Proof that you can be sweet and sexy at the same time.
Sometimes moments call for a little quiet and a little mystery. Together with talented wedding planner, Melissa Lee, we created just that. Delicate and softly fiery, this shoot was the epitome of the woman before my camera.
I remember the first time an image struck me. Like really struck me. Like changed how I thought about a person’s ability to create and what it means to make art. I was 16-years-old and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with my sister. We were on a field trip and had already spent enough hours in the galleries that our feet were sore and my brain had enough expressionism for the day. I really just wanted something to eat. My sister and I stumbled into one final room while attempting to find our way out of the labyrinth of romantic classicism and I came face to face with a seven foot painting that smacked me with it’s beauty.
Le Printemps, or Springtime, by Pierre Auguste Cot was daring me to look away. I stood, transfixed, as I attempted to take in this enormous painting of a young couple on a swing. It was the light on her hair, the gauziness of dress and the way it flowed around her. His toes and the way they hooked around his leg and gave away his shyness and excitement. You imagined him blushing under his mop of brown hair. And then it was her expression. So coy, so daring, so adventurous. Here was a woman to be reckoned with. This painter had created a scene that spoke loudly in the most powerful way possible; through quiet gestures, soft lines, and enough details that your imagination could run wild.
I doubt I will ever be able to strike people with my art the way that painting stuck me, but I will forever be influence by the way those small details influenced me in that moment. When I shoot a boudoir session, that is what I think of. A small smile, a simple movement, the texture of a fabric over skin. All of these things are what bring make an image more than just a photograph to me. With this in mind, the shoot below was born.
Sara Murray from Confetti & Co. and I styled this shoot with strong lines, tumbling florals, ethereal textures. Sam looked beautiful in the Hushed Commotion Sadie veil and a delicate lace robe by Tessa Kim. Pulling these elements together were florals by Kate Farley. Special thanks to Kelly Hurst from Mirror & Mantel for hair styling and Melissa Luther for makeup.
Right before I shot my first session many years ago I remember feeling this nervous energy--butterflies in my stomach, heart racing, nervous giggles. The session went more perfectly than could be imagined, and my client walked away smiling. She loved her photos and her husband cried when he saw them...all-in-all, a successful session.
I still feel those nerves when I shoot, but for a different reason. I can see it reflected on my client's faces, and I know what they're going through. There are a lot of connotations that surround the idea of "boudoir" photography; it's risqué, taboo, something strange. Boudoir, in fact, is none of those things. Boudoir photography is something to be celebrated. It's a woman choosing to spend time on herself in a way most people don't ; To have images that are the combination of her daring and her creativity. It's about a woman stepping out of a comfort zone that society has arranged for us, where being seen in your bra and underwear is somehow more shameful than being seen in a string bikini on the beach.
I believe it's time to forget those strange ideas people have about boudoir and take a classy and timeless approach to the subject. Let's celebrate your beauty in a unique way you'll never forget. Let's get butterflies and nervous giggles for creating something so outrageously amazing you won't be able to stop talking about it. It's time for a revolution on the subject, so from here on out I'm going to be taking a new approach to sessions. Every session is going to be styled to the nines because portraits like these should be every bit as luxurious as you would expect. Let's revolutionize the boudoir industry standard and bring editorial images into the open, showing the world that your beauty is something to be celebrated.