boudoir photography

AIBP - Creating a Sense of Community - Membership Has Its Privileges

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As some of you may or may not know, I belong to an esteemed group of Boudoir Photographers. Collectively, we are known as the Association of International Boudoir Photographers (AIBP). Erin Zahradka, founded the organization in 2009 along with the help of Cate Scaglione, Jennifer Tallerico and Jesus Bernardo the AIBP community was born.

 We proudly boast having members who hail from 6 continents around the globe. We are 676 members strong and constantly growing. Our message and mission is clear and centers on the empowerment of women through photography.   Additionally, our focus is to elevate the standards of boudoir photography through education and connections in order to enhance the experience of our clients.

Not only do we set the highest professional standard when it comes to boudoir photography but we also raise the bar for the boudoir-photography industry. The sense of community that has been created over the years since the group was founded is just incredible to me. It feels like a family where we can all rely on one another, reach out to one another and get the support that is needed whenever it is needed and that doesn’t just go as far as photography needs. The members of the group are always willing to help out its members should a member be in need for a personal matter as well. We are there for each other plain and simple and it’s such a wonderful community to be a part of.

This is not just a collection of hobbyist or enthusiast photographers. It is a group of working professional, knowledgeable and talented boudoir photographers from around the world.

I should add…we aren’t ALL WORK and no play! There are weekly contests, workshops, retreats and mentorship programs. Hell we even have our own magazine, Philsophie, which provides opportunities for members of the group to submit their work for publication. There are shooting tips, daily discussions around boudoir photography and we are constantly striving to get the boudoir photography industry the recognition this niche of so rightly deserves.

I have been a member of AIBP for 3 years now and this is one of the best organizations I have ever been involved with. It’s not just a FB group, or an online community. It truly is a community where lifelong friendships are forged and a sense of family created. It’s inclusive, helpful, encouraging and a place I feel welcome. I honestly cannot even count the amount of times this collective of amazing photographers AND people have helped me out. If you as a photographer are reading this blog post right now and perhaps on the fence about joining the group, DO NOT even give it a second thought, JOIN TODAY! I promise you will NOT be disappointed. The AIBP community’s value is far beyond measure. Special thank you Erin Zahradka and ALL the AIBP Members for EVERYTHING you do EVERY DAY!

Challenges and Limitations

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As a photographer sometimes we face challenges on set while we are shooting. Whether it be indoors or outdoors, it could be weather, lighting, wardrobe or even camera gear.

Now, to overcome these challenges sometimes we need to be quick on our feet and improvise.  Sometimes we just have to roll with the punches and somehow make it work. I personally enjoy the challenges that pop up from time to time because it keeps you thinking, keeps you sharp and pushes you outside your comfort zone which is great for growth as an artist and as a person. Now that’s not to say I don’t like when shoots go smoothly and come off without a hitch, those are my favourite kind of shoots for sure.

Sometimes the limitation of our gear presents a challenge although this is a challenge I really welcome. I am speaking about lenses in particular. As we know, different lenses have their weaknesses and strengths as some are more suitable types of photography while some aren’t so versatile.  Being a boudoir/portraiture/headshot photographer, I have my go-to lens, which happens to be a 50MM lens.

Currently it’s the only lens I have for my full frame camera so if I want to shoot with my full frame I have no choice but to accept the challenge and limitation of said lens. Sure I could shoot with my cropped sensor body and have multiple lens options but I like shooting with my full frame and frankly love the challenge of using my 50MM for boudoir shoots.

I find it helps me grow as a photographer by forcing me to think about my shots before I take them. I have to use different angles, really think about my lighting and use it the best way possible. I have to move around my subject more and get multiple shots out of one pose.

Now you should be doing that anyway but with a fixed lens (no zoom capability) you are left with no choice BUT to make it work. This is one of the challenges that I face every time I shoot but I love being challenged that way.

I find it’s constantly helping me grow and ALWAYS pushing me outside my comfort zone!

The Big Announcement Part II

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The last week has been a whirlwind of excitement and hard work and I am very excited with the announcement about what’s been going on with Visuphoria Photography.   

So in keeping with the theme and excitement of all the changes as of late I have decided it’s a good idea to celebrate the new look and feel of Visuphoria Photography.

How you may ask.... well I am glad you asked that question!!

We would like to extend a special introductory offer to all the beautiful ladies that love us. We are offering a $149 session fee price for the first 5 ladies that book with us!

This special price includes Hair and MU, a pre-shoot consult via telephone, posing and coaching help from me and an in person photo reveal and an in person image reveal session within 2 weeks of your photo session.

If you would like to book now, please click here

Testimonial by Miss J - Thank you Brad, for making me look and feel amazing!

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I just had an awesome photo experience doing a boudoir shoot with Brad from Visuphoria Photography. First off, I have to say he was very professional and made me feel really relaxed in front of the camera, as this was my first time. We had a mini consultation before meeting so Brad could give me suggestions and ideas on what to wear, and what to expect. He was excellent at guiding me through everything before we started, and his patience and expertise showed while directing the poses. I appreciated that he always made sure I was comfortable with the poses, and took the time to review the shots with me after the session. He is very prompt on following up after the shoot, and I’m beyond thrilled with the finished work. The pictures are absolutely stunning, thanks to Brads’ talent. I loved all the images, and I want to order everything! I would gladly work with him again, I had a blast, and I felt amazing doing it.  I decided to do this boudoir shoot to give the pictures as a gift to my husband, and to look super sexy for him, but I think I did it more for myself too. It was a big confidence boost and very empowering for me. I felt fantastic for doing it, and would love to do it again. Every woman should have this experience. I would encourage and recommend Brad to anyone who is considering doing a boudoir shoot. Thank you Brad, for making me look and feel beautiful, and amazing!

Testimonial by Miss AF - Working With Brad Was Fantastic!

I recently had the opportunity to shoot a boudoir shoot with Brad from Visuphoria Photography. Working with Brad was fantastic!! He was very professional and put me at ease immediately. The shoot was so fun and empowering. I got all dolled up and had my hair and make-up done professionally. I bought some lingerie that made me feel sexy. The studio we shot at was gorgeous with many different areas to shoot in. I did this because someday I will be 80 and I want to remember how I looked and how I felt. Brad captured that perfectly. The images that I have seen are gorgeous and can’t wait to see the rest!

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Testimonial by Miss R - Having my photos taken by Brad was a fun & fabulous experience

Having my photos taken by Brad was a fun & fabulous experience. He is a very professional photographer and showed he knew what he was doing on site of the photo shoot and he didn't fail to communicate the progress of the photos after wards. He got back to me with completed photos in a short amount of time along with the outcome of the completed photos being outstanding and showing clear talent in his work. I wouldn't hesitate to have Brad as a photographer for any occasion!

Testimonial by Miss A - "Do yourself a favor... book a session with Brad and you'll find out it was worth every penny"

If you ever get the chance to do something special for yourself....get Boudoir photos taken of yourself by Brad Walsh!! Although it may seem like a frightening thing to do for some, Brad's professional manner made me feel comfortable and by the end of the shoot posing became effortless. I am more than pleased with the amazing photos that Brad had captured through his lens. His eye for detail and emotion made the sometimes uncomfortable poses all worthwhile. Do yourself a favor....book a session with Brad and you'll find out it was worth every penny and you'll ask yourself "why didn't I do this sooner?"

Testimonial by Miss F - "I felt surprisingly comfortable for my first time doing a boudoir shoot"

I recently had the opportunity to work with Brad on a boudoir shoot for his portfolio. Having never done any kind of boudoir photography, I definitely had my hesitations (and excitement) going in, but Brad has a comfort and confidence that really put me at ease. You can tell just by his excitement for setting up his equipment that he loves what he does. During the shoot he gives positive and helpful direction and encouragement. My hesitations slipped away and I became very comfortable in the space and with Brad. The shots he took are all beautiful. He always asked what I wanted in the shots and included what he needed based on my comfort. Being lucky enough to work with Brad, I can say that you will have someone listen to what you want and deliver what you are looking for.

There Is NEVER A Perfect Time For Your Session - Celebrate Who YOU Are Now

This past weekend I had the pleasure of exhibiting at a women’s expo for the first time as a Boudoir Photographer and I must say it was quite an experience. Being one of the very few men in a room full of women was an amazing thing. The event was called Girls Day Out and was held in Vaughan Ontario and that’s exactly what it was, just an afternoon out for the ladies.

It was a relatively small event, perhaps 20 vendors and a couple of women speakers.  One of which was my business partner and author of the book Brave Ecstatic Woman, Merav Richter. There was also a fashion show and then of course time to mill around the room and peruse the products vendors were selling. I would say there were about 75 – 100 people there, many of whom were parents of the children and teens that were participating in the fashion show but all in all considering the venue and the publicity surrounding the event it was a fairly well attended event.

Among the good number of women that came by my booth, I noticed a common thread among some of them:  that they needed to lose weight before booking a session with me. Now to me, that is just horribly sad to think that way. ALL women are beautiful and come in ALL shapes and sizes. I honestly at the moment didn’t have a proper response to that except for telling the women that is NOT necessary at all, you look wonderful the way you are. Upon some reflection and speaking with a couple of women, I managed to craft an appropriate response albeit a little too late for that event but I know now what to say the next time I hear those words from a woman who is contemplating a boudoir session with me.  I can just tell them, you are perfect just the way you are now. If you wait to do things until “YOU” feel you are the "perfect" weight etc., you will never do them. Women are very hard on themselves. You should celebrate who YOU are right now.

I think we as boudoir photographers have an amazing opportunity to help change that mindset but not just within the photography industry. I think, we owe it to one another to flip that way of thinking upside down.  In fact, we need to eradicate it completely.   There is no need for women or men to feel they need to lose some weight before they can do a photoshoot or anything else for that matter. Embrace who you are and how you look NOW and celebrate it.

Beauty fits ANY body!

The Boudoir Experience

The Experience

“A smile is the most beautiful curve on a woman’s body”

boudoir (/ˈbuːd.wɑːr/; French: [bu.dwaʁ]) is defined as a woman's private sitting room or salon in a furnished accommodation usually between the dining room and the bedroom, but can also refer to a woman's private bedroom. The word itself, by its very definition says this is all about a woman, all about YOU!  

Today boudoir photography is one of the fastest growing genres of photography and this is NOT just a photo shoot.  It’s an experience and one like no other.  Yes, it may take you out of your comfort zone but you will feel like a queen for a couple of hours while in front of my camera. 

I am a professional and provide a professional service for you! I will never share or publish ANY of your images without your written permission.  As a male photographer, I also feel like I can provide a different perspective.  I love shooting boudoir photography and I feel it really comes through in my work.  

Not only am I a male photographer but I am also a husband, a father and a friend to many women and I hear the same things all too often:  “I’m not that good looking”, “I’m ugly”, “I’m too fat for boudoir” and so on.  But I want to be able to show you what I see!  I love the female form, hey let’s face it I am a man!!!  More importantly, I want you to see what I see because ALL women are beautiful.  No matter the shape or size, ALL women are beautiful and I want you to see what I see!  I will take the most beautiful photographs you have ever seen of yourself!  There is nothing more rewarding for me than seeing the excitement in your eyes and the joy in your expression when you see the finished product

Let me give you a little bit of a rundown on how I like to run one of my shoots.

There are 4 steps to my process.  First we start out with a pre-shoot consult.  This is where we have a little introductory session so we can discuss what kind of shoot you want.  We talk about your ideas/thoughts and desires for your shoot.  Do you feel comfortable with a sexy lingerie look? A casual sexy look?  Whatever your heart desires.  Basically, I want your input too!  This is about you after all, I am merely there to help you realize it! Your session will be unique and tailored to you so there is no worry about it looking the same as someone else’s. Just like a woman’s beauty is unique, your shoot will be as well.

Second, we book a date that works for you.  I want to work with you, to find the best time for you in your schedule so you are relaxed and ready to be gorgeous!

Third, the actual boudoir shoot!  When you arrive for your session, you will be greeted by me and handed a beverage. You will then be whisked off to “the chair” where you will be pampered by our hair and makeup artist.  You just sit and enjoy as we chat and you get beautified. You will get 2-3 outfit changes during your session.  I will guide and coach you throughout the entirety of your shoot.  Your job is to be beautiful!

And the fourth and final step is the moment of truth: the photo shoot reveal!  We will set some time aside to meet so we can look at your photos together!

I believe that a boudoir shoot is something every woman should experience at the very least, once in their lifetime.  This experience is all about YOU.   A boudoir shoot isn’t specific to a “type” of woman, it IS for EVERY woman!  I am hoping this experience will “transform” you.

We will celebrate your confidence, your femininity, your elegance, your sensuality and most importantly you will be empowered!  This is all about a body positive experience.

“The most beautiful thing a woman can wear is confidence”

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