After resisting for so long (I’ve been doing boudoir for eight years and helped over 200 clients as of this writing), I’ve finally acknowledged that creating a blog would be a valuable resource for my clients, potential clients, and anyone interested in the incredible world of boudoir. So this first entry will get right to the heart of what I strive for as a photographer — it’s all about you and creating your unique boudoir experience. Through detailed pre-planning, your personalized boudoir session, and your one-of-a-kind keepsakes, I want you to know that this experience has been crafted just for you.
Throughout my different careers helping people succeed in their goals, I have always had the same guiding principle: highlight and celebrate what is unique about each person. That’s why I spend so much time before the first click of the shutter working with you to make sure we’re capturing images that are true to you.
Past clients tell me (and have written reviews saying) how much they feel the images we created together really feel like them — even if there’s also a little bit of “is that really me?” sometimes in their wondrous reactions to seeing their gallery of boudoir images.
But if you search for boudoir images on Pinterest or Google, you’ll often see similar poses, similar settings — it starts to feel a little…not so unique. You might look at those images and say, “I want that kind of image, but I want it to be about me.” I absolutely agree. So how do we achieve that?
Nobody is exactly like you
The first part is the easiest: nobody is exactly like you. Nobody has your eyes, nobody has the same personality as you, nobody has the same combination of physicality and style as you. So right off the bat, your photos will look like no one else’s, even if you’re in similar poses and settings as other images you’ve seen.
But the power of boudoir often comes from the emotion and storytelling of the images. It’s not just how the images look; it’s how they feel, and what they say. So how do we go beyond just having your images look like you and really get into creating unique boudoir images that feel like you?
Detailed session pre-planning together
Before your session, you and I will have had conversations — over email, phone, in person, or all of the above — about what you’d like to create. I will also ask you to fill out my planning questionnaire and collect some inspiration images. In the planning questionnaire I ask things like what kinds of tones or moods you want to explore, what you want to highlight about your physicality, how revealing you want to be in your photos, even what kind of music you want me to play during your session. With all of that information, I’ll have a good sense of what your style and preferences are, but also a deeper sense of what it is you want to achieve with your images.
More and more I encourage clients to think about bringing something to your session that is undeniably you or specific to a special someone if you’re creating a gift. In the past clients have brought such surprising things as a heavy firefighter coat, a construction power tool, a bicycle — if you don’t think a bulky fire coat can be sexy, think again, and check out how playful a cordless impact driver can be.
Your personalized boudoir session
When you arrive, I’ll show you around the studio (or wherever we’re shooting) and take a look at what you brought for wardrobe (more on wardrobe specifics in a later post!). We’ll talk about what kinds of settings you might want with each item, and we’ll also review your inspiration board. If you’re doing makeup and hair with my makeup artist, we’ll talk about what kind of look you want to create, and we’ll adjust until we get it just right for you.
Your unique boudoir keepsakes
After the session is just as important as pre-planning and the session itself in terms of making your experience uniquely your own. What you come away with is the physical remembrance of this amazing moment, and I want you to feel it’s just for you (and possibly a special recipient or recipients). Especially with my custom-designed books, I’m carefully arranging your selections in a way that flows just right, plus I’m using my graphic design skills to expertly incorporate any kind of messaging you want. I don’t use pre-made templates; I precisely design every page of your book.
The personalization even extends to my most basic offering, a USB of your gallery and other items. The USB usually has your name on it, and I also include the slideshow you’ll see at your gallery reveal, set to music from your session.
Rihanna said it best
Rihanna sings, “Want you to make me feel / Like I’m the only girl in the world.” It doesn’t matter how many other clients I’ve worked with — I want you to feel that your boudoir experience is unique and special for you and that in our time together before, during, and after your session, you truly are the only person* in the world, and you’re amazing.
*or people, if you’ve brought a partner or friends; gotta cover my bases here!
Images: many thanks to the wonderful clients who generously allowed me to share their images here. Exquisite makeup and hair for all: D Anaya Beauty Makeup