Finding Beauty in the Female Form Through Boudoir Photos

It’s not difficult finding beauty and meaning in the female form. In my last post I provided a few differences between male and female boudoir photography. As I recently had two sessions, each with a woman, it got me to thinking about how a good boudoir photographer captures a female subject:

1. Show off the things that make her body different from a man’s – namely curves. Think of the classic hourglass shape. Create dynamic poses by having the model twist her shoulders off-axis from her hips to highlight these curves. This is a more dramatic version of the classical contrapposto pose used by artists for over 2000 years.

2. If you’re after a provocative pose, ask the model to keep her back straight pull her shoulder blades together a little. This will accentuate her breasts and bottom.

3. The number of ways to light the female nude is without limit, but in general you want to use very soft light to accent the softness of her curves. You can light high-key, where everything is evenly lit, or you can light low-key, where the light comes from one side and is more dramatic. If you want to be very dramatic, use the backlight as the only light source.

As with all photography, female boudoir photography is an art form; there are no fixed rules or boundaries. Curious what your boudoir photos might look like? Contact me to schedule a session!

Men vs. Women Boudoir Photography

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.

Corsets vs. Bustier: What’s the difference?

Both corsets and bustiers can be great styles for a boudoir photo shoot. But what’s the difference? And which do you want to bring along to your session? It all comes down to personal preference.

Corsets were developed thousands of years ago to shape a woman’s torso. These close-fitted boned undergarments can extend from above or below the bust to the hips, and give a binding effect to flatten the waistline. A corset that covers the chest is designated as “over-bust.”

Bustiers are sleeveless tops that start at the bust and go down to the waist. Form-fitting and fashionable, bustiers can be worn as lingerie or outer clothing. Some bustiers have garters attached, and the modern designs have thin, lacy straps.

Despite their similarities, the main difference between corsets and bustiers is that the corset doesn’t always cover a woman’s breasts. It all really comes down to personal preference. Personally, I like steel-boned corsets for the restriction, compression and posture & figure enhancing.

Want to invest in a corset or bustier of your own? Here are a couple of local shops to check out:

Mistress J Heads to the Folsom Street Fair

A fun element of living in the Bay Area: the annual Folsom Street Fair! Held the last weekend of September, open-minded boudoir photographer Mistress J made her way to the fair to see what other artists are doing, look at fun & sexy clothes & accessories, and have a good time.

In addition the incredible sex positive culture, the fair included a lot of fun shopping. One booth Miss J particularly enjoyed was the Corsets by Timeless Trends. In addition to this fun shirt (pictured below right), the booth included countless corsets in various styles, colors, sizes, etc.

Folsom Street Events is a nonprofit organization serving the adult San Francisco alternative communities. Through the production of street fairs, Folsom Street Events promotes diversity within the leather/alternative lifestyle, highlighting entertainment, service and vendors. Proceeds from the production of the fairs are distributed to organizations, which promote a sense of community, diversity, cooperation, health and human services.

Find out more and learn about next year’s event at folsomstreetfair.org.

Fun Excuses to Invest in That Boudoir Photo Shoot

Have you always wanted to have boudoir pictures taken but haven’t quite come up with the perfect excuse? Here are a few fun reasons to invest in that boudoir photo shoot:

  • The pictures make great gifts! They are a perfect way to commemorate your upcoming anniversary, celebrate your engagement/wedding or say “happy birthday!” or “happy holidays!” to that special someone.
  • Boudoir photos can make time stand still. Do you want this moment in your life to last a lifetime? Commemorate your new relationship with individual or couples photos that express your love and attraction towards each other.
  • They can help you empower yourself. Whether you’re single or in a relationship, boudoir photos can be a fantastic affirmation of how sexy and beautiful you really are.

What are other reasons you recommend investing in a boudoir photo shoot? I’d love to hear what inspired you!

Men vs. Women: How Boudoir Shots Differ

Everyone wants to look sexy. As a boudoir photographer, I get to be reminded regularly of just how beautiful and sensual the human body is! I also love the diversity of sexual expression that comes into my studio, which is one of the many reasons I enjoy photographing both men and women.

So how does boudoir photography differ between men and women?

 
I would say men want to convey confidence and sexual prowess, although this comes across in many different ways depending on the man. Men generally focus on the overall appearance of being desirable as opposed to the smaller like hair and nails.

Women, on the other hand, usually want to look picture perfect, like we see in magazines. They generally want to be glamorous and sexy – the way they wish they could look every day if it weren’t for taking care of everything from errands and housework to kids, pets and work.

As a boudoir photographer, I work with each client to establish their goals of the session and make sure their pictures turn out the way they had in mind. Of course, a few basic tips before the session always help, too! How can I show you off at your sexiest? Contact Jeanine Brown Photography today for a complimentary consultation!