SPECTACULAR IN ALL SIZES: HOW POSING + LIGHT SCUPLTS BODY TYPE
As a boudoir photographer, I hear all kinds of unjustified insecurities from women about their bodies on a daily basis. It is sad really, because no matter how spectacular, thin, curvy, lean, whatever... there is always some reason she is not comfortable with herself.
At school, while shopping, at business meetings...I run into women on a daily basis who would LOVE the empowering idea of a boudoir session, but it is entirely difficult for them to imagine themselves looking amazing in a photograph.
There are many reasons why women do not like their bodies. It begins a a young age, scarred by the words of peers, family, or even dysfunctional romantic relationships which then carry into adulthood. Most often, women complain about their weight or shape.
As a photographer, I can tell you this... Those extra pounds make ver little difference in creating beautiful boudoir photographs. Why?
Boudoir photography is a highly specialized genre of portraiture designed to not only showcase a woman's body, but to also illuminate its best features. Though my client subjects do need to "let go" a bit and submit to the process, it is NOT size that determines how great the body will look in a photo session.
Instead, the session is largely controlled by five major technical things
*(none of which are those extra pounds!):
- The relationship between Light/Shadow and how it falls on the body
- Body Posing (directly demonstrated by me, for you to mirror!)
- Wardrobe (or lack of!) that flatters your unique shape.
- Camera Angle - Where I position the camera to flatter your unique features
- Client's Vulnerability - NO amount of posing, light or shadow can make a stiff body look great. You have to "let go" a little.
THIS IS WHY YOU CANNOT CHOOSE A BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHER BASED SOLELY ON PRICE.
These are very well-honed skills that take YEARS, education, and dozens upon dozens of clients to master. This is one of the main reasons why, when searching for your boudoir photographer. Investing in your boudoir session is an investment in how happy you will be with the outcomes. I cannot tell you how many clients have come to me after a session with another photographer that they were unhappy with. They not only wasted money -- but it affected their self esteem in the process.
I would much rather create an experience that makes them feel strong, empowered, and uniquely beautiful in their own skin.
NOTICE HOW PHOTOSHOP DID NOT MAKE THE LIST?
Sometimes a prospective client will joke, "I hope you do a ton of photoshop?" The truth is, Photoshop cannot fix poor lighting, poor posing, and a poor experience. While I do have a highly skilled Photoshop retoucher on our team, her job is NOT to "correct" you. YOU ARE CORRECT ALREADY. Her job is to enhance your best features, and make your skin look like you are an angelic silken goddess, dancing off the pages of your album or wall art. She is NOT a plastic surgeon. We do not want that for our beautiful clients!
For your viewing pleasure, here are some drastically different body types, all with zero Photoshop transformation on body type.
^ This client (see bathtub photo above) was approximately size 22 at the time of her shoot, she told us. By positioning her amazing breasts in that heavenly light, I illuminated her (and her husband's!) favorite body feature. The more voluminous parts of her body fall into shadow, showing her curvy goddess figure that is simply spectacular. Notice how the light kisses all the sensual parts -- her cheekbones to contour her face, her hair, her lips, her breasts, her thighs and a bit of that sexy shoulder....
This same client (featured above) did not love her midsection, but she did come to the session with a beautiful two piece set she wanted to be photographed in. The gorgeous baroque chair is a beautiful prop but also helped camouflage her midriff without HIDING her as many inexperienced boudoir photographers will do. What is the point of hiding a body when shooting boudoir? It drives me crazy when I see plus sized ladies photographed from the breasts up only! We did minimal Photoshop at her request, as she wanted to see her REAL self... curves, bumps and all. YAY to newfound confidence. She is one of my favorite sessions in 2016.
^ Well, HERE I AM. That is me, your photographer. Though I love to laugh, joke, party and all those other extroverted things, I'm actually quite shy. I HATE when focus is on me, and I do not enjoy attention. As a result, I have spent a lifetime avoiding the camera. I had literally never been photographed for a professional portrait until this boudoir selfie on my 42nd birthday in 2016. It was my first step in a journey of becoming less of a professional hypocrite, and learning to embrace my own portrait. On a self timer, I quickly ran into place, slid across the floor and posed like this. WHY? Because on my side 8-10 curvy body, this side angle would showcase my legs and breasts. The backlighting allows the light to shine on all the right places, giving an angelic look to someone who was not entirely ready for the "sultry". By arching my back, I get beautiful waist and butt definition.
^ This client was truly someone special. She came to us after some personal crises, and had lost a ton of weight as a result. Her underweight body was a source of stress for her, but she was ready to start healing and this session was part of that process. Her tiny, straight frame could handle any light... However the posing was key in giving her the curves she wanted to imagine. Notice how her back is arched to give a beautiful S- shape, and her leg is pulled up to create a more curvy hip. NO Photoshop on this lady, at her request. WE LOVED THAT. Bravo!
^ This extraordinary woman came to us as she was turning fifty -- and was during a period of transition in her life. As a yoga instructor, she is extremely fit, but she does not have the typical yoga figure you'd imagine. She was tall and buxom -- and I very much wanted to make this session about her newfound sex appeal, in a Brigette Bardot style session. The light and shadow hits her perfectly, and I posed her in a way I call "Baby Giraffe" (don't laugh!) which shows off those epic long legs, neckline and creates a straight line leading you right to her ample bosom. Boudoir success for this fifty year old bombshell! This image was polished with a film-noir style look to summon the retro vibe.
These images demonstrate how very different body types can all look fantastic, if you work with a skilled photographer that you can trust!
And... (winks and raises hand!) that should be you and I!