I have a little secret. I have a new love. I have totally fallen for my clients who are over 40.
When I first opened the studio, I worried that by doing solely boudoir photography I was limiting my client base too much. Well-meaning people told me that women over 40 who would never consider doing a boudoir session. Well, sometimes well-meaning people are clueless. Currently, half of my gorgeous clients have been between 40 and 60 years old. They are wives, moms and grandmas. They are total bundles of nerves when they come in, but they do it! And you know what? They don't pass out. They don't die. In fact, they have an amazing time and they get gorgeous images. Plus, every single one loves when they see their partner's/fiance's/boyfriend's/husband's jaw hit the floor when they see the pictures. I know that because they text/call/email me with updates like "HE'S FREAKING OUT OVER THE PICTURES!!!!!! (plus all the emoticons)"
Now, don't get me wrong-I also love my clients in their 20's & 30's. They are beautiful, fun and a blast to shoot. They have a youth and playfulness that I enjoy incorporating into my posing. But I LOVE women over 40. Like love, LOVE. And you know what else? I can't wait to be a woman over 40. There is an elegance and grace that women in their 40's and 50's possess that absolutely can not be faked in your 20's and 30's. It's like women settle more deeply and fully into their own skin after 40. It's beautiful. It's strong. It's incredibly sexy.
The roadmap of her body really is incredible. Not to get all mushy on you, but I get teary thinking about it. I see her cesarian scar. I see the lines on her face from the thousands of times she's smiled widely or furrowed her brow in concern. I see the tattoos she has-some she got when she was discovering who she was going to be and some she got after she figured that out. I see the character of her hands from rubbing the backs of her children and holding the hands of her lover. I see the scars from her skin cancer. I see the stretch marks from her pregnancy. I see the birthmarks. And I see a work of art.
She. Is. Breathtaking.
I completely understand that it's terrifying to come to me-a complete stranger-and take off your clothes. Some women aren't even comfortable changing in front of their own husband! So, I want to put you at ease. Here's how it will go. I provide music and you are more than welcome (encouraged actually!) to bring champagne, wine or your favorite spirit! You will be nervous, but as soon as we start shooting I'll be giving you so many things to focus on, that you won't be nervous anymore. Normally my shoots are laid back and I go with the flow. This is the one type of session that requires a lot of "chin down", "arch your back", "eyes to me", etc. It'll honestly probably feel more like a yoga class. You may even be sore the following day. But I will give you very concrete instruction, so don't worry about "messing this up". For example, I will not look at you and say "ok, give me a sexy face." Who the heck can give "sexy faces" on demand?? Well...probably some people in questionable industries...I'll instead ask you to do things like part your lips and then inhale when I count to three. Directions that are easy and concrete for you to follow.
Every woman has her stuff and I have seen it all. Seriously. You don't need to be nervous or ashamed about anything on your body. I have edited out a tampon strings. I have taken out a birth mark that "sort of looks like a smear of poop sometimes" (her words, not mine.) I have jacked the AC up and pulled out a fan when one of my clients got a hot flash. I have posed around "too many moles", "thinning hair", and "weird nipples" (again, their words, not mine.) That said, yes, I will soften your skin and pose and light you so you look 20 lbs lighter, but I want you to look like you. I want to you to see and embrace the beauty that is YOU. Don't be embarrassed if you are on your period or have any specific requests. I only care that you are beyond delighted with the images I take and that you feel safe and beautiful during the shoot. Be honest with me about what you're comfortable with. If you don't want to show your nipples, that's totally fine. If you want to be naked for the entire shoot, that's fine too. I'm here to cater to you.
Another source of anxiety is the lingerie part. Some women won't book a session based solely on the fact that the thought of trying to find racy outfits that flatter their body type makes their palms sweat. Here's the thing, with every session I offer a phone consultation or you can opt for an in person consultation at the studio. We can talk about what you're insecure about and what parts of your body you love! I can tell you which types of lingerie will do the best for your body type and can even make you a mood board that will show you the type of style I think would work well. Maybe you don't want to be in a bra & panties, but the idea of a floor length, satin nightgown is perfect. If lingerie makes you uncomfortable, you can do a boudoir session without it! I've done some great shots with thin, oversized sweaters, boy shorts and cowgirl boots. Or a corset with a gorgeous statement necklace and a skirt.
Another thing I heartily encourage is for my clients to incorporate things that are specific to your man. Maybe bring his favorite work shirt/tie/boxers. Or, if he has a team he adores, bring one of his jerseys. My husband's a chef, so when I did mine I brought his apron. I've had women bring firefighter gear, hunting gear, tennis rackets, baseballs, fishing vests, motorcycle jackets, golf clubs, playing cards, Christmas lights...the list goes on. If you aren't sure, bring it anyway! I promise not to make fun of you-like I said, I've seen it all!
If you're nervous about lingerie, that's ok. If you're nervous about doing this shoot because you're over 40, that's ok. We'll walk through it together. Just don't let fear stop you from experiencing something incredible.