beauty

Boudoir Advocates

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I was having a conversation with another photographer and friend of mine awhile bakc and we got to discussing boudoir photography, which by the way we both shoot full time.

What started our conversation was the fact that a certain photo contest does NOT allow boudoir photography.  This infuriated both of us because firstly, why the hell not and secondly it allowed maternity boudoir!?  My friend then proceeds to tell me that when checking out some of the images, she noticed a photo of a dead baby at 12 weeks gestation that was competing. I said: “Wait, what?? Are you kidding me? So that type of image is allowed to be entered into a photo contest?  Maternity boudoir is allowed to be entered but NOT straight up boudoir? How is that even right? Who decided this and WHY?”

We then proceeded to talk more about how boudoir photography isn’t properly recognized as an art form like other genres of photography.   Unfortunately, it is still viewed as sexualizing women, dirty or slutty photography which couldn’t be further from the truth. This viewpoint was also demonstrated by an online conversation between my friend and other members of the group/company/page that was running the photo contest. This is an incredibly narrow minded and sad viewpoint on OUR genre of photography.

It angers me that boudoir photography still isn’t even represented in the proper and deserving way it should be at all the BIG photography conferences that happen around the world. It is so frustrating to think that what we do as photographers isn’t respected or doesn’t garner the same respect as other genres of photography.

Something has to change.  There needs to be a shift in thinking in our industry as well as outside the industry. We need to start educating people on boudoir photography and ALL the benefits of it. We need to start talking about it more, share the benefits of boudoir photography. There are FB Groups out there like AIBP that focus solely on boudoir photography and those are all amazing but MORE needs to be done in order to bring awareness to this beautiful genre of photography.

We boudoir photographers need to UNITE and start being ONE VOICE for boudoir photography and begin spreading the word further and wider. My friend and I decided to start a new page/group called Boudoir Advocates United in order to help spread the positive message about boudoir photography and help educate people. We want women, men, past clients AND other boudoir photographers to join the group and help in this mission.

This is a very important cause/mission to me and I would love YOUR help with spreading the word. Voices get louder and are heard more in numbers so please if you are interested in learning more about the group or joining the group click the link below and join the group.

Let’s spread the word about this incredibly amazing genre of photography and help to make it more mainstream and NOT frowned upon or looked down upon.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/boudoiradvocatesunited/

https://www.instagram.com/boudoiradvocatesunited

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!

The Importance of Using a Make Up Artist on a Photo Shoot

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I would like to preface this post by telling you this one was guest written by my amazing and incredibly talented make up artist Maddy McGhee aka "madeupbymads" Please show her some love and check out her work and talent by clicking on the hyperlinks below.

"The worst part about having my makeup done by some else is walking away and never looking like myself. However getting your makeup done to highlight your natural beauty can be an eye opening, wonderful experience! Between work/school/kids it's hard to always get in the time for yourself let alone your makeup - that's why sometimes doing something like a boudoir shoot where it's all about you is super fun! Makeup doesn't have to take over the shoot but just makes you shine and adds to the day. You don't wear makeup or a lot of makeup on a regular basis? No problem! I'm a big believer in using makeup to enhance the beauty that's there rather than covering so each application is light and natural but still adding that special something something! It can be an intimidating experience but also an empowering one and that's how I feel about makeup! You just have to find what is right for you and your look. The polished look finished off with a professional photographer can make moments last forever (ones that you don't want to crop yourself out of...) Can't wait to work with you! Maddy from @madeupbymads Check out more of my work on Instagram/YouTube/Facebook @madeupbymads "

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 M - "Before working with Brad, I didn't know what to expect... Now I recommend it to all my girlfriends and to every woman I know!

Before working with Brad, I didn't know what to expect from our session. I had never done a boudoir shoot before and I was nervous. Brad quickly put my worries to rest! He was extremely professional as a photographer, but also very encouraging and attuned to what would make me feel the most comfortable during our shoot. Not only was this one of the MOST empowering things I've ever done, but Brad also made me look GORGEOUS in every shot, AND I have the AMAZING pictures to prove it (which have now turned in to a book as an anniversary gift to my husband). I recommend a shoot with Brad to ALL my girlfriends and to every woman I know!

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

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!

Beauty and Editing Practices in Photography

In keeping with a similar theme to my last blog post I want to touch on a subject in this one that seems to be garnering a lot of negative attention as of late. There seems to be quite an uproar among photographers and people alike with regards to how images are being edited for publication in beauty magazines and advertising.
There seems to be an abundance of very poorly edited images being published in magazines and ads in order to create the illusion of the “perfect body” or flawless beauty. I have personally seen some incredibly poor editing of images which are actually getting published in all forms of media. It makes me wonder; who is proofing and approving this work before it gets published? Are they fucking blind? These mistakes, for lack of a better word, couldn’t be more blatant when you look at the image(s). It’s a completely inaccurate representation of the model and utterly inappropriate.
I saw an article about an ad for Victoria’s Secret the other day and it was painfully obvious that the image had been touched up. Apparently this seems to be an ongoing issue for the lingerie company with their Photoshop happy editors. This cannot be helping their company image. I know Victoria’s Secret is not the only company where this subject has been the topic of discussion and criticism but this bone of contention is becoming more and more prevalent in the “beauty” industry.
Not only does this reflect poorly upon the photography industry but more importantly these retouched images are causing a whole other host of problems among our female youth. These photos are sending the wrong message to the young girls/women who are consuming the content. The message being, “it’s in to be thin”. This is not a healthy message to be sending to our younger generation but I digress as this is a whole other topic for a completely separate blog post.

 

Image courtesy of community.babycenter.com

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