I’m writing this while sitting at the studio. My client is in hair and makeup getting ready for her shoot, so I’ve got some time on my hands. This particular client has stirred up some thoughts in me that I wanted to try and put down.
Her main motivation for being here is that she’s planning on trying to get pregnant soon and wants to document herself and her body before undergoing such an incredible change.
She’s not the first client I’ve had book a shoot with me in a similar stage of life. One woman told me she’d been thinking about doing a boudoir shoot for more than a year, but kept putting it off for “one day”. But when she got surprise!–but let’s go for it–pregnant, she booked a boudoir shoot immediately. Same story: She wanted to document her body as it was before it changed so significantly.
At this point in my conversation with these women, one of us will inevitably bring up the fact that it’s NOT because the pre-baby body is “better” than the post-baby body. Absolutely not. Just different.
I think we both feel obligated to say that obvious part out loud because of the stereotypes around boudoir being all about sex appeal and satisfying some ideal representation of beauty.
But it’s not all about that. There’s so much more to it. More and more boudoir is an expression of self-empowerment, and a gift you give to yourself.
A way to document ourselves
I’ve been a boudoir photographer long enough to have had many repeat clients. And in every case, the strongest factor for them coming back for another photoshoot is wrapped up in their desire to chronicle themselves and their bodies in new and different stages of their lives.
Different stages, but equally beautiful – all of them documenting the pieces of their journey that will add to the collage of their life’s portrait.
Deciding to become pregnant is obviously a big milestone for one’s life and body. But there are so many others. I’ve had a woman come in before starting cancer treatment, and then again after she kicked cancer’s butt. Another woman came in for the first time at age 20, the second time at age 25, with a plan to do a boudoir shoot every five years for the rest of her life.
As a photographer I may be biased, but I can’t imagine a better way than boudoir to create a tangible, visual expression that allows us to remember and honor ourselves throughout the many different stages, changes, and milestones of our lives.