Mis à jour : août 21
If you've ever wondered how Sophie from HR, your best friend's stepdaughter, you-yourself-and-ya, or just any normal woman in their right mind could ever contemplate the idea of a boudoir photo shoot, it's time for me to squeeze a few myth-breaker in here!
Boudoir has come a long way since it's earned its name, and what was in the late 90s early 00s essentially consisting in an uncomfortable photo shoot that only seasoned models or very naïve teenage girls would find themselves into, has now turned into a very (body-)positive trend, and powerful experience.
Nevertheless, some misconceptions about boudoir photography need a good facelift. I’m speaking up for the greater good (girl power, anyone?), and here's a few of the things a boudoir photography session doesn’t have to be. According to who? Well, according to Me! *grin*
1) Boudoir doesn't have to be… NAKED
First and foremost, no one should ever be dictated how much skin one got to show. The right guidance will arise from an initial consultation with your photographer, where the topic should be discussed upfront, helping you both working around your comfort zone.
You have to keep in mind that the final boudoir images featured in a portfolio doesn't necessarily reflects what happened during the photo shoot. The final result may suggest that this woman on the photo was naked, when (ta-daaaa!) she was not. That's what's commonly referred to as "nude-implied". Of course, I have a lot of tricks up my sleeve to get gorgeous artistic sensual shots without making you feel exposed.
On the contrary, some specific shots call for nudity on set, but comparatively show little skin. These images are created to suggest intimacy, show some details, but the essential is left to the imagination.
The main takeaway here? If you are comfortable being naked during your photo shoot, it's great. If you are not comfortable being naked, it's equally great! A boudoir portrait can be NON naked, and still be extremely sensual. This is the most valuable thing that you have to keep in mind:
Sexy is a feeling. So let's feel and make feel.
2) Boudoir doesn't have to be… RETOUCHED
These past years (decade?), filters and retouching nerds seam to have completely lost touch with reality. Without getting too deep into how this totally affects our self-esteem, let’s just remember that feeling when we open the front camera-- anyone else feels like they need a facial ASAP every time they try to get a selfie?
So what does a smart woman gotta do? She looks for a photographer that embraces "Modern Retouching"..
I'm not talking about the minimal lazy "I photoshopped out 1.5 zit and 2 flyaways". I’m not talking about the airbrush maniac that gives you Barbie legs and remove all your freckles/pores/skin. I'm talking about someone with a comprehensive approach of female body, and what lies beneath real empowerment through a photo session.
So let's get rid of what's not permanent, soften the contrasts, and show some damn skin! Good lighting and strategic posing will help us nail down the shot with minimal (but expert) retouching.
3) Boudoir doesn't have to be… TACKY
When I say "BOUDOIR", you say "TACKY". "Boudoir?"...... Ok. Fair enough. For the most part of this early Century, that was pretty true. But guess what? Scratch it. That was really just poor choices, poor taste, and most of all… these were mostly sexy shots taken from a male perspective, and meant to be enjoyed by a male gaze.
So guess what? Flashy bright pink underwear, piggy tails, corporate executive tie, high school skirts? Not today, Britney.
What I like to do is provide a selection of brands/styles that matches your body type, and that I know photograph very elegantly. Here again, you will get to shine brighter being yourself, and not some generic playmate from the 90s.
4) Boudoir doesn't have to be… FOR SOMEONE ELSE
Can I tell you a little secret? I didN'T choose Boudoir photography. Boudoir totally chose me! My first years of Art classes in Paris got me used to seeing fully naked people posing 2 feet away from me!
The first time, I was frankly caught off-guard and felt slightly embarrassed by the situation: my understanding was that we were to draw some apples and Italian kettle side by side, sooooo... But I took the leap, and rapidly fell in love with the 'perfect-imperfection' of the Human body: how it's shaped by light and has the ability to be wrapped in modesty & intimacy while completely exposed.
When I first came to New York, I met people that were so at-ease with their own nudity, and so used to push their creative fiber forward, that I quickly found myself photographing equally dressed and undressed people. Their comfort in their own skin made me comfortable myself for being right there, drawing them again and testifying, this time with a camera.
Why did I stick to it? Because of the women’s reactions to their photos. While being pretty skeptical about the "empowering" aspect of a photo shoot at first, experience proved me through numerous happy tears and joyous squeaks that women absolutely need to be reunited with their bodies. And the amount of criticism that women are letting themselves fall into is not only painful for them, but also for their daughters (more on that later).
You can expect from your boudoir photo shoot to drag you through many emotions, but I think the one that will settle in will be confidence and a true form of release. Then when your photos will come-in, you will be able to see yourself in a whole new light… not the one of your bathroom. Not the one in your partner’s eyes. But your very own, the one that sparks from your Soul!
Enough for today. Shine on my friend*
Fleur Losfeld is a Maternity and Boudoir photographer, based in NYC.
In her Brooklyn Studio, she documents woman's life throughout all stages of Womanhood, and create timeless and elegant art work and products that last for generations.
Follow her on Instagram @fleurlosfeldphotography