Whenever an image from Anna Semenova, aka thesameanna, pops up on our Instagram feed, you can probably hear us sighing from wherever you are. Through the Her Body Elegance project, Anna is helping to revolutionize how intimate portraits of women are being shot. She sent us the most beautiful boudoir and some very thoughtful answers to our questions about her boudoir work. We hope you enjoy!
I’m a boudoir photographer from Ukraine, but I mostly organize intimate photo sessions for ladies and couples abroad. I prefer to shoot my photos with my analogue Contax camera on a medium format film because I like to get atmospheric pictures. I try to create very individual sessions and manage all work (styling, interior, makeup artists) by myself because it's very important for me to feel that everything is perfect in my viewfinder.
I hope that my images inspire women. I try to show women that there is no need to be ashamed of their bodies since every woman is beautiful regardless of her body shape. To me a woman equals elegance. I try to organize my #HerBodyElegance project as I travel abroad, because new places always inspire me. I find sensuality and try to highlight elegance in every healthy mind and body.
What inspired this boudoir session?
This shooting was as a gift to this girl. We rented a retro studio in an old historical building in Kiev. The studio was decorated in oriental Moroccan style. The walls were a little bit broken, with a variety of angles and arches, and what I've loved most of all -- huge windows, almost to the floor.
She did her makeup and hair by herself. Mostly I prefer natural styling, but this girl was a little glamorous, so we decided to choose two different types of styling: one more innocent and one more provocative. The lingerie was so perfect for both styles.
What was the most memorable moment from your shoot?
I love to shoot in a very private but friendly atmosphere. So I turned on some music and we were dancing during the session.
Tell us why the shoot took place in this location?
The beginning of summer always brings a mood of air and space. We were inspired by the Moroccan summer. When there's heat outside and you feel the humidity on your warm skin, there is a desire to hide in a cool spacious room.
I love walk alone or with a close person in long conversations. One of my favorite streets in Kiev is Yaroslaviv Val because of its architecture and beautiful buildings. One of the famous buildings on this street resembles a medieval knight’s castle. And I found a great studio inside it. With good nature light and accessories that accurately convey our styling.
What advice would you give someone considering a boudoir session?
Try to forget about the person with camera in front of you. Yes, I understand that shooting can be difficult. But if you made a decision and take part in a boudoir, you get to experiment with your feelings and body. So try to relax, be honest with yourself and just confide in the photographer.
What do you consider the difference between boudoir and fine art boudoir?
Oh, that's interesting question. A long time ago, when I was as a wedding photographer, I noticed different styles of boudoir becoming popular. I didn't like that they captured mostly overly glamorous or overly erotic images. I like when photography is more of a sneak peek of real life, like you’re reporting and not staging. I like when it focuses on the aesthetics of a person in her/his own environment.
When I hear the words fine art, I associate them with film and shooting on an analogue camera. But to tell you the truth, I don't see the difference in my feelings between digital or film capture. I prefer to shoot on film, because it helps me to things more see intensely and to think about each shot. Fine art has to be created with space for your thoughts.
Outside of photography, what other sources do you draw inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from trips to other cities in my country and to other countries. I'm not the type of person that wants to see all the museums and cafes in a new city. I'm also not the type who will be in a lazy mood near the pool. I like long walks in new cities and landscapes and I like to meet new people. If I meet someone from the city I’m visiting, I will try to spend a day living here and now like this person lives. And of course environment influences an individual's mood and character. So I love to shoot when I'm abroad to show my feelings about the environment through a specific person’s viewpoint.
Thanks to Anna for sharing this elegant boudoir with us. We are inspired by the passion with which Anna talks about changing boudoir for the better through celebrating healthy bodies and healthy attitudes. We hope you will check out and support Anna’s #HerBodyElegance project.