A Thousand Words
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but that shouldn’t stop you from leaving him speechless this Valentine’s Day with a gift that will astonish him—steamy boudoir pictures of yourself, shot by a professional photographer. It’s not too late to give him a present he’ll never forget.
“A boudoir shoot is an incredible experience—an opportunity to unleash your inner temptress,” said Jennifer Skog, a San Francisco Bay Area photographer who specializes in the boudoir genre. “We prep, style and shoot with a fashion spread in mind. The end result is a day of glamour and passion with magazine-ready images to show for it,” she stated.
“For women who are considering a boudoir shoot, I would tell them not to wait a moment longer,” said Lily Yip, San Francisco Bay Area boudoir photographer. “We, as women, tend to be very critical of ourselves, and more often than not I hear women say stuff like ‘Let me lose ten pounds first.’”
“My boudoir photography is about natural beauty in a comfortable and sweet environment,” Lily continued. If you are self-conscious about a certain part of your body there are lots of way to disguise it with the appropriate attire. “Choosing the right clothing and finding a photographer who knows how to pose various body shapes in flattering lighting will help achieve beautiful results.”
“I always ask my clients which part of their body is their favorite and which part is their significant other’s favorite so mentally we can focus on the positive aspects of her body,” Lily added.
If you still feel nervous doing a boudoir shoot, remember that you can always opt for romantic face shots instead.
Sue Bryce, who created these head shots, is a portrait photographer who also shoots boudoir. Sue was awarded Australia’s Portrait Photographer of the Year in 2011 and 2012. Remember that you do not necessarily need to seek out boudoir photographers specifically. A skilled portrait photographer, like Sue, might be a better bet. Do not eliminate the possibility of fashion photographers either. Just make sure you do your research first, and make sure above all that you love their portfolio pieces.
Shots Fired: Finding a Good Photographer
Choosing the right photographer is the number one priority for anyone interested in a boudoir shoot. The best way to find one is by starting with Yelp reviews and looking online. The artist’s portfolio will be the best indication of whether they are a good fit, but don’t just blindly go with the first person you interview. Chemistry is of utmost importance.
“Usually it takes at least 30-60 minutes for someone to get comfortable in front of the camera—with any type of shoot—let alone something seductive and half-dressed. For this particular reason, we do not offer anything less than a full day of shooting. We want to get a lot of successful shots and to do this, we feel we need that time to not only give the complete experience but to get those shots that we want for our client,” said Jennifer.
A talented photographer will put you at ease and capture your unique beauty in any stage of life, including times such as pregnancy. In addition, they can correct and conceal flaws with good lighting and poses.
“The best way to choose a photographer is equal parts portfolio and client reviews,” stated Rhiannon Panopoulos, owner of Alloria Winter Studios. “You can have a wonderful photographer that is unorganized with poor client service skills. “The best of both worlds is desirable and achievable,” she added.
When interviewing photographers, make sure to ask them about their experience with PhotoShop. “Even the most perfect of bodies have imperfections,” said Jennifer. “We direct in a way that will hide those imperfections while enhancing the assets. Additionally, I am a master at PhotoShop. I’m a perfectionist and I’m a woman…I know how we look at ourselves in a photograph and I know how to touch it up.”
PhotoShop skills are an integral way to make a good image an exceptional image. “This is another way for a photographer to place their stamp and style on their work,” said Rhiannon. “Many clients have personal insecurities such as skin issues or body concerns. It is an added plus to have a photographer that can remove or help these insecurities,” she added.
Kiss and Makeup
It’s important that you like the hair and makeup in the photographer’s portfolio images. Ask the photographer what makeup artists they like to work with and get names. You may want to do a trial makeup session before the shoot so you can best communicate the look you desire.
Take the time to pinpoint shots and makeup that you don’t like by bringing in magazine pictures, so the photographer and makeup artist are even better informed of your preferences.
If you cannot afford Agent Provocateur, or if you have no idea what to wear for the shoot, many boudoir photographers offer a selection of gorgeous lingerie and jewelry to choose from.
“Victorian courtesan, femme fatale or ethereal deity–we have everything you need to make you feel the part,” said Rhiannon. From shoes by Christian Louboutin to jewelry from Tiffany & Co., you can choose from the best in fashion to create your own signature look.
Preparing For the Shoot
“Physically, we have a whole list of recommendations to get your body and skin looking its best before the shoot,” said Jennifer. “A week before we suggest staying away from food items that may make you bloated, as well as certain lotions that may cause the skin to peel and show up under makeup. We recommend exfoliating your skin one week before, drinking lots of water, and refreshing your hair color and trim if necessary. The day before we suggest certain maintenance like tweezing the eyebrows, shaving hair from everywhere, and getting a fresh mani-pedi.”
If you just can’t make the deadline this Valentine’s Day, book a shoot anyway and give him the photos for no reason at all whatsoever. He’ll adore you.