Dating back to the early twentieth-century, the term boudoir was used to reference a lady’s private dressing room. A century later, boudoir is now considered an art form in the all encompassing world of photography, showcasing the sensuality and confidence of a woman or the undeniable attraction and love between her and her spouse. Argentina Leyva of Art of Seduction in Chicago says “women initially come in alone, but about 20 percent come back with their husbands to have a couples shoot as well.” Art of Seduction offers a “Morning after Shoot” which illustrates the intimacy of being at home after a night of seduction. Argentina has many different backgrounds in her studio, but she shoots clean, with minimal props, not to take away from the main focus: love.
Preparation is key when booking your photo shoot. Jennifer Williams of Jennifer Williams Boudoir Photography in Vancouver encourages her clients to eat well and get plenty of rest the week before the shoot so that they not only look good, but feel good as well. To minimize apprehension, Jennifer will have clients practice posing and start them off easy so that they get comfortable behind the camera. “I guide them through each pose and acknowledge that it’s normal to be nervous.” With each outfit change she witnesses the client’s nerves melt away. Once she starts shooting, she will not stop until she has flattered every one of the client’s physical attributes.
Having been a model for many years, Victoria of Victoria Cooke Photography based in the U.S. and Europe, understands the importance of direction when behind the lens; “Creating an environment which allows my clients to feel sexy and pampered is most important to me. They trust me to create a concept and style for their shoot. I love to personally shop with my clients allowing us to get to know each other.” Victoria’s style is influenced by old Hollywood glamour distinguished by actresses like Brigitte Bardot, Ava Gardner and Elizabeth Taylor. She prefers to forgo a typical studio set for a suite in one of the Leading Hotels of the World or a private outdoor location such as the Villa Gardens in Bellagio, Italy.
The world of boudoir photography has grown immensely over the last five years. What started out as just a woman and her photographer has now evolved to include her significant other or maybe even her bridal party. Hilary of Hilary B. Photography in Newport, RI partners with local bed and breakfasts to have “bridal boudoir showers” rather than the traditional bridal showers. “It’s something fun and different and helps ease nerves.” In studio, Hilary likes to personalize the shoot. “I’ll ask the client what their hobbies are. For instance, if they say cooking, then I will propose doing a sultry kitchen scene.”
Every photographer has their own style and technique, but all have the same objective: to ensure the client leaves feeling sexy, confident, empowered and with photographs they will enjoy and cherish for years to come. So relax, pop the bubbly, and let your playful, seductive side shine.