The Story of my First Boudoir Session
The Story Of My 1st Boudoir Shoot
So pleased I'm still grinning, that's what my first boudoir client said not long after we'd finished the shoot and I was on my way home. The text came whilst I was still in the car, I had a big smile too.
I guess you could say my first boudoir session came to me a by accident. A friend that I hadn't seen for a while was at a another friend's party, we spoke about my developing photography business, she complimented my work, I blushed. I'm modest like that. Further into the conversation we discussed some other things and after I offered to shoot her she went onto mention that she wouldn't mind having a 'special' shoot. We left it pretty much at that and we went to party. We met again once or twice in the course of events over the following 12 months or so, we never spoke anything but briefly about it, and I never really pushed. I had a feeling it would happen when the time was right.
Then around 18 months after the first discussion I received a phone call that pretty much went ...
"Hi it's me, I'm ready now" ...
The lady in front of the lens, I know she won't mind me saying, is not Cindy Crawford nor is she Linda Evangalista. She is a normal mother of 3, 2 of which are twins. Her body tells many life stories including that of what it takes to produce her wonderful kids. Additionally she has the scars and stretch marks of the chapters of her story ... her story is her's but she wants to embrace it and tell it. She is both brave and courageous in doing this and I recognize that.
That we know each other already without a doubt that helped the shoot and how we approached it. We spoke at length a few weeks prior to the shoot, discussed options, what type of scenarios to shoot, how to pace it, what's out of bounds etc etc. Additionally because we took the time to sit and chat, I knew a few of what she perceived in her eyes to be her best and worst bits. That prior knowledge helped me enormously in preparing poses, props, lighting all predetermined for best results.
In the run up to the session taking place I think both she and I were as nervous as each other. There were various text messages passed between us, don't forget to bring this, I've just been shopping for that etc etc.
I don't think that our existing relationship was a barrier, neither of us felt outwardly uncomfortable, awkward maybe but not uncomfortable. We started off with a simple white shirt set, dipping toes in the water and as we progressed both of us got braver and braver with a variety of outfits and situations, all things we had discussed and planned. It's worth pointing out at this juncture that a chaperon was on site, though not always in the room at all points. Oddly that made both of us more comfortable and for me, it's always good to have an assistant to hand.
In all we shot for around 5 hours, 6 different set ups. There were breaks and outfit or set changes by rights both of us should have been exhausted. In actuality we both could have carried on for another 5 hrs we had many more ideas between us.
As she told me later in the day Would love to do it again !!! Totally gutted it's all over TBH
I'll be honest right now ... If we had gone ahead with the shoot not long after we first spoke about it, it would not have worked out. Looking back I wasn't ready as a photographer or artist then. Too much to learn no matter what I thought at the time. During the time that passed between the first conversation about it and completing the shoot I was preparing, researching, testing. In fact I want to shoot it all over again now that it's done. I've never done a bungee jump or parachuted from a plane but I suspect I'd want to do either thing twice, once to get over the nerves and then again to enjoy it.
Once I'd come home and chosen one or two, done an edit and sent on ... that's the bit that scares me, I ignore the phone when I've done that. The messages I got back just a few minutes later
You are fabulous
Can't believe they are me!! They are just wonderful! Thank you doesn't cover it!
You are phenomenal
Wow wow wow!
I love these!!!
Thank you so so so so much!
It is a massive honor to be asked to take a picture of any one, any time, these pictures are but a stop on a journey and needed to be right. I've had a bit of time to look at them, I've also sent a few more on. As I continue to edit the pictures, create the art from the original, I'm reflecting on the experience by writing this blog post. I hope more and more sessions like this come my way. If another boudoir session doesn't come my way I can say I've done one, I did the best I could, loved every minute and met the challenge. My only hope is that the brave lady facing the lens feels the same way.