Let’s talk about boudoir for a minute. I have been spending a little time getting a bit more familiar with these extraordinarily sensitive sessions. I am very comfortable with my sexuality but when you are trying to convey another person’s beauty and sexiness it can be a little nerve wrecking. Of course, anyone can take an extremely fit and thin model and there’s not much work that goes into it if she is drop dead gorgeous. Yes, there is still the lighting and posing and background to consider but let’s be frank….we are not shooting drop dead model types as much as we would like the ease and comfort of guaranteed beautiful pictures. There are some really tall women, short women, curvy women, thick women, bony women, whatever you can imagine they are out there and it is your job, my job, as a photographer to not only make them feel comfortable so their pictures are natural but to remind them that they are beautiful in their own skin and you are going to show them that. If we are speaking frank, as a photographer you really need to know and understand lighting and posing. You can’t just google posing and come up with a 5’11” gorgeous model pose and put a 5’2″ female in that pose….I am sure there are some poses that you can but you get what I am saying. So here’s what I have encountered and what I am learning. Since I am a “curvy” woman with maybe just a few more curves in places that I would like, I really have to see and get a feel for my client. Remember, this is just how I am navigating thru these experiences. I have asked a client to send me a recent picture. Call it tacky if you may but knowing what the client looks like ahead of time allows you to think thru poses, color suggestions for the client, lighting all before their appointment. Since I have different set ups, b/c who wants the same boring backgrounds right? I take the time to personalize with a bit, after all I am about to see them in their almost barest of forms… I also ask my clients to send me pictures of what they are thinking about wearing. For me, since this is THEIR session and what THEY want I will provide them some of the ideas of what I am thinking and allow them to guide me to where they want their pictures to go. I have talked to several photographers who feel they should control what they wear and how they pose since ultimately they are responsible for the outcome. Be it as it may, I am developing a niche for this method. Now to the heart of what I have learned. You need to know your clients. I do not alter body shape unless specifically instructed to do so. Why? B/c I am sending the message that I don’t think they are beautiful in their own skin. There are poses and lighting alternatives that accentuate any woman and her curves or lack there of. My plan is to finish April out strong with a few more boudoir sessions under my belt to try some different things. My last boudoir session, she allowed me to try some things I had running thru my mind. They didn’t come out exactly how I saw them in my head but I did learn from that experience, she had a great time, and now I will take the knowledge I have and apply it to my next session. She has opted to allow me to share some of her photos and you can find more on my website….even the ones I feel like I didn’t quite capture what I was actually going for. I am proud of my not so good picture b/c she is proud of it. Isn’t that what it is all about? No photographer is perfect. We ALL make mistakes in lighting and posing and it happens. But if at first you don’t succeed…try try again. Failure is only an option if you give up.