Boudoir doesn’t necessarily require any preparation. That said, as with most things in life, you will have a more rewarding experience if prepare. These preparation posts will appear as a series for clarity and brevity.
Part 1: Mental Preparation & Intention Setting
The first, and most important way to prepare for your boudoir session, is mentally. Try to get very clear, and honest, about what is motivating you to book a session, and what you intend to get out of it.
Like so many women before me, when I posed for my first boudoir session my “reason” was to create a gift, a boudoir album, for my husband on the day of our wedding. In truth, the boudoir session became a gift to myself, a reason to purchase expensive French lingerie (that my husband couldn’t care less about), to enjoy and celebrate myself, and to capture the time before I stepped into my new role as a wife.
Ultimately, I had more fun sharing my album with my bridesmaids than with my husband. The audience of my closest girlfriends, exclaiming their approval of my nearly naked photographs, evoked that uniquely feminine variety of exhilarative intimacy that underpins all of my closest, most important female relationships. It is that same process of being seen, and validated, for who we are at our most vulnerable and raw, that reveals the substance of any relationship.
As Zing Tseng wrote in her forward of Girl on Girl: Art and Photography in the Age of the Female Gaze, “When we finally aside ideas of what female bodies should be- hidden or exposed, sources of embarrassment or census- we can actually being the task of looking.” And also, I would add, of being seen.
I aim to create the same spirit of feminine camaraderie I felt sharing my album with my bridesmaids in every boudoir session I photograph.
Exercise: Sit down and write a handwritten letter to yourself, or to your partner, your photographer, your future self, even the little girl you once were. Write to whatever is motivating you, personified.
Finally, bring the letter to your session, and I will photograph it.
This post is a part of a series. Subscribe below for the next post, How to prepare for your Boudoir Session: Part 2.