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Boudoir Photographer Portland

QA: Going All Out vs Staying True to You

Every week (or so) I will be posting a new Q&A post to answer your questions about boudoir, erotica, my photography and more. If you have a question that you would like to have addressed please feel free to reach out and let me know what’s on your mind!

Should I Go All Out On My Boudoir Session or Stay True to Myself?

This is actually a really common question that I get (though asked in a million different ways), and the gist of it is this; should you go all out, buy a bunch of lingerie or clothes that you wouldn’t usually  wear, or get a tan if you normally wouldn’t, or get your hair/makeup done if you normally don’t; or should you stick to what you know, and keep things more realistic to you. I bet that you can already guess my answer to this, but I’ll give you a quick second to rethink your own opinion on this.

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Ok, my opinion on this is that I prefer when my clients stay pretty true to themselves, keeping their session within the realm of reality for what they normally look like. A big – no – a huge part of what I am trying to do with my photography is to give you something that you can look at and feel good about yourself. If I can provide you with images where you are looking great in wardrobe or styled  how you or a partner may actually see you on an ideal day then the effect of those images is going to be much great on your self image and self worth than an image where you ‘went all out’ and ended up looking unrealistic for who you are. In fact images like that are just as likely to make you feel bad about yourself later on than they are to make you feel good about yourself; because you can remember and tell yourself everything you did for those photos that you wouldn’t normally do, be that some incredible hair, awesome wardrobe, expert tan or whatever.

So for me, if asked, I always prefer that my clients keep it real. Do your own makeup, Do your own hair; Buy lingerie and wardrobe that you can actually see yourself wearing beyond the photoshoot. The images from the session will highlight who you are, and will reaffirm to you how sexy you can be without needing to go through all that crazy effort to get to a place that is unrealistic to you. But going further, if these images are meant for a partner, the images will have more impact on them as well if you look more realistic to yourself. If they open up an album and find a ton of images of you hardly looking like yourself they are less likely to have a lasting draw to those images. Whereas if they get an album full of images that show you in a realistic light, in a way that they can actually envision you in their heads – well, let’s just say those images will have a more lasting effect on your partner.

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But all of that said, does that mean I think that it is bad to ‘Go All Out’ and swing for the fences with your session? Not at all, it really just comes down to your reasons for coming to me for the photoshoot. If you are wanting that sort of once in a lifetime experience to really show your body off in its best light sparing no expense and taking it all to the next level – then, by all means, go all out and really shine. The joke is that if you go all out it really makes my job easier; professional makeup hides a lot of imperfections that I would normally have to edit out in Photoshop, professional hair really helps to keep your hair looking great during the length of the shoot, nicer lingerie probably fits you better than more standard lingerie… you get the picture. So it should mean something here when I tell you to not do this unless you specifically want that; because in telling you that I am making the editing process that much more work.

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But I really do believe that these images can and will have a better and more lasting effect on you and your partner the more real and true to yourself you remain. I am doing this for that, to give you that self-confidence, help you feel empowered in your body and your appearance, to believe that you are beautiful and pretty and sexy; and that yes, you can still turn your partner on. So if that means you staying more realistic and true to yourself means I have to spend an extra few minutes editing each image then I am willing to do that, because that is what this is about for me.

Be it a boudoir session, an erotica session, a couples session – whatever the occasion, my primary goal is and always will be to give you images that you are proud of, images that you want to share with every one (but won’t given the nature of the content).


As always if you have any questions, comments, concerns about this topic or any of the others that I have brought up (or even those that I have not gotten to yet) please feel free to leave a comment below or drop me an email and i’ll be happy to clear things up for you.