Thank you so much Britt for sharing this shoot with us. If you are a member of Boudoir International don’t hesitate to submit some of your work to us for consideration.
We asked Ashley of Simply Lush Boudoir to tell us a little more about her as well as this beautiful boudoir session she sent our way. Here what she said….
“I am Ashley and I own Simply Lush Portrait Boutique in Scranton, Pennsylvania. I have been specializing in boudoir for 3 years now and it’s something I am truly in love with. I love helping my clients rediscover their true beauty and confidence, no matter the age, shape, or size. All of my clients leave an everlasting impression on my heart… however this particular one is about one of my clients who has struggled with body image for some time now and this session really opened my eyes. While I never forget why I am in this business, it really helped me take a step back from the “business” side of things and reminded me how real woman really feel. These are real women, with real struggles and stories.
I do many of my sessions in my studio but decided to do this one outdoors. Another local boudoir photographer was kind enough to let me use her property. She was a sweetheart as well, which made my client’s experience even better.
Meet Kayla. – She describes herself as somewhat of an introverted person and has been admiringly following our photography for a while now. “Your posts are truly beautiful and inspiring. I think that I’ve always secretly wanted to do a session (simply for myself), but I did not have the confidence, nor did I ever think I would have the confidence.” Kayla suffered some pretty severe depression and was always down on herself. She picked herself up, graduated, became a Registered Nurse and landed her dream job in the intensive care unit.
“Your photography shows all these beautiful women that have been through God knows what – still smiling, gorgeous, confident and ready to take on anything – and that’s finally how I’m starting to feel for the first time in my life. Before the reveal, I was definitely anxious. I hoped that they came out okay. After the reveal – I was shocked. They looked beautiful! I felt more confident in myself – its been a long battle for self esteem with me – and its still a battle – but this experience and the way I felt after was worth it.It took a long time for me to learn to love myself and be comfortable with who I am. This experience was really incredible – and I’m so appreciative of what you do and did for me.:)”
I love what I do. I love empowering women and helping them rediscover their true beauty and confidence. Kayla was such a pleasure to photograph and her beauty truly radiates through all of her images. I am so happy I was able to help her feel gorgeous again and can’t wait to get her album in her hands!What is holding you back from this moment right here? From feeling fierce, empowered, confident, and above all, in LOVE with yourself? If you’ve inquired but have yet to take the leap–it’s TIME! Life is far too short to put it off, or tell yourself a million reasons why you can’t do it. Do something that scares you!!
Thank you so much for sharing this Ashley. And thank you to your brave and caring client who wanted to share her story with other women. This is exactly what boudoir photography is all about!
We are taken aback by the beauty of this desert sunset shoot! It’s sexy but still beautifully raw and earthy in the best kind of way. It was obviously well planned, with an incredible model, Olivia Jordan, starring as the queen of this insane landscape.
This editorial boudoir photo shoot comes from Kara Marie of Austin, Texas! Kara says, “my super power is making women feel like they can conquer the world with the confidence they gain through a boudoir experience with me.” Thanks for motivating us all to plan an outdoor boudoir shoot Kara! Those of you considering an outdoor boudoir shoot, not all photographers offer on location, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask!
Kara Marie’s philosophy is that boudoir is for every body, confidence is the sexiest thing you can wear, you do a boudoir shoot for yourself, gift giving is just a bonus, and always keep it classy and classic.
She says, “Beauty & Boudoir photography is the ultimate experience for ANY woman. I don’t care who you are, what you look like, what size your jeans are, how old you are, what your marital status is, or what you put on your toast in the morning (but bonus points if you say Nutella). This type of portraiture is for EVERY woman. It is meant to make EVERY woman feel her absolute best. Sure, sure, these photos make for phenomenal gifts to your significant other…but what’s better is that it’s the best gift you can give yourself.
My beauty and boudoir clients range from the recently divorced woman who is celebrating her “re-release” into the world, to the mother of 4 who hasn’t felt pretty in a decade, to the single and proud who wants to celebrate herself, to the engaged woman who wants to present her partner with a wedding gift that makes them thank their lucky stars that she chose THEM.”
Learn more about her and her studio in Austin, Texas at karamarieboudoir.com. Or to find more Texas boudoir visit Boudoirinternational.com/Texas-boudoir-photography/.
While boudoir photography was introduced as the “sexiest gift for the groom”® not too long ago, this new trend took off rapidly as more and more grooms were stunned speechless by this surprise gift. As a photographer who was part of this new movement, it was fun to see it gain momentum, word spreading as groomsmen watched the groom’s eyes get wide with amazement as they saw him open this secret book just minutes before his bride walked down the aisle toward him.
It was quite the new hot topic, and everyone understood why. A must have item.
Boudoir was once considered risqué or taboo and has now been converted into what we love it to be…. a private celebration of the beauty of intimacy within a couple. And not just for the couple as a unit, individually for the bride herself as well. A way to celebrate and document what as old as time, has been one of the most special traditions in womanhood …. the season of wedding preparation. It looks much different these days than it did say even a hundreds of years ago, with pinterest, wedding magazines, and going down the #wedding hashtag rabbit trails, but the overall anticipation and tradition remains.
While our prep looks different, the sweet sentiment swirling in a bride’s heart is all the same as it ever was, she radiates with the hopes, wishes and dreams this memorable time inspires. And as photographers we love that we get to celebrate and document the bride, aglow with anticipation and rosy with the frantic pace that accompanies this season. It’s wonderful seeing this brides experience play out…she comes to our studio, nervous, but enjoys this confidence boosting experience more than she ever thinks she will, feeling better in her own skin when she leaves, and she romances her groom with this sweet gesture. It’s a win/win.
We feel our job is to enter into that space with her, inspired to create something that represents her beautifully. At the risk of sounding entirely cheesy, which I have already done, we boudoir photographers feed off the hopes that are quietly spilling from our bride’s hearts, and I don’t think there is anything more a photographer loves than this in a subject.
So much of the wedding prep is about tasks, to-do lists, deadlines. We love that a boudoir session is a time slow down, tune out the must do-dos, and to step into this season by being present. We highly encourage you to do this for your spouse-to-be, but even more so for yourself. Look for a highly qualified boudoir photographer, read their testimonials, look for consistency in their galleries of images, and most importantly get a sense that you will feel comfortable with them. You won’t regret it!
Written by Marissa Boucher, Owner of The Boudoir Divas in San Diego, whose goal is to give every woman the ultimate supermodel experience TM.
It happens every time! The anticipation of my shoot is accompanied by the obsession with the age old question: “What am I going to wear?!” It’s essential to attack your outfit plans with two key things in mind:
What comfort level are you aiming for?
When I did my very first boudoir shoot with The Boudoir Divas, I was about 6 months into a huge weight loss transformation, and still not super comfortable with my body. I opted for a pretty slip-like option with lace detailing and sky high black heels. Years later, I decided to go with a two piece lingerie set, but knew I’d be more comfortable with a little extra coverage-so I added a pretty angora cardigan for some of the shots, as well! Make sure whatever you choose, you love it-and how it makes you feel!
Who/What are your photos for?
If you’re taking these photos for a gift or surprise, you know best what they’d like. I’ve seen adorable boudoir photos that pay homage to that special someone with their military uniform hat or jacket, their favorite team jersey, or maybe you decide they’re lucky to get these photos in the first place and wear whatever you want! It goes without saying that taking these photos “just because,” or for that extra boost of confidence warrants wearing whatever makes you happy, as well!
My favorite place to get inspiration is Pinterest (aka the land of all things that make me think I can do anything-kind of like a second, non-verbal mom). There are tons of resources for boudoir shoot inspiration, and even just searching a specific type of lingerie or brand will open you up to worlds of possibility! Feel free to check out my personal Boudoir Styling board, where I save ideas for items I’d like to add to my collection!
Finding Affordable Options
Personally, I’d rather spend money on a photography/ hair/ makeup dream team, and more photos to have and keep. So when it comes to getting pieces for shoots, I try to stay a little more conservative with my budget. My heart says “La Perla,” but my head says Adore Me! Adore Me is an awesome lingerie subscription service (although you don’t have to subscribe) with super affordable, and totally trendy lingerie sets! The site carries a wide variety of colors, styles, and sizes. Whether you’re in the market for a corset/panty combo or want a sexy bra and panty combo, there is something for everyone. Right now, you can use the code “PANTYGIFT” to get an additional free panty with any order. The items are high quality, true to size, and returns/exchanges are really easy!
[Lingerie items above can be found here: #1 / #2 / #3 / #4 / #5]
Obviously, on such an auspicious occasion as one doing a boudoir shoot, splurging on La Perla may be just the right idea. By no means am I suggesting you limit yourself! If you’re into the bohemian, knitted, vintage chic vibe, you may like For Love and Lemons, too!
You can also peruse your local mall for places like Victoria’s Secret, Soma Intimates, or even your Macy’s intimates department for beautiful options. If you’re more of an online shopper, check out some of the handmade and custom items on Etsy.com, or go for a vintage vibe with options you can find at ModCloth.com!
Great resources for plus-sized options are Torrid.com, Cacique.com, AshleyStewart.com, and HipsandCurves.com (more styling tips coming soon for plus-size lingerie, so check back here with the blog soon!)
The Most Important Item You Need at Your Shoot?
Bring an open mind! With the right photographer (check out an awesome post with more on that here), an outfit you feel amazing in, and that pretty face of yours, you will kill it! Need more inspiration before your shoot? Check out all of the advice and input that the Boudoir International Blog has to offer!
And remember, you’ve always been a bombshell! – Sondra
For more of Candace Perry’s work at Beautiful You Studios, visit www.beautifulyoustudios.com
I have been a boudoir photographer for nearly ten years now – and can you believe that it took me SIX years into my career to have my OWN boudoir shoot? I had photographed hundreds of women, and had been teaching other professional photographers about boudoir photography for years before I ever put myself in my clients’ shoes. Looking back, I definitely regret that I didn’t have my own shoot experience sooner. I feel like this is a requirement for ALL boudoir photographers, so that they truly understand the experience from the other side of the lens. In any case, when my husband & I hit our 1-year anniversary, I knew it was time to go for it – no more excuses or putting it off. So here are the top five things that this Boudoir Photographer Learned in FRONT of the Camera:
1. Plan & prep. This is SO important, because you don’t want to walk into your shoot feeling like you are just ‘winging it.’ Our last blog post from a member of our writing team shares 7 ways to plan for your boudoir shoot, so definitely go check out that article. From my experience, the importance of planning was especially true when it came to outfits. Since I had had six years’ experience shooting different types of lingerie and all kinds of ‘looks,’ I knew that I wanted my shoot to have tons of VARIETY. Now, I also understand that if you find a lingerie set or style that you love (and looks amazing on you), that you would probably tend to get a few of those styles that look similar. There’s nothing wrong with that, but in my opinion, a boudoir shoot is also a chance to step a little outside your comfort zone. So why not try out something that’s totally different than what you’d normally wear? You might be surprised by what looks good on you in the dressing room!
For my own shoot, I created a Pinterest board to gather ideas on what three different ‘looks’ I wanted from my shoot. This really helped me as I was shopping for outfits, because I knew that I had certain vibes I was going for, and I didn’t feel overwhelmed while browsing in lingerie shops. Keep in mind that as you’re creating Pinterest boards, that you aren’t trying to completely re-create a specific shot that you see. I definitely don’t recommend bringing an image in to your photographer and asking him or her to give you that exact image, because that’s just not realistic. Rather, use Pinterest to help you narrow your focus and create a few distinct ‘looks’ or ‘vibes’ for the inspiration for your own shoot and styling. Here are a few of the images that I grabbed off Pinterest for my own shoot’s inspiration:
2 – Enjoy the experience. YES it is nerve wracking… but try to relax and enjoy the experience! I had told my clients for six years that ‘everyone feels a little nervous, don’t worry, etc…’ but I never truly understood that nervous/excited energy until I was in their shoes, walking into my own shoot, and sitting down for my own hair & makeup appointment. I mean, I KNEW what the experience was going to be like. I was intimately familiar with what was going to happen, and yet I was still nervous on that morning of my shoot. My only advice for you is to channel that nervous energy into excitement, and try your best to soak in the experience. Listen to the music playing, look around at the studio’s environment, have a glass of champagne if your photographer offers you one (this last one definitely helped ease my nerves). And then while you’re getting your hair and makeup done, just chat with the HMU artist, and enjoy getting pampered!
3 – Trust your photographer. After your hair & makeup is done, and you’re ready for the photo shoot itself, now is the time to fully let go. For me, this meant letting go of my insecurities, and letting go of control. I know that for a lot of my clients, this step can be very difficult – because, let’s face it, most of us have a little insecurity about one thing or another. But as soon as you let yourself think about those insecurities during your shoot, you give them power over you. Take back that power and tell yourself to let go! If your photographer puts you into a pose that initially makes you think something like ‘ugh, this is going to look horrible and show off my ___’ (fill in the blank with whatever body part or feature you don’t love about yourself). But instead, let go of that control, let go of the negative thoughts, and TRUST your photographer. Your photographer is going to give you plenty of images to choose from, and I promise that you will love so many of them. If there are one or two shots that you don’t love, that’s ok! But during the shoot, allow yourself the freedom to let go and just embrace the entire experience.
4 – Get an album. I can’t emphasize this enough. Please don’t just get one or two prints, or a disc of digital images that will sit on your computer for years. Please, get an album to show off your images! I purchased a gorgeous album to give as an anniversary gift to my husband, and of course he loved it. But more than just a gift for him, that album is now a keepsake for ME, to look back on this time in my life and remember the experience.
5 – Carry that confidence. Even now, 4 years after my shoot, I will pull it out every once in a while and remember how much fun it was to get glammed-up, feel pampered, and rock my photo shoot. At this very moment while I’m writing this blog post, I am in my PJs… my toddler is alternately sitting on my lap and playing with his toys on the floor at my feet, and I am 4 months pregnant with baby #2. I haven’t washed my hair in a couple of days, and I’m not feeling entirely glamorous right now. BUT, I have my boudoir album sitting on the table next to my computer and coffee cup, and I just glanced through it again. And the thing that sticks out to me is the confidence that this experience has given me. It’s not just about putting on false eyelashes and lingerie. It’s more than some sexy poses and pretty photos. What I walked away with, after all of the planning, the shopping, the nervous energy, and the photo shoot, was a sense of confidence in myself.
So, beautiful, as you leave your boudoir shoot, I hope that you leave behind your insecurities and feelings of not being ‘enough.’ I hope that you walk away and take with you a renewed sense of confidence in knowing you are beautiful, you are gorgeous, you are enough. You are uniquely YOU, so carry that with you in your everyday life. xoxo, Kimberlee
Your boudoir session is booked but you still don’t know exactly how you should prep for the big day. Today we have seven things that you should do before your boudoir session. Following these seven rules will help you relax and get you ready for your important day.
1. GET A GOOD NIGHT’S REST
You want to look refreshed before your boudoir session. Yes, you may have hired a hair and makeup artist, but being alert and well rested before you session is where you want to start. When you are well rested you are also more relax which. Being relaxed before your session is always a great idea.
2. DRINK WATER
Yes, I know this is cliché, but the last thing you want is to look dehydrated in your photos. The skin is your largest organ and it needs water to survive. Do yourself a favor and make sure you are hydrating yourself very well a week before your session. Drink a cup of water first thing in the morning and right before you head to bed.
3. HAVE YOUR NAILS DONE
I know! With all the planning, and purchasing the one thing that a lot of girls miss are the nails. We use our hand everyday and take them for granted. Even if you don’t like to get faux nails nor have they painted make sure you have them manicured and polished to least a natural color. I am very hard on my hands so when I get a mani-pedi I always ask for the natural pink clear coat. It’s typically the clear pink they use for French manicures. This version of clear makes your look more natural and healthy!
4. MAKE SURE YOU TRY ON YOUR OUTFITS BEFORE THE SESSION
I am a person who is 110% guilty of buying off the rack. You know what ended up happening? Over spending on at least 50% of my wardrobe that didn’t fit correctly. What at waste of time and money. Once I started trying on clothes I started saving A TON of money… and buyer’s remorse. I say all this to say… try on the lingerie before you buy it. Make sure it’s going to match your heels and it looks the way you want to on your body. When lingerie is ill fitting you may not feel as confident so make sure it fits exactly the way you want it too.
5. REMOVE THE TAGS FOR YOUR CLOTHES
I know! It sounds like a no brainer, but you would not believe how many times I have had to photoshop tags out of photos. Again, removing the small things like tags takes a little longer and really unnecessary work on the photo editors’ behalf. We like to get everything right in camera to avoid any additional photoshop or airbrushing.
6. HAVE YOUR WARDROBE READY AND PACKED
Again the last thing you want to do is rush the day of your session. The day before (if not two days before) make sure you pack everything you are interested shooting in. It’s better to have too many outfits than not enough. When you pack a day or two early this gives you time to think about other things you may want to bring. This all happens to us, when we gather our things in a hurry we tend to forget items. The last thing you want to do is forget to bring that one important prop you needed for your photos.
7. BRING PHYSICAL PHOTOS OF THE HAIR AND MAKEUP LOOK YOU WANT
I cannot express enough how important this is. My dad used to say this John Lennon quote all the time, “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.” Hair and makeup artist are super busy during the week so while you may have emailed them the photos beforehand of what you are looking for I would also suggest you bring a copy of the photo with you and really discuss your needs and make sure you are getting the look of what you want. Now most artists cannot copy completely, but they will use the photo as inspiration for what you are looking for.
Doing these seven things before your boudoir session will help you in have a successful session that will cause you to relax and look amazing in your photos!
As a photographer of women and a hard core body positivity activist, I found that I wanted my clients to get their makeup done…but not because they were ugly or “needed” it, but rather because it is an awesome experience to have an artist “paint you like one of their French girls.” But seriously, to have someone use your face as a canvas is pretty cool, relaxing, and a pampering type of experience. For women who don’t have the time to do their own makeup daily, it’s a fun thing to do! It’s like wearing your standard jeans and tshirt for 6 days a week, only to dress up in a sexy little black dress, high heels, and get your hair blown out for a Friday night! So, here are 3 reasons why bashing women for wearing makeup is silly (despite the obvious reason that there are bigger things in the world to worry about!)
1) IT’S A PERSONAL PREFERENCE
At the end of the day it is a person’s comfort level with themselves. If they feel better showing off their naked face to the world….AWESOME! If they splurged on a beautiful eye-shadow pallet from M.A.C. and love to have a new look every day and use it as a form of creativity and expression…..INCREDIBLE! Neither is wrong and neither is better than the other.
2) LIGHT AFFECTS THE WAY YOU LOOK
3) IT’S FUN TO PLAY DRESS UP
You know how good it feels to get your hair done? When the stylist gives you a little scalp massage and you almost fall asleep in the chair? The same goes for getting your makeup done. Your makeup artist has spent a large chunk of money to get the perfect brushes and they are so soft on your skin. It is extremely relaxing to get your makeup done and when you are done, you look phenomenal! It’s fun to see another side of yourself! Having your makeup done doesn’t denounce the natural you, but rather, it gives you a glimpse into the playful, fun woman you are!