A few years ago when I decided to specialize in boudoir photography, someone I love called me a pornographer. Ouch. She couldn’t grasp the connection between the type of photographs I create and art. She couldn’t understand how boudoir photography helps women feel seen and valuable, gives them a voice, and helps them step into their power as sensual, beautiful creatures.
But then, a new trend
There is a trend in today’s boudoir photography world that has crossed the line from beautiful, empowering boudoir photos into soft-core porn. These photos show implied or actual masturbation with hands fully down panties, close ups of orgasm-implied faces, close ups of naked crotch shots and more. I think couples boudoir (which I do not offer) can go even further, with full nude photos that definitely look like penetration is happening.
Don’t get me wrong: I’ve made some pretty naughty photos with clients … but I make sure that they are tasteful and artistic above all else. They are plenty sexy. Just not porny. In fact, women who choose me as their boudoir photographer often tell me that my classy-yet-sexy style is one reason why I was their pick.
What really bothers me is when these photos show up in social media. They’re in my face in professional boudoir Facebook groups and in Instagram feeds. Yes, I unfollow, but still. If I want to look at porn, I’ll seek it out.
What’s more, boudoir photographers like me are easily and often banned from social media–and it’s happening more and more due to “bots” that will evaluate the amount of skin showing and classify it as against their terms of service. I got banned from Facebook recently for posting one of my fine art bodyscapes for example. Definitely not porn.
I also want to point out that I’m anything but prude. I actively write erotica and have even published and won awards for it. But seeing this raunchy turn in my industry makes me need to shout this out. I don’t like it. I don’t think it’s empowering for most women, and I worry that when done wrong, it can actually make women feel shame. Shame is what I want to lift from women’s shoulders.
So, I still respectfully disagree with my loved one. While some boudoir photographers in the world do shoot more soft-core pornographic photos, I am not one of them.
I am an artist.
What do you think?
(and, really …)