Boudoir Photography and the Art of Storytelling.
June 15, 2020 / BoudoirOPEN
Few years ago, when I started my journey as a boudoir photographer all I wanted to be was a good photographer. Simple as that. I wanted to have the skills to capture images that my clients would like and cherish. I signed up for numerous classes and workshops, learned about lighting, improved my technical abilities and voila! I was ready! Or so I thought.
Little did I know that a good photographer was first and foremost a good storyteller. Except that they do not tell the stories per se or write them. They tell stories through the lens of their cameras. They are also masters of creating a space, a unique environment where the client feels comfortable to share their story without fear of judgment, comparison or criticism. And to share it without any words.
It is especially significant when it comes to boudoir photography. As a mentioned before, many people think that I photograph “naked ladies” as some of them described it. Well, although true sometimes, “naked” is a very relative term. Naked literally means with no clothes. Metaphorically, it reflects the emotional exposure and vulnerability.
I photograph women with all their strengths and all their flaws, whether real or perceived. They step in front of the camera and tell their tales- sometimes joyful and heartwarming, other times painful and heartbreaking.
I never knew it was possible to listen and be heard when the room was indeed quiet. Just the client, appropriate lighting, her first look into the camera and the story began to unfold.
Over the last few years, I have heard so many tales- of self-acceptance, self-love, fear, dignity, bravery, overcoming stereotypes and obstacles. This is so much more than I have ever imagined my work would be. And I am looking forward to meeting more women and helping them express themselves and hopefully reconnect with themselves and their very unique stories.
Boudoir makeup by: Iza Maka
Outfit Ideas for a Boudoir Session
April 28, 2020 / BoudoirOPEN
Questions about a perfect outfit are probably the most common ones I get asked. My answer is always the same – a perfect outfit is the one that makes you feel sexy, attractive and content. You may look at boudoir images for inspiration, but ultimately the outfit you choose must complement your vision of the shoot and make you feel confident and comfortable.
Every boudoir session is different, and it is always the client who drives the session and its direction. In other words, some clients look for a very sensual, sometimes revealing effect, others prefer a more modest feel and choose their outfits accordingly.
Below you will some suggestions when it comes to outfit choices that hopefully will make your decision easier.
You can never go wrong with a set of classic lingerie. This probably the first choice for many women when it comes to boudoir. Retailers offer a great variety when it comes to bras and panties- some of them are sexier and revealing, others provide more coverage. I would say that a corset or a bodysuit also fit well into this category and are an excellent choice for a boudoir session.
Lace is a dreamy fabric that makes another great choice for your boudoir session. Depending on the outfit, lace can look very alluring, very romantic, or both. Lace outfits are teasing to the eye as they leave a lot to the imagination. They also work great if you would prefer not to reveal too much skin. I would suggest you consider a lace robe, cover-up or bodysuit.
A dress is an excellent option for those women who look for modesty and moderation when it comes to their boudoir session. A nicely fitted dress can accentuate your body curves without showing too much. Depending on the silhouette, you can show a glimpse of your shoulder, neck or back. Long slits allow for legs to be shown if that’s what you would like to focus on.
An oversized, classic shirt can be used if you are looking for a more casual feel to your session. A shirt combined with natural looking make up and hair can make you look like a sexy goddess without showing too much.
An Oversized Sweater
Just like a men’s shirt, an oversized sweater is an excellent choice when you are looking for that casual sexy, not-trying-too hard vibe to your session. Depending on the fabric and silhouette, a sweater can accentuate your shoulders, neck or breasts.
Whenever in doubt, bring a few outfits to your session and together we can decide what suits you the most.
Chicago Maternity Photo Shoot – A Winter Edition in Millennium Park
March 29, 2020 / BoudoirOPEN
Long before I became pregnant with my daughter Mila, I had envisioned a perfect maternity session for myself. In my mind, I created a picture of an idyllic landscape, rich in flowers and lavish greenery with a floral wren and flowing dress.
When I found out I was expecting and my daughter was due in May, I had to reinvent my vision of a maternity session because the original one became impossible to carry out due to the season.
Winter maternity session can seem challenging to some but they can also turn into the most magical and splendid experiences you can imagine.
Today, I want to share with you a glimpse of a couple of winter sessions that I had with my clients recently.
Winter photography can be very spectacular especially when there are favorable weather conditions. Maternity sessions done during this time are very unique. Fun and give a lot of opportunities to take unforgettable pictures.
You can create magical, almost heavenly images with a stunning winter landscape in the background. Depending on your preferences, you may choose more neutral colors for your outfit that will create a sense of unity with the surrounding nature. Also you may choose more solid colors that will create a wonderful contrast between you and the background.
The ideas for a winter session outfits are endless and you can be very creative using items and textures you would likely not be able to use during other seasons. Faux furs, plaids, furry shawls and hats are only the examples that can be used in a session and turn you into a stunning snow queen.
Another advantage of the winter maternity sessions is the temperature. Colder temperatures seem to be more comforting to expecting moms rather than the heat and humidity of the late spring and summer. Keep in mind, that posing for an hour can be exhausting when it’s hot and sunny outside and you have to endure increased swelling and fatigue that comes with higher temperatures.
Winter maternity sessions can be done in a rustic, nature-based setting or in the city. Chicago is one of those cities that offer a little bit of both. I have photographed moms-to-be in front of the frozen Lake Michigan with snowy trees on the side as well as in the beautiful, urban Millenium Park that offers spectacular vistas of the city. We can also combine the two if that’s your preference.
Strength of a Warrior. Regaining Self-Confidence During Infertility.
February 21, 2020 / BoudoirOPEN
Those of you who have worked with me or followed my blog know that I love stories. And if I can tell the story using the lens of my camera, my work becomes that much more meaningful.
Even though the common perception is that I photograph “naked ladies” as some have described it… Not many know that I actually work with women whose images often hide deep, sometimes very painful tales.
A couple of weeks ago, I had an opportunity to work with Michelle, a fellow photographer whose story touched me very deeply and on many different levels. As someone who has struggled with infertility myself, I could very much relate to her pain and sense of disappointment. She came in hoping that a boudoir session would help her reconnect with her body and her lost sense of femininity and womanhood.
Infertility affects more and more women each year and although the roots of the problem may vary… the psychological pain that comes with it is universal. It is very difficult to find words that could accurately describe the depth of that pain. It’s the kind of pain that rips you apart, makes you question your self-worth and leaves you feeling broken and disabled.
Women often lose an emotional connection with their own bodies as they go through intensive and invasive medical procedures. Their bodies become objects of countless tests, exams and needle pokes. The process of creating a life is being deprived of its intimacy and privacy. This, in turn, can be traumatizing, leaving wounds that are sometimes impossible to heal.
The relationship and connection with your body becomes even more difficult to maintain when we build up conflicting emotions toward our bodies. On one hand, we are told to nourish it and take good care of it as that can help increase the chances of pregnancy. On another hand, hateful feelings of resentment and disconnection are very common as the body is unable to do what we want it to do.
Infertility affects relationships with our partners as well. Exposed and deprived of intimacy… sexual and romantic relationships suffer greatly as a result of not being able to conceive. Women often feel unattractive and “less of a woman” when they encounter difficulties with conception.
A BOUDOIR SESSION can be very therapeutic and liberating for women who suffer from infertility. It can improve their sense of attractiveness and sensuality, so often lost in the exhausting battle of trying to get pregnant.
Women who have decided to do a boudoir session often say that it helped them reconnect with their bodies, learn to love their bodies again and to feel comfortable in their own skin.
An intimate photography session can help rebuilt the body image that has been often broken by sense of powerlessness and inadequacy. It can give hope and encouragement to keep going and accept oneself unconditionally.
Our reproductive abilities are only a small part of us as human beings. We are so much more than that and I wish each and every woman who has her own personal story of struggling with conceiving to find her inner peace and her own sense of acceptance of what is.
I would like to thank Michelle for taking up the courage to step out of the isolation zone. She is a warrior- strong and inspiring. There are so many of us women who have experienced the pain of infertility- we need to talk about it and not let any of us feel alone and isolated on this path.