I am blessed with having a community of colleagues – wedding photographers – who are not only my colleagues but also my friends. Despite the geographical proximity and the fact that we are all actually competition for each other, we find space to share and cooperate. And I am immensely grateful for that. Our cooperation and like-minded approach to the business has resulted into Sanotahdon.fi (launched today!) – a place where wedding photographers of Finland show their passion for photography, let you peak into the background of their work and most of all – help you make the right decisions and offer information on anything related to wedding photography. We have some articles already up – they are currently all in Finnish and one of the articles is mine.
What else could be the topic than boudoir photography (huomenlahjakuvaus) for brides?
Below you find the original version in English (that I have written). The Finnish version on Sanotahdon.fi is translated by one kind soul behind the project. I really can’t speak (let alone write) in Finnish that well. The article is longish … get a cup of something before you sit down comfortably to read it. I would love to hear your thoughts on the article, so please come over to my Facebook page to leave me a comment … thank you!
A letter to my friend, who finally decided to do a boudoir shoot
the idea of getting boudoir photos has always felt seductive to you and now when you are getting married, there is a perfect excuse to finally indulge yourself – huomenlahja. Yes, this way it seems it is a gift for Him, but we both know that it is in fact for You.
I am happy that you finally made the decision, but there are still open questions to be answered.
Most importantly: which photographer?
Let’s rephrase: Which photographer is the right one for you? Unless a good friend of yours is recommending someone, you will google to find the right answer. You can ask your friend anything and get an honest answer. Online world is not honest, but can be simplified into two segments: forums, where discussions are largely based on price, and photographers’ websites, which are a marketing tool and so only include the best work and experiences. Over years of shooting any photographer can collect a gallery of 20 great images. Even the crappiest of photographers is statistically bound to create a very good image by pure luck once in a while. You can avoid this trap by following the photographer’s blogs and demanding to see an entire session.
In my experience, boudoir photography can be a surprisingly sensitive topic in a relationship. Do you want to be photographed by a woman or a man? What will make you feel more comfortable? How will your fiancé react if he knew that you were photographed by a man? Do you believe a male photographer can portrait your sensuality in the same way as a female photographer? You have to answer these questions for yourself.
All portraits, including boudoir photography, are based on a connection between the photographer and the photographed person. Your personalities should click. There is nothing worse than undressing and posing sexy in front of someone who you don’t feel comfortable with. And the results are going to reflect it.
Custom portrait photography is a luxury, not a right. Just like with handbags and jewelry, custom portraits is something you want not something you need. If you want breathtaking images, they will have a price tag. The general wisdom says that the more expensive the item is, the more quality you can expect. It is a general wisdom, because it is generally true. What do you really want – Iltalehti last page or magical art capturing the essence of your femininity? With a limited budget the decision you really should be making is whether you get fifty lousy pictures or one that you will love for life. In that sense handbags and boudoir pictures are really the same. Except for one small tiny insignificant difference…
A poor taste in handbags can hardly ruin your career, unless you are applying for a junior assistant position in Vogue. While the boudoir shoot results will become a gift for your fiancé. That means these beautiful sensitive images of your … hmmm … assets, will belong to your husband, just like to you. As much as you avoid thinking about this, 45% of all marriages end up in a divorce. And after the divorce, your ex-husband may or may not be a gentleman, he may or may not use your boudoir images to cause you harm and he may or may not succeed with it. It doesn’t really matter whether you give your boudoir images away as a print or digital file, it can always be shared, photographed, multiplied, and delivered to your boss…
Along the same lines – Internet never forgets. Today sharing your images online might seem harmless and perhaps adventurous, tomorrow you might regret it. Consider it well. I am all for posting your less sexually charged images online – but choose the location wisely. Professional business portraits usually look differently.
Copyright law says that your photographer owns all the copyrights for your images, but your photographer needs your permission to be able to use your images for own business purposes (usually a clause in a contract) and a special permission to sell the images to any third party – usually signed separately in form of a model release. Make sure you understand what you are signing.
And now – what is important before the actual shoot?
Boudoir can be successfully photographed in your home, in studio, in a hotel or outdoors. Your home is suitable as long as you have a bed and a window in the same room. Some hotels are less suitable for boudoir, some are more. Look for classy interiors. Your photographer should be able to recommend boudoir-friendly hotels. Hotel payment is usually not part of the boudoir shoot price, but it depends on your photographer. Studio pictures can come out very tacky looking even with an otherwise skilled portrait photographer, especially when shooting on seamless background paper. The less crowded outdoor locations are usually more suitable than Esplanadi, but it much depends on how ballsy you are.
Sleep is the best beauty treatment. Manicure and pedicure is more important than you think – rough fingers or feet can kill your photo entirely (not to mention they can destroy your delicate lingerie). Hair and makeup is always a question. If you are not really skilled, and I mean really really skilled, use a professional. Because of the financial reasons you might be tempted to schedule your boudoir session on the same day when you go for a trial of your wedding makeup and hair. Beware a trap for medium and long hair: wedding hair = usually updoes, boudoir hair = open flowing mane. A camera makes your makeup a lot less prominent than you will see in a mirror, so your wedding makeup might be not as accentuated as it is required for a boudoir session. Talk with your photographer what usually works well and then ask your makeup artists to finish your trial wedding makeup accordingly.
Eternal question – what to wear?
Yes, by all means accessorize, bring selection of lingerie, dresses, stilettos and your fiancé’s shirt. Simple or elaborate, red laces or white cotton, your photographer should be able to work with anything. Because your photographer knows (and now you will too) that the most important thing you can wear is a confident sexy look. The magic happens in your eyes, in the way you position your hands and in the way you touch your thigh.
Show up ready to embrace possible fears about your looks, show up ready to have fun and make sure your choice of a photographer is the right one for you. I promise your husband will love the results (and you will too).
PS: If you liked what you read, if you want to give me a comment or fix my grammar, please come over to my Facebook page to leave me a comment … thank you!