We’ve been working up to this for a couple months now. In a few weeks photographer Michelle Black and I will be collaborating on a limited edition portrait event in hopes of redefining boudoir photography. Too many times (myself included) do the words pile up: “maybe when I lose weight”, “after I get my summer tan”, “I look too old these days”. I’ve visited the portfolios of those who specialize in this type of work (when looking to commission a session for myself) and nearly always leave each site feeling worse about myself than when I first arrived. I’m not a size 2 and certainly not model material. When that’s all I see in portfolio after portfolio, it’s easy to feel the problem is with my body, not in my (and the world’s) perception of beauty.
The other issue I’ve run into is separating allure from sex appeal. Sex appeal is direct and blatant while allure holds more mystery and attracts deeper attention from the viewer. Sex appeal fades but allure can last forever. Images that I (and Michelle) are seeking to create avoid the instant gratification of a traditional “cleavage shot”. I/we want the viewer to know or wonder something about the woman inside. Without going into too much detail, our forty-year-old, mother-of-three model for our first test shoot had recently been separated from her husband. She, Michelle and I were all misty-eyed at one point and I can remember feeling an energy shift in the room once we reached a certain breakthrough in the session. Suddenly it felt like, here she is, and an inner beauty emanated outwards. I think something in all three of us came to life.
Many days I’ve wondered if I’m alone in my thinking. When Michelle brought up the idea over coffee, it gave me a hint that there could be more to this. And then when I posted a casting call for our test shoot, I’ve never received such an incredible response from women wanting to participate. It’s my hope that some of those same women (and yourself) feel the same way that we do. Below you’ll find a link to our event page. If we can fill our schedule (limited to eight women), we’ll take it as a sign that a change is needed in this genre of photography and will continue to pursue a more sophisticated and artful approach to the boudoir portrait. We’re striving for a Renewal of Elegance.
Sign up and share with a friend if you’re with us:
And if you live out of town and still want to participate, overnight accommodations can be made at the Orchard House Bed & Breakfast where the sessions will take place.