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!
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 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
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!