I love boudoir photography. Why? A lot of people ask me this, they think I shoot porn. I don’t. Nor will I ever. (Although when someone tells me their significant other stacks their boudoir album with his naughty magazines I consider that a win.) Because all women want to feel like their significant other desires them. The difference between what I do and what pornography is, you guessed it, that beautiful four letter word: love.
Some women do these shoots for themselves but a lot of the time they're doing it for someone they love. The people I shoot love the person they're doing it for so I’m not just photographing body parts, or a sexy pose, I’m photographing their love for one another, her desire to please her husband/wife. When she looks into my camera and connects--really connects--I know she’s not seeing a lens, she’s letting her guard down, she’s being the person he/she wakes up to, falls asleep to, the person they fell in love with. That’s what I’m photographing. Yeah, she might be in lingerie which is obviously a turn-on but what does a photo have if it turns you on but doesn’t connect with you? That’s what ART is about right? Evoking an emotion, not just lust. I’m not against Gay Marriage but for this instance I’m going to use a man and wife. My goal (whether it's right after a shoot or years later) I want that husband who as gotten so used to his wife that he can't see her any other way to crack the spine of that album see her as the beautiful, sexy, vulnerable, strong woman that he sees in those photos. I want him to want her outside of the album. And because this shoot has allowed her to show off these parts of her he can and he will.
In both cases I get to do a rare thing. I strive and push and pray to be a good mirror for other women. We all have this view of ourselves that sometimes isn’t accurate and is sometimes downright unhealthy. I try to reverse that thinking by handing them a photo of themselves that shows them, right there, in ink and paper, that they are beautiful and worthy. Boudoir is one of those great mediums that allows you to see yourself in a totally different light. I get to show women what I see in them, what other people see in them. Sometimes words aren’t enough to make someone believe they are beautiful, sometimes you need to show them. I am lucky enough to get to do that. I have the opportunity (and now the responsibility) to increase your self-esteem and create a healthy body image THROUGH WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE! I'm not doing anything different to you, this is you, this is who you are, and you are a BEAUTIFUL and LOVELY woman.
I wanted to be a therapist for a large part of my life (sounds strange, I know) but I think it’s because I want to give back to people. I feel fulfilled when I can make someone stop and think about something. One of my favorite parts about my job (I know, I have a lot of favorites) is showing a woman her photos and she does this double-take thing where she’s looking at the photo and then back at me and then at the photo again with this wide-eyed suspicion and she looks up at me and says, “Is that really me?” and I love that feeling of being able to hand them to themselves and say, “Yes, and you really are that gorgeous.”
I hope they put their photos in a place where they see them every day and are reminded of how strong, courageous, and beautiful they are every single day. I hope I can give their beauty back to them.
Pink Dahlia Photography
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