The 10 NEVERS in Boudoir and Glamour Photography

I just had to do it. 🙂 If you’ve read my other post, 10 Ways to Piss Off Your Wedding Photographer, then you understand why. It’s really just for grins and giggles and after my “10 Ways” post I actually had a lot of people tell me I ought to do the same with boudoir and glamour.

But since it is such a vastly different genre than wedding photography, I felt the whole NEVER approach was a better one.

So here we go.

10. Never Be Afraid to Dream. OK–so I’m starting off pretty soft but you’d be surprised how stumped women get with boudoir/glamour photography! For some reason they look at the magazines and they look at Pinterest and they get stars in their eyes but when it comes to doing it themselves it’s about “Ohhhhh….I can’t do that!”. Ahem…yes you can. See, you have a secret weapon you aren’t putting enough confidence in: Moi. For those un-French people out there….that’s me. I’m not the “Eh, just bring some clothes and stuff on your session date and we’ll figure it out from there” kinda girl. I’m a “Ya know…I saw this photo that you pinned on Pinterest and I have this idea…what if I actually built a part of my studio to look like we’re in a boat and then used xyz material to drape on the…” kinda girl. 😉 I’m a jump-in-with-both-feet, there’s-gotta-be-a-way, let’s-try-something-no one-else-has-ever-done, LET’S-DO-THIS!!!! type of gal so use me, abuse me, tap this crazy brain and let’s make those ideas and dreams of yours come to reality. I’m your girl!

9. Never Bring the “Unsupportive” Girlfriend with You to a Shoot. I encourage my clients to bring a friend along if they want to. Hey…this is a girls day! It’s a day to be the most girliest you will probably ever be other than your wedding day! Let’s play! Let’s dance to music! Let’s get lost in ruffles and makeup! And having your girlfriend with you can also make you relax and really enjoy the process…unless you bring that girlfriend. You know the one…she always giggles when you try something new with your hair, gives you a funny smirk with her nose turned up when you wear a scarf with your t-shirt, because who wears a scarf in June no matter how cool it looks?? (Um. Me. I do. ‘Cuz that’s how the cool girls roll. We rock. You stink. *stick tongue out*). Even if she is your bestestestestestest friend and has been with you thru absolutely e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. do not bring her. It will mess with you, make you feel insecure and you will not enjoy your session. And neither will I. 😦 Bring the friend that is constantly telling you how beautiful you are, thinks you rock in every way and is the loudest cheerleader on your side in everything. That’s who I want on my team. And listen, I’ve had both in my studio so take it from me…the latter kind of girlfriend will put the cherry on your cake for the day. Trust me.

8. Never Do Your Own Hair and Makeup. OK–this is really for any photographer out there that either doesn’t include this service or will knock off $$ if you do your own because with me you can’t get a session unless your hair and makeup is done by my fabulous stylist. Listen ladies: how many times in your life are you going to do this? I understand if you can’t afford to have a serious pro do this for you but there are ways around this. Schedule your 8 week haircut and style on the day of your shoot. Go to Sephora or Ulta when they are running specials and will do your makeup for you. Remember that girlfriend that should be a hair stylist and makeup artist because she’s freakishly good at but she sells insurance instead? Go to her. Don’t do your own makeup and hair (unless you are that gal that sells insurance) because no matter how good you think you are at it, you’re not nearly as good as a pro. I have run specials in the past where I cut that service out to make it more affordable to women and I regret it every time and have now vowed never to do it again. Bad hair and makeup can ruin a shoot so please don’t argue over this one: go pro or go home.

7. Never Get Stuck. In a genre, in a decade, on an idea, on a certain look, on a certain way you want everything to go. Just don’t get stuck. Again, I’m your secret weapon and I know a lot of boudoir and glamour photographers trip over themselves to fulfill to the T every little detail you *think* you want in your photos but I’m here to tell you that I’ve seen it all, done it all and while you have looked at Pinterest till you knocked your head off your desk when your head dropped after falling asleep sitting up…I know more than you do (she says with love, hugs and kisses). Don’t get me wrong, I want to collaborate with you (which is why I do Pinterest boards for all of my clients so we can communicate visually) but if I recommend taking one of your hardcore ideas and shifting it into a bit of this or that, have some faith in me. Trust me, my goal is to make you happy. It does no one any good to piss you off so again, have faith. I have also worked with women that have come to me on their second try of a session from a different photographer because they thought what the trend was what they should be doing in their session and when they saw the photos they realized it. just. wasn’t. them. Those photos defined a genre or trend that didn’t define them and in the end they wasted their money on someone else’s dream. Trust me a little, open your mind a little, dream a whole ‘lot and drink the kool-aid with me. You won’t regret it.

6. Never Ask Me About What You Didn’t See. I get this occasionally and I know this won’t resound as much with all of you as it will with all the other boudoir/glamour photogs out there (can I get a “hell yeah!”??) Not often, but occasionally, after much decision-making, indecision, editing till I can’t see anymore, really rocking out these photos and making magic happen, after toiling, wringing of hands and putting every ounce of love into your photos and posting usually between 100 to 200 photos on your gallery for you to be amazed at I get this: “Oh yeah, those photos look great. But I didn’t see any from the one set with the xyz outfit of me on that chair. I saw the ones of me in that xyz outfit on the floor, but not the chair. Where are those?” Insert image of the genie from Disney’s Aladdin when he congratulates Aladdin for “getting the girl” only to realize that poor Aladdin got bupkus. Which I couldn’t find the exact visual but this represents it well:

Screen Shot 2013-04-01 at 10.43.36 AM

I was kinda going for this:

Screen Shot 2013-04-01 at 10.44.35 AM

I know you’re curious as to what may have happened to them but you’ll have to trust me on this one too. If you don’t see it, it’s because those photos, compared to all the others, didn’t flatter you in a way that made me want to show them to you. This is a delicate type of photography and believe it or not I stress over EVERY session hoping and praying to the gods of everything gorgeous that I did you justice. So if it’s not on your gallery, you don’t want to see it.

5. Never Take Your Session Lightly. I don’t have this a lot but when I do get this it’s frustrating. Listen, I put a lot…I mean A TON of energy into each session and when I get a lackadaisical kinda gal that didn’t take the time to read thru the info on everything to do to get prepared, or didn’t put any time into her wardrobe or thought into her session OR (grrrrrrrrrrrr) when she shows up late, it’s rough. It’s not just rough on me, it’s rough on her too. She walks in totally blind and most times has to work triple hard to pull off what she thought she wanted because she was so unprepared. These sessions aren’t cheap ladies! Why spend the money if you don’t want to take it seriously? Save that money and go on a nice romantic trip with your honey, rather than take the risk of getting photos that you’re unhappy with because you didn’t take the time to prepare for your session? And I give you every opportunity to do so. I get you started on Pinterest, email ideas and questions to you, give you a 5 page document that goes over absolutely everything to get you prepared. I am also available to you round the clock to answer questions and do anything else that needs to be done to make your session a success. All you have to do is take it seriously.

4. Never Ask Me to Photoshop You from a Size 10 to a Size 2. Yeah there’s not much explaining I need to do here. 😉 But what I will say is that this session is all about celebrating you and who you are on the inside AND outside at this moment in time. So if you’re unhappy with either do yourself a favor and give it some time. Really think about it and when you’re really ready to celebrate all that you are (which I know is quite spectacular no matter what size, age or hair color) then come back to me. I find when the time is right, my clients let their guards down and let me in. They give themselves permission to be vulnerable and being vulnerable is powerful. All of a sudden a little glow comes thru and before we all know it, sparks are flying. THAT’s the woman I want to see. Bring her and history will be made!

3. Never Bring Props. I have had this in the past and I have to tell you, I don’t like it so I discourage it every chance I get, though I’d say maybe 1 out of every 20 women think about it. OK–you’re just going to have to trust me on this: just because you drink a vodka martini with your loved one every evening after work does not mean we need to get a photo of you with a bottle of vodka. He knows you do this. He’s there when you drink this drink with him. You can write all about how you love that experience with him in the card that goes along with the album that shows you really rockin’ your stuff, you can make him one to sip when you give him the album, you can even wrap up a bottle of top shelf vodka for him to open the night you give him the album….but what you do not need to do is to immortalize it in a photo. Just sayin’. This also goes for the baseball you want to pose with because he loves the sport, his golf clubs, favorite slippers, the photo of you both at the pool and yes, even your puppy. What you can bring is the negligee he got you on your last trip to the islands or heels he wanted to see you wear on your anniversary dinner out. That’s awesome. Everything else, leave at home and set it all out the night you want to celebrate by giving him the photo album of all the gorgeous, artful and incredible photos of yourself that we rocked out at your session.

2. Never Bring Your Husband’s Oversized Sports Jersey. In each of my Collections there are a certain number of wardrobe changes you are given for your session. If you can put that huge jersey on and look in your mirror and say “Holy crap, for the love of all things big and small….I look sexier than I have ever seen in my life” then by all means, bring it. If, on the other hand, you think it’s a tad big on you and hangs like a paper bag, I say, leave it at home. I get that you want to celebrate his love for his team. I’m not saying you shouldn’t! But if it is a must, I highly recommend going to Dick’s and buying a t-shirt with his fave team’s logo on it that is made for a woman. It’s tighter, sexier and….well…it fits you! Woo hoo! It’s a win/win. 😉

AAAAAAnnnnnddddd……drum roll please……..

1. Never Tell Me You Hate Your Poofy Stomach and Every Stitch of Clothing You Bring Shows Your Entire Belly. Yup. I get this A LOT. And not just with the belly, that’s just the most popular one. I get this with every part of a woman’s body. Listen, I get that there are certain parts of your body you just don’t appreciate. Trust me…I have those very same parts and I would DIE before immortalizing them in a photograph. And as such I would not bring a teeny tiny itty bitty bra with a matching itsy bitsy dental-floss-like thong. I am awesome at camouflaging your wobbly bits thru posing but I need a little bit of help from the wardrobe choices you make. If you don’t like your arms, bring tops that have some sort of sleeve to cover them. If you don’t like your thighs bring pants, skirts or any other clothing item that slims them. If you don’t like your belly, bring high-waisted vintage panties or corsets or slimming blouses or dresses. The point is, I’m a fantastic photographer, but I am no magician and when you bring clothing that does not flatter your specific body type you run the risk of not liking your photos. I have had women do this and then have the nerve to say “Well, I told you I didn’t like my thighs and then you showed them in photo #224 in the corset I was wearing.” Um, yeah. I did. ‘Cuz you were wearing a corset. You weren’t wearing pants, leggings, nylons, a skirt or any other article of clothing that covered your legs….so yeah….your legs did show in the photo. Hmph….how to get a photo of you with your legs in it, but without showing your thighs is going to be a toughy. 😉 You get my point.

So there you have it! The 10 NEVERS of a boudoir/glamour session. But what you can do to really make your photographer happy is show up uninhibited, excited, open-minded and ready to rock your power. I’m accepting appointments for those women any day of the week. 😉

And one final little #11 that isn’t really relevant to clients so much as it relates to other photographers….you hear me out there photogs??

#11. Never Call and Pretend You are Trying to Buy a Session for Your Girlfriend/Fiance/Wife and Think You are Going to Engage Me in Phone Sex. You dirty old man.  You know who you are and I have one thing to say to you: Ew.

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