Why take boudoir pictures?
How to make taking boudoir pictures great?
What to look for in a great photographer?

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Boudoir Pictures. Why take them?

There are lots of reasons people do the things they do… but why on earth would an ordinary, smart person dress up in lingerie and try to be sexy for a professional photographer?

It’s similar to why people run marathons.

You could just run, you know. You don’t have to pay anyone to let you run 26.2 miles. You can do that stuff for free! Running is free!

People sign up for marathons because it is a measurable goal (and it’s kinda cool to run in the middle of an empty street). More importantly, it’s a powerful experience to work hard and do something that scares you AND have other people helping and cheering you on.

well… in regards to boudoir photos…it’s kinda the same thing.

You can be naked or even partially naked for FREE! You get that body for free! (well, most people do)

You don’t even have to pay anyone to take pictures of you. You probably have a phone with a selfie camera. You can hold that sucker just right and get a pretty good shot of your booty or smile or cleavage. It can be pretty powerful to take a picture and find your face or body attractive – especially when it is not an easy, natural decision for you to be in pictures.

I know, we’ve all seen so many women’s ridiculous selfies that we are pretty turned off to the idea, BUT you could take pictures of yourself and feel empowered and beautiful. It’s possible.

Don’t let other people’s drama reduce your story.

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(keep reading, I think this part is kinda helpful)

So, on a personal level, why take “Boudoir Photos”? Why take professional pictures that you and your partner would find beautiful and sexy?

The answer is in the question.

Because they are beautiful and sexy.

And, with the right photographer, they are a vulnerable, intimate, beautiful, sexy representation of YOU.

You, doing something brave. You, letting your spirit and soul shine in your eyes. You, using your whole body to communicate courage, playfulness, beauty, desire. You.

Have you ever shared a journal entry with your spouse? Or a painting or a poem? Come home from getting a new haircut you really love? Have you gotten dressed up and stood in the doorway waiting for your eyes to meet? Do you remember what it felt like to say “I love you” for the first time?

Taking the right “boudoir” pictures is a tiny bit little like that.

 

Vulnerability, Beauty, and Bravery | 1000strands.com

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My recent story.

I had been thinking about hiring a photographer for a boudoir-type shoot for over a year. I’d watched Groupons go by. I sent a few self-made photos via Avocado to my Love. But I was, honestly, dragging my feet on having professional pictures taken because…because, why?

I wasn’t feeling “worth it”… I wasn’t feeling “my best.” I wanted to look somehow better or at least feel better before I hired someone to take what are “supposed” to be “beautiful pictures”. (“quotes” make me feel better when being “vulnerable.”)

 

And then an old friend wrote to me out of the blue.

“I have been reading your blog for quite some time now, and I love it. It’s a great blog with a beautiful message…

…Our mission at Eye-Kandie is to show every woman how beautiful she truly is, to feel confident and comfortable in her own skin. Our desire is to enhance marriages, help heal broken relationships and restore and create a healthy self-image. We have been blessed with the creativity and resources to help women take his breath away all over again; creating classy and artistic images that will freeze time. Lastly, our goal is to provide a safe environment that is edifying and uplifting for the everyday woman. When women contact us for a boudoir session, it’s because they are ready to accept their bodies for what it is, right now, in this moment of their lives. Their bodies are beautiful NOW, just the way it is. The way HE sees their body.”

See, this friend is a photographer and it had been years since we spoke. In those years, God and her gut took her into an area of photography she didn’t realize would become her great ministry and passion.

She specializes in boudoir photography and asked if we could partner up. She would take my pictures and I would write the story of the experience.

Over coffee, we shared our kindred passion to see women embrace their own bodies and enjoy being alive. My friend Jeni and her business partner Sarah at Eye-Kandie, explained their process and the care they take to make sure each woman feels safe and empowered. They offer different locations, options to change outfits, hair and make-up (only to the level the client wants), and lots of guidance (i.e. encouragement and friendship) to help create the best experience and photos.

I said yes. I said yes to partnering up because I was excited to work with them. These are women who are smart and passionate and talented. After talking with Jeni & Sarah, I felt like I could put my (literal) self and my writing on the line with integrity.

If you are in Southern California, I would highly recommend Jeni at Eye-Kandie as your boudoir photographer. If you are far, far away… here’s what she did that was so great and what you should look for in a photographer.

Lots of creative, thoughtful preparation.

  1. She asked me what I wanted and gave me time to think about it. She started a Pinterest board where I could pin pictures that inspired me, that I loved, that were more than just “pictures” and were really the kind of art I wanted to create. We also pinned hair and make-up pictures so I didn’t have to worry that I’d look like someone else in my pictures. She got to know me.
  2. Her goal was my best experience. This included getting the best shots but never at the expense of my comfort. I filled out a questionnaire about my favorite parts of me, my husbands favorite parts, the parts I am shy about, the reason I want to do this, how much skin I was comfortable showing.
  3. All the prices were up front and I never had a doubt about their professionalism. If you have a doubt about a photographer, don’t do it. These people have to be responsible with your mostly-nude pictures. If they are not responsible in the prep process, get out.

Care and Artistry in the process

  1. I was a whole human throughout the entire process; never just a body. I did boudoir pictures years ago where I felt like I was taking school pictures but naked (doesn’t that just sound like the worst nightmare ever!). The photographer posed my hands and head and told me how to move my face. You want a photographer who allows freedom of movement and expression BUT still gives you guidance, pose options, small changes to get your best angles.
  2. Are they thinking through pictures your husband will love AND pictures you will love? There are angles and options that just hit the “YES” button for dudes. Those same pictures can feel a little extreme or false to a woman. A great photographer will talk about pictures he will love and ones you will love.

The Hardest Part – reviewing the pictures

  1. Ask the photographer how you will review the pictures. How many photos will there be? Where are you when you look at them? How long do you have to decide which ones you love?
  2. This is just the hardest part. Jeni was wonderful throughout it. Sitting and looking at pictures of your bare (in every way) self is difficult, but trying to form opinions on which ones are “better” and analyzing them is excruciating. You want a photographer who is patient and offers their opinion only when you ask. You want someone who pre-edits all the awkward ones OUT (I had a different previous session years ago where the photographer showed me ALL the pictures she took… pictures of me changing positions, making faces… I’ll never recover.)
  3. Most of all, you want someone who has the same goal as you throughout. That’s what got me about Jeni’s email and her mission statement. I knew we had the same goal with our art: Beauty and Freedom for all women.

 
Here’s the deal. Because I was lucky enough to partner with Jeni and Sarah at Eye-Kandie, any of you who are local and ready to do this… contact Eye-Kandie and mention me. You’ll get a $$ discount off whatever you choose to purchase with them.

AND I’d like to do something to help too.

The first 10 people to book boudoir pictures with Eye-Kandie, I would be honored to do a 30 min Skype call as you prepare to help cheer you on and answer any questions. 

I believe I am probably the only female pastor writing positively about boudoir pictures at this very second. (if not, let me know!)

“The way HE {God} sees their body” – as Jeni said in her email … That matters. That is grace and goodness and Creation and freedom and God and beauty and bravery. 

Your Body Is Good | www.1000strands.com

Yes, I believe in God.
Yes, I believe your body is Good.
Yes, I believe boudoir pictures can be edifying and beautiful and actually an incredibly holy thing.

I love my pictures and I will share more next week (appropriately, of course). 

 -Nicole