Boudoir can be scary. Let's face it, you've likely been raised your whole life thinking it's very sexy, dramatic, and seductive. While some boudoir is like this, a fine art boudoir session is completely opposite. There is a focus on the female body and why it has been a muse for so many renowned artists all over the world for centuries. It draws more attention to the details, rather than the whole picture. The pose becomes less important, and the inner beauty is more evident. Not enough people talk about their own boudoir sessions, and it remains a very hushed, taboo topic. We here at Boudoir Collective want to inspire you to talk about your own session with your girlfriends, and to encourage them to take the plunge and do something for themselves! Sure, you may feel nervous and vulnerable, but they need to know how you felt at the end. That "I'm so hot right now and I can do anything because I am a woman and could rule the world if I chose to" feeling.
Well, we want to share with you four common misconceptions about boudoir that stop the majority of women from booking their own session.
1. YOU HAVE TO BE NAKED
You don't have to be naked. You don't even have to be in your underwear. Your boudoir session is about getting to your own roots, and if that looks like your favorite band tee and some comfy pajama shorts, then rock it! If you do choose to go in the buff for any part of your session though, just be in good communication with your photographer. Most photographers will make a model release (a form you sign stating they can use your images to advertise) optional or conditional. If you tell her that you want to keep all or some of your images private, she should be willing to honor that, and if not, you might want to keep looking for your photographer.
2. YOU NEED TO HAVE SOMEONE TO GIVE THEM TO
I will start off by saying that having a boudoir session done, and an album made for your significant other is absolutely a fantastic gift. That being said, your session should never be ONLY about the other person. It should be a personal journey to finding your inner beauty and self confidence, regardless of what's going on in your life and in your body. Think of it as a gift to yourself, that you are sharing with the one who loves you second best (because you love yourself most, right?). So even if you don't have someone to give them to, don't you deserve a gift? Why not invest in an hour or two to get pampered, learn your worth, and walk away feeling empowered, confident, and beautiful? It's a reminder that you are enough, just the way you are.
3. YOU HAVE TO HAVE OVERWHELMING SEX APPEAL
The definition of fine art boudoir, as we see it, is moving past the sex and the fancy lights and the leather lingerie, and digging deep to find out who you are. Finding out what your femininity looks like, celebrating it for all that it is, and not being afraid to be who you truly are. A typical fine art boudoir session will consist of helping you into natural type poses and expressions, and then capturing the details of your delicate frame. Your curves. Your freckles. Your lips. Everything that makes you unique and perfect and just the way you're supposed to be. It is a focus on soft, romantic, and organic emotions, pulled from your surroundings. It is not a sexy pose that you don't feel comfortable doing. Now, if you are worried that you won't know how to "pose" or do anything but look sheepishly into the camera, your photographer will guide you through natural positions that you can make your own, and she will tweak you the way she needs to to ensure the most flattering angle is captured.
If you are naturally sexy, then your session will reflect this. If you are more reserved and modest, embrace it and let that shine through in your photos. Either way, just stay true to yourself, and only do what you are comfortable doing.
4. YOU'RE NOT YOUNG/SKINNY/CUTE/PURPLE ENOUGH
Okay first, stop it right now. Seriously, cut it out. YOU ARE ENOUGH. Whatever it is, you have it. You are in the exact place and time and position that you are meant to be in. You have lived your life, had so many great experiences with those you love, and sometimes that means a few extra pounds or a couple extra lines in your face. That is NOT a good reason to put off your session. I probably sound like a Nike enthusiast, because whenever I hear the "E" word, it takes all I have in me to not shout "JUST DO IT!" Really, just do it. You won't regret it, and you will be SO HAPPY you did. Most of my clients have told me that even if they never see their images, the process was completely worth it. Boudoir is for everyone. It is an opportunity to finally see ourselves as others see us, and that is such an amazing privilege! Quit waiting until tomorrow. There is no greater day than today!
So next time you feel like you are not enough, check that negativity at the door and remember that you are as you as you can possibly be. No one else can claim that, and you should be proud.
Now that we have you convinced you've been silly all along, remember to share the love and experience with those around you! We want to encourage you to talk about your session, and maybe even show some examples! I can't tell you all how many ladies have come to me after seeing their friend's photos wanting her own done. If we just forget about the stigma and openly share our perfect female forms with those around us, we can spread the knowledge, and share the joy that comes from a fine art boudoir session.
After all, it's not like you have to commit to only doing boudoir once!