there’s just something about boudoir that turns men, and a number of my women friends, into 8 year old boys. I can’t even tell you the number of people who volunteered to assist on this shoot. joking. kind of. I’m not sure what people envision when they hear boudoir. do they picture a hot stuffy hotel room, or a dingy warehouse in the seedy part of town? maybe something akin to the first 3 minutes of a porn flick? sorry to pull aside the curtain and show you the wizard, but… it was at a studio with great light, and a couch, and a bed. it resembled nothing so much as a communal women’s dressing room. there just happened to be cameras and lightstands. oh, and mimosas.
in the midst of all of it, as I sat as a stand-in model to help another photographer get her camera and lighting settings right, I remember wishing I had done a boudoir shoot myself. before. before 3 children. before twin skin (you don’t want to know). before 44 snuck up on me. before scars and sun and wrinkles and gravity all had their way with me. but maybe that’s the point. yes, these models were beautiful and young and lithe. but maybe the reason for boudoir is for people like me. to reconnect with that young hot thing that you were and never realized. not to look like her necessarily, but to feel like her again. or if you’ve never felt that way, then to FIND her. because she’s in there.
and that’s what I love about being on the other side of the camera. acknowledging the beauty that maybe a woman has forgotten existed. or helping her discover it. because everyone has a thing. their eyes, their knees. a freckle. an expression or a birthmark. a curve or a valley or a plane of limb or lip or expanse of skin. a laugh or an outlook. a thing makes them gorgeous. all the rest of it–the bed or couch, the lingerie, the false eyelashes and carefully casually bed-tousled hair? it’s all visual fiction. the real thing–the YOU–that’s what makes boudoir so powerful.
of course, I’m speaking figuratively here, but it takes a lot of balls to step out in front of a camera scantily clad. baring yourself, exposing your vulnerability. to get out there and bring the sexy or the sassy or the demure. the bashful, the dominant, the wanton. the off limits or the right-at-the-tips-of-your-fingers touchable. all while wrapped up in your insecurities, and little else. it’s courageous. and it’s beautiful.
I want to be witness to it, photograph it, again and again. and maybe even someday find myself brave enough to be on the other side of the camera.