We got started in boudoir photography about four years ago. We had been professional wedding and portrait photographers for six years and had done a few portrait deals with Groupon and Living Social. One day Living Social called us and asked if we did Boudoir Photography. We told them we didn’t even really know what that was. They explained a little bit, said they thought we’d be good at it, and, if we wanted to try it, they would like to run a deal with us.
So we decided to test our abilities with Sara as our model. We gathered up all her lingerie- even shopped for more (bonus!) and then headed out to our studio. We tried our usual crazy angles and lighting and spent a few hours with Sara in various states of undress posing all sexy… you know, for the good of our business 🙂
The pictures turned out amazing! I know she’s beautiful. I had been married to her for twenty years at that point. I see her every day. Mostly, I take her for granted, but every now and then I notice how her shoulder blades move gracefully as she walks or how her calves flex as she climbs the stairs and I’m intoxicated all over again. But seeing these pictures seemed to bring it to a whole other level. I kept looking at them over and over and thinking, “I can’t believe she’s mine.”
We printed an album to show to clients. I knew I would like having the images in physical form and flipping through it but I had no idea I would love this album as much as I do. To see all the images laid out sequentially one leading to the other, each more sexy and awesome than the last… I cherish this thing. Every now and then, when I get depressed, I can pick up her album and carefully scrutinize each page one by one. By the time I’m done I’m thinking to myself, “Look what I have!” It always makes me re-focus on what is important in my life.
I’m not a very good salesman. I don’t enjoy it. I don’t like the idea of convincing people to do things they are reluctant to do. But it is so easy to sell these images and albums because I only need to say how seeing these pictures of my own wife make me feel. How much would I pay for a drug that actually makes me happier? That makes me re-evaluate my priorities? Would I have ever believed that photography could do that?
I also use the digital images. I make wallpaper for my phone and computer. Especially the more abstract images- the closeups of just her legs or the pearls around her neck. They are artistic and cool but they are also pictures of my Sara. I will never tire of them.
So our first Boudoir session was a success 🙂
Then we dove in and started photographing lots of other women. They almost all have the same reaction when we show them their images for the first time. This reaction is why we’ve decided to specialize in Boudoir. They can’t believe how beautiful they are. Unfortunately, most women have been battered down by Hollywood and Madison Avenue to believe that they are too fat and old and ugly. They believe it. Despite what their boyfriend or husband, best friend says. What we think we show our clients is a glimpse of what their boyfriend or husband, best friend actually sees.
Whenever I see Sara I see a gorgeous girl who has somehow decided to spend her life next to me. I don’t see fat or pimples or double chins or wrinkles or stretch marks or any of the crap she claims to see when she looks in the mirror. I’ll be honest, I didn’t even know what cellulite was until we started photographing women for a living. It’s incredible to have a woman point to her perfect butt and say, “Ugh, can you photoshop out all the cellulite?” Yes, we can. But we won’t. Instead we’ll just show you what you really look like to other people. All those little parts that make you up… they are all part of the perfection. That’s what your husband sees.
Whenever I see these images of my wife I’m reminded of how lucky I am. And, honestly, it’s not just because she’s beautiful. It’s because she’s mine. The pictures are simply the visual cues of who she is- her personality- her intelligence- her humor- her silliness. The pictures are amazing intrinsically, and they stand up by themselves. But they also illustrate and remind me of who she is. And I love that so much.
It’s so hard to stay upset about money or health problems or work pressures when I realize how lucky I really am. Holding this album and imagining the pages blank and myself alone. That’s real trouble. But as I stare at her amazing body on the pages… my money troubles vanish.
How much is that worth?
I get that a Boudoir session is scary. And that’s actually a huge part of it. There is something about the fact that my wife loves me so much that she’s brave enough to pose for these images and have them out there in the world to promote our business. Because it’s not something she would normally do makes it all the more precious. We usually face fears together but, every now and then, we face fears alone for each other. That’s what this is.
There’s also something really cool about seeing her as I’m used to seeing models and actresses in magazines and posters. Not only is she a pretty girl but she’s also Sara and I love her. So I see her looking like Kate Moss and Marylin Monroe but I don’t know those girls. I get the amazing visceral experience of seeing her posed like that- but also it’s Sara! Amazing.
Often times, when I see a beautiful girl in a magazine or even out in the world. I study her face and body and imagine all the modifications that would be required to make her into the perfect Sara. This model needs to be taller, hips a little wider, eyes a little more grey, legs a little longer, shoulders more elongated… there! A perfect Sara.
But when I look at these images in this album I don’t have to make modifications. It’s already Sara.
Maybe this is starting to sound like a love letter. And, hopefully, it is. Because that’s what she gave to me in these pictures. I can unfold it and read it anytime I want by opening the cover. And I smile the same way every time.
This gift of yourself to your mate is immeasurable in value. He gets to see and remember exactly what it is that he loves about all of you and you get to see the same thing through his eyes. This is why we love our jobs so much. It’s almost a re-introduction to your true love. Every time he looks at those images of you.