I’ve been a boudoir photographer and boudoir photography studio owner for some time now. And, over the years I’ve heard stories about boudoir. LOTS of stories. Some good. And some really, really bad.
It seems that when a woman decides to pursue a boudoir shoot, just about everyone’s got some advice about what she should do, what she should wear, how she should prepare, etc.
So, I figured I’d post a blog dispelling some of those myths and shedding some light on this process…which really, at the end of the day, should be rather straightforward.
Bad advice #1: “How about trying something new and radical, like purple hair color?!”
Yikes! How about NOT! A boudoir shoot is not the time, event, or occasion to make any radical changes. When you see your images you should see YOU reflected–who you are everyday, only prettied up and pampered. Could you imagine giving that perfect shade of magenta a go only to see your images and cringe because, well, you hate it?
Bad advice #2: “You should definitely choose outfits that scream boudoir.”
Maybe yes. Maybe no. Does that boudoir-screaming-lingerie reflect your style? Some aspect of your personality you wish to reveal in your images? If the answer is yes, then go for it! If the answer is no, then wave goodbye as you walk on.
Bad advice #3: Having a BFF (or a mom, or a sister, or all of the above) there with you throughout your shoot will be a great source of moral support!
This is one I hear a lot. But no, it won’t. In the beginning of my boudoir photography career when I allowed it, I would only get asked by my client to please ask that friend, sister, mother, whoever to leave because my client would feel uncomfortable after all.
I mean think about it, posing is awkward and technical at times–do you really want another pair of eyes just watching you as you fumble through poses, and lets be honest, we all fumble through poses at times?
From my perspective, it’s not such a great idea to have your best friend there and here’s why: 1) like I mentioned, it’s awkward so you’ll be distracted from what I’m telling you to do and how I’m telling you to move; 2) I need to bond with you right off the bat once we start shooting–if you’re looking to your BFF for feedback and support (which, hey, that’s my job) then we may not ever get to really bond through our session and as a result, your images might end up lacking that real connection you and I will both want the images to have; 3) Sometimes friends can’t help but interject and make suggestions for how “you should do this!” or “you should pose like this.” And unless they’re professional photographers, their suggestions are probably not going to really be the best ideas meanwhile they’ll be disrupting our flow and cutting into the time we have in which to make great images. Plus friends always try to sneak iPhone pics, which in my studio is a big no-no!
Bad advice #4: “Photographers are all the same; just ask for price lists and go with the best (aka lowest) price.”
Saying all photographers are the same is like saying all clothing designers are the same, all actors are the same, all painters are the same, all dancers are the same, all singers are the same. Easy to see it’s not so for those other fields right? Bottom line is this: Photography is an art form. Let me repeat that: photography is an art form.
On one hand, photography is a form of artistic expression. It’s not just about clicking a button and making a picture. At least not for the serious professional. It’s about creating a mood, a feeling, evoking emotions, and creating art.
Then there’s the other side. If you’re going to create that art that moves people, you must have technical know-how: a serious professional has professional equipment and knows how to use it. Knows how to use light to flatter figures and faces. Knows what angles to shoot from to flatter a figure. Knows what lens choices to make and when. And knows how to shoot natural light and studio light to offer the client exactly the look they’re going for. A serious professional is also more likely to offer higher quality products because they value their art and want you to as well.
So, in short, a serious professional costs more. Period. And in this field, like so many others, you get what you pay for.
Bad advice #5: Relating to number 4…Price is more important than personality fit.
Ok, to be honest, I’ve never actually heard about anyone being told this. BUT it certainly seems that it’s some unwritten, unspoken advice people get nonetheless from somewhere. But this is boudoir. It’s intimate. I highly suggest not emailing, but picking up the phone and calling that boudoir photographer to see how she/he makes you feel. Do they make you feel comfortable right off the bat? Are they willing to answer all your questions or even meet with you to show you their studio, learn more about you, and set you at ease? A personality fit is sooooo important. If you’re not comfortable with the person who you’re giving the amazing responsibility of capturing your body and soul, then your images will suffer. That is a guarantee.
May your boudoir journeys be fulfilling, rewarding and fun!
Illuminating the Power of the Feminine(R)
Susan Eckert owns and operates Long Island’s Leading Boudoir Photography Studio and is author of Body & Soul, a meaningful approach to boudoir photography which is now available on Amazon.com and as a boudoir photography resource on Barnes & Noble