The Expert Files {Boudoir Photography}

Welcome to a new series on the blog friends! Dubbed the Ex-pert Files I'll be sharing with you at least once a week, an interview-based post directly from the mind and mouth of an industry vendor. Packed to the brim with helpful hints, tricks of the trade and more enlightening inspirations than you could ever imagine, it's my hope that these posts will become a stand out staple on the Hey Gorgeous blog. Even better, hopefully you'll learn a thing or two from people that constantly inspire and keep me motivated in my own work. Enter the Expert Files contestant numero uno, my fab friend Beth Kaye from Elizabeth in Love. Beth is an incredible wedding photographer in Hamilton, Ontario and today's she dishing on everything you need to know about boudoir photography. And let me tell you, this girl knows how to rock these kinds of sessions; I would know as she did my boudoir session in December!


{What exactly is a boudoir session?} I'm sure there is an exact definition when googled but I will sum up what I feel it is. To me, a boudoir session is a portrait session with pretty undies, amazing make up and a little bit of skin where a woman gets to feel like a super model for the day. She dresses in her hottest attire and works with the photographer to get sexy, confident images. My idea of a perfect boudoir session is when a woman feels completely confident in her body, her shape, what she is wearing and overall who she is. I want to make her feel beautiful and reveal a side of her that she may not have known existed. I really do feel that every woman has such unique beauty and I want to capture that. I not only want her to look at the photos and feel like she can take over the world, but I want the session to reflect that in her too. Yes, it's for the woman herself, but I love when my clients are so excited to surprise their boyfriend, fiance, or husband with the images! Every man loves this - trust me, he'd be crazy not to love hot photos of his lady!

{How can a woman who wants boudoir photos find the fine line between classy and tacky?} I think you need to look at the work of the photographer and make sure they fit your personality and style. What they put on their website is their best work so if there are photos you don't like or you feel are super awkward, chances are they aren't for you. When I shoot, my goal isn't to copy poses I've seen on other blogs with boudoir sessions but it's to work with the poses that best suit the model I am working with and to make her feel confident while doing so. I get my inspiration from a lot of fashion magazines and though most women I work with aren't exactly models, I want to show them they can look like it.


{What types of things do you do as the photographer to guarantee tasteful photos?} I find that grabbing inspiration from other sources can be beneficial in creating unique images for the client rather than looking at other local photographers work. In my opinion, having a model lay on her back with her feet up while looking into the camera upside down just isn't flattering. Some people like that and that's awesome - I'm just not one of them. When looking to find the perfect photographer for your session, make sure that they will know how to find your best angles and how to make you look flattering. Sometimes, it's the more simple, beautiful, soft portraits that turn out the best. Each shoot is so unique as each woman is. I coach them though the process of picking outfits, to finding the best poses for each girl. I LOVE the candid moments also, the ones that show the adorable laughs and the in between, natural moments.


{What do you suggest women wear for outfits and accessories?} I really enjoy soft, sensual images. Classic, pretty, and elegant. I suggest lacy lingerie, nighties, off the shoulder shirts with frilly undies etc. I like a more neutral colour palette preferably but bold and vibrant can work too! Again, whatever suits the woman's body type and looks fabulous will usually photograph the best. I'm not really into the kinky accessories or the stripper heels in my sessions. I love elegant lingerie and amazing make up. Having a make up artist and hair stylist on set for a hair and makeup makeover really helps to create a more polished imagery. Having everything come together will assist in the super model experience. It just takes it to a whole new level. I love when clients bring make up (as a prop), accessories, perfume bottles or other details for me to shoot to help tell the story and incorporate some props that relate to women.


{What are some helpful hints for women to loosen up and not be so nervous in front of the camera?} Find an outfit that you feel sexiest in. Something that compliments your shape and makes you feel on top of the world. Make the session all about you! It's okay to pamper yourself,  to get your nails done before, to get a makeover. Have fun. Also remember the photographer is there to capture another side of you that you may not be aware is in there so be open and trust their vision. If you feel awkward in a shot or a pose that just isn't you - tell them. Just like in any relationship, communication is key. Communicate with the photographer to give them things to work with and share any ideas you may have. I like to shoot a few frames and then show the model so that she can see how good they look. Once I do that, I can automatically feel her confidence level rise and she will trust me and be more open and laid back. By the end of the session I feel like we're old friends.

{What's your fave part about boudoirs?} My favourite part about a boudoir session is making women feel their best. I love knowing that I can bring out a woman's confidence and help in upping the self-esteem. To me, that is priceless in itself. Every woman deserves to feel her best. I also have a complete blast shooting them and love that each session is so different yet so much the same! To view more of Beth's work be sure to check out her site

And because I promised you all that I would share some photos from my own session with Beth, here are a few shots of yours truly. I really debating sharing these with you since it's sort of like baring my body and soul to the rest of the world but then again I'm proud to be the woman I am and I see these photos as nothing different from a shot of me in a leotard (which I happened to wear for more than 20 years of my life!) They day of our shoot I actually spent the night at the ER with an incredibly terrible case of bronchitis. In between an awful fever and sipping on my bottle of Buckleys Beth still managed to make me not only look beautiful but allowed me to truly feel it with every ounce of my being. I adore you Beth.


I created a Shutterfly book of all of the images and gave it to Apb as a Valentines Day gift. He.loved.it.


Have any of you girls done boudoir shoots? What were your experiences?

17 Lovely Comments:

Brooke said...

ahhh you're beautiful! I need to do one of these so badly. I wish they weren't so expensive but one day I will and I love how romantic they are :) thanks for this!

la petite coquine said...

You look STUNNING, and the advice Beth gave was amazing. Love this post!

Krystal said...

I want to so bad, these are so beautiful!!!! I'm going to look in to this for sure when I come home to the states sometime!

Katherine said...

These are such beautiful images :) I love the stories about boudoir shoots that help women come out of their shells. So empowering :) great post!

lizzie said...

beautiful interview! i love budoir sessions lately...they're very romantic...and why not capture your hot bod while you're still young! ha...well, you know what i mean.

Michaela said...

Oh my goodness! You are stunning. Seriously, beautiful! What an awesome interview. Looking forward to this series, girl! I love Beth's use of light

xoxox

Wild and Precious said...

so fun. i always wondered where that pic of you sitting on the bed was from. maybe i'll do this as a way to celebrate loosing all my baby weight... i'm considering P90X! haha!

love her style and what she has to say about making women feel their best!

after all the "wow your getting big," and "man you face is getting round" pregnancy comments... i could use a little pep talk like that!

{The Perfect Palette} said...

beautiful, gorgeous really! no, I have not done a boudoir shoot before! maybe once I lose some lbs! I just had a baby so I'd love to do one once I get my pre-baby body back!

jacin {lovely little details} said...

such a cool series idea!

love the shoot :)

Stephanie said...

You look absolutely gorg! These are not only sexy, but very girly, soft and romantic.

Doing something like this is so empowering, and to show that you don't have to be stereotypical supermodel to look stunning. Move over Victoria's Secret Angels...haha jk

And on that note, I cannot wait to do my own boudoir shoot. Do you have any suggestions for Chicago-based photogs?

jessica said...

i would love to do this... someday!! you my dear, look absolutely gorgeous!!
and thanks beth for all the great advice!

Alisha said...

Beth is a wonderful photographer! I love her style, and that she always wants the best for her client. :)
I would love to do boudoir session, and I'm sure B would love it too ;) It would be a new experience for me and a completely different side of me I haven't even seen.
xo

Nikki said...

Gorgeous! It's official...I need boobs. My Sister did a session before she got pregnant. A little for her Husband, a little for herself ;)

Ashley said...

Rhi, you look stunning. I love that you put yourself out there. Did Apb just die when he saw them?

Liesl @ FabulousFashions4SensibleStyle said...

You look just beautiful in your pictures and thank you so much for sharing...I know that takes some confidence to do! Also, I really didn't know much about boudoir sessions, so, a lot of this was new to me, but I think it can be done beautifully and classy, as you and Elizabeth point out, and I am sure any guy would love this...such a great idea!

Liesl :)

Liesl @ FabulousFashions4SensibleStyle said...

You look just beautiful in your pictures and thank you so much for sharing...I know that takes some confidence to do! Also, I really didn't know much about boudoir sessions, so, a lot of this was new to me, but I think it can be done beautifully and classy, as you and Elizabeth point out, and I am sure any guy would love this...such a great idea!

Liesl :)

Miss Dot said...

Ooo! I did one! I totally played the part of a World War II-esque pin up girl ;) I brought props and everything! (cute aprons and vintage cookbooks -- perfect for the "Oops, you caught me!" housewife look) I made a book for my hubbs, too -- I think I used Snapfish...?? I can't remember...

I *love* your pictures! They're super classy and you look great! I love boudoir photography :)