The Client Experience - Boudoir
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think "boudoir"? Let one of my incredible clients give you the low down
Boudoir. Where does a gal begin? Alright, let me give it to you straight and set the scene. I live in an type-A personality world. My profession requires a rigid, serious, non-emotional attitude and I think we all know how a professional image bleeds into a personal image. Structure, Rigid, To-Do Lists, Appointment Books, Work To Be Done, Kids To Feed; the list goes on and you find yourself unable to separate where professional you ends and personal you begins. This spills over into all areas of life such as how you run your home, your love life, etc. So immediately when a gal like me hears boudoir, it gets shut down. No way *crossed arms girl emoji* no way can this gal be BOOTY-ful behind a camera. You might giggle at the thought of even entertaining the idea of a boudoir session.
Then you get a photographer like Brittany whose personality is infectious. And you sign her up as your wedding photographer because you’re new to the area and secretly; but not so secretly, you want to become her friend. You take engagement photos, book your venue through her, and bam, pay her in full for your wedding! And you begin to talk wedding details through the months.
Ya'll, then she throws out these words like “have you heard of boudoir?” And you’re like no way. You spit out words like “No thanks, maybe I will lose ten pounds, let me join a gym (whose Jim?), I will get back to you, I will think about it, maybe ten years ago, damn I should put the cookie down..” And you fail to commit. Then, one week later you find yourself on the opposite emotional spectrum because your mind runs 100 miles a minute and you begin to seriously consider it. Specifically, how it could be a great wedding gift to your future spouse and how much he or she (thats right, guys or gals can do boudoir!) would love how daring you were to give them such an intimate gift. Just for them. Their eyes only. What’s more emotion baring and raw than putting yourself emotionally and physically in front of a camera, capturing that moment in time. FOREVER..(Starting to feel like a scene from the Sandlot right now). You become intrigued and say, what the hell, better now than never and 24 hours, later your reach out to Brittany and the date is set. Lord, what did you do?
This is how my story went. I was terrified to commit. I was afraid boudoir meant porn and there is no way I would subject myself to “wearing” that image. No way could a professional like me allow this to happen. And lord help you if those photos fell in the wrong hands. You find yourself practicing in your bedroom after creating a secret Pinterest board of unreal expectations and unrealistic poses. Outfits that cost about $100.00 each. Your palms become sweating and you’re overwhelmed. You hastily send a text to Brittany to talk you off the ledge. You set up a time for her to come to your home or chosen location to shoot your boudoir session. The day inches near and you’re still yelling PUT THE COOKIE DOWN.
Let me tell you how absolutely wrong my expectations were about a boudoir session, even leading up to the moment I opened the door to let Brittany into my home. My emotional safe house where the worries of the world have no place. Brittany had a wonderful make up and hair artist come to my house and fancy me up. You choose the look you want and oh boy can Heather deliver. She turns a blank canvas into a movie star worthy look. After I began feeling fabulous with hair and make up, I pulled lingerie (literally, that I already owned) out of my drawer and my fiancé’s large flannels/dress shirts, zero money spent on any new apparel! Because if you are at all like me, priorities do NOT include weekly trips to Victoria Secret (or monthly, yearly for that matter)! My wallet can not handle that. Brittany is the only person I could do this with, honestly and after I swear her to secrecy and the third order of privacy, she started me out comfortably in the middle of my bed in a large flannel. Who doesn’t love laying in bed in large, comfy boyfriend shirts? This girl does. Hell, that’s my natural home attire. And I swear, the time flew by because I could not stop laughing at the woman behind the camera. She had me rolling! She disclosed that one time she told a past client, “that's incredible but for this next shot try to look a little less like a serial killer." How can you not laugh at that? Because she gives it to you real and honestly I almost forgot that I had been posing in intimate clothing. That’s how comfortable it became; a literal conversation about everything happening in our lives from dogs, kids, student debt, work, weddings, etc. Brittany showed me that it is absolutely necessary to break down your barriers and allow your emotion, fear and all that is built up inside to release and become real, showing your definition of sexuality. Everyone’s is different and it is your opportunity to intimately capture how you feel for whomever those pictures could be for! You control the session and can literally and emotionally bare as much as you want! I walked away from this photo session with an incredible life lesson; I learned that I carry my stress in all areas of my life and allow my fear of stepping outside of my personal comfort zone and professional image to limit the opportunities I set for myself. I learned that I brashly judged the boudoir avenue as pornographic and not intimate, trashy and not emotion baring. How wrong I was. The confidence I walked away from at the end of the session is incomparable to any photo I captured in the session. I felt renewed and that emotional avenues were available to me that I never saw for myself. I also explored a whole new side of myself that can enhance my personal, intimate relationship with my spouse. Boudoir deserves so much more. Boudoir is beautiful. Leave the self doubt behind and in good ole’ film humor, How ‘bout you and Brittany find dark room and see what develops?