I originally wrote this piece about why I shoot boudoir as my philosophy statement about two weeks after I wrapped my first boudoir sessions with real women (not models) back in January 2011. As you’ll read, being a boudoir photographer means more to me than just making some beautiful and sexy photos for your partner to enjoy. It’s about helping you regain the power to bare your inherent beauty and sexuality without judging yourself for it.
My friend Robin is drop-dead gorgeous, but she doesn’t know it. As I made her photograph in a lovely Denver hotel suite one weekend, I showed her a few shots along the way. ”Gosh!” she exclaimed.
Gosh is right. When I started processing the photos of the three women I worked with on that Saturday, I could see something in them–a spark, if you will, of acceptance of their inherent beauty. I’ve known each of them a long time. I turned to them as my first clients to feel safe. [If I screwed up, they would be kind.] I didn’t realize that they’d each give me the gifts of vulnerability and connection. They let me see beyond the veil we usually keep up except with our innermost circles. It felt like such a gift.
One of my very first boudoir photography clients, who made me fall in love with shooting boudoir. (I’m a much better photographer now, and I’m bugging her to allow me to photograph her again!)
EVERY WOMAN IS BEAUTIFUL, BUT SO FEW OF US FEEL BEAUTIFUL.
Everywhere we turn, we’re faced with another reason why we’re inadequate—too fat, too skinny, too old, too wrinkled, too poor … not good enough ever. Industries are built on making us feel ugly, yet hopeful that the next product will be the elixir. And yet, only the experience of feeling beautiful, for an hour, or for a day, can unlock the power that gets squashed every day.
Yes, many women get that experience of feeling beautiful on their wedding days. We have our makeup and hair done by a professional, play dress up, and feel like princesses. Boudoir photography is the same experience without the party. It’s a mix of dress up, acting, laughing, and feeling beautiful.
Reason #1 why I shoot boudoir: to show you that you are not inadequate at all. In fact, quite the contrary.
Mrs J is a mountain girl, living in a small Colorado town. She rarely wears makeup, doesn’t do self-care days, puts herself toward the end of her list. I did a mini-session with her in 2017, and she told me that for the first time in 20+ years she feels sexy and H O T.
You know, I love making photos, capturing that spark inside of people with my camera. And I especially love revealing that spark in women. Sparks like this comment from Robin back in 201:
There was something really liberating about being photographed. Lynn, the photos are amazing…you are so talented but you also really have a gift for making a woman feel beautiful.
Her compliment feels wonderful, of course. She loved her photos, which makes me proud and excited, because this is also a stepping out for me, a leap off the edge. But I helped her have an experience that was liberating to her. In that hotel room, she was liberated from the stupid rules of who we are supposed to be and how we are supposed to behave.
She could be sexy. She could laugh. She could play! [Oh, we grownups are allowed to play but only in a serious way, right?] And she did!
Reason #2 why I shoot boudoir: To give you a well-earned day of fun all for yourself.
IT’S ABOUT CELEBRATING YOUR BEAUTY AND EMBRACING YOUR SENSUALITY. IT’S ABOUT PLEASURE.
Boudoir, depending on how you shoot it, could be considered salacious. That’s not my intention. My goal is artistic, sensual, empowering, beautiful. I want to create photos of women that express who they are, and where they are. And that means sensual, sexual, gorgeous, feminine creatures of all shapes, sizes, and ages.
Most of all, I want to make photos of women throughout the stages of their lives–when they’re getting married, when they’re having babies, when they want to feel sexy again, when they’ve reached a physical or life goal. And I want the experience of having their photos made to set them free from all the nastiness that has them trapped … if only for an hour or two … just for themselves.
Reason #3 why I shoot boudoir: To show you want freedom feels like.
Mrs R came to me to celebrate a nearly 100 pound weight loss. She used to hide, but then she decided to be seen in all of her beauty. She’s an inspiration to me.
BASICALLY, THE REASON WHY i SHOOT BOUDOIR COMES DOWN TO THIS
It’s simple: I just want women to love themselves. And doing this kind of a photography session–especially just for you–is an excellent way to learn how to do that. Maybe for the first time, or maybe just a little bit more.