Come as you are

Boudoir shoots are understandably a little intimidating. You’re going to strip down to your underwear (or even less!) and try to hold a bunch of sensual poses in front of a complete stranger! Who wouldn’t be a little self-conscious in that situation?

Lots of my clients think they need to drop a few pounds, hit the gym really hard to ‘tone up’, cover up stretch marks, or otherwise prepare for their shoot. I’m here to tell you that boudoir is best experienced if you come to me exactly as you are. Part of the magic of the shoot is that through artistic posing and lighting, you will be amazed at how beautiful you already are.

And no, this is not because of Photoshop. In fact, I don’t even use Photoshop. I do light retouching using a program called Capture One, which allows me to color grade, adjust exposure, remove minor blemishes, and smooth out skin tones. But my editing process is very light, which is why you can expect your finished photos within a few days of your shoot.

I want to use a couple of pictures to demonstrate what I’m talking about. This first picture is completely unedited. While I believe this client—a working mother in her 40s—is very beautiful, she certainly doesn’t look like some skinny runway model in her early 20s. She’s not a supermodel, she doesn’t have a “perfect” body, she isn’t a size zero.

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Now I want you to see how the right posing and lighting can be completely transformative. This is the same woman:

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I did light retouching to smooth out her skin tones and remove a few blemishes, but that’s it! This is the product of good posing and lighting.

The moral is this: don’t be afraid of your imperfections. They don’t disqualify you from the shoot. In fact, your “imperfections” are what make you real, and they’re part of what makes you beautiful. Embrace yourself as you are, and let me do the rest!