I modelled for Kate Hopewell-Smith on a Boudoir training day earlier in the year & when the shoot finished - I had more energy than when it started! I felt fantastic & as strange as this sounds, I felt extremely feminine. I'm speaking for myself here when I say that I spend most of my days in jeans (or comfy editing clothes) & only really get dressed up for occasions. However if you're out & about have a look around, you will see most women are actually in jeans, rather than skirts or dresses. You're probably thinking what point am I trying to make? Well, when having my hair done a few weeks ago the owner of the shop 'George' was looking through a magazine & came across an advertisement for clothes with a picture of a lovely looking lady in a casual dress. He said "Why do I never see women wearing things like this? Have you noticed women just wear jeans all the time. Women should dress like women." Something along those lines in a tongue-in-cheek way. I didn't agree with him at the time, I made a point about the English weather, having white legs & the woman in the magazine being a supermodel! I still don't agree with him to some degree - but I understand what he means. I think as women we don't appreciate our bodies like we should or even see them enough! We just pick out our flaws & ignore our positives & most of the time cover up. Obviously I am not saying we should walk the streets in our underwear but we should embrace ourselves. All women, whether you are 18, 35 or 60!
When I looked at my images from Kate my first reaction was laughter, & I think it was disbelief that it was me because I don't see myself in that way. Naturally I was studying them & I just fell in love with the images, again I felt fantastic - "Yeah, that's me." Remembering the enjoyment Kate had photographing me & the way I was made to feel on the other-side of the lens, & then finally actually looking at myself - I was curious to try this (as the photographer). I was telling my two friends all about it over lunch & they offered to help me out if I wanted to give it a go. I am very lucky that one of them is a fantastic makeup artist - Jessica Ava Makeup, & luckily Lydia the model trusts us both so she was up for experiencing it for herself. So we did it & here is what Lydia had to say:
I never thought I would have a boudoir shoot before as I have never been body confident and I have seen various tasteless boudoir photography in the past. However, my boudoir experience with Jessica could not have been better. Jessica is a friend of mine and I have admired her work since she started photography, this gave me complete confidence that she would produce tasteful images. Although we are friends, I expected to feel a little embarrassed when we started the shoot, however, Jessica immediately kicked into work mode and made me feel at ease. Jessica is an artist who is passionate about making her clients look their best, this was obvious to me throughout the shoot, and I found her precise instructions and words of encouragement very reassuring. When I was sent a preview of my photos, I could not believe my eyes. I knew I looked my best because I had my makeup done by Jessica Ava, but I did not expect to like the photos as much as I did! Yesterday I received all of the photos and my confidence was boosted yet again, I am so pleased with how they turned out, and so is my boyfriend. From start to finish, the experience was incredible. I would recommend this shoot to any woman, it has proven to me that you don’t have to look like a supermodel to be sexy!
I suppose there are numerous things you could name this type of photography but Boudoir seems to be the right choice for the style I like. I know some people don't understand it & think it's too provocative, & I agree this type of thing can go two ways. This is why I am enjoying experimenting & finding my style. I love photographing women anyway so this is such a rewarding thing to do. But it has to be done right. I think all women, again, no matter what age, need to see themselves in their true feminine form, & I promise you, you will be pleasantly surprised with how beautiful you truly are.
A selection from my first ever 'boudoir' shoot.....