I’m a professional and creative boudoir photographer with a Boudoir Photography Studio in Sheffield, and I have been telling stories through photography for many years. I love photographing the female form together with beautiful ambient light and with a subtle approach, it is what helps to create a sensual photograph.
I was recently interviewed by the Boudoir Collective about this shoot (below) and my approach to boudoir photography and how I work with my clients in achieving their goals of the shoot. The full interview is below, accompanied by the boudoir styled shoot shot on 35mm film with the beautiful Alison Jenner, enjoy…
What inspired this boudoir session?
I’ve been photographing boudoir for a number of years, for wonderful clients, and never actually styled a boudoir shoot before, so I had the idea of working on a boudoir shoot just for the inspiration and creative aspect for a long while now (as it’s great to show prospective clients what can be achieved) and just to experiment and play around with different compositions and ideas. When speaking with Alison Jenner (my MUAH friend) about it we began hatching a plan and later I happened to see some saucy images of her appear on my FB feed (from a boudoir-type shoot she had a while back) and from then everything just clicked.
Now that your vision has come to life can you describe the final result in one word?
What was the most memorable moment from your shoot?
When we were having a really good chat and I took photos of Alison in moments when she was laughing and smiling (whilst speaking of things that she loved). I remember thinking to myself that she just looked so relaxed and radiant, and the photos show this so perfectly, like they almost tell a story, a beautiful story. These are the shots I call ‘moments,’ moments that are real and that ‘just happen’ in-between poses. You cannot recreate or stage these types of shots.
Tell us why the shoot took place in this location?
I’ve worked at East Bridgford Hill in Nottingham before, Emma the owner of the house is really lovely and was very accommodating of the shoot. The house itself is a very popular intimate wedding venue and the room we used was the bridal suite, I remember photographing a bride in there on the morning of her wedding and just loving the amount of natural light that came flooding into the room, to the decor and king-sized bed. Since then I had always planned on shooting boudoir in that room. Conveniently Alison lives very close to the venue so it worked out great.
What is your approach to boudoir photography?
My approach to boudoir photography is that of an artist. I studied fine art paining and drawing back when I was at art college, and regularly attended life-drawing classes. I learnt how to see the human body as an art-form; how the light falls onto the body and how shapes are formed by the light and the shade. I now use the same principles in my boudoir work, but this time using my camera. My clients actually tell me that they feel more comfortable and confident about me taking their pictures knowing I have been drawing and painting naked strangers for over 17 years. As a woman I can recognise the vulnerability in my subjects and I approach these types of shoots with great understanding, respect and sensitivity. Vulnerability is real and it’s authentic, it helps to tell a story, a story of intimacy, longing and desire – each session is a beautiful untold love story. Each of my boudoir sessions are completely different to the next, all are individually tailored and bespoke to each client, it’s what makes each shoot special and unique, and it’s very important. I work in depth with each of my clients; getting to know them and what they are wanting to achieve, this all comes into practice on the shoot, it’s what knits everything together, it’s what helps to create trust.
What challenges, if any, have you faced as an artist?
I have faced lots, and still do. And I don’t think I will ever stop because as an artist I am constantly growing and developing, learning and changing. Not all challenges are bad and most are there to push you to the next level and get you out of your comfort zone. I do like a good challenge every now and then.
What advice would you give someone considering a boudoir session?
If you are waiting to lose those few pounds don’t, don’t put it off as the opportunity may not always be there. A professional photographer will know how to pose you to flatter your individual body type and make you feel comfortable. Celebrate who you are through beautiful imagery, now is as good of a time than any. I always work closely with my clients before their session, we create a mood board together and make their shoot personal to them, I encourage them to treat themselves to beautiful delicate lingerie, carefully choosing neutral but complimenting colours and pretty fabrics, fresh flowers always work well too. I ask them to think about how they want to look in their boudoir photos and what do they visualize in the picture, I always encourage my clients to have a strong input in their shoot, after all it’s about them, and it’s fun; making them part of the planning and process is important as it encourages them, gets them prepared and raring to go. It also makes it specific to them, this way they are not trying to imitate or be somebody else, it’s really self-empowering and quite special.
What do you consider the difference between boudoir and fine art boudoir?
I feel that fine art boudoir is very much like a fine art painting; delicate, romantic, using muted tones and colours, with images that have emotion and feeling to them. A fine art boudoir session is more about the woman feeling empowered and beautiful, where as ‘general’ boudoir can offer the use of harsh artificial light, bold bright colour schemes and quite a play-boyish theme, and more often than not the image is tailed more for the person who is looking at it than the woman who is in the photograph.
Outside of photography, what other sources do you draw inspiration from?
I draw my inspiration from so many sources; to music, musician, paintings, painters, designers, poets, writers, nature and travel. I like to read a lot and spend my time with other creative individuals (women in business). I’m always learning and looking out for new fresh ideas.
Bridal Suite at East Bridgford Hill in Nottingham