When I first started shooting boudoir,
I felt like I was in some shape or form of a marriage counselor. My clients wanted a session because they had been married for a certain amount of time and they felt that maybe their spouse wasn’t attracted to them anymore. So they wanted a hair and makeup artist to make them look like the models in those monthly catalogs and do poses that Pinterest or Cosmo would tell them to do in hopes that it would rejuvenate what was broken in their relationships. I stopped taking on shoots like that because in the end, if boudoir is one thing, it certainly is not fix damaged relationships.
It took one session to help me change how I approach shooting boudoir from that point on. It was of a young woman that approached me for a shoot. I asked if it was for anyone specifically and she said no, that she just wanted to celebrate some personal milestones and growth. The shoot was fun, it was fire and purely her. That’s what it should be. It should be taking that confidence in yourself that you’ve got or have been been lacking and sending it through the roof. Take the fact that you are a beautiful woman and you’re proud of your feminine form and dangit, treat yourself. Celebrate the scars, celebrate the trials, celebrate your skin and celebrate yourself.
If anything, boudoir should be a celebration of who you are and what you've overcome. Not who you want to be.
Since that one transformational session, I've shot sessions for women that are finally in a healthy state of mind after battling years of an eating disorder, or women claiming their bodies back after traumatic and abusive relationships. I've shot for women just wanting to celebrate their feminity or their bodies changing during and after pregnancy. In the end, if they chose to show their photos to their spouse, their spouse was blown away by seeing the woman finally seeing herself the way that they have seen them all of this time.
A few years back, I did a Valentine's Day boudoir marathon. One of my clients was a woman who was in her mid-thirties and a mother of three. She was nervous about her body. I believe she used the term "mom bod". We took a little extra time to shoot because it too her awhile to get comfortable being vulnerable in front of the camera. She did fantastic. A few weeks later, we met up and did a photo reveal for she and her husband. She was nervous again, worried that he would hate what he saw. He smiled the whole way through the reveal. At one point he wiped a tear. When we were done, he kissed her on the side of her head.
"You captured her the way that I see her," he said. "She's beautiful the way she is and you captured it perfectly."
She smiled. She cried.
"This is the best Valentine's gift," he said. "Its better than chocolate."
Make a playlist, pick out some outfits and lets make some photographs. Especially this Valentine's season.
This is who you are; better than chocolate.