So I decided to cross into the exciting, sensual world of boudoir photography. After years of fashion and conceptual work, this seemed like just the spice I needed. Making women (and men) feel their most confident and powerful has always been my artistic mission, and this style sure does focus on both of those qualities pretty well!
There’s just one problem. I had never participated in a boudoir shoot as a model. Sure, I’ve acted in the role of photographer many times, but I’ve always gotten to wear all my clothes and I certainly never had to worry about looking sexy for the camera!
So here I am, asking women to pose sensually and telling them exactly where to place their hands so that their significant others might have a blissful near-heart-attack later on, and it hits me: I can talk the talk all I want, but I need to be able to walk the walk, too. I need to know exactly what I’m asking my clients to do so that I can understand them and their needs.
It’s time to model in my underwear!
So I grabbed my student, Kierra Rademacher, and set up the gear. Once we had the lights and camera ready to roll, it was my turn to model in my panties. That’s something I will never forget! In fact, I learned quite a few things…
1. Figuring Out What to Wear is Stressful
Lingerie. To be totally honest, I don’t wear many frilly panties or lace teddies around the house. It’s more of a holiday thing or for my husband’s birthday. I don’t really know what kind of fancy under-frocks look best on me and that can cause a lot of stress when you’re about to be photographed in nothing but your intimates!
So here’s what I recommend: Ask someone you’re close to when deciding. Yeah, I know that can feel kinda weird, but some of the things I wound up wearing are things I never would have picked for myself. Luckily, I have a really honest best friend who isn’t afraid to say “wear that skimpy, red thong!”
2. It Really Does Feel Awkward
I know we’re creating a fantasy here, but I’m not going to sugar-coat this one bit. Boudoir feels strange. The positions and poses you feel natural in aren’t always the ones that look sexy on film. As a photographer, I’m very used to directing my subject. I’ve heard everything from “this kinda hurts my neck” to “that doesn’t even feel human” so I was expecting posing to feel strange, but not that strange.
Photographers must position their subject and lighting in the most flattering ways. In boudoir, things get a little tougher because the subject is in so few clothes (or even none at all). You’re just out there, on a bed that isn’t even yours, moving your body like you want a call-back to perform in some Britney Spears music video. To put it lightly, it’s awkward.
That’s when having an amazing, understanding photographer can make all the difference! Throughout my shoot, my photographer kept telling me what was working and what I needed to change. I kept receiving encouragement and things began to feel a lot less weird. In fact, by the end of the shoot, I was feeling myself. I felt sexually powerful, and I felt STRONG.
3. You Just Need to Trust and Let Go
There are dozens of things that run through your mind when you’re posing for boudoir. “Is my hair in my eyes?” or “Does that zit on my face look terrible?” are just a few of the insecure thoughts that race through your brain, echoing as they pass. Let me give you some advice:
I know that sounds weird because if you’re not focused then how do you know if you even look good? That’s where you’ll need to trust the professional holding the camera. It’s their job to make you look and feel your best. You’ve got this. Have them play your favorite music, strut over to that full-length mirror, and let all your parts fall where they may. If it isn’t working, the photographer will let you know and she/he will move you or themselves into a more flattering position. You know who the sexiest people are? PEOPLE HAVING FUN. I recommend you let go and make an incredible memory.
4. Milk Bath Shoots Feel Like Heaven
This one won’t be for everyone, but if you’re curious, I highly recommend booking a milk bath. I did two different ones during my boudoir shoot. The water is laced with milk and powdered milk so that it creates a deep, ethereal pool. Flowers (or even fruits) are added all around your form. There you are, soaking in a warm, luxurious bath, and enveloped by not only the soft water but also blissful smells.
It’s also a lot less awkward posing in a milk bath. Even though I was naked, I felt like I had a cover and some modesty since the water was so cloudy. In a few minutes you get used to the photographer hovering about and then you just get to shut your eyes (if you want) and move your form through the velvety soft bath. My floral milk bath image was, by far, my favorite from the day. Amazing experience.
5. It’s Totally Worth It
I would, hands down, do a boudoir shoot again in a heartbeat. Not only was the experience fun and empowering, but the resulting images made my husband incredibly happy (especially the ones I can’t post here).
In the end, I left feeling more confident and in touch with my own sensuality than I ever have before. So what are you waiting for? Don’t be like me and keep waiting to try boudoir. Book your boudoir session today and get photographed by a lady who knows exactly what it’s like to dance about in her knickers for the camera. I’ll unleash your inner goddess (and we’ll have a lot of silly fun, too).