positive body image

Boudoir Advocates

boudoir_advocates.jpg

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

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!

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