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You’ve heard them call it taboo, inappropriate, and tasteless; among other descriptions.
What do I call it? I call it sexy, brave, empowering, and confidence boosting.
We’re talking about the ever growing market of “Boudoir” photo-shoots. Boudoir is a term that has been around since the 1920s, when nude pictures were illegal, and have since evolved into much more. It went from pictures of curvy pin-up girls hiding underneath a man’s pillow, into being recognized as professional and beautiful art.
Boudoir isn’t necessarily naked photos of yourself (and you won’t see any here). I’m a modest human and this photo shoot (and article) was something way outside my comfort zone. I would not choose to just get naked in front of a camera (but also, props to those who can) but I started feeling so insecure in my body because of new relationship weight and COVID-19 quarantine weight, that my mental health literally needed me to do this.
I’ve been up and down in weight my whole life. I’ve been a size 4 and a size 14. I have hips made to bare 10 children and breasts that keep me from wearing a lot of clothing because I hate them being the center of attention. So why did I do a boudoir shoot? I don’t have the ideal body type that societal standards tell me I need to have, I am most definitely not a model, and I can literally eat a large thin crust pizza by myself and feel no shame.
I did it because….well, I freaking can. That’s the short answer at least. A friend on my Facebook started having a booming boudoir business and added me into her “ladies only” VIP page and my gosh, what I saw on there would make anyone blush, AND I WAS HERE FOR IT.
Women of all colors, shapes, sizes having their boudoir pictures put on this page for everyone to see. Conversations amongst ladies talking about their bodies (the good and bad), sex life, and much more. However, what I saw the most on this page, was every single person lifting each other up. Right now, there is so much hate and negativity around us….but you would have never guessed it on this page. Women empowering women is an understatement.
So I decided to get on the bandwagon and booked a Bridal Boudoir photo shoot with Blossoms & Blithe Boudoir. One hour of shooting, 24 edited/downloadable pictures, hair and make-up, and access to the boudoir closet set me back $250. In my opinion, this was a steal. (Please note: this photographer has gone up in price for 2021 (and it’s still worth it), in case you’re looking to book her for some future shoots.)
What started as a sexy boudoir shoot for my husband-to-be, ended up being something that allowed me to embrace what I was given. The hips for all the children I don’t want to have (I only want 2, not 10), the curves, the breasts I wished didn’t exist, the butt that has cellulite I try to scrape off in the shower with a coffee scrub I found on amazon. Every nit-picky thing I’ve judged myself on was captured beautifully during my session. I love my body more, I love myself more, and I finally saw what my now husband has been trying to tell me since before we started dating.
I was so nervous so I brought my hype woman and blog-mate along for the ride (thanks Mary!). A hype woman is a definite must for those who are scared out of their mind like I was.
When I got to the studio they started right away on my make-up and hair, making it all as glam and sexy as they could. I mean, this is a boudoir shoot. Then it was time to strip and get into my first ensemble. My heart was pounding and my hands were shaking as I slipped the hot little red lace number on.
The first thing the photographer asked was what was my comfort levels of certain poses, etc. were. I was honest and told her that I’m pretty modest, and don’t want anything too extreme. She took that and ran with it. She told me what to do the whole photo shoot. From where my hands should go to what my lips need to be doing. It went flawlessly, and my nervousness started slowly fading away.
Just remember, these are professionals who have seen it all during their sessions. They know what they’re doing, will make you feel comfortable, and will help you along the way. Just make sure you do your research and look at reviews from other patrons before you book with someone. You need to be able to trust this person, they will see the most intimate parts of you.
The rest of the shoot went as smooth as possible.
I suggest you ask what your photographer may have in their own collection first (to help save some money). If they’ve been doing it for a while, I’m sure they have everything you need in their studio. Ask to see some pictures of other clients with your similar body type to get an idea of a look to go for, or pieces to wear.
I knew I wanted at least one long sleeve ensemble, and I got lucky that she had one available. Long sleeve lingerie is apparently not that easy to come by, or at least for me it wasn’t. I also borrowed the red lace from her but brought my own bridal lingerie and veil, as well as two pairs of heels. She had a collection of shoes but they were all size 8 and I’m an 8.5. I brought my black studded Vince Camuto pumps and a pair of gold glitter pumps that I actually planned to wear with my wedding dress (until I found out sparkly Kate Spade Keds were a thing and decided to be comfortable instead).
All the lingerie fit me perfectly and the pictures turned out gorgeous. It was so much fun and we even got feathers involved.
It’s simple. If you’ve been curious about these kinds of photo shoots, I say you take the leap and book one. You will feel more confident and empowered afterwards. You don’t even need a significant other or reason to get these done. Get them done FOR YOU. Share them with your girls and embrace your curves. Don’t let anyone take away the love you have for yourself.