What Boudoir Photography Means to Me
by Cassandra Eldridge
Boudoir sessions can quite frankly be one of the most anxiety ridden sessions that you ever book for yourself. I’d be remised if I skipped over this fact, and if I didn’t tell you that about 90% of my clients send emails or texts expressing this fear — almost as if to say: “what the hell did I just do?!”
I get it.
Well, I haven’t yet posed for boudoir myself, but I can empathize with that fear wholeheartedly.
Before I do a post on how to easily prepare for your boudoir session (both emotionally and physically), I want to touch on something that I feel is extremely important. It comes down to how my mind has shifted when it comes to boudoir photography.
Boudoir photography, to me, used to just be something that the bride does for her groom/partner as either a wedding gift or their anniversary. There’s no harm in this whatsoever, and it was 99.9% of my clientele. This is what they were coming to me for, and so we created images that reflected that.
I would ask questions like, “can you tell me what his favorite part of your body is?” in which case they’d almost always respond with either, “he loves my butt” or “my chest!” and rarely but I’d always find it so cute when it happened — they’d respond with “he loves eyes” or “he always plays with my hair”.
From there, I would take those things in to account as we create the imagery for her partner.
But then something started to shift.
These women would arrive to my apartment for the shoot feeling a little tense and nervous, but they’d leave feeling invigorated and insanely proud of themselves for what they just did. The reoccurring theme I would get in the thank you emails and testimonials was “you made me feel SO confident and comfortable. I didn’t even know that I looked like that”.
Initially the shoot and album was just a gift for my fiancé…
but the pictures Cassandra delivered to me made me feel more beautiful and confident than I ever have. They’re classy and sexy with just the right amount of lust.” - Liz
And that’s when everything changed for me.
Boudoir became so much more than a gift for someone else. I began subconsciously shifting the experience for it to be seen as a gift for the woman herself.
Together, my clients and I started to focus more on what made her feel worthy, and less on what made her feel inadequate. Less about the cellulite, more about the strength in her back and the curves of her hips. More about the power she’s holding, and less about the fear of being vulnerable.
These woman started showing up for themselves in the most beautiful, honest way.
Now, 50% of my inquiries for boudoir are women looking to do this for no one other than themselves.
I’ve heard everything from “I’m newly single and want to celebrate this phase of my life” to “I just had twins and I want to document my amazing body” to “I just lost 50 pounds and I want to show off my hard work” and even “I just left an abusive relationship and I want to take my power back”.
Even typing out those real life scenarios bring chills up and down my spine. This is the real work - whether you’re doing it as a gift, or you’re doing it purely for yourself. One is not better than the other — it’s purely the intention behind it all.
Therein lies the magic of boudoir photography.