3 Little-Known Facts About Boudoir Photography (Part One)

Posted in: Boudoir Photography, Nude Boudoir, Nude Photography, Women of Strength, Workout- May 28, 2013 No Comments
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Apparently, Marilyn Monroe was once asked to “bless” photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson’s camera at the start of a photo shoot, and her “cheeky” response to his request was to pretend to sit on it. This “booty shot” was never caught on camera, but makes for a little-known photography fun fact.

Today, I’ve decided to start debunking the common misconceptions surrounding what it is we do at the Art of Seduction studio. Boudoir photography isn’t so new, but it is a fairly misunderstood genre within the photography industry, so let’s clarify a few little-known facts about what goes on in the Art of Seduction boudoir . . .

  1. It’s harder than it looks. Generally speaking, just about anything done well tends to appear effortless — think about ballerinas and how easy they make classical dance look. But ballet, as many of us know, is grueling and requires tremendous amounts of discipline to master. Now, most of us aren’t professional models, so on the occasion of a rare, perhaps a first, photo shoot, the experience of following direction in posing appropriately is surprisingly difficult. Argentina will never force you to do anything dangerous or impossible, as she is very mindful of people’s physical limits, but do not for a minute think that just because a girl may look relaxed and carefree in a boudoir photograph that that is how she truly felt at the time. Posing for boudoir shoots is intense: You’ll arch, hold, lift, and tilt parts of your body you’d forgotten you had — even if you’re an active woman who works out all the time. The first step to a flattering photograph is how you hold yourself in it, and while you are not expected by any means to provide any poses yourself, be prepared to feel sore after your shoot. I aim to work out up to six days a week, and I still found myself quivering as I tried to hold my head at the strangest angle, um, ever. (The key to a stunning shot is that it looks natural, not that it feels it!)

    You’d also be surprised at how labor-intensive it is for your photographer! At my last shoot with Argentina, she was lugging huge boards everywhere, climbing a ladder, running up and down a flight of stairs, helping me fasten garters and put on shoes . . . and during my Simply Boudoir shoot, Tracy got down and dirty demonstrating each pose for me down to the last “booty tooch” (any other America’s Next Top Model fans out there?). The photographer gets a far greater workout than you do, and all to get a fabulous shot of you.

    Tracy demonstrating a pose for my Simply Boudoir shoot

  2. It’s less about being sexy than it is a celebration of you. Okay, obviously, there is an element of sexiness to a boudoir shoot. You’re wearing far less clothing than you usually ever find yourself in (unless you indeed have followed my recent advice), sucking stuff in, popping things out . . . but the truth is, you’ve more than likely gotten out of bed little more than a couple hours earlier and barely had more than your morning coffee before you drove yourself to the studio and got the model treatment. You’re likely nervous, not knowing what to expect, and there is a lady you don’t know too well running around directing you and snapping photographs.

    The experience is superfun, to be sure, but it’s a far cry from feeling sexual. Instead, women often leave their boudoir shoot feeling empowered. They’ve pushed themselves slightly out of their comfort zone and seen themselves in a new light, through the lens of fantasy. If the experience had really been just about “being sexy” rather than making you feel awesome and gorgeous just as you are, our clients would probably leave the studio feeling a little weird about it. . . .

    As a matter of fact, Argentina has received her fair share of questionable e-mail requests from men that simply had no idea what boudoir photography was about. The whole thing we’re going for is “tasteful” and “artistic.” Even the nude photographs Argentina does are done in such a way that it is all about the beauty of the female form — e.g., how lovely her curves are — rather than exposing her in an exhibitionist fashion.

    I actually took my first implied nude (by accident) of a friend once as he played his guitar in just a pair of shorts . . . Image from fanpop.com

    And Argentina loves a shoot that tells a story — your reason for booking a shoot could be as simple as celebrating a new stage in your life, your upcoming wedding, celebrating your new healthy and fit lifestyle, whatever. Picking a theme for your shoot can further customize your photos to be more “you” than just sticking to what you’ve already seen from those before you. This is also why we are running our Women of Strength series (stay tuned tomorrow for a new story!), to further celebrate the women who have chosen to commemorate something significant in their lives with us. Were you once a serious athlete or musician? Consider these as you plan your outfits or your props and create a shoot that really speaks of you.

    pocket watch

  3. You shouldn’t wait to do it. I’m not gonna lie — when I first bought my Livingsocial deal in 2011 for the couple’s shoot I did (my first-ever boudoir session), I gave myself several months to get in better shape. What ended up happening? The months slid by and I’d hardly tweaked my diet or exercise routine. Next thing I knew, it was the last month to redeem my deal, and I had to suddenly squeeze in our session in something like two weeks — because every other girl and her mother had done the same thing, and Art of Seduction was booked solid. They were so busy, I didn’t even meet Argentina until over a year later when I attended her open house! I’d had one of her other photographers at the time shoot our session.

    Point is, if you’re putting off your boudoir session “until . . .” you’re most likely never going to do it. Again, it is a celebration of you, and you deserve it now! I recently heard from a success expert that the four most dangerous words we can say are “I think I’ll wait,” because most of the time, when we say this, years can go by without our making any progress. Isn’t that scary?

    The last two sessions I did, I didn’t even bother making those promises to myself about getting more in shape or whatever. I knew Argentina was skilled at what she did and that I’d be impressed by what I saw anyway, so I just bit the bullet and went. I encourage you to do the same, if you’ve been on the fence. The only caveat to this is you must have a minimum level of self-confidence already — because, while we are all our own worst critics, if you have serious issues over your appearance and you don’t accept even verbal compliments about the way you look, you’re probably not going to accept the visual compliment of photography capturing your unique beauty. Got it? Your shoot is all about embracing what you’ve got! You know what they say: If you’ve got it, flaunt it. And now!

There are other little-known facts that I’ll reveal soon, but I hope these first three have begun to provide you a new perspective regarding boudoir photography. I can’t wait to share our next Woman of Strength story tomorrow — stay tuned!

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