Boudoir...Too Nervous To Enquire?

21st March 2013
In: Blog
About a year ago, I posted a blog piece called Boudoir…To Do Or Not To Do? In it I outlined what Boudoir photography is and why I think every woman should have a shoot done. This is fine, but of course it doesn't help in the 'too nervous to enquire' stakes does it?
You see I've noticed this trend. I do a Boudoir shoot, I post some images, the lady in the shots is more than happy, her friends are very complimentary, and I get feedback along the lines of "I love these…I wish I could have some done"…or "my friend wants some of these done, she loves them!!" I ask politely to get them to contact me to arrange a meet….but alas I usually receive nothing….
It's been a bit of a mystery to me as to the high amount of interest I receive regarding the boudoir images from women, and more than a fair few are keen to have them done, but they never actually go so far as to enquire, let alone book. I've asked a few ladies why they think this is happening. There are a few common reasons, but I'll address them later, as I think if I explain the process of our Boudoir shoots, then a few fears maybe dispelled along the way.

Pre-Shoot
Once an enquiry is received, I'll be in touch to organise a no-obligation consultation to discuss the shoot and the processes involved. From feedback I've received from those who have had shoots done, this first stage helped greatly with settling down nerves related to the shoot. The meeting is with myself, Rachel (the Make Up Artist) and, of course the client, and the client's partner, should they so wish to hear how things work. During this meeting, we go through a short questionnaire which will establish, amongst other things, the client's comfort levels, the reasons for having the shoot done, and, crucially, areas of their body which they are and aren't happy with. I also explain in detail how the various shots are achieved, without me see much of anything! The make-over, if one is required, is discussed with Rachel, where the customer's preferences are taken into account. Then I will talk through the shoot itself and what happens. During this part of the meeting, I make sure I outline my professional working practice. This involves my 'no-touch' policy, all my directions will be verbal or, if all else fails, I will demonstrate a pose, much to everyone's amusement. If adjustment of clothing, hair or make-up is required, this is carried out by Rachel, with permission from the client.
Another point that will be discussed is Rachel's other role. She also acts as the female assistant and stays with me until the shoot is finished. If the client opts for a Simple Boudoir shoot, where no makeover takes place, then I will ask that the customer arranges to have a female friend at the shoot location with them during the session. Depending on how the subject feels they can be in or out of the room while the shots take place. I will not carry out a shoot without a chaperone in place. If the client is still happy that she wants the shoot done, it's only at this point will we proceed with the booking.
A day or two before the shoot itself, I will contact the client by email, to outline a few ways to prepare yourself on the day of the shoot.

The Shoot
The day of shoot itself may start with the client feeling a few nerves, but a girly chat with Rachel whilst she has the makeover is the perfect settler. Once our lady is suitably transformed, and before any clothing changes are done, I will go through the poses. This gives the subject a chance to have a quick practice and for me to offer any advice before a shot is taken. I will leave the room whilst the client prepares herself, and will only return once she is in position. I'll then take the shots, and leave the room again whilst the lady dons a robe or something similar to go over the top of their chosen lingerie outfit. This process is repeated again for each location, clothing change or posing set, until the shoot is finished.
Previous shoots tell me once the first set of shots have been taken, the initial nerves have usually evaporated, and the client begins to enjoy the experience.

Too Nervous To Enquire??
Of course everyone is different, what thrills one person, scares the life out of somebody else, so the following reasons are very generalised, but probably resonate with some of you reading this. All of the issues that were raised are perfectly understandable, and I don't intend to belittle them at all, but with a little knowledge of how the shoots function, it might help change minds...

Feeling Exposed
I'll start with the big one…..the most frequent reason seems to be the sheer terror of having to stand in front of a photographer (man or woman) wearing a lot less than they would normally.
I was concerned about this being in front of a male photographer, but the gender doesn't seem to be an issue.
What I say is this….. there are some approaches I use which help this problem. Firstly, be assured everything I do is in a professional manner. I don't gawp or stare. When I'm looking at the subject, I'm viewing the final shot, not trying to catch a sneaky peek at something I shouldn't be. Secondly, as previously mentioned, I direct the subject and explain where and how I want to pose whilst they are still wearing a robe (or similar) over their attire. I leave the room and return once the client is happy, take the shots, leave the room again whilst the subject gets herself comfortable again.
The best solution for this issue is for the client to dress or cover up as much or as little as she is comfortable with. This may change as the shoot goes on, but I leave this entirely up to the subject and never push the boundaries. I have had a lady that has had the entire shoot done in a robe with lingerie underneath. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, it's the client's comfort that is important at all times.

My size/shape isn't right for Boudoir....I need to lose weight first.
Sadly this issue will never go away. We've all seen the magazines with images of skinny models adorned throughout them, where we are told to believe that this is the true norm. It isn't. If the client has a particular area of their body that they would like avoided or de-emphasised, then this is discussed at the pre-shoot meeting. Armed with this information, I will pose the lady to suit her requirements.

Honestly, there is no 'right' shape or size for Boudoir, there is only you and the celebration of your beauty.

The 'Partner Factor'….
"I'm keen, but my partner/husband isn't." This is a difficult one. It's natural that a man may be suspicious of another man bearing a camera, shooting what are, after all, personal images of their partner. If this is the case, I would encourage the partner to join in with the pre-shoot meeting, where, I can help dispel the myths of a Boudoir shoot, to demonstrate I am a professional through and through, and show the kind of final images that can be expected. I can also involve the partner in what images they would like to see of their better half. After all, if both the client and their partner are comfortable with the process, then the whole experience will be more enjoyable.

The Photos Of Me Won't Turn Out How I Hoped
There are two sides to this one, firstly, is the self-confidence issue. This is the precise the reason I offer a Boudoir shoots, to reverse that feeling and make the lady feel great about herself. How you look in the shots themselves, is down to our skills as a photographer and make-up artist, then just take a look at our Boudoir Gallery to judge whether we're good enough for you!

Final Word
Shooting any type of people imagery successfully is basically down correct posing, camera work and lighting, coupled with a good interaction between subject and photographer. As a team, we are very approachable and easy going, our friendly, fun style is sure to banish any nerves and turn the experience into something very enjoyable. Every lady that had had a Boudoir shoot with us, has said that they think every woman should do it…so who are we to argue with that?!

If you are interested in having a Makeover or Boudoir shoot done, then please contact me via the Makeover Page, (or comment form below) and I'll arrange a no obligation consultation with. You can discuss the shoot, worries and concerns with us and if you still are not happy, then don't book, no pressure!
Looking forward to hearing from you!!




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