Sometimes a session comes along that is so completely a world unto itself that you feel swept up and lost in the images, being drawn from your life into the mood of the pictures. When this session from Melissa at Lissa Ryan Photography arrived in our inbox, we knew just from looking at the long list of names involved in creating this spectacular workshop that we were lucky to have the chance to feature her images.
Melissa willingly shared her experience at the workshop and the inspiration behind her work with us at Boudoir Collective. We hope you’ll find the inspiration behind gorgeous work to be as memorable as the images themselves! And now, in her own words...
What inspired this boudoir session?
Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of attending The Little Workshop, a film workshop hosted by the extremely talented Michael & Carina Photography at Agecroft Hall in Richmond, VA. The title of this outdoor bridal boudoir session is ‘Rejuvenate’ signifying new beginnings. The color palette was inspired by Himalayan pink salt, specifically the color and the cleansing power of salt. The model wanders the stunning formal gardens of Agecroft Hall, which was originally built in the UK before being brought to the United States, enjoying the world reawakening around her and contemplating her own new beginning as she prepares for her wedding. Beautifully styled by Wit Weddings, this shoot perfectly embodies the rebirth of spring and the beauty of the season.
What was the most memorable moment from your shoot?
I loved the moment when our model naturally leaned over to smell the gorgeous flowers growing the stunning formal gardens - her movements were so graceful and unstudied that they inspired a whole series of images of her moving through the gardens and interacting with her surroundings.
Tell us why the shoot took place in this location?
Agecroft Hall was the perfect location for this delicate boudoir session. The incredible formal gardens and the Hall's old world feel (the Hall was originally constructed in England several hundred years ago, before being deconstructed, shipped across the Atlantic Ocean and reconstructed in Richmond, Virginia) complemented our model's delicate beauty.
What is your approach to boudoir photography?
My approach is very natural and organic. I want to capture the woman I'm photographing as herself and have her personality shine through the images themselves.
What challenges have you faced as an artist?
I struggle with competition and comparison every day. It's so hard to constantly be seeing the work of other artists that I really admire and wish that my work lived up to their caliber. It's a struggle, but I try to take it as a learning and growing experience, rather than getting frustrated.
What advice would you give someone considering a boudoir session?
DO it and do it for yourself! Doing a boudoir session with a photographer you feel comfortable with is the most incredible self-confidence booster and a fabulous way to reconnect with yourself and appreciate just how amazing and remarkable your body is.
Outside of photography, what other sources do you draw inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from the small moments of everyday life - morning sunlight gilding slowly opening flower buds, the smell of freshly brewed coffee, the sounds of a gurgling stream, and all the little things around me.
Photographed at The Little Workshop, hosted by Michael & Carina Photography // Photographer: Lissa Ryan Photography // Planning, Design & Styling: Wit Weddings // Venue: Agecroft Hall // Model: Helen // Hair and Makeup: Emily Tucker with Lora Kelley // Boudoir Look: Lee-Lim // Film Processing & Scanning: The FIND Lab