A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of talking to and meeting with a boudoir client before they booked their boudoir session. In our conversations the question always comes up about whether or not I get to meet with my clients before their shoots. The answer is most often "no". This blows my mind as much as it blows the mind of the clients I was talking to. Honestly I’m surprised that more of our boudoir clients aren’t coming in to meet me before stripping down into lacey-bits.
It then dawned on me that you might now know that you can hang out with me before your boudoir session!
So here I am saying: come meet me! Get in touch with me and let's set up a meeting at my Atlanta studio (unless of course you want to fly me to wherever you are!) so that you can check the place out, see the studio, take note of what color my nails are that day, etc. (right now they are purple and sparkly because I was a Flying-Purple-People-Eater for Halloween).
Meeting me or talking to me beforehand (we can do a Skype call!) can really help put you at ease for your boudoir session. If you're coming into your boudoir session as nervous as you've ever been, then let's talk or meet up! I don't bite and I have great snacks.
***This is a revisit to a past post showcasing one of our first “official” couple’s sessions of 2018. We often get asked about whether or not we photograph couple’s boudoir. The answer is “yes” we definitely photograph couples! The catch is that you won’t see many of them on our website because of privacy requests. For that reason I wanted to share this session, which we gained permission to share. Yay for couple’s! Want to have your own couple’s session in 2019? We’re game if you are!
When you book a boudoir session with OWN boudoir, whether you're coming in to our Atlanta studio or we're coming to you, we sign a contract to set the expectations for the shoot! Our standard contract outlines what is included in your session, any additional fees, the location for the session, etc. It also lets you know just how your images will or won't be used. For our standard contract (the one that goes out to everyone, unless you ask specifically for a different one) your photos are shareable ONLY if they are anonymous.
Anonymous photos by OWN's definition are those photos that don't include any full faces, personal tattoos (like those that say your name or anyone's name), company logos, or very specific physical traits (example: birthmarks, prosthetics, etc).
Most of our clients choose this contract for their shoot because they WANT to show their images off, but want to make sure their high-school students, work friends, or nosy relatives don't have a conniption.
For clients that would like to make sure that there are no photos shared ever ever ever everrrrrrrrr, we have a version of our contract that is so creatively titled as the "Non-Sharing" contract. When we sign this together, OWN waives the right to share any of your images from your session, no matter how anonymous they are. We can even go a step further and opt-out of back your files up to the cloud or sending you a downloadable gallery.
What if you don't mind sharing all of your boudoir images with our future clients? We ask for a written statement saying that you give permission for us to use your images. This way all of us are on the same page (and also so that I don't have a panic attack trying to make sure that I'm following your preferences).
While these three options for your images are what is pretty standard here at OWN boudoir, if you have a specific request or question about your boudoir images then let's talk! Creating your perfect boudoir session can't happen unless we talk!
Send me all of your demands,
(Honestly this is the best way I can describe it, so I hope it helps! )
(Although, 6 years of info is a LOT of info, so if you've got some time on your hands or just feel like being extra prepared then you should start reading now. )
Read on to experience what she did in her own words,
1) How old are you... or if you prefer, what music were you listening to at age 14?
Im 31 years old. When I was 14 I was all over the place with my music! HA! I loved me some Usher! I would jam out all the time to, You Remind Me, You Got It Bad, pretty much all the songs on that 8701 album! Music was so good during that time, I also jammed out Ja Rule! Jennifer Lopez, the Moulin Rouge soundtrack, Missy Elliot, Nickelback, gosh I could go on!
2) What does a typical day look like for you?
Well, I stopped working in my career about 5 years ago to help my husband. I have a degree in Health and Science with concentration in Radiology so I used to work in hospitals and clinics taking x-rays. Currently, I am the marketing director for our businesses and also accounting manager.
3) What prompted you to consider booking a boudoir session?
I guess sometimes you just get a wild hair and feel the need for some sexual pics! HA! Really it had been over 6 years since my first boudoir shoot! My husband encouraged me a lot to do it, not only for him but for myself. Since my last shoot I felt like I had grown and molded into this new person and wanted to tap into what that person had become.
4) Fears and hesitations are super common when it comes to boudoir. What fears or hestiations (if any!!) did you have before your boudoir session?
I guess since this was my second shoot I didn't have any fear or hesitations about doing it. Thank God! My first shoot I was so nervous and had no fucking clue what I was doing, however, now that I have had a session with you I feel like the photographer could have done a way better job making me feel comfortable and guiding me into poses etc. This time around if I was concerned with anything it was making sure I was expressing my sexiality in the manner I envisioned. Picking the clothes, scenes, etc. Once I got all my outfits I cleared my head and went into this shoot with a different mindset which allowed me to just have fun and forget about what I had on and how my body looked and hair etc. Sarah you really are so much fun to work with and you have this way about you that makes it feel like we've known each other forever. Your guidance through the poses were amazing, you knew how to help move me to positions that complimented my body and face. The pictures you took were the prettiest I've ever felt, and I think as women we are our own worst critics and are so damn hard on ourselves, but I can truly say that I liked all the pictures you took and never felt so sexy! My husband is in love with them!
5) Thank you so much for choosing OWN!! What was it about OWN boudoir that made you choose us?
As I was researching photographers, for over a year i'll add, I was most captivated by the way you used the lighting. I was drawn to the dark lighting and thought it was so hot! I also loved that you did different styles of boudoir and could really just make it custom to what you want.
6) How was the actual session different from what you expected?
The session blew my mind! I had no idea it was going to be so badass! I felt so comfortable with you and had the most fun! I honestly can't wait to come back and do another one!
7) What was your favorite part of the entire experience?
Wow, so I feel like the experience takes you through a roller coaster of feelings. I mean who doesn't like getting their hair and makeup done! That was awesome! I also feel like that is a great time to get to know each other and chat(maybe have some champs :) I will say that during the shoot I had this feeling of calmness come over my body which allowed me to just go with flow and allowed my body to just do whatever it felt doing, that was an amazing feeling. It's hard to be stark naked and feel that way, lol. Then once the shoot was over waiting for the images is so hard! But def worth the wait! I was blown away by the images and so was anyone that saw them! I swear I looked at them a thousand time and still look back at them!
8) How has the response been to your images?
Well anyone who saw the images their minds were blown! I have a girlfriend who is a professional photographer and was blown away at the lighting and images.
9) What is your advice (other than JUST DO IT!) that you have for other women interested in a boudoir session?
Oh gosh I wish every woman would do this atleast once in their life. I swear you get this feeling of empowerment that just feels so damn good. Yes, having this done for your significant other is probably what initiates wanting the shoot done, however, that completely changes once you are in the moment and you have your images. Hell, I look back at my images still and think, damn thats me! It's the right thing to do, so just think of all the positivity that can come from it and don't let the negatives over power because I promise once your done it'll be the right decision.
10) What has changed about the way you see your OWN beauty?
CONFIDENCE!!! It's so important to believe in yourself. We are capable of so many amazing things in our life and all of its controlled by our mindset. If we have a negative mindset or surround ourselves with negative people we will start to become negative as well. Once I cleared out all the negative people and things in my life I became so much more confident in myself which allowed me to be a better person on the inside. I feel like you have to love yourself first before loving someone else. I chose to start believing in myself and being confident in my decisions which led me to feel a different kind of pretty.
There are very few wardrobe ideas that have been consistently popular for each of the 7 years (whoa nelly) that I’ve been photographing boudoir. Trends of course change as styles change. For example: I haven’t seen a pink-leopard-print-rhinestone-bra circa Victoria’s Secret 2012 in a LONG time.
Are you looking for a staple boudoir outfit that won’t make you say “Oh hello 2018” when you look back at your images? You’ve got to think about using a basic white tank top.
Of course white tanks can be anything BUT basic. Add some lace, make it tight, make it loose, cut it into a crop top, spray it down with water, rip some holes in it… we can get incredibly creative with such a “basic” wardrobe item.
Finding the perfect white tank top for your boudoir session is not a difficult task. Some of my favorite shots were taken with a $2 tank top from Forever21…granted it only lasted for one shoot, but hey who cares?!
The great part about this look? It’s easy to wear at home (or in someone else’s home ;)). No 30 min dressing sessions in the bathroom while you try to clip on your thigh highs and lace up your corset.
Here are a few places to shop for the perfect white tank top:
And now... a gallery of some of my favorite white tank images!!!
Last night we sent out a mass email to our past boudoir clients asking if they’d like to be featured on our website! If you’re a past client and did NOT get that email (but would still like the grace the pages of our website) please let us know!
See, it’s been a hot neon second (which is a term I definitely just made up) since I’ve added new images to the homepage of our website. We update our blog and instagram constantly, but that first page hasn’t been updated in about a year and a half.
Cue the “slacker” comments, because OMG I know. Sorry folks. It’s not like it takes up that much more time than a blog post (like this one), it’s just that I have such a hard time knowing what to feature!
This is where my brilliant idea came in to let my past clients have a say in what get’s featured. As a photographer I of course have my favorite images, but a boudoir experience isn’t about me creating images for myself. A boudoir experience – your boudoir experience – is about you and creating images that you love and that elevate you.
Are you a past client that did not see our email but would absolutely like to be featured? Let me know! I can’t wait to showcase the new homepage!
Once you start planning your boudoir session you of course start gathering a selection of images and outfits that serve as inspiration for your session. If you're looking for garter belts (and gator belts, and monte carlos, and el dorados... sorry, I went off into an Outkast tangent, It's my Atlanta raising coming out), lace push-up bras, frilly thongs, etc then you won't have a hard time at all finding wardrobe inspiration for your boudoir session.
Well, what if you're not exactly a lace push-up bra kind of person? Where do you find inspiration for your boudoir session when you don't love any of the 'typical' wardrobe choices that are available?
So many of our clients aren't into 'typical' lingerie but will still bring it in because they don't know what else to bring. I'm all for bringing items that are out of your comfort zone (hello pearl thong!!), but there's no need to bring items in because you feel like you HAVE to.
1) Shapewear- This can seem like an odd idea, shapewear isn't exactly known for being photogenic, in fact the whole point is for it to make something ELSE look photogenic. However, lately there has been a trend in shapewear where the designers are adding a bit of personality to an otherwise boring (but highly effective) undergarment. The bonus? Shapewear SHAPES you and so it is great for nipping and tucking in certain bits that you may want concealed.
2) Sleepshirts- While traditionally worn with pants (and not the first item you consider when you're planning your boudoir session), we're going to forgo the pants for this style and just use the shirt! Sleepshirts tend to be a little baggier and feature buttons all of the way down (or at least halfway). The amazing thing about sleep shirts is that we can 'sex it up' by unbuttoning the shirts, pulling the hem up the thigh, taking the collar off of the shoulder (with fully button-down versions), etc. Fabric is super important with sleep shirts, so go for thinner fabrics that form to the body and avoid super thick plaid that doesn't move. I'd also avoid crazy patterns like tiny sleeping rubber duckies :)
3) Classic Blazer and Trouser/Skirt look- Cue the 'sexy Lawyer', or literally any profession :) I love love love this look and we get it a LOT in studio. Since blazers and trousers/high waisted skirt are typically already fitted and tailored to your body shape they automatically photograph really well. Simply remove the shirt from underneath your blazer and you've made your work outfit boudoir-ready. If you don't want to go topless underneath the blazer (or don't want to wear a blazer at all!) then try adding a simple bra or a bodysuit. This look is powerful and sexy and a great alternative to the traditional boudoir wardrobe.
Ok, PSA over :)
1) How old are you... or if you prefer, who were you listening to at age 14 :)?
2) What do you do for a living? Or... How do you typically spend your days?
I am a nurse. I currently work in an oncology ICU.
3) What prompted you to consider booking a boudoir session?
This is something that I have wanted to do for years. I fell like I always go above and beyond for others so I made a New Years resolution to start doing more things for me. It seemed like the perfect time to finally book my session!
4) Fears and hesitations are common when it comes to boudoir! What (if any) fears or hesitations did you have with regards to your session?
I was really worried that I wouldn’t get images as good as all the others that I have seen. Boy was I wrong! I was also worried that when I viewed my images I would be able to pick out all the things about my body that I hate, wrong again!
5) Thank you so much for choosing OWN! What was it about us that made you choose us for your boudoir session?
My initial attraction was simply seeing Sarah’s work. I mean, it speaks for itself. All of the images are so classic and timeless. Once I reached out to get additional info about potentially booking a shoot I was sold! Everyone that works in this company in AMAZING and the personalities are the BEST.
6) How was the actual session different from what you expected (if at all)?
It was a lot like what I anticipated except way more laid back.
7) What was your favorite part of the entire experience? (primping, the shoot, seeing images, giving the images..etc)
It is so hard to pick just one favorite part. I for sure loved the primping because that is so far out of my ordinary routine. I would have to say I really enjoyed hanging out with Sarah and the fact that the whole day was all about me!
8) How has the response been to your images?
Amazing! So far everyone has loved them.
9) What is your advice for women interested in such a session (aside from "JUST DO IT!!!")?
Make the time and do this for you. It is about so much more than what your body looks like.
10) What has changed about the way you see your OWN beauty?
Now that I am older and more confident what I think about myself is so much more important than what other people think about me.
Over time we've curated quite the collection of items for clients to choose from that we KNOW will photograph perfectly. Having this closet of wardrobe unmentionables saves you a little bit of time and stress during boudoir planning, and don't we alllllll want to be saved from those things? We've got shoes, corsets, handcuffs, button-down shirts, tank tops, etc. Occasionally we'll switch things over, especially as styles change. No one needs to bring in that hot-pink rhinestone bra from Victoria's Secret circa 2002.
A brand new veil just arrived in our Atlanta studio via Amazon (holla at me, Amazon, if you want to sponsor us)! For a solid $24 we've got the most beautiful veil, accessible to any boudoir client that wants to use it. This is perfect for brides that don't want to (or can't) break out their own veil for their boudoir session. Plus it's just fun to play dress-up with!
With summer in full swing over here in Atlanta I am constantly on the prowl for ways to avoid sweating. Honestly I barely make it out to my car without a little bit of perspiration, so I actively avoid going outside let along make any movements at all. My boudoir studio's AC unit has been working overtime thanks to the huge windows that take up an entire wall. Of course these windows are GORGEOUS for photographing boudoir, so I'm not entirely pissed at them. Just know that if you're a client coming in for your session over the next few months I apologize for dressing the way that I do. I'd rather not be a storm of sweat when you and I meet!
Want to know one way to cool off during your session? Incorporate a shower scene!!! The shower scene has been a staple request from clients since I started them about 4 years ago! The very first shower scene had me sold. Once I published the images and clients saw a new, creative, concept for their boudoir session I've photographed over 100 shower scenes. Here are a few examples from over the years. Use these as inspiration for your OWN boudoir session and come see me! I promise to keep the AC on full blast.
Looking back on my past work is definitely eye-opening. I can see how my style has evolved over the years and I can also ask myself WTF I was thinking when I edited a photo in a certain way. Luckily I have resisted most of the editing trends over the last 5 years and so my past work is more consistent with my current style than when I was first starting out as a boudoir photographer. We love to get in touch with our past clients and have recently started congratulating clients on their 'Boudoir-aversary'! When we reach out to celebrate boudoir-aversaries I tend to look back at those past sessions. I say this to say, I've now gone down an insane rabbit hole of past sessions and I'm currently deep into the year 2013.
As I've gone down this boudoir photography rabbit hole I have pulled a few of my favorite images from the past! Here are just a few boudoir images that I vividly remember taking. I've got about 40K final images to go through, so this was definitely just a quick skim :)
Side note: We're having a little shindig on July 15th! This is for past clients, current clients, and future clients alike! Come say hello, see some favorite images, drink our drinks, and win some prizes. Link for (free) tickets: HERE