As we looked through the images Jenny McCann recently sent us and read about her retro-inspired boudoir session, we couldn’t help but be transported back in time through her work. We were even more excited when we learned that this wasn’t just a styled shoot with a model, but a real woman taking photos for her fiancé! We can tell that these were a true labor of love and are thrilled to be able to feature them today.
What inspired this boudoir session?
My client's fiancé is away in the military so we built the concept of the session around that. I started right away creating the mood with styling, location and clothing. I wanted to evoke the melancholy feeling of a woman from days of yore left behind, yearning for her man to come back, but who must carry on with daily life. Luckily for me, my client loved this idea and I was able to flex my styling muscles. I could not have done it without the expertise of hair/makeup artist Sarah Berry. She was able to take my vision and elevate the look we were going for. It was such a treat to have myself, the client and hair/makeup artist all on board and excited about the concept. It felt like the stars aligned for this session and rejuvenated my enthusiasm for photography.
What was the most memorable moment from your shoot?
The most memorable moment from the shoot was when I had to create the "bedroom" on the fly. I didn't know what props I had at my disposal at this location so while my client was getting hair and makeup done I frantically searched for what I needed, second guessing myself every step of the way. I saw this gorgeous light coming into this building and finally had my ah-ha moment. In the end, a simple, uncluttered approach was best.
Tell us why the shoot took place in this location?
This location could not have been more perfect for this story. When you arrive, you instantly get the feeling that time has stood still here. Old bicycles, a wooden swing hanging from a tree, vine covered structures scatter the property revealing the working farm that it once was. It's a true gem in the DFW location that sadly we no longer have access to.
What is your approach to boudoir photography?
I love a good theme. I admit my approach is more "story telling" than most, but I feel we all have a good story and I want to tell it. What's your story? Who are you? What are your passions/loves/hates/fears? Let's weave that into the concept of your session. Anybody can meet you at a hotel and photograph you in a push up bra and high heels. That doesn't interest me. It's the stories, the individual personalities that we are all born with that interest me. I feed on that and build from there.
What advice would you give someone considering a boudoir session?
Instead of advice I'd like to share my personal boudoir experience. I had just turned 34 and realized my mid 30s were looming. I decided that in one year, for my 35th birthday, I would do a boudoir session for myself. I have two children and while my body wasn't in terrible shape, I've never really been super proud of it either. But I knew if I was going to go through with a boudoir session, I wanted to not only look my best but FEEL my best. So I set out on a workout journey that lead me to a little studio that teaches "hot" yoga. The experience has been life changing. I transformed physically, spiritually and mentally. After practicing for a year I was ready for my boudoir session and I rocked it. It was so empowering. Even without seeing a single photo I knew I made the right decision. Ultimately, boudoir sessions should be for you. Not your husband or anybody else, but you. This was a gift I gave myself and as a bonus it inspired me to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Who knew a boudoir session would have inspired such a life change!
What do you consider the difference between boudoir and fine art boudoir?
When I mentally visualize the differences between boudoir vs fine art boudoir, I imagine boudoir images to be more commercial, more sexually literal in nature - high heels, push up bras, g-strings, with a come hither expression. When I consider fine art boudoir, I think of images that express sexuality in a subtle way that leave us wanting more. We find ourselves asking questions about the image: What's going on in this picture? Who is this person and what's their story? How did they find themselves in this location? Is this a real moment captured or is it set up? So in short, a nuanced representation of sexuality vs a literal representation.
Thank you to Jenny for sharing both this gorgeous session and her own inspiring story with us!