THE HISTORY OF BOUDOIR
If you took time to research really, really old art, you would discover women have been posing for sensual paintings and photographs for more than 150 years. We’ve called it different things along the way – pin-up, glamour shots, retro or sexy photos – and it’s evolved a lot over the past several decades.
In the 1940s and during World War II, the pin-up craze exploded. There were not many G.I.s without a photo of Betty Grable or Rita Hayworth. Pin-up girls were also painted on the sides of aircraft to bring the men good luck during their missions.
Boudoir photography as we know it today actually began to surface in the 50s and 60s and Playboy magazine took the art to another level. But by the 1970s, most of the pin-ups retired and the art form all but died out.
Now, it’s making a big comeback. Women across the country and around the world are being photographed in sexy, elegant settings and getting so much more than a photograph out of their experience.
“Boudoir photography is all about making a woman feel beautiful. Women love to feel gorgeous! Boudoir photos are for any girl of any shape or size,” says Kristin Hornberger (Kristin Hornberger Photography). “It’s about creating an fun experience and producing some amazing, classy and sexy photographs that capture a woman’s beauty.”
1. NOT JUST FOR YOUR GUY
There’s something about becoming comfortable in front of a camera that can be empowering – especially if you’re wearing lingerie or your fiancé’s button down shirt. It’s important to choose a boudoir photographer you trust so they can help you relax.
“If you are doing this for anyone but yourself, don’t do it. Of course giving the gift to your man and seeing the look on his face is absolutely priceless, but celebrate your beauty. It’s fun, your opportunity to shine! Who doesn’t want to be a model for a day?” says Jennifer Van Elk (Jennifer Van Elk Photography).
2. THE FULL PACKAGE
A great way to make the most of the shoot is to have your hair and make-up done by a professional before the shoot. Some photographers offer those services through an exclusive salon as part of the package.
“The full experience is getting pampered, then feeling like a star after it’s finished,” Van Elk explains. “I highly recommend going with a full package because a pro is going to know what to do to make you look your best. Women have the confidence that the photographer will make them look great, why not trust the pros to do your make-up and hair as well!”
3. (ALMOST) ANYTHING GOES
Do you have to wear lingerie or go topless in a boudoir shoot? Absolutely not! You should wear whatever makes you feel comfortable and reflects your personality – whether it’s a sexy nightgown or your guy’s work uniform. The same goes for location. Think outside the box!
Van Elk recommends her clients to wear what they feel sexy in. “If you feel unsexy or uncomfortable, the pictures will show it. If you’re confident in what you are wearing, whether or not it’s considered a ‘sexy outfit’, it will look sexy, because you feel sexy!”
4. BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION
Boudoir photographers struggle with the misconception that intimate photographs are something to be ashamed of. A good photographer will go to great lengths to keep their photo shoots tasteful and timeless. Some even prefer not to do full frontal nudity. It’s not about creating nude photographs of a woman, it’s about bringing out the beauty of who you are… inside and out.
“Today’s boudoir photography is about creating tasteful and beautiful images of the female form. Photographs are taken either in lingerie or pin-up style clothing and in various degrees of partial to full nudity,” says Lisa Walker (Lisa Walker Photography). “So much of creating a beautiful, emotionally stimulating/saturated image is about what is concealed rather than what is shown.”
5. BOUDOIR PARTIES
If you’re not comfortable enough to do a shoot on your own, there’s strength and confidence in numbers! Some photographers book “boudoir parties” or “pin-up parties,” allowing a group of friends to have their hair and make-up done and schedule a shoot together.
If the idea of a boudoir party isn’t for you, Jim Meyer with Meyer Photography suggests to bring a friend! “Bring a friend, you know the friend that is always pushing you, building your confidence...we want her there with you!”
6. A VERY PERSONAL GIFT
So what are you supposed to do with the photographs once you have them? Well, whatever you want! You can hang them in your bedroom, your living room or have a small book that slides into a drawer in your night stand.
Meyer Photography says, “Whether you want to surprise your guy with a timeless gift on your wedding day, give him an unforgettable gift for Valentines Day or just show him that you still know how to flirt. You will have a great time and it will be worth it to see the look on his face, we promise.”