Boudoir photography helps women see themselves in a fabulous new light – and can be the perfect Christmas present, says Andrea Denniss
A few years ago a good friend advised an unhappy woman to treat herself to a glamorous boudoir photo shoot. An abusive relationship had knocked the woman’s confidence and her self esteem had hit rock bottom, but her boudoir pictures told a different story.
That woman was me. Inspired by my experience in front of the camera I retrained as photographer and went on to establish Pink Lily Photography.
Approached in the right way, boudoir photography can help women see themselves in a more positive light. And the images a woman chooses from the shoot can be a positive and very powerful reminder if the new found confidence starts to falter.
If a woman has come through an illness or faced tough times boudoir photographs can be part of the healing process. Other women may have spent years, building a career or raising a family and need to reconnect with the feminine, sensual side of themselves they had forgotten existed. A milestone anniversary or birthday can be the wake-up call for some “me time”.
I also work with younger women who choose a boudoir shoot to give their partners an album of images as a gift. Whatever the motivation I do think it is important to have fun on the day. There is a lot of laughter during a boudoir shoot – I make sure of that.
People mistakenly think that boudoir photography is about nudity. It isn’t – quite the reverse. It is about creating sensuality and beauty through bespoke, flattering camera work.
The term “boudoir” means a woman’s bedroom or private dressing room and some of the legendary Hollywood stars such as Mae West and Jean Harlow were famously pictured reclining in this setting, wearing what we now regard as vintage designer lingerie.
Choosing the lingerie and the accessories are a key part of the experience and I can advise on where to find particular vintage or contemporary styles. Clients are encouraged to bring a selection of outfits and as many pairs of shoes as they fancy!
I have lots of props and accessories if required and I have yet to meet a woman that doesn’t thoroughly enjoy the chance to dress up in satin, silk, lace, feathers and array of costume jewellery – it’s a total indulgence and that’s just how it should feel.
As I know from my own experience, most of us do not think of ourselves as models so being able to relax in front of the camera can take a little time. I work with a brilliant professional hair and make-up specialist throughout the shoot so every woman feels a million dollars in front of the camera.
Often a client will start quite cautiously but will grow in confidence as we progress. We all have body confidence issues and bits of ourselves that we don’t like. An important part of my role is to take all that negativity away because there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that we are all beautiful, unique and can look fantastic.
I generally work from my own home, using specific room settings and beautiful fabrics. I like natural light because I find that creates the most natural and flattering results.
Boudoir is a very personal style so initially I will show a client an album of images and we discuss ideas. That way I get to know my client so I can make her feel comfortable before and during the shoot.
Afterward clients have access to a private gallery on the Pink Lily website so they can view and select the pictures they would like to keep at their leisure.
Andrea’s top tips for boudoir photography
- have some fizz on ice – this is a celebration and a time to indulge
- allow lots of time to raid the dressing up box – release the inner goddess and embrace her!
- this is your time to shine – forget the rest of the world
- the camera doesn’t lie – you are beautiful
Exclusive offer for Christmas
Boudoir vouchers or a boudoir photo shoot would make a great Christmas present. Andrea has put together an exclusive offer for YorkMix. A boudoir shoot, including professional hair and makeup and a beautiful 12×8 inch framed image is available for £195 (normally £295). This offer is valid until December 24 2012 but you must quote YorkMix when booking.