Diversity means a lot to us here at Boudoir Collective. So much so, it's the first thing we talk about in our mission statement:
Boudoir Collective is a unique publication that celebrates diversity and women in different stages of their lives through sensibly crafted fine art photography. We wholeheartedly believe that boudoir photography is an empowering medium that beautifully highlights intimacy, elegance and feminism in its most delicate form.
However, we struggle to find content that promotes diversity. Each submission we receive is beautiful, and we appreciate the uniqueness of the technical attributes of the photographs. But where is the diversity within the subjects? As a society, I think our eyes have been corrupted in how we see beauty, and how it's defined, so we wanted to encourage our artists to add more diversity to their businesses with three easy to implement tips.
1) GIVE IT A DEFINITION
What does diversity mean to you? What does it look like? Really spend some time thinking about it. Draft a list of everything that comes to your mind when you hear the word diversity. Then, explore your portfolio. What do you see? What is missing? What would you like to see more of? It's important to find a personal definition to diversity that you can connect to, before you attempt to seek it. You can diversify by body type, age, gender, and ethnicity. The latter is the biggest gap in portfolios that we see today. Why is that? In our fine art boudoir industry, diversity means all of these things. It's important to us because we want the gift of these photographs, and the experience that goes with creating them to feel inclusive and accessible to ALL women. We too have felt the demands of society to look a certain way. The expectations for a woman are heavy. This is exactly why Boudoir Collective exclusively celebrates the art of the female form, and the unsung strengths of being a woman. When you go forth with mission and purpose, it will reflect in everything that you do.
2) CREATE IT
Now that you are connected to the meaning of diversity, that you understand it's place in this world and your work, it's time to create it. Don't wait for the perfect client or dream team collaboration. Seek it and build it. Create a styled session with a model that fits your new definition of diversity. Don't treat it differently. Use the same heart and vision that you have used during all your previous works.
3) BECOME AN ACTIVIST
This industry needs you. It needs artists that understand diversity, and conscientiously seek to showcase it in their work. Help change the stigma. Speak about diversity with your peers, friends, and family. Harness the power of social media to actively shed light on the issue. Make it a point to quarterly or yearly do a model call for diversity. Call out your favorite brands, too. This will in turn naturally provide you with diverse clients and your portfolio will continue to grow authentically.
We couldn't end this post without sharing some fitting images and words by Cassie Moul of Modern Boudoir Photography. We hope you found these tips useful and would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Change starts with a conversation.
Sometimes people see boudoir and think that the only people who would do that are young 20-something tan brides who look like super models and are completely confident in the way they look. That stereotype is so far from reality. Yes, quite a few of my clients are brides, but every single woman who walks through my studio doors can find faults with their bodies and the way they look. My job is to show them what I see through my lens: how gorgeous they are.The way everyone who loves them sees them. My clients aren't the women people typically think of when they think of boudoir. They are brides, moms, wives, businesswomen, entrepreneurs, happily single. They are a variety of races, ages, sizes. They are every woman. A diverse group who all chose to use boudoir as a way to celebrate this point in their lives. - Cassie Moul