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Misconceptions on Boudoir Photography

Halie Johnson

I have so many ladies that are interested in boudoir, but are so so hesitant and nervous. So let's clear the air! A lot of women say "I would but I'm single!". Surprisingly, almost half of my boudoir clients are single. They choose to do these sessions for themselves. Whether you're single or not, this should be something you're doing for yourself and not just for your other half. Many women come to the session thinking that it will just be something nice for their significant other, but then leave feeling refreshed and confident. That feeling seems to double when they receive their gallery of photos. My clients have ranged from age 18 to 58 (all different shapes and sizes) and I have never had a negative response or reaction. Most times it's actually "wow, I can't believe that's me!" or "you made me look so beautiful!". I then have to go on to explain that they are beautiful and that I make a point to use zero photoshop to prove that. Another excuse I get a lot is "well I am going to start exercising and dieting soon so maybe in a few months or next year". I mean, come on. I believe in you and all, but naturally the chances of your body decreasing in sexiness are greater than the chance of you losing weight anytime soon. How many times have we all told ourselves "I'll be thinner next month", etc? A LOT. And how often does it actually happen? For me personally, never. Another issue is that most people are nervous in front of the camera in general, much less being almost naked. Before I ever shot a boudoir session, I let someone take boudoir photos of me so that I could see how it felt to be vulnerably on the other side of the camera. This helped me figure out the best way to make my clients feel comfortable during their session. I learned what to do and what not to do. For those who don't know me personally, I consider myself a pretty shy person. I make funny faces almost every time a camera is pointed in my direction. I still can't even look directly into the lens when my own fiance' is taking a photo of me. This being said, I loved every second of my boudoir session. I felt free and feminine. I believe that there is a lot of misconceptions about boudoir sessions. A lot of people think that all boudoir photos are inappropriate, sleazy, maybe even tacky. It all depends on your photographer. I don't like to photograph women in an unrealistic way. I don't like to make women act or dress a certain way that they're not. Wear what you feel beautiful in. Wear what your other half finds you sexy in. Don't go buy lingerie that you can never ever see yourself wearing in real life. And last but not least, please don't ask me to photoshop you. You're beautiful the way you are; lemme show you.

Words from my lovely clients:

"These are amazing! I have never felt so beautiful and desirable. I will definitely be buying a full set of prints. You are really talented, and it was so great to work with you. You made me feel completely comfortable and I can't wait to show these to ****!"
When asked if I could use a few photos from her session: "No that's fine! Thank you for thinking they are good enough! And I hope you know what I mean by that. You take beautiful pictures. I still love those pictures. You made me feel beautiful.
"I am 49-year-old chubby girl. My body is not what one would think of when the word "beautiful" is tossed around. I have scars and flabby places and I'm too this and not enough that. I was excited for the photo shoot with Halie, but I was a little nervous. I think those voices in our heads sometimes psych us out so much we practically treat ourselves like we don't deserve to do all the fun things "perfect" girls get to do. And it was weird to think about getting practically naked in front of a photographer I didn't know. I wouldn't even do that for a photographer I DID know, so it was intimidating to think about meeting Halie for the first time and stuffing myself into some lingerie and hoping she could make something nice out of it. I can say, not in a conceited or self-absorbed way, that Halie made me feel beautiful, and it shows. I AM BEAUTIFUL. I was no more skinny in the pictures than I am in real life. But there in my red babydoll, and my red corset, and yes...even fully nude (eek...who would have thought it!) all my sexy cool sexy fun sexy happy sexy flabby sexy scarred sexy courageous self comes out. Everyone else wanted to see their pictures on the digital camera as' the shoot went along, but I didn't really look at mine. I wanted to totally enjoy how I was feeling as they were being taken, and was afraid if I saw a bunch of the pictures as we went along, I'd get self conscious and it would change how I was feeling. So when I did see them, it was such an awesome experience! It was like "Wow...that's me?!" And you know what? That is me. I am daring and I look great in red and I am sexy and cool and happy. And every time I look at one of those pictures, I am reminded of that. This experience is one that every girl should have. Because it's not about gifting pictures to someone else. It's about gifting that feeling to yourself."

This year's boudoir marathon will be held at a private residence in Athens, Georgia. Each session will last 45 minutes. Please arrive an hour early to sip on mimosas and get your hair and makeup professionally done by Margaret Snider. She is responsible for most of the hair and makeup in the photos below. She is magical!