Boudoir – {couples}

This post is all about couples boudoir…
And breaking down some of those barriers, myths perhaps, mis-conceptions and just making a point to get it clear about what it is…

Bluntly, it is not pornographic, nor is it erotica. We live in an over sexualised world, where the lines are so easily blurred, and i can appreciate that a lot of people may have the wrong idea about what couples boudoir is, and so this post is here to help redefine those lines.

I will accept that we are all entitled to our opinions, our own likes and dislikes, our own perception of art and our own way of expression. Therefore, couples boudoir (just like boudoir for women) isn’t everyones cup of tea, and that is perfectly fine. Because it isn’t, and i accept that, and certainly respect it as well.

But before making judgement over whether it is your cup of tea or not, i encourage viewers to consider a few points and ensure that they are viewing the images with the correct eyes, and really understand the images, and not view with a misguided view, influenced by the greater viewpoint of society.

To start with, i would like to mention the two couples that feature in this post, and note that their images are shared with their full permission. Emma and Adam are a married couple with children, Mel and Matt are in their 20’s, have been together for a number of years and live in their own home. Two very different couples, different stages of their lives, but both so similar as well… with this blog to help identify those areas to which you may be able to relate, especially if considering a couples session for yourselves.

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Lets go back a few years when i first started shooting boudoir, and i gave a couples session a go. Truth be told, i hated it. It didn’t turn out any where near what i had in my mind it to be. And thats not even the results of the images, i am talking about how the session itself went. From this experience, i have learnt a number of valuable lessons. A few years on and i hadn’t re-visited the idea of couples until January this year, when approached by a client who was due to get married a few weeks later. I was hesitant to accept the session, however before doing so, i reflected on that one years past and i took away what i had learnt and began to build a new foundation. I have grown, my work and business has grown, and i accepted it as a challenge to re-visit something that i once wanted to do but with a new approach and with certainly new eyes too. And since January i have been in love with shooting couples boudoir, and it is something that i want to grow and make more established, just like boudoir in general. It was amazing, it was everything that i had thought it would have been years ago, everything that i had hoped it would be, if not even better than that. Unfortunately i did not have permission to use those images, and so they won’t be shared, but it was the best foundation i could possibly have asked for to grow from, and for this, even though i can’t use the images, for that alone i am so thankful for.

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So what were those lessons and how am i putting those to use now?

First of all, it needs to be the right couple. And yes, that means that i will turn away clients that do not fit my criteria. Let me explain that, before you get all hot under the collar and think that i am picking and choosing the good looking, or the rich, or the young, and turning away those that don’t fit my ideal. That isn’t it at all. What it does mean is that i have a very clear and set philosophy as to what couples boudoir is, and couples that do not see eye-to-eye with me on that i will not work with. It is important to me that the couple and myself are on the same page, that we are doing it for the same reasons with the same objectives and the same style in mind. If not, then i am not the photographer for them, and i will not be able to produce a product that suits what they are looking to purchase. So by this… lets say the couple want full nudity, this is not what i photograph, and therefore i will not book a session with them. Lets say they wanted to incorporate adult toys as props, this again is not what i photograph and therefore i will not work with them. There are other photographers out there that suit their requests, but it is not me. Consider this to be like with my newborns… if a client wants props and fluffy beanies and blankets, this is not my style, so i won’t do it. Its that simple. Its not about discriminating or anything like that, it is ensuring that we are a stylistic match.

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So that brings us to what is that match, what is the style or philosophy or what is the criteria?

It is pretty simple really.

For me, the photographer… couples boudoir is respectful, it is elegant, it is tasteful. It is artistic and posed.
For the couple… it is to show the love, connection, admiration, intimacy and respect between the two.

How do i ensure this? I meet with each couple before we book them in. I ask them to show me images of what they are wanting. I ask why they are doing the session. What images of mine have they seen that are their favourites. We meet and we chat and we discuss every aspect of the session. The expectations are laid out by both the couple and myself. We look at images on Google and Pinterest. We talk about their comfort level and what they do and don’t want. We talk about what they plan to do with the images afterwards.  All of this ensures that the client is looking for what i can offer, and what i can offer is in line with what the client is wanting. It is at this stage that either one of us can pull the pin without it having been made as a formal booking if we do not see eye to eye.

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While shooting, every little detail is carefully constructed. In every image the couple is positioned and posed considering every aspect. From flattering their body type, to placement of hands, to where they are looking, the facial expression. Nothing at all is “on the fly” or “freestyled”. Inch by inch each pose is carefully crafted. And truth be told, in most of them if you were to ask the client, most poses feel very awkward or unnatural. If they were sharing a real intimate moment half of the way they were positioned wouldn’t be comfortable or possible or anything like that, but for the sake of a photo, the cameras perspective, the artistic view, it isn’t real like that, its very carefully and intentionally done.

If you browse through my images of couples boudoir, there is never any hands in overtly sexual positions – his hands aren’t ever on her breasts or on her bottom, while they touch her, they are deliberately placed on areas of passion and intimacy rather than of sexual implication. They are on her face, her neck, in her hair, his arms wrap around her as the protector, not up and and down her like she is an object. Similarly, i don’t recall ever having a couple actually kiss or make any contact with each other with their lips. It is implied, it is close, but they never actually touch. This is on purpose, not only for posing but it always takes away that physical touch that detract from that which is above mentioned, and defer thinking closer to blurred lines.

Sessions are also conducted in a neutral environment. Whilst some point out that the use of a “generic” bed isn’t as personal as if it were shot in the clients bedroom, and this point i do appreciate, the environment is also a major factor in maintaining control of the session. There isn’t that home comfort where the client relaxes to a point where the lines again start to blur.

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So where does all of this leave us…

It leaves us with the removal of words such as “raunchy” or “naughty” or “risque” or “peverted” and all the crass whistles and labels like MILF.
It leaves us with a client who comes to me for the style of work that i offer.
It leaves us with clients who want to express their love and intimacy in a classy and respectful way.
It leaves us in a controlled environment, with clear aims and expectations from both the client and me, the photographer.
It leaves us with respect, with elegance, with images of a couple in an intimate setting that are soft and that
project their connection to and with each other.
It leaves us with a clear line between what couples boudoir is, and what it is not.

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So when you look at couples boudoir images, look beyond what you initially see and the surface of the image, and see a couple who are in love, who have a great respect and admiration for each other. See the images to be an expression of this, something that is personal and deep, that has meaning. Don’t pervert art and people in the natural connection between them in a raw, and beautiful way.
There is nothing pornographic or explicit about these images. They are not inappropriate and in no way are they derogatory or contain anything that requires to be sensored, but if it isn’t your cup of tea, feel free to simply click to the next page.

If you would like more information regarding boudoir, or couples boudoir, you know where to find me, i would love to chat more with you.
And if this blog post doesn’t clarify and define what it is, and what it is not, then so help this world and its loss of integrity.

{as always} x

 

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