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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!

Support Systems - Do You Have One In Place?

If there is one thing I have learned as an artist, be it through speaking with other artists or business owners, a key part of their businesses is to have a solid support system in place. This will be of great assistance in building a solid foundation for your career as an artist or business owner.

It is incredibly important to have that support and backing from your friends, family and peers. It is going to be a long road in building your business as an artist and you will need all the help you can get in terms of having people in your corner. This will do wonders for your confidence as well as your creativity. Let’s be honest, as an artist going out on your own can and will be draining because most of your time will not be spent creating your art but building your business and taking care of all the “business” like tasks that need to be taken care of.

I realize, as many of you probably do as well there are undoubtedly going to be many naysayers. People trying to piss all over your parade. There will be others that think you are crazy for doing this and just don’t understand in general. I say a big FUCK YOU to all the naysayers! SCREW YOU negativity! Don’t let them get inside your head. If this is your passion, follow it. These people should be the fuel that drives you, to push you even harder to succeed. Don’t let them get you down. I know that’s hard at times but you have to filter out the noise.

There will always be HATERS. The key is to remember where they are coming from. It’s a place of jealousy and discontent with their own situations. They are just too scared to do what you are doing, so out comes the hate and negativity.

Support systems are an integral part to succeeding. It will most certainly make the road you travel that much easier when you have your own personal cheering section there with you along the way.

Image courtesy of www.mywindowshelp.com

New Paths - On The Journey to Success

Have you ever had an idea or vision in your head of how things should go exactly and then realize it was very different from how things were actually progressing in the real world? Well that’s where I am right now with my photography business. I am sure there are a ton of people out there who have struggled with or gone through the same thing. I am stuck at the proverbial fork in the road, one path will lead me down the same route I am on right now with little to no progress and the other will lead me to progression in my career with some help.

I am anticipating my photography career to be a long and winding road. Soon I will embark on a new and exciting path and I am so excited and open to all the challenges and possibilities which I am sure will come with this new adventure. I am ready for a change in paths and ready to embrace the unknown of where this is going to take me.

There is nothing wrong with asking for help from people, if you ask, you will find that most of the time people are more than willing to help out with your journey. I am speaking of mentorship! I have decided to try mentorship and I couldn’t be more excited, nervous and scared for this new path and change. As I mentioned in my previous post, change is a good thing and we need to embrace that change and take the opportunities that come our way with vigor and enthusiasm.

Mentorship can only be a very positive thing, when you think about it, this is someone else who has been in the same or similar position you are now and they are willing to bestow their knowledge and life experience upon you, giving you the guidance you need to help you succeed. Your mind will be opened to new possibilities, thought processes and approaches to work and business. How can this be anything but a positive experience? I am looking forward to it and all the possibilities that could come my way on this new path.

Image courtesy of thepottershandacademy.com