The short answer to that question is NO, you don’t. Yet so many women are held back by their fear that their bodies aren’t good enough to do a boudoir session. Boudoir is for EVERYONE! I’ve worked with women from a size 00 to 20, and every woman has loved their experience and their photos. Boudoir shouldn’t be about changing who you are. I never Photoshop anyone without asking permission first, because I don’t believe any woman needs to change her body to be beautiful in her own eyes and the eyes of her partner, if she has one.
Boudoir is an amazing gift for your spouse on your wedding day or an anniversary, or your significant other on a special occasion, or just because! I’ve had several women come in who didn’t have partners and were doing this for themselves. Being vulnerable in front of a camera may sound terrifying, but it’s the best way to break free of your inhibitions and be truly vulnerable. All of my clients have said that they were nervous at first, but within ten minutes of working with me, they were having a blast and their nerves were gone. They felt powerful and liberated, as well as in touch with their femininity.
“Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful.” – Sophia Loren
There has been a massive amount of buzz surrounding “body positivity” over the past several years, yet it’s still a very confusing time for women. We have all these hashtags from “infulencers” like #effyourbeautystandards, #celebratemysize, #bodypositivity, #plussize, #loveyourbody, #bodyacceptance, and thousands more. Yet, we still open fashion magazines to see perfect models who have been Photoshopped within an inch of their lives. We still see articles and videos exposing celebrities and Instagram models for Facetuning their Instagram posts and having high amounts of Photoshop done to their professional photos. So which is it? Are we body positive yet? Or are we still being pressured to look a certain way?
The best way to deal with this is to ignore it and do YOU. Acceptance comes from within.
Then there’s the other side of the coin: #fatacceptance. There are countless “influencers” who promote being morbidly obese, and trash anyone who dares to exercise and have a healthy diet. Yes, there are actual posts and videos by obese people who say things like, “Putting a child on a diet is the equivalent of sexually abusing them.” This is a very toxic space and I recommend you ignore anything you see here. I’m not saying I hate obese people, so please don’t @ me. I believe every person has good qualities to offer, but negativity is poison.
You can be ANY size and do a boudoir session! Celebrate your curves! Don’t worry, I will guide you through the preparation process, which includes a full consultation. It’s really important for you to understand what this entails and how to get the most out of your session. I help every client choose their wardrobe. First I ask them what parts of their bodies they love and what parts they’d like to downplay. Then I suggest colors (based on skin tone and hair color) and types of lingerie that will flatter you best and help you achieve showing off your body at its best. I curate a Pinterest board just for them and send it their way so they have help while shopping. They are also welcome to send me photos of garments for my opinion. This takes a lot of fear out of doing a session, because you’ll be comfortable in what you are wearing. If you don’t like your stomach, don’t wear a tiny bra and panty set, because you won’t like your photos. You need a corset or bustier. Wardrobe is half the battle!
Another very important tip is to hire a photographer that you are very comfortable with. Don’t randomly hire someone based on their web site or Instagram feed, because you don’t know what their personality is like. Even if they are open about who they are in their marketing, you still need to know if your personalities mesh. You can have a telephone or in-person consultation. Ask questions, even the silly ones, because no question is stupid. As photographers, it’s our job to educate you and help you through this process. Talk to them for a while and see if you have anything in common. If you feel comfortable talking, and if you trust them after receiving answers to your questions, you’ve found the right one.
Remember, a boudoir session is just as much for you as it is for your partner. Look inside yourself and find the things you are confident about. This is about celebrating your beauty and pushing yourself outside your comfort zone. Trust me, you won’t regret it.