Boudoir photography has become a normal offering by photographers over the last few years. While in part this may be due to the increasing amount of weddings happening each year, I personally believe it has more to do with society's push to accept and appreciate all body types. Instead of hiding behind baggy clothing, boudoir forces people to face their insecurities artistically.
Recently, I embarked on a journey to not only research boudoir photography but take part in one. I found not oversexualized and risqué poses and shots but an empowering, strong, and self-loving atmosphere.
So what is the history? According to Marisa Leigh at the Huffington Post and Karrie K. at Celebrate Your Sexy, boudoir started its notoriety in the 1920s.
Vale and Grace Photography kindly allowed me to interview them on their experiences with
Boudoir. Emily and Chandler, best friends and owners of Vale and Grace provided the answers and photos below.
What was the driving force behind starting boudoir photos?
"We initially started offering boudoir photography and videography because we saw the value in showing other ladies what we see in them. So often, as women, we get so caught up in imperfections that we aren’t able to view ourselves as anything other than the “flaws” we see in the mirror daily. As boudoir photographers, we want to celebrate our Boudie Babes and EVERYTHING they are!"
What is your favorite part of these shoots?
"Our favorite part of the sessions is partying it up with our Babes. We always have a blast from start to finish! We have mimosas. We jam to our fave Spotify playlists. We laugh A LOT! We are guaranteed to be your #1 Hype Girls during a shoot."
You often mention that boudoir is a great gift to oneself and can encourage your social media. What are some ways you have seen this happen?
"We would say that 90% of our sessions begin as “a gift for their significant other” and 100% of our sessions end up as the biggest gift they gave themselves. Many of our Babes even tear up at their boudoir reveal! We can see the self-love and self-confidence shoot sky high during this process!"
Why is it important for women to experience boudoir?
"EVERY SINGLE WOMAN deserves to feel the self-love that comes with a session. The female body can do SO much and it needs to be celebrated."
What does a typical boudoir shoot with you ladies look like?
"A typical session begins with an hour or so of Professional Hair and Makeup….and a few mimosas or your favorite cocktail if you’d like. After you get all glammed up, we go through your outfit choices and grab your favorite one to start our shoot with. Most clients bring two outfits to their session and we sometimes end up with some steamy implied nude photos. With session shooting time, hair & makeup, you can expect to spend about 3 hours of fun with us!"
Do you see a lot of brides getting boudoir?
"YES! We absolutely do see a lot of brides getting boudoir sessions to give the album to their spouses on their big day. It’s like a sweet, sexy secret that the couple has between them during their wedding day."
How far in advance before a wedding should a bride schedule their boudoir shoot?
"We like to get our Bridal Boudoir Sessions scheduled for at least a month before their big day. We have our gallery reveal two weeks after their session date and printed products take an average of 1 week to receive back from print. So, that time frame gives us a little cushion to get products out to our brides."
What type of clothing do you recommend?
"We love to see fitted bodysuits, separates, fishnets, sparkly jewelry. We usually suggest avoiding flowy clothing because it hides those gorgeous curves! Fitting clothing shows off all those lovely bits!"
Do you see themes often (i.e., baseball, movies, hobbies...etc.)?
"We have definitely seen some themes, such as a spouse’s military gear, but it is less common."
Anything else to add?
"The only thing we could possibly add is this little nugget of advice: ***Don’t wait until “X-Y-Z" to schedule your session. *** We have heard countless times, “I want to lose weight before I schedule my session.” DON’T WAIT! You are a queen...RIGHT NOW! We are pros at helping flatter your body without hiding your curves! You don’t need to change anything about yourself to feel like the babe you are!"
If you have ever considered doing a boudoir, DO IT! Not only did I leave the shoot feeling refreshed and confident, but I cried during the photo reveal! Though this type of photoshoot makes a great gift for a fiancee but is a rejuvenating gift for oneself.
Co-Founder, Internship Program Manager, Lead Coordinator