I recently had the opportunity to photograph one of my favorite clients (let’s call him “Frank”) for the third time. When he initially contacted me last year to find out if I do male boudoir shoots, he told me he wanted to feel like a GQ model; he wanted to feel highly desirable, be directed into poses and get the compliments he imagines female models get. Of course, I was happy to oblige.
What brought Frank to Mistress J? Growing up, Frank never felt very sexy. He had recently lost a lot of weight and wanted to shed his vanilla engineer exterior to release his inner Fabio.
Why Mistress J? Unlike other photographers that do male nude photography, the Mistress J studio was tastefully lit with attention to set design, lighting, colors and ambiance. In this most recent session, Frank was lean and fit. He wanted photos that would show off his toned arms and torso, so we did a lot of nudes and semi-nudes. The tasteful lighting of the Mistress J studio really helped emphasize the body parts he wanted to highlight.
I handle every single photo shoot the same way. We start with an in-depth discussion about the types of photos the client wants, what they’re planning to wear (or not wear), and the furniture and props they want to use. We also discuss perceived trouble spots, what they want to hide and areas they want to play up.
Are men and women really that different? There are a few major differences I tend to see between men and women boudoir shoots:
- Men crave interaction more than women. Many men want Mistress J to be part of the scene. Although this is extra, having her in the scene means more talking, directing, obeying commands, posing, touching and encouragement.
- Men and women have different lighting preferences. In every session I’ve had with a male subject, they want the lights on. Women, on the other hand, generally want the lights off, with the exception of the studio lights. They want that intimate space – a shell or bubble where they can slowly unwind and, like an onion, peel the layers off and expose their beauty.
No matter who the subject is, during each session, I start to notice things. I see the beauty of the hair, a curve in the body, or the way the light falls across the torso or defines the arms. When I see their beauty, I tell them. It helps them feel more comfortable and confident, so they can leave feeling good about themselves.
Although the execution may be slightly different, the final goal is the same: To leave each client feeling sexy and special, and to get some kick ass photos.