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Negativity and Ignorance About the Boudoir Photography Genre

The other day I had posted a boudoir photography promotion in a group on Facebook and not 10 minutes later I was banned from the group. I was given no reason or forewarning about it just removed from the group.  Because of this excommunication of sorts, I decided to do some digging to find out who removed me and more importantly, why?  

Armed with the name of the perpetrator, I reached out to find out their reasoning behind it. The first reason I got was because I placed my ad with no accompanying text which was complete and utter bullshit because my ads ALWAYS have accompanying text.  Through further conversation I got to the root or “real reason” behind the ban which apparently was and I quote: “your models are in underwear and it leads people to have negative associations with your offer”.  They also added that:  “a post with half naked women offering a boudoir shoot causes people to make assumptions”.

This conversation infuriated me because of the ignorance and negativity that was expressed. Boudoir photography is very intimate and can be very intimidating for many women.  To me, it’s about showing women the beauty in themselves they may fail or struggle to see. There is beauty in EVERY woman and I believe this should be viewed as a form of therapy for some women.  Helping them find and more importantly, see the beauty within, to recognize it and realize it. So I ask you, why is there such negativity and misconception when it comes to Boudoir photography?

Yes it is photographing women in suggestive, seductive poses, revealing clothing and lingerie but on the flip side of that, people need to understand this is incredibly empowering for these women.  Boudoir is confidence boosting, beautiful and emotive and it isn’t JUST for women.  There are men who participate in boudoir photography sessions as well.  Does it mean it is negative for men also? There are even couples shoots, are there negative connotations with couples shoots?

 I understand that there are some people who use this genre of photography for salacious reasons and personal gain but compared to the legit photographers out there I would have to say they are far and few between. Now this isn’t to say that the negativity is only geared at male photographers in the industry because I believe there is still negative stigma surrounding this entire genre of photography. We as photographers who specialize in this genre need to do our best to educate our clients and people about boudoir.  There is NO reason for an adverse connotation with boudoir photography.

Collectively, if we as boudoir photographers are diligent about educating our clients and people we come in contact with perhaps we will be able to elevate boudoir photography to the level it should be and have it seen as a beautiful art form.  Could we even begin to eliminate the negativity surrounding boudoir photography?  Boudoir photography is a collaboration between a client and a photographer where raw emotion and beauty are evoked and captured in still frames. Boudoir photography NEEDS to be celebrated! We need to promote positive body image!  Shout it from the rooftops!   Let’s eradicate the negativity and ignorance once and for all!

 

Image courtesy of pinterest.com

Male Boudoir Photographers - It's NOT a Man's World

Now I am fairly new to boudoir photography and when I say new I mean I have done a handful of shoots.  I know there are lots of guys out there who aren’t photographers at all but think wow that is so cool and what a great gig that would be. Believe me I have even heard that from a few friends. You get to photograph half naked women in lingerie, look at sexy women all day and so on. While yes this is true I photograph women in lingerie this is not what it’s all about for me, not at all!

When I am shooting a session I am not even thinking about how sexy the woman is or anything like that because I am too busy focusing on posing her.  I am making sure the lighting works for the shot and ensuring my camera settings are correct in order to make certain I get the shot as close to perfect “in camera” as possible. I really don’t have time to be concerned about the other stuff especially when I am in the zone shooting, interacting with my subject.

I know that some people would balk at that and say I am bullshitting and it must be at least part of the intrigue and interest but it really isn’t. In all honesty for me it is truly about making the women who get in front of my camera feel comfortable in their own skin.  Feel beautiful, help them build their confidence, help them love their bodies.  Ultimately I want them to be happy with the images/art I create for them and if I can do that for EVERY woman that gets in front of my camera then I know I have done my job as a photographer.  I will have helped another person to realize their self-worth and beauty and that my friends is the icing on the proverbial cake!

Body and Self Image - A Very Serious Issue

What do you see when you look at YOURSELF in the mirror? Do you see beauty? Do you like what you see? Or do you see FAT, UGLY…DIRTY?

We all deal with self and body image concerns but that seed of self-doubt and negativity had to be planted at some time in our lives and sometimes these things take a bit of time to emerge. This isn’t even isolated to adults and is happening with our children more and more.

We need to deal with this incredibly serious matter early on, nip it in the bud! It’s imperative we start with our children and youth. There are many contributing factors and I don’t think it can be attributed to just one. Bullying, lack of parenting, mentorship at school and responsibility in the media are most likely at the root of this controversy.

We all live in a day and age where we are literally and constantly bombarded with imagery, sound bites, texts, tweets and information, or in a lot of cases misinformation, every minute of every day. It is next to impossible to filter out all this noise. All of this information is accessible with such ease and speed that was never possible before.

I am not here to blame anybody for what seems to have become a pandemic in society, rather offer some suggestion as to how we can all pitch in and do our part to confront the problem as a collective so we can at least begin to unravel this quandary. We need to educate our kids at home! We need to talk to them! Let them know it’s not the norm to look like these super skinny models they see on TV, in magazines and on the web. Dads tell your daughters that you like curves on a woman! Moms tell your daughters what you like about yourself! It’s not easy but we have to ask what kind of example are we setting? Are we pushing what we want our body image to be on our children? We spend so much time teaching our children manners and how to share but did we forget to teach our children to love themselves!? Do you make comments about people when you see them on TV or in the street?

It is perfectly alright to look different, to be different. Learn to love yourself for who and the way YOU are! We need to stop hurting other people, whether it be physically or verbally! It is not ok and will not and should not be tolerated under any circumstance. Teach them there will be consequences for their actions. Words can do more damage than the physical can.

This problem is not going to disappear over-night nor will it fix itself or go away all on its own. I truly believe we can make a noticeable difference. After all, the children and youth of today are the future of our world tomorrow. What do you want your children’s tomorrow to be like?

 

Signed,

A concerned parent.

 

Image courtesy of teenagebodyimageandselfesteem.weebly.com