for less than you are worth. You are a wonderful being that needs to be treated with love and respect. Your pictures always show your feelings so we make sure you feel fantastic and empowered so your best, most beautiful self, shows in the pictures we take.
Learn more about the psichology of Lingerie: Self-Esteem and the Psychology of Lingerie