So what is Boudoir?... for me!

November 17, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

If you search the term 'Boudoir'  Wikipedia of course hit the top of the search engine and here is their take on the genre:

‘Boudoir a term to describe a genre of photography which derived from many stars from the 1920s that were photographed in ‘Boudoir’ style. These images were typically shot in a studio or luxury hotel suite, creating a set of sensual or sexually suggestive images.

The most common manifestation of contemporary boudoir photography is to take variations of candid and posed photographs of the subject partly clothed or in lingerie. Nudity is more often implied than explicit. Commercially the genre is often (though not exclusively) derived from a market for brides to surprise their future husbands by gifting the images on or before their wedding day. Other motivations or inspiration for boudoir photography shoots include anniversaries, birthdays, Valentine's Day, weight loss regimes, other form of body change or alteration (such as breast augmentation or reduction) and for servicemen and women overseas.

Boudoir photography may, in some cases, be distinguished from other photography genres such as glamour photography, fine art nude photography and erotic photography. According to research carried out in Digital Boudoir Photography (2006), John G. Blair said that the word "Boudoir" or "Boudoir portrait", was used in 1980 by Motherlode Photography Studio in California to describe a picture more elegant than "erotic portrait" or "semi nude portrait".’

The interesting fact about this genre is it really gets people talking, debating... what is Boudoir? and more so.  I blogged some pictures last week from two very different Boudoir photo shoots that I myself took part in as 'the model'. The feedback I received was very interesting and questions asked were 'Is Boudoir photography for women only?' and 'how would women feel about having photos like this of their man?'  Of all the comments received, the most prominent one that stood out for me and really hit home was written by a male friend of mine:

'You are such an amazing writer. What a brilliant article, as for the pictures, WOW!! Maybe I didn't really understand Boudoir before. 

Then yesterday, your article came up on my news feed and If I was to describe you before reading it and seeing the pictures I would have used words and phrases like 'pretty' 'cool' 'attractive' 'down to earth' 'easy to get on with' 'on the same wave length' and 'really nice'. 
 
You are still all of those things but wow you are also a VERY Sexy, stunning and sexually attractive lady.
 
Maybe I still don't understand Boudior and forgive me if this offends you but as a man the media has made me subconsciously put women into two compartments, women in print and everyday women. Seeing your Boudior shoot has broken down that wall between the compartments, there is one type of woman! and she is the everyday woman, your friend, your gym buddy, your work mate, your fantasy, your lover and your wife'.
 
Love Miss D Boudoir PhotographyLove Miss D Boudoir PhotographyBoudoir Photo shoot
 
So what is Boudoir?... for me!
 
Wikipedia explain it in quite an emotionless, frank and definitive way as only they know how but what they fail to touch on (in my opinion) are the key factors that encapsulate Boudoir.  However, if you know nothing about this genre of photography then it’s a good a place as any to start :)   The Boudoir genre stems as far back as the Hollywood icons of the early 1920's right the way through to Vintage Burlesque Stars even the 1950's Pinup girls. An ever changing genre that ultimately was about sensuality, sexuality and an intimate portrait of women, of all personalities, colours, shapes and sizes.
 

I can’t help but feel Wikipedia may have slightly missed the point for me. Boudoir is also a journey of self-discovery for many women, how many of us struggle with the acceptance of our body shapes, do we feel sexy, do we make enough time for ourselves to remember that we are sensual beings aside from being a daughter a sister a mother and a wife etc. We are who we are, and you can come across as the most confident person in the world and still be a shrinking violet at heart. More than that from day one the media seduces our mindset into believing what the 'ideal' woman should look like and its not just us women that feed into this, unfortunately as my friend confessed it can run across the board. 

Looking back over the years it’s important to understand how this genre has inspired what we deem as ‘Boudoir’ today, iconic women, glamorous, fearless and at ease in their own skin.

Boudoir is still very much a misunderstood term and of course open to stylistic interpretation. But it should not be mistaken for glamour alone. The intention is not to ‘get naked’ in order to feel sexy as many women choose to show little to no flesh at all. The main purpose is to be honest with who you are after all it is fundamentally a ‘self-portrait’ with the aim of tapping into your inner being and pushing your boundaries. It’s about getting in touch with who you are and learning to look at yourself on the outside and see beyond the perceived imperfections or what ‘society’ or the ‘media’ deem to be acceptable.

 

Which leads me nicely to my 'final thought' ;) which is this... what is Boudoir for me?  It is... 

'An intimately sensual and classically provocative artistic ‘Portrait’ of a woman capturing her at her most vulnerably alluring, seductive and fabulously feminine self!'

- Love Miss D 


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