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Chicago Bridal Boudoir – A timeless Gift of Intimacy

August 21, 2018 / Boudoir
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There are many reasons why women decide to do a Bridal Boudoir session. From challenging their self-perception, through pushing their boundaries of comfort to celebrating their bodies and building self-acceptance, the reasons are countless. One of the most common ones, however, is the idea of having a boudoir session as a wedding gift for a groom-to-be.

Exchange of wedding gifts between the bride and the groom is an increasingly common practice and you may want to incorporate it into your special day as well. A romantic, intimate photo session delivered in a beautiful, hand-made boudoir album is a more creative alternative to a traditional watch or engraved lighter. It is a timeless gift that will leave your groom speechless and gasping for air.

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There is something incredible intimate and powerful about such photographs. Instead of a traditional tangible gift, you are offering your partner your beauty, your grace, your seduction and your vulnerability all at once. There is nothing more personal and bonding than this. 

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Brides-to-be often call me and say “I want to do it but I don’t know if I’m comfortable posing naked in front of the camera”.  You do not have to be naked. You are the one who can define your own level of comfort and set the tone for your session. Lingerie is one form of boudoir setting but definitely not the only one. Your can have your favorite robe or even a sweater and I can guarantee that the results will still be spectacular. Another idea would be to grab your groom’s favorite football jersey or his classic white button shirt and incorporate this more casual look into your session.

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We can put different spins on your boudoir session depending on your preferences. I work with the brides inside my West Loop studio but I am open to shooting your session at other locations as well (eg. outdoors, beach, roof top, forest). 

I invite you to contact me so that we could schedule your one-of-a-kind bridal boudoir session that you can share with your loved one on your very special day. Trust me, he will appreciate it.

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Natural Outdoor Boudoir Photo Shoot.

July 10, 2018 / Boudoir
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Outdoor Boudoir Session. Effortless Beauty in Natural Setting.

Warm sunny days encourage outdoor boudoir sessions in their purest form- in the heart of nature. Dreamy summery settings provide a wonderful background for outdoor boudoir shoots. Today I am excited to share with you a glimpse of Magdalena’s outdoors boudoir that I had a pleasure of shooting this summer during my recent visit to Poland.

I come from Masuria, a picturesque region in Poland that is famous for its countless lakes and forests. Finding a perfect location for the shoot was therefore very easy. Magda (my model that day) looked simply stunning and I could not be happier to have worked with her. Throughout the session I was amazed by her gracious, youthful appearance and how comfortable she seemed to be with her own body.

There is something very liberating about outdoor boudoir sessions. Natural settings encourage more natural looks. It is a great opportunity to embrace your beauty in its rawest, purest form. As I mentioned in my previous posts, naturally looking face with only minimal amount of make-up creates the unique sense of candid grace that looks absolutely beautiful in pictures. And this is the goal of this form of boudoir- to create a sense of effortless beauty.

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Nature provides a sense of serenity and relaxation that often helps women feel more at ease during the shoot. It also creates a wonderful opportunity to immerse oneself into it, re-connect with oneself and bring out that genuine glow and sparkle of seduction.

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Outdoor settings are also invaluable when it comes to natural light. Aside from the camera, the natural light is my very basic tool that I work with during sessions. It accentuates certain features, makes them more exposed while overshadowing things we want to hide. Sun rays provide a very unique, almost angelic ambiance that is very difficult to recreate in the studio. The summer breeze is another wonderful element that helps create a more dynamic outcome of the images.

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Lakes, beaches, riverbanks and meadows- the list of possible scenery is endless when it comes to outdoor boudoir. They all create a very romantic, rustic-like ambiance that is easily reflected in the pictures and perfectly supplement your innate beauty.

Chicago and vicinity offers an abundance of picturesque locations that we can transform into your intimate scenery for boudoir. I invite you to take full advantage of the gorgeous summer days and reward yourself with a romantic photo session in a natural setting.

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What is Boudoir – History of Sensual Photography.

May 18, 2018 / Boudoir
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What is Boudoir. History of Sensual Photography.

Today boudoir photography is gaining more and more popularity among women today. There are still some questions related to what it really is? What it is not and how it came about. We are going to explore the history of boudoir photography and how it has changed over the last centuries to reach its contemporary form.

What is Boudoir?

The term “boudoir” (/ˈbuːdwɑːr/) originates from the French language and is considered a noun form of “bouder” which means to sulk. Back in a day, a public display of negative emotions such as anger or irritation was not socially accepted and one was expected to let go of frustration in the privacy of their own homes.  Separate rooms called boudoirs were dedicated to sulking. Over time, the term has evolved to reflect an intimate area in the house, such as a dressing room or a bedroom. Because early intimate photography was typically taken in a bedroom or another private room. The genre soon adapted a name of boudoir photography.

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History of Boudoir Photography

History of art demonstrates an incredible fascination with human form that dates back centuries if not millenniums ago. Ancient artists were genuine masters of sculpting human bodies that were often portrayed nude. Later art added a more erotic and sensual essence to its subjects especially when it came to painting. Nude artwork portraying seductive images of females flourished throughout centuries and remains a popular art genre until this day.

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Late 19th century marked the emergence of photography as a world-wide phenomenon. This new artistic tool provided an endless array of styles, ideas, trends and preferences that helped artists preserve their vision and understanding of the world. Among them, there was an idea to capture intimate, sensual images of women which had laid the foundation for early boudoir photography as a separate and distinguished form of art. The emerging art of boudoir during that time was an important cornerstone of female empowerment movement that continued to grow in the next decades.

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Early 20th century was a true turning point for boudoir photography. The era of prohibition of the early 1920s considered boudoir disgraceful, shameful and illegal. Nude or risqué images of females were considered pornography and were strictly prohibited by law. Despite severe legal ramifications including imprisonment, there were strong-willed artists who created their work against those odds. Among them was Albert Arthur Allen. Originally from France, the San Francisco-based artist was no stranger to controversy. He was arrested multiple times for his art and photography, however, the legal consequences did not discourage or stop him from continuing with his amazing work.

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Allen is considered a grandfather of boudoir photography. He focused on portraying women in their most natural and raw form. His phenomenal portraits reflected the natural beauty and sensuality of female body- regardless of size, shape or age. Also boudoir photography has been through several evolutions since then, the idea of raw, effortless beauty promoted by Allen survived and re-emerged as the one of the core principals of the genre today.

1940s and 1950s marked the era of pin-up girls in the artistic world. Pin-up girls were curvy, wore corsets or men’s ties, hats and stockings. As a result, they were the first ones to use props in boudoir poses. Images of pin-up girls appeared in the form of drawings rather than photographs, nonetheless played a significant role in the history of boudoir art.

1970s was the time of “boudoir glamour photography”. It was also the time when boudoir went through another evolution of style and instead of illustrated ideals of pin-up girls focused again on natural, raw, beauty of genuine women. 1980s further solidified the distinguished character of boudoir photography as an artistic mean to celebrate femininity and female body in its natural form.

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Contemporary Boudoir

Sensual female photography has come a long way as an artistic genre. Last three decades have marked an increased social acceptance of this sensual, intimate branch of photography. Aside from aesthetic and artistic value, boudoir seems to have a tremendous psychological power to transform the way women see themselves and their physiques. Unlike any other form of photography, boudoir helps women go beyond their perceived imperfections and transcend their insecurities to capture them as they really are. It is a compelling catalyst that has the potential to fuel emotional liberation and freedom hence becoming one of the most powerful tools in the women empowerment movement today.

Today women often use boudoir as a therapeutic and liberating form of building self-acceptance. It helps them make a conscious choice to connect with and embrace their physical body the way it is.

Most of all, through the lens of contemporary boudoir, women often learn to appreciate themselves and their beauty in a very authentic, genuine way. Boudoir has the power to capture the essence of femininity that sparkles in every woman regardless of her shape or size.

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Middle Age Boudoir Session – Beautiful At Any Age.

April 17, 2018 / Boudoir
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Middle Age Boudoir Photography. Beautiful at Any Age.

Women decide to do a boudoir session for countless reasons. Today, we are focusing on one remarkable reason which is a celebration of graceful aging and appreciation of a female body as it gets more mature. Boudoir after 50 can be fun, exciting and liberating.

Sadly, we live in a culture obsessed with youth. Seemingly innocent commercials of anti-aging beauty products send a powerful message that the natural process of aging is something to be fearful about, unacceptable and undesirable. They shame women for becoming older. We are not only told that we need to stop the most natural process that a human body experiences in its tracks but that we need to reverse it. As a result of that message, aesthetic medicine is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. 

Given the above, I am not surprised that one of the most common assumptions about my work is that boudoir photography is only for the young and beautiful. I am tremendously grateful for all the wonderful women that I meet in my life, both socially and as part of my work, who help me break those unfavorable stereotypes about beauty and attractiveness.

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I remember talking to a dear friend of mine who has recently turned 50 about what it meant to be a woman of her age. I really wanted to know what has changed, if anything, in the way she viewed herself, her body and her sense of sexuality. The insight she provided me with convinced me that the common notion that women feel less attractive as they age is simply fallacious. In fact, the emotional maturity that comes with age enhances women’s sense of beauty and attractiveness and allows them to be more appreciative of their bodies.

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Beauty comes from within and has no expiration date. It only becomes more defined and graceful over time. Women as they get older become more self-aware and connected to their bodies. They are more at ease with their physique and more accepting of their flaws which creates a sense of confidence that is very sexy and attractive. What is even more important is the insight and wisdom that come with aging and life experience. At certain point in life we realize that there is so much more that contributes to our sense of attractiveness that goes well beyond the physical appearance. It is who we are on the inside. That insight can be very liberating. We learn that our bodies carry our personal histories- from very cheerful ones such as pregnancy and childbearing through sometimes very difficult ones, such as physical illness, and we learn to embrace them.

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I had such a wonderful experience working with Nancy on her boudoir session in February. She was so graceful and beautiful I could not take my eyes off of her. She was definitely setting an example for younger women on how to be confident and comfortable with their bodies.

Nancy is 59 and has shared some wonderful insight with us as well. We wanted to know why she decided to do her boudoir session at this point in her life. Nancy indicated that it was a celebration of life. She felt confident in herself and was not letting her age holding her back from anything. She was fit, physically active and taking good care of herself. Her self-esteem was growing stronger with time. Nancy also indicated that a loving relationship and appreciation for people made her feel strong, beautiful and confident. Nancy said something very powerful and worth remembering for life –

“I won’t let a few wrinkles or a number define me”.

Nancy is absolutely right. Wrinkles, numbers, sizes, shapes should not define us as women. We can be beautiful, desirable and attractive at any age and any size because beauty is not a number but an internal state of mind.

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