In 2017, I was down on my luck. I had just been let go from a highly controversial job at an all-male company that had bled my energy dry, left me stressed and depleted my creativity. One morning, my sister called me and told me that her friend – who owned a boudoir studio within a mile of my apartment – needed some support in her business. I scheduled a coffee meetup at her place the next morning.
By 11 am, I was setting up the studio for a client. Then, I stayed on the team for two and a half years. Setting up and striking sets. Helping with hair and makeup when the artists couldn’t make it. Prepping the studio space to be warm and inviting. Second shooting and meeting with clients about their orders.
About six months in, I got to have my own boudoir experience. That afternoon is why I stayed with the team and contributed to the growing community for so long. That experience triggered my interest in working alongside and hiring other boudoir photographers as the years went on.
So, What Makes Boudoir So Special?
1. Boudoir Is For Everyone
If I’m being honest, the idea of boudoir used to make me uncomfortable because it felt like it was only for people in committed relationships. I didn’t have a significant other to share the photos with. But you don’t need a significant other to participate. You can do it just for you. Seeing yourself in a sensual way is a great way to learn vulnerability and trust with yourself and the person photographing you.
So many people are still dumbfounded by my choice to be photographed in such little clothing. I consider myself photogenic, but not in a supermodel way.
Boudoir embraces all bodies. You’ll notice dimples you never registered before that are absolutely adorable. You’ll appreciate your c-section scars in a different way. The person photographing you is verbalizing how much they adore your body, posing and framing you in ways that make you feel like an absolute goddess. And, in most cases, you receive affirming compliments along the way to carry with you out of the studio.
2. Boudoir Builds Confidence
Everyone has insecurities. Be it about a scar, thinning hair, a crooked smile, awkward toes, or some extra fat on their body that didn’t use to be there or makes them feel uncomfortable. Trust me, I have heard it all. But when you engage in a boudoir experience with a top-notch photographer, you leave feeling confident. Every. Single. Time.
I was someone who never felt comfortable wearing a swimsuit growing up. I am sure the media had a lot to do with that. Embracing my body in every stage is so much easier now with trailblazers like Lizzo carrying the torch for body positivity.
Finding lingerie that works with my frame and encouraging myself to let loose was such a foreign concept until then. Now, I make sure to buy myself nice things, even if no one else is going to see them. Because boudoir should, at its core, be about the holistic beauty of the subject. Show up and let the camera show you what you’ve been missing.
3. Boudoir Enhances Relationships
When you gain outside perspective and learn to love yourself in a different light, then it can be easier to love others as well. A boudoir session allows you to slow down and appreciate unique details about the people in your life.
Plus, that boost of confidence will have you absolutely glowing after your session, and perhaps for some time after. This can lead to enjoyable romps in the bedroom with yourself or partners of your choosing. It can help you have the confidence to talk to someone you wouldn’t have previously, or take yourself on a solo date and really revel in your senses while you’re at it.
4. Boudoir is An Investment in Yourself
Chances are you would gift people an incredible, eye-opening experience before partaking in it on your own. That makes sense. We are taught at a very young age to put others before ourselves. Giving yourself something this big can often be categorized as a frivolous expense. And tell your friends about it? Opens you up for questions like “Wouldn’t you rather put that toward your family, your future, or [insert other expense here]?”
Feelings of guilt are normal. Boudoir is not a cheap expense, especially if you are working with a talented and highly sought-after photographer. But if you are willing to gift your loved one’s computers, cars, vacations and contribute to the life of their dreams, then you deserve to have beautiful things too.
Investing some of your hard-earned money back into yourself is totally justifiable — so is wallpapering your apartment with all of the beauty that unfolds.