I’ve never advertised myself as a Portland boudoir photographer, but recently a potential client asked if I do boudoir photos. The answer is both yes and no. I’ll start with the no portion.
I have photographed actual boudoir-only sessions in the past but never felt like it was a complete product. And I now know the answer why- I was focusing too much on parts of the woman before and not enough on her. I lost the connection that’s always drawn me to people photography. The session was more about showing up sexy lingerie than about celebrating all the parts of the woman. The person she is inside. What makes her feel sexy. What makes her feel vulnerable. What brings out the sparkle and light in her eyes, that look of complete knowing and trust. And so I walked away from the genre years ago.
More recently, perhaps as I myself have grown more into a woman, I’ve been attracted to photographing just women again. But I really didn’t want JUST lingerie photos. I want to co-create photos with my subject, photographs that allow her to feel beautiful and sexy of course. But also photographs to help her remember who she really is, even if life seems to be sweeping by and leaving her behind a bit. I want to create photos that – even if only for a day – allow a woman to step out of the shell covered in her child’s “moondust” (yes this happened to me just this morning) and step into the well-cared for skin she doesn’t forget, even if that caring is done at midnight. If lingerie is what makes you feel alive and fulfilled and sexy then by all means, bring heaps of it! It’s certainly not a requirement. And while I love photos in the fancy dress you keep in the back of your closet and never get a chance to wear, if wearing an old pair of jeans with a hole in the knee and a tank top makes you feel great, bring that too.
These modern women’s portraits are about you. For you. And whatever that means to you.