Intimate portraiture, boudoir photography, can be racy and sensual. It is a genre of photography where one can get things wrong very easily. While a good boudoir picture can be stunning and classy, a bad one can look cheesy and cheap. Glamour photography and boudoir photography both involve women and men posing while wearing the least amount of clothing and in made-up settings.
However, while glamour photography captures professional models, boudoir photography captures ordinary people. Models posing for glamour photographs work extensively on their physique (and look) and are photographed regularly. Boudoir photography, on the other hand, captures regular people who want the pictures for themselves and not for a fashion magazine. Chances are that they have never posed for a photoshoot, let alone in scant clothing.
While boudoir photography is reputed to be sensual and intimate, the subjects are very rarely professional models. A working mother, a housewife, a bride to be – any of them could be the subject. The client list at CreativeBoudoir.com.au shows you the cross-section of people who have opted for photoshoots in this genre. Boudoir photography aims to capture the emotions behind the expressions. That is why it is important that the subject is comfortable and continues to be so during the entire photo shoot.
Interaction is the key
One of the most common questions asked by upcoming boudoir photographers is how to make the client comfortable. This is followed by how to get sensual expressions from them as they pose. Well, the answer is rather simple. It all comes down to interacting with the client, before, during and even after the photoshoot.
Interacting with the client before the shoot will help create trust. Asking them their likes and dislikes, their favorite music, food and drink that they like, and addressing their doubts and concerns goes a long way in creating an environment of comfort.
Social stigmas have played havoc with the female psyche. Most women compare themselves to others and develop doubts about their looks and appearance. Walking into a photoshoot with a lifetime of questionable self-esteem and doubts about their looks, will not help in creating the pictures that either you or your client wants. A photographer needs to constantly remind the client that they are beautiful in their way to help them get comfortable and build their confidence.
Show Your Client’s the Real You
Your client is going to bare him/herself in front of you. It is apt that you do the same – well, not strip your clothing, but show them your real self. Talk to them about your family, your likes and dislikes, your daily routine, your achievements, and failures. Let them see the human behind that camera. Allowing another person into your personal space helps build trust, and this is one of the most important keys to good boudoir photographs.
Consistent Communication is a Must
Your client is investing trust and hard-earned money into the boudoir photoshoot. Communication between the photographer and the client needs to be consistent and on time. Consistent communication builds trust and shows that you respect the other person’s time and investment. Regular and timely communication also shows your professionalism, which increases the chance of your client recommending you to others.
Ask for and Show Testimonials
Prospective clients are more likely to trust and be comfortable with a boudoir photographer who has testimonials to show from their previous clients. A happy client will not only provide you with their testimonial but also recommend you to others in their circle. Testimonials and recommendations are your biggest assets, not just to attract future clients but also ensure a certain level of trust and comfort even before they meet you.
Boudoir photography is about emotions, and one of them is sexuality. However, the idea is to imply sexuality and not make it in your face. It is okay to suggest poses that exude sexuality, and this needs to be communicated in a very subtle manner. Asking a client to pretend that they are in the middle of orgasm is not going to make for a good boudoir photograph. Asking the client to tilt their head back, close their eyes and exhale through the mouth would give you implied sexuality without making your client uncomfortable and you sound like a cheap voyeur.
Boudoir photography is not about titillating photographs. It is about your client feeling empowered about their looks and appearance and comfortable enough to have them photographed in their most intimate looks. The photographer must communicate with the client throughout the shoot, guiding them in subtle ways using non-sexual terms. You need your client to be comfortable and at ease. Any tension or unease will show in the expressions and ruin the photoshoot.
You have to remember that your client is not a professional model and is likely to get spooked easily. Keep your tone friendly and yet professional as you guide your client through the photoshoot. A client who trusts the photographer will allow their vulnerability to come forth in front of the camera.
Always remember to ask for permission before you touch your client as you guide them through different poses. While it might not make too much difference if you and your client are of the same sex, it is still important that you do so. This not only helps build the trust further but also shows your professionalism.
A Final Word
Unfortunately, boudoir photography has earned itself a bad name due to photographers who have used this genre to lure wanting-to-be models and make them pose for semi-nude and nude pictures that have found their way to porn magazines and sites. To ensure that your clients do not have the same notions about this genre, you need to help build the trust in your profession. This can only come through a professional approach that makes your client comfortable about the process.