When I mentally peruse my past few weeks, aside from the regular grindstone efforts put toward our ever blossoming photography business, one phrase comes to mind: Boudoir photography.
I’m sure many of you have seen our ad, read the word (which, by the way, is French for a lady’s bedroom or sitting room), and filed it away among the million other bits of information the internet has to offer. Well, I can’t speak to the rest of the web’s countless tidbits, but I can speak to boudoir and what it truly means. Well, what it truly means to us, anyway.
For any unclear on the matter, boudoir photography is intended to be sensual, sexy, fun, and enticing. It gives both women and men (through “dudeoir” photography) the chance to capture their sensual, playful nature in portraiture. Typically, the client poses in their underwear, nighties, lingerie and/or partially covered or fully in the buff! These images can be just for fun, intended to capture their bodies at their sexiest in life, or taken to be used as a special gift for their significant other.
Since we placed our first Valentine’s Day boudoir ad a few weeks ago, I have had many people (all men, of course) offer to be our assistant. Many of them would gladly hold up a light, move around props, or generally hold up one of my studio’s walls for hours just to catch a glimpse at one dem purdy nekked women. I have to say, while the session definitely shows off one’s sensual side, these wanna be assistants might find the general lack of nudity disturbing.
The more I delve into boudoir photography, the more I see that covered bits ’n pieces are sexy bits ’n pieces. Not saying that a fully nude woman or man is unattractive or that we would not honor such a request, however, I find that leaving some things to the imagination adds a little steam to the shot.
To me, when it comes to portraits intended to be sensual (in other words, they are not for general artistic expression), full nudity can pack an in-your-face punch one might not intend to deliver. Perhaps it is our culture, our upbringing, or the simple fact, in such an instance, there is nothing left to reveal or think about. This may be why the underwear and/or partially-covered shots, for me, hold more seduction, more beauty, more mystery, and more fun.
Now, I’m not saying full nudity should be avoided in a boudoir session, but, speaking as a professional photographer, it can be approached from a different, more artistic angle. You can even use technical or implied nudity.
Let’s try an example: Imagine a nude woman. She stands before you sensual, artistically crafted, and hiding nothing. While this would certainly be considered sexy in a centerfold kind of way, my goal would be to make it sexy in a more sensual way. To do this, first lets angle her hips and/or strategically reposition her leg. Next, we strategically reposition one or both arms to cover the pertinent parts of her bosom. Lastly, we request a flirtatious smile, or a lite pensive expression. Toss in some sheer fabric, proper lighting, and removal of all color in post-production and you have yourself a very beautiful, sensual image. While technically nude, she is still holding a little mystery to herself, thereby making the picture that much more enticing.
Now you are asking: “But Patrick, are you saying Abanathy Photography LLC will not honor my request to pose full monty, centerfold style in a portrait for my significant other?!” To this, I say: We honor any request (within limits of the law, of course). The above was more or less to show that boudoir is not necessarily all about the nudie shots, which is often a misconception people hold.
Overall, our boudoir sessions have produced some of the most amazing photos I’ve ever taken and I hope the mythical requirement of full nudity would not frighten people off. Especially now. It’s true, Valentine’s Day is getting a little too close for comfort, however, weddings abound in the spring and summer and bridal boudoir can yield just as many wonderful shots!
To learn more about our boudoir sessions, visit our “You” website!