Feb 12

Artful Boudoir

Boudoir is concept that sometimes I struggle with. It is a French word that means a woman’s bedroom or private room.  And I think that’s the key to boudoir – it is private, personal and an emotional experience.

Each January I see a huge influx in boudoir advertising, its right before the Valentine’s holiday and it seems like a very romantic gift.  It is, that I can absolutely agree with.  And from a marketing standpoint, it’s right on.

Bridal Boudoir | The Day's Design | Ashley Slater Photography

I also get asked to be a part of similar sessions, staging, designing and helping to choose tasteful lingerie.  I personally love it, it’s so romantic and raw.  There’s an energy that’s created and the form of artistic expression is something special. I understand why the ancient Greeks and Renaissance artists used women in the nude as their muses.

But then I struggle with whether or not I should actually be posting these private images. Is this something that’s too racy and dare I say, pornographic, for me to be a part of?

Enter the gray line.  Remember when Glamour Shots from the mall were all the rage?  When I was younger, my pastor had one of his wife hanging in his office.  She looked amazing.  So remarkably beautiful, sexy.  Of course, I was 10 at the time so those weren’t the words I used to describe her, but just the same that gorgeous airbrushed image is burned into my mind and I can still see the teal backdrop against her fiery red hair.  She was a vision. And not the vision you’d typically think of when you imagine a pastor’s wife.

She was somewhat plain in her everyday existence.   I think every woman deserves to feel like a fiery redhead goddess at least once in her life. It’s a boost in self-confidence to be depicted in this way and there’s really no rule that you need to share these images with a man.  As someone who often struggles with body images and confidence, I encourage any photography style that will help promote inner beauty and enhancing the outer, in a natural, real way.

Bridal Boudoir | The Day's Design | Ashley Slater Photography

Photography: Ashley Slater Photography 

What I have witnessed is a trend towards the art and the thoughtfulness.  Boudoir is 2015’s Glamour Shots.   I worked with one woman who wore a full length robe.  It was silky and feminine, but showed no more cleavage than one might expect to see in a wedding dress.  And on the other end, she showed off her ankles and toes.  Back in 1915 this might have been controversial, but today it was barefoot and beautiful.  Often textures and fabrics add grace to the photos.  Some of my favorites would hardly even be considered boudoir.  They’re not full of the kinky lingerie, provocative poses and indecent images that convince ourselves are necessary for this type of session.  Think long lashes, sweet muted tones and tender beauty.

My thought is if you can’t show them to your daddy, then they should never leave the bedroom.  I’ll never post anything that’s revealing beyond an artist’s eye.  But I do encourage sessions that show off this more sensual side of being a woman.   Whether it’s in a sequin dress, a bridal veil an old t-shirt, be your own definition of sexy.

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