First, rather that "Boudoir Photography", I like to call this Sensual Portraiture. Let's get that out of the way now.
If you ask any of my previous "boudoir" clients how they felt when they initially considered booking a Sensual Portrait package with me, the answers would simply range from “a little nervous” to “absolutely terrified.”
But if you asked them how they felt after their shoot, they will use words like “beautiful”, “exotic”, “empowered”, "invigorated", and of course “feminine.”
This is perfectly natural, and after 15 years of conducting boudoir photo sessions, I can tell you without hesitation that any fears you have will quickly begin to melt away as soon as we start working together.
I have a very clear understanding of both how and why I do business, so lately I have been pondering the fear that I often witness in conversations with potential clients, and I’d like to take this opportunity to address them.
The Five Misconceptions
1. “I have to be naked.”
The goal of our session (the way I do it, anyway) is to bring forth your sensual/sexual essence and capture that beautifully on camera. If you are embodying that essence, it doesn’t matter if you’re wearing lingerie or a dress or a suit or a burlap sack.
Though I will encourage you to go to your limits, my goal is not to make you uncomfortable. I may challenge you. I may gently nudge you toward those limits. However, there is only one person who dictates how far you need to go with your sensual portrait session in order to conjure The Goddess, and that’s you.
You don’t need to jump up and down on the bed in your birthday suit to feel empowered (though if you choose to do so you will not be judged—see #3.) The one note I will add is that if you take a deep breath and begin your photo session at the very limits of how for you're willing to go that day (lingerie, topless, nude, burlap sack)—even for a moment—you will be incredibly relaxed for the rest of the photo session. It's a way of saying "Okay, let's get this part over with and then get on with it!"
2. “I’m not perfect.”
I disagree, actually. I don't even know who is reading this article right now and yet I know this to be untrue. Who you are at this moment is exactly who you should be as you begin this journey, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this.
That said, perfection is not the goal. We're teasing out the authentic Goddess that exists within you, and I guarantee... she exists within you.
I’ve photographed every age, size, shape, color, body type, etc, and the results are always magnificent due to the collaborative work we do together on the day of the session.
There are too many things in this life that we choose not to experience because we don’t match some arbitrary ideal imposed on us by society. Your Sensual Portrait session will release the chains that bind you, and you will see that anything is possible. It heals.
3. “I’ll be judged.”
Sensual Portraiture is what you want it to be, but there is naturally an element of sexuality to it.
When it comes to something so incredibly personal, there are bound to be feelings of vulnerability and the fear of being judged.
Vulnerability is our friend. Fear of judgment is our enemy.
Vulnerable and POWERFUL is what we want.
Now—first off—let me say that I have seen everything. Secondly, let me say that I have seen everything. If jumping up and down on the bed in your birthday suit (see #1) helps you embrace your feminine power, then you can go there without fear of judgment. If you feel like wonder woman when you are wearing your burlap sack (see #1 again) then that’s fine, too. Your Goddess is Your Goddess, and I will walk beside you as you find her and release her.
I’m there as a witness to your process, and to capture it in the art of photography. I do not judge.
4. “Everyone is going to see my photos.”
No. No. And no.
As the client, you decide what I can/can't use for promotional purposes as I help potential clients see the magic of the work.
A week or two after your shoot is over, you will go through the photographs and choose your favorites, but you will also choose which photographs you are willing to let me use for promotional use (if any.) No one but me EVER sees any of your photos without your permission.
Now, who you share the images with (and how you share them) is of course your choice.
5. “I don't have a significant other to do this for.”
Yes you do, because these are for your Significant Self above all else.
I imagine that many people ostensibly have these sessions done so that they can give their sweetheart a gift he/she will never forget, but I rarely meet those people.
First and foremost, a Sensual Portrait session is a gift to your Self. The vast majority of my clients are doing this for themselves... even if they don't know that when we begin.
“Like most girls, I always was intrigued by the idea of doing boudoir photos… but had a long list of what I wouldn’t do’s. I wouldn’t have a guy do them, I wouldn’t take my top off, I wouldn’t spend more than $100 and so on. To sum it up I was nervous, a bit insecure, and pretty sure no one could make me look like the girls in the magazines.”
“After my experience with Don I realized I was 100% wrong! He is as professional as they come, with a soft, comforting demeanor. I assumed a guy that shot boudoir photos would fall into the creepy category. Not Don. He is amazing… really amazing. He is a true artist! He is very thorough, and communicates effectively, which helps calm your nerves when it comes to poses. He focuses on angles, lighting, and the overall composition of each image, not your butt. He has seen it all and believes a body is a body, and knows how to make yours the most beautiful it can be.”
“If you have ever thought about doing boudoir photos, I highly recommend going for it with Don. You will not be disappointed… I promise!”
- Jennifer J