Boudoir photography is misunderstood by many, and is sometimes confused with pornography or erotica. While boudoir has nothing at all to do with pornography and has some similarities to erotica, it is actually it’s own form of art and should not be put into the same boxes that other photographic arts are. Just like fashion photography is almost nothing like landscape photography, boudoir has it’s own set of aspects that make it unique. These are important to understand if you are considering a boudoir photo shoot, because they will probably make all the difference in the world with regards to your comfort level. You need to be comfortable with the situation in order for the photographs to come out the way you want them to, and the job of the boudoir photographer is to make you comfortable so that you can present the best you possible. This comfort level is going to have some nervousness involved, but is probably best addressed before you ever show up for the shoot, and while you are considering the shoot itself. Understanding what makes a boudoir photographer different may even help you make a decision that could help you avoid the wrong photographer, which could be a terrible experience. So let’s get into what makes a boudoir photographer unique, and see if we can make you feel a little more at ease about the process.
A boudoir photographer is an artist, not just someone who knows how to work a camera to expose an image, but a person who understands how to position the model as part of the scene in order to capture the idea that the model is trying to convey. This is different than fashion photography, where the model has little to do with it except being a hanger for the clothing they are modeling. In a boudoir photo shoot, the photographer has discussed with the model before hand what the model is trying to convey, and who the model is envisioning as the recipient of the photographs produced. Boudoir is based on the idea of seeing a person in an intimate moment, the original idea coming from the French words for “dressing room” or “bedroom” photography. The photographer is trying to convey the intimacy and erotic nature of a moment in the life of the model, when they are inadvertently attractive just being themselves. Instead of appearing “posed” which creates a more setup feeling, the boudoir photo shoot takes elements of the model’s personality and blends them with visuals that the recipient of the photographs would find erotic, thus personalizing the pictures in a way that speak directly from the model to his or her significant other. This concept puts the model in charge of the theme, and makes the photographer a tool of the model to appear sexy and sensual. The photographer’s job is to assist in the translation of the idea by arranging lighting and poses as well as settings and props, but ultimately it is the idea that the model is trying to convey that is at the heart of the shoot. In other forms of photography, the model is simply another prop in the picture, instead of being the one driving the theme.
Good boudoir photography is going to be a comfortable, exciting and pleasurable experience for the model, because they understand that a true boudoir photographer is not trying to make you look like something you are not. Instead, they are trying to accentuate the beauty that already exists inside you, and capture it on film. Most people will react the same way when they see their boudoir photos for the first time saying “I didn’t know I could look that good,” when in reality they always knew they could. It is the job of a good boudoir photographer to bring it out.