Why I don’t believe in “Before and After” photos.
I’ve been teetering back and forth lately about whether or not to even write this blog post.To be perfectly honest, I am mostly worried I will come off “snotty” to other photographers who use the “Before and After”, photo-philosophy. If what I am about to say does come off as “snotty”, I assure you it was not my intention.
Boudoir portraits aren’t just about taking sexy photos…
Some women really do want their boudoir photos to be super made-up, or fashioned into an idealized version of themselves, and if that’s how you feel empowered, that is great! I am totally not knocking that at all. But truth be told, I can’t help but feel like there is a lot that I need to say in regards to my philosophy about how I think the boudoir photography experience should be for a woman. At least this is my vision when it comes to L Boudoir.
Not only is L Boudoir a studio where women can come and have beautiful, sexy-and-tasteful, fine-art intimate portraits made of themselves, but experience has taught me a session can often be a therapeutic moment of discovery. Uncovering, no… remembering, that powerful part that makes you beautiful, desirable, and uniquely sensuous. Often the world, the magazines we read, the men in our lives, and even other women, cause us to forget these things that are natural about us. But when we remember them, they transform our self-identity forever.
In my humble opinion, boudoir photography isn’t just about taking sexy photos, but at its core it really is a time for healing your self-esteem, and boosting your confidence! A priceless moment in our lives of chaos and doubt for women to come out of their shells (even briefly) and realize how truly beautiful each and every one of us is.
Every… one… of… us.
No matter your shape, size, height, skin color, disabilities, flaws, hairstyle, make-up, or any other superficial trait we characterize and accept as beauty (or not). I have seen through the lens of my camera countless times that every woman is uniquely beautiful and has an innate “sexy side”.
As a Mom to a 7 year old daughter, I am really sensitive to these pervasive body-image lies that popular culture hammers women and young girls with. I will NOT play a part in that. AND as someone who has endured her own personal struggles with self-esteem and confidence, it is so important to me, as a boudoir photographer, that I do more than simply make you look good in photo. Your experience with me can (and should) be life changing and epic.
Which finally brings me to my point…
Why don’t I put Before-and-After photos of my clients on my website?
First of all, what kind of message is this giving my beautiful clients that walk into my studio, pre-makeover? I think before-and-after photos subconsciously suggest to women that you were not “pretty” before, but after we make you over? You are suddenly, somehow… better?? AND WHY, for God’s Sake, do some photographers purposefully make the “before” shot so unflattering?? Of course you can make the “after” stunningly better if you aren’t your normal, everyday you in the “before”!
That is absolutely NOT the message I want to spread through my work at all. Now, don’t get me wrong, getting your hair and make-up “did” is definitely part of the overall experience here at L Boudoir. It’s a time to relax, sip champagne and just have fun with the stylist and myself, while she gets you ready for the camera, but in a way that fits YOUR SEXY! I don’t want to force a Jessica Rabbit cartoon out of my clients! By simply having fun in a comfortable surrounding, I would rather guide, coax, and encourage you to let your guards down during the photo shoot, eventually revealing the real sexy you. Capturing those photos that your lover is going to go crazy over, because that’s the sexy side they have seen (or maybe they haven’t seen, but have always wanted to see), and just more of it!
I want you to feel gorgeous and excited when you walk into my studio, and even more fabulous and confident when you walk out, and THEN… once you’ve finally seen your photos, you will truly behold with your own eyes, that you ARE a beautiful sexy woman (and have been all along). I just took the photos. It was all you, sister!