By: Bob Brichmann
What should I get my man for my wedding present or our anniversary? I’m thinking something for his eyes only. How about something that breathes seduction, entices his desire for me and empowers me to be a sassy supermodel for a day?
It’s a gift. It’s an empowerment for women. It’s a venture into a realm of which many women have not gone – one of daring, throwing caution to the wind and, well…I want to surprise MY MAN!
“We like this to involve all of the senses. Light candles, start with calm jazz music and build toward some sexy, clubby feel, perhaps add a little champagne…sexy lingerie they bring from home…most girls have never done anything like this,” explains Heather Middleton, owner and photographer from Shadow Boudoir. You’re creating a pre-wedding gift for him…something of a teaser for the Big Day. It’s a pre-wedding present he finds on his pillow the night before the wedding. “It’s a fun present to remind him of what a good choice he’s made and what’s to come. It’s a chance to show off how sassy or sexy you are…just for him,” shares Tricia Duva from Studio Duva.
It’s not at all sleazy and it’s not really a new concept, either. It’s an evolution from the glamour shots of 20 years ago. It’s natural, classy, yet somewhat sassy, depending on the nature of the bride. It’s not necessarily nude, either. Much of this can be considered art.
“Why not kick off the marriage with a sexy piece of art that is only shared in the privacy of your own bedroom,” offers Marissa Bouchér from The Boudoir Divas. Sometimes a theme is incorporated into the shoot. Perhaps he’s a firefighter and the bride borrows a firefighter’s helmet or his boots for the shoot. Maybe he’s a graduate of Purdue and she wears a Purdue scarf. Several different outfits can be worn during the shoots.
Boudoir studios offer different sets they can create for your particular tastes. The average shoot is 2 hours in length, is completely private and usually involves about four different outfit changes. This, of course, varies based on your package. Packages range from $275 on up, depending on the end product (album, framed pictures, calendars, etc.). Traditionally, the final product is an album for his eyes only. Some albums are 5×7’s and about 10 images. Some albums are larger and can be coffee table in size. They can even create calendars for his private desktop office eyes only.
“Women are becoming bolder and they are emboldened by other women doing this. They are sharing their experiences on chat forums and amongst co-workers and friends. It’s not necessarily for vanity, but to reassure themselves,” adds Boucher. Diane Erth, a recent bride, decided on a special three year anniversary present for her beloved husband. Diane wanted a fun idea he would never expect. She had 2 8×10’s and 1 5×7 made by Shadow Boudoir and the rest put on a disc so she could make her own album at a reduced cost. “You’re only young once, so why not go for it! It’s a once in a lifetime thing and you’ll have fun doing it. I was even able to make a toned down picture of myself and our precious cat that he can display safely on his desk at work,” shares Erth.
There is much to be said for the comfort factor in attempting this type of shoot. How do you strip for a stranger or pose sexily in lingerie in front of a camera for the first time? It’s not as easy as a shoot in the park. “I’d already worked well with Heather at Shadow Boudoir. I loved her. She already shot my wedding. Our personalities fit. Being comfortable with someone shows in your pictures,” says Erth. Many times the comfort factor is built after an engagement session. This allows for a lot of bonding time between the photographer and couple. The photographer can get to know the couple personally – where they went to school, how they met, where their parents live, what they do for a living and so on. This builds a friendship and, ultimately, a comfort between the couple and the photographer.
The bride, ultimately, feels more of a closeness to the photographer and an ease in front of the lens. Of course, when it comes time for the boudoir shoot, things are easier. “We discuss ahead of time what they are and are not comfortable doing. Some want cute, coy, frilly and suggestive and others venture to darker colors and semi-naughty. Sometimes…what you can’t see, is more fun,” states Duva.
“We offer a unique perspective, without being creepy, by having my husband shoot with us. He’s able to dial in on the male appeal on shots and offer a different viewpoint,” adds Duva.
Lighting, shading, props and such all come in to play to help the bride reach the ultimate objective: a comfortable shoot and quality pictures that flatter. While some boudoir studios offer props, and all provide the technical lighting, it’s usually up to the bride to bring the wardrobes.
Face it, not every one is a model. Boudoir photographers can make you feel like one, though. You can enter their dream studio. You can also shoot from the comfort of your own home. Natural light is great. Photographers love shooting from an environment you are most comfortable in. This is where you will be most relaxed. “I got a day of pampering and a supermodel experience during my shoot and now we both have these beautiful pictures to enjoy! Thank you for making the experience so comfortable…what a great studio…what a fun day for me,” exclaims recent bride Liz S about her experience with Bouchér. Here’s a novel idea – bachelorette parties. Bouchér has been successfully promoting these at their studio. They take four or more girls and give them each a boudoir shoot (one at a time, of course) during a four or five hour session. It becomes more of a party, too, with high energy music, music videos, beverages and snacks. Even a professional make-up and hair person can be brought in so each girl gets the supermodel treatment.
Valentine’s Day is also a huge time for this type of gift. Ladies can also register for a gift certificate for the bride’s shower. Now that would be a surprise gift!
“When all is said and done, the pictures are just the icing on the cake. A week later, you are still on a boudoir high. You feel very good about yourself,” coaches Middleton. Empower yourself ladies. You can have a supermodel experience like the models in Maxim magazine. You can give him his very own Vargas pin-up of yourself. Drift away for a few hours and imagine yourself in a famous Hurrell pose. It’s not just a gift for him…it’s really for you.