Continuing our Valentine’s Day celebrations, today we have top tips from glamour, boudoir, and wedding photographer Ashleigh Taylor about participating in a bridal boudoir session. Learn how to work past any excuses you might have, and celebrate YOU! And once you’re convinced that you absolutely must do a boudoir photo shoot, pop on over to What Junebug Loves to find what boudoir style is your perfect match. Dreamy, vintage, dramatic or playful, there are so many options to choose from. So get empowered and enjoy a day of pampering and then share it with your Valentine!
So Ashleigh, why do you think women should have a boudoir session?
I truly believe that doing a boudoir experience can be an empowering, confidence-boosting and transformative experience for women. As women, we spend so much time giving to others (our work, our friends, our significant others, our families, and– if we have them– our kids). It’s rare for women to step back and celebrate themselves. Add to this that we are constantly being bombarded with social expectations on how to look and trying to live up to a standard of beauty. So it can be really hard to celebrate ourselves and really own our inner and outer beauty. A boudoir session is a day to pamper yourself, and celebrate everything that makes you beautiful. We will take care of the outer pieces to help you relax, feel confident, and beautiful — such as professional hair and make up, help with wardrobe styling, and posing you to flatter your body. But more than that, we are here to listen, celebrate you and cheer you on! Just the photoshoot experience itself is enough to see my clients transform. Every woman leaves the shoot with a little extra pep in her step. And then seeing the final result really seals the deal. When a woman sees in photos just how beautiful she is… wow! The impact is tremendous. I have had clients tell me a year after the shoot that they still look at their pictures regularly and on their really tough days that just seeing these photos helps them remember their beauty. And that right there is the reason I believe boudoir is so important for every woman to experience!
What do women need to know before their boudoir session?
I do a pre-shoot consultation with all my clients to really get into the specifics of how to prepare emotionally and physically (in the sense of what to bring) for our shoot. One thing I always recommend is leading up to the shoot to do all the beauty pampering things you regularly do to help you feel good– for some women that’s waxing, a mani/pedi, a facial, etc. Doing these things stretches out the pampering aspect of the shoot, gets you excited and also will just help you feel more beautiful and prepared for the shoot itself. I also recommend bringing tons of lingerie, outfits and accessories. It’s so much easier for us to narrow down your outfit choices than to try to make a full shoot happen with not enough to choose from. Lastly, I think eating a healthy and filling meal before the session is SO important! Starving yourself the day of the shoot is not going to make you look any thinner… it will only make you look tired in the photos! So eat well!
What are some deterrents that keep women from taking part in a boudoir session?
I think the biggest deterrent is the feeling of “not being ready yet.” A lot of women say, “Oh yeah I’ll do a boudoir shoot when I lose 5 pounds” or “when I have a man to give the photos to” or “when I get a six pack.” Really, these are just excuses because we don’t feel we are perfect or deserving of being celebrated. The truth is you will probably never feel 100% ready. Rest assured everyone feels that way! I even had a 60 year old client who told me she wanted to do a shoot her whole life but kept putting it off… once she hit 60 she realized that while she still “wasn’t ready” life was just passing her by, so she better just do this! And what I’ve found is when you just take this leap, like my 60 year old client, you will be so amazed by the results. You will wonder why you ever waited!
How does someone break past those insecurities and excuses to feel comfortable enough for a boudoir session?
I think finding a photographer you trust is a big key to feeling comfy and ready to do a shoot. I always book clients via a phone call or Skype because I feel email is too impersonal to really get to know what they want from a shoot and what their fears and hopes are for the shoot. Then I get to know them better during our pre-shoot phone call. This all builds a trust so that when it’s the shoot day we already have a relationship and we can just focus on having fun and getting great images. If you trust your photographer to make you look good, it eases a lot of the pressure from you to “be perfectly ready.”
When is a great time to do a boudoir session?
I might be biased but I always say any time is a great time to do a boudoir shoot! hehe! But seriously, most women I photograph tend to do the shoot at a time of their life they have something big to celebrate (a wedding, a holiday/anniversary, a birthday, a new job, losing weight, etc) OR because they are at a transition and just need to feel great again (going through a divorce/break up, beating or fighting cancer, wanting to feel sexy after having had a baby, etc). As I said before these shoots are all about empowering and celebrating you, so it makes sense to do a session to celebrate something else great that just happened in your life or to help you feel great again after going through something emotionally challenging/draining. I can’t recommend doing a shoot enough! It really is the gift to yourself that keeps giving… not only will the shoot itself be fun, but every time you look back at the pictures you will remember how beautiful and strong you really are!
Thanks so much for sharing your bridal boudoir session tips with us, Ashleigh!