*To read more about our “boudoir” sessions, click Here. To see samples of our images, please contact us.
Last night, I stumbled across the images of an incredibly talented boudoir photographer (and when I say “stumbled” I really do mean that, I was looking for something else, entirely! …Although now that we’re doing more of these types of sessions, it’s odd to hear my five year old ask before he comes into the room: “are you looking at n*ked pictures?”) She’s a self-taught photographer and now has a thriving international business focused solely on this type of photography (which I think is AWESOME.) As talented as she is, though, and as beautiful as her pictures are, something about them really bothers me. And the more I think of it, the more it bothers me.
On her website (which I’ll refrain from linking to), she has a slideshow up of “before” and “after” images. And they’re INCREDIBLE. Ladies, have you ever wondered how you’d look if you had professionals doing your hair and make up? Have you ever wondered if you could look like Kim Kardashian or Scarlett Johansson if you were dolled up and posed and photographed (and photoshopped) by a professional team of photographers and makeup artists? Ladies, you can. The “before and after” pictures done by this photographer prove it. Every single woman she photographs – whether short or tall, heavy or thin, old are young, looks like a supermodel when she’s done with them.
And okay, I’ll admit it. My first thought was “Wow, we need to start working with a professional makeup artist!!!” But then, running through the slideshow for the second time, it hit me: yes, these women look beautiful in these pictures – amazingly so! But that’s probably not what they look like in the bedroom.
Manuela and I have done two “boudoir” sessions so far (we have chosen to call them “Celebrating Marriage” sessions, which you can read more about Here) and with both of them, makeup was kept to a minimum (or none at all) and I made sure to stay far, far away from the liquify tool (the one that can push lumps and bumps around in photoshop and make certain parts of the body bigger and other parts smaller.) I wanted the women whose pictures I took to know that when they looked at those pictures and thought “oh my gosh, I’m beautiful!” that they really are. And it’s not layers of makeup or special hairdo’s or photoshop magic that makes them so.**
My ultimate goal – the thing that I cry my heart to God in prayer over – is that when I photograph a woman like this, she goes to bed that night feeling absolutely beautiful. That every night afterward, she’s a little more uninhibited, a little more self-confident, and feels a lot more sure of her own beauty and attractiveness (and that her s*x life improves a hundredfold!)
On her “philosophy” page, the photographer I’m referring to writes that she offers an “empowering experience… through photography and photoshop,” and that her work is about giving the woman she photographs the chance to see themselves in the same “polished light” as celebrities who are retouched in their photographs, “freeing women from the notion that they do not compare to [the standard of beauty that the media propagates.]”
And I’m not (as a friend would put it) doggin’ her for that! As I mentioned before, her photographs are beautiful! Gosh, I’d love to see myself all dolled up and photoshopped, and I think there is a part of me that would be totally blessed to discover that I could look just as beautiful as the models and celebrities I’m bombarded with by the media and the magazine racks. But what I can’t imagine is coming away from a session like that feeling beautiful just the way I am. Sure, I could look like Jennifer Lopez in a photograph (okay, probably not, but let me dream!), but would I look that way in the bedroom?
I really admire this photographer for wanting to make women feel beautiful, by whatever means she feels led to. But I can’t help but wonder if some of her clients walk away from their sessions feeling more beautiful in their pictures than they do in real life. I can’t help but wonder if their husbands, after looking at these pictures, find themselves wishing their wives looked like that all the time. Personally, I’d rather show women how beautiful they are just the way they are. I want portraits from these types of sessions to reflect the beauty a woman walks around with every single day and possibly never fully realizes. I want her to come away from our session feeling proud, perhaps for the first time, to show herself to her husband, n*ked, bare and unashamed.
And incredibly beautiful.
**This isn’t to say that I don’t utilize photoshop at all. I still struggle with the question of “how much is too much,” and still hold to my previous thoughts on this subject. But above all, I strive to keep enhancements to a minimum, and most importantly I want to capture the people I photograph as themselves. If you wear make up in your every day life, by all means wear it to your photo shoot! But hiring a professional makeup artist to drastically change your face, and utilizing photoshop to substantially change your body? I won’t go there. Not because I think it’s wrong, but because when you look at a picture of yourself, unclothed and stunningly beautiful, I want you to know that the beauty you’re seeing there isn’t because makeup and photoshop have made you that way. It’s because you really are.
Category: Celebrating Marriage
Tags: Boudoir Photography Bowling Green KY, Nude Photography Bowling Green KY, special gift for husband Bowling Green KY, special anniversary Bowling Green KY