empowerment

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!

My "WHY"

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I get asked all the time, why as a man have I chosen to shoot boudoir photography?

The common and obvious answer would be to empower women and although this is true, my personal reason is a bit deeper than this... It's because I have daughters. Many women struggle with having a positive body image and this thought process starts at a very young age.

I see young children daily getting bullied for their weight, their hair, the clothing they are wearing and so much more. This behavior is hurting young women everywhere and the moment a young person accepts the cruel words spoken, that pain tends to follow even into adulthood .

I believe that boudoir can bridge the gap and help put an end to all of this so that the generation of young ladies following behind will follow strong, confident and empowered women.

My name is Brad and I am the owner of Visuphoria Photography

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth is... In Front of the Camera

 

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I can honestly say I really don’t like having my picture taken and I am sure there are quite a few photographers out there who would agree with this sentiment. I know it sounds strange, a photographer who doesn’t like being on the other side of the camera?!

For me, I am most comfortable BEHIIND the camera; I don’t like that feeling of feeling vulnerable and awkward. I don’t know how to pose or genuinely smile without having it come off looking fake.

I have been thinking about this quite a bit lately and the more I think about it, the more I see clearly that it’s quite hypocritical of me as a photographer to take that stance on getting in front of the camera. How can I possibly expect my clients to relax and feel comfortable in front of the camera if I don’t do it myself? A practice what you preach moment, if you will. 

Perhaps it’s even a little bit more hypocritical for me being a boudoir photographer.  I have women who are complete strangers, wearing very little clothing getting in front of my camera. I pose and light them for photographs.  I talk them through the photo session. I try to help them feel relaxed and forget they are in front of a camera to make it a little less of an intimidating experience.

Now more than ever I think we male photographers need to step into our clients shoes and get in FRONT of the camera.  Maybe have a female photographer shoot us in a “dudoir” session.  You know, put my money where my mouth is!  I have noticed a trend online over the past while that more men are doing exactly that and I think it’s amazing. It doesn’t have to be cheesy just because I am a male.  It can be done very tastefully. All the images I have seen from male boudoir (dudoir) shoots were very well done.

We need to do this in order to feel and understand the vulnerability and nervousness our clients feel when they step in front of our cameras so we can HONESTLY relate and genuinely say we know how they feel.

I am challenging all my male counterparts in the industry to do exactly this! Including me! I am looking for a female photographer that is up for the task of photographing this mug of mine!  Any takers????

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!