What is Boudoir Photography?
That's such a great question. I don't get that question anywhere near as often as I used to. Seven years strong in this genre and for some reason it's still a confusing word. Boudoir. B-o-u-d-o-i-r. Hmm. I still get gals that ask me how to say this word, let alone understand it's meaning. I've been touching here and there on the subject of wardrobe and I think dissecting the word "boudoir" is a good place to go. By definition it's a woman's private sitting room. So, ergo, it's a safe place for a woman to be herself. When I think of the era that this word in relation to a room had relevance, I imagine it a place for some unabashed, all-female-all-the-time good times and fun. She can relax, read a book, play with makeup and hair, try on different accessories and wardrobe. She can do all of this as scantily clad as she desires as this is her private place. She can get ready for bed. She can have friends over and talk about anything she wants. She can make herself up to be fierce, fem, playful, sexy, sweet...you get the idea.
You see, this allllll comes back to boudoir photography. If you're with the right photographer, it's a genre of photography that allows a woman to explore herself, her moods, her limits, her power and her fears. It's a place to confront your insides by documenting your outsides.
So, you're thinking, what does wardrobe have to do with this? Well...everything. But rather than talk about the lingerie and lacy underclothes we all associate with boudoir photography, I want to talk about wardrobe as an accessory, rather than a style. As you can see in A's photos, she chose most of her clothing to be a bit outside the box. All of it is still sexy as hell...but she chose what she felt good in. She chose what excited her to put on her body and because of this, when she faced the camera I barely had any work on my end to capture A's inner power just brimming over into each click. She was confident, sexy and fierce as hell. She laughed one minute and shot me a look of pure confidence and sexiness in the next.
The point is, A chose clothing she wanted to wear. She did not bring clothing with her that most people would expect to see at a boudoir photography session. That little bodysuit on the bed was as close as she got to "traditional boudoir attire".
Remember, boudoir photography has as much to do with what you're wearing as you want it to. But the most important thing to remember when considering a session is that this session is yours. It belongs to no one else. It is your experience, your concept, your design...it's all yours.
To me, "boudoir" is an attitude, a thought process. It's a fluid term that can represent and encompass whatever you want it to. That includes wardrobe.
Just keep in mind when you're considering a session to bring what makes you feel good and most of all what represents the woman you are....even the one hiding on the inside.
Lovely makeover by Hannah Conard of Hannah Conard Beauty.