Month: November, 2015
BE THE MUSE, IT IS YOUR INTIMATE SHOOT
A muse! Who is she? An archetypal goddess beautiful and terrible…raining her inspiration on mere mortals and taking it away at the slightest misdemeanor? Or the gentle voice inside you that urges you to act when you behold vistas that affect your mind and soul?
No matter which definition you go by, a muse is an essential ingredient of the creative brew!
So where does your intimate shoot figure in the equation you ask?
Today I am going to shift the focus from you and your perspective of the boudoir to talk about that artist with a lens who goes about manifesting your vision. Your photographer!
A MUTUAL GIVE AND TAKE:
Epic boudoir shoots aren’t about hiring a camera wielder and going through the motions. It is a sensitive process that is often transformational, often cathartic and always full of the emotional high of self-discovery. A great intimate session is a blast of positive energy that can wipe out your pre-conceived notions about your attractiveness, your beauty and your impact and give you new eyes to admire yourself with. And it must be just perfect to capture memories that you will cherish forever.
It is thus important for you to not only feel comfortable with your photographer but actually go ahead and forge a nourishing mutual bond wherein you draw strength to bloom as the diva you are from her dispassionate companion and her impassioned praise and she in turn looks to you to find all the elements needed to create magic in the studio, balancing your raw appeal with your innocence and egging on your sensuality, only to hold the reins with sophistication.
You must be her muse so that she can set you free!!
HOW TO GO ABOUT DOING THAT?
You and your photographer do not need to get matched tattoos or proclaim undying loyalty for things to click in place. Often just a little bit of extra thought and time can work wonders, elevating the final shoot images from good to life changing.
- When you meet for the first time, make sure your schedule is clear. Intimate sessions are never really dry or commercial. They dabble in emotions. Most boudoir artists are sensitive professionals who do not approach their craft as a mere career. For them it is serving a higher purpose. If you imbue the interactions with friendliness and a genuine desire to have an amazing shoot, you will find that your photographer will reciprocate in kind. Connect with her on some human level, above and beyond your contract and you will see the results in the final shots. Trust me!
- Have your vision boards ready to go. Give your photographer plenty to go by. Show her how you envision the shoot unfolding and tease her with glimpses of your fantasies and desires. Is it a Mata-hari you see in your intimate session? Or the High Priestess of a pagan temple? Share your thoughts so that you can share the glory as well. You may even invite her to a boudoir shoot Pinterest board and build the theme together, from scratch.
- Tell her all about the incidents that have changed your course of existence. There is nothing to hide from your photographer. Baring your secrets and your scars will give her a much better understanding of who you are – as an individual, as a mother, a lover and a spouse. It will truly ignite the fires of creativity in her belly and allow her to leverage all her expertise and techniques to create settings and ambiences that put you and your presence center-stage, in loving and flattering ways.
A muse is said to be elusive. But at the end of the day her job is to inspire. Motivate yourself and your boudoir photographer to bring your collective best on the journey. Sometimes a catalyst is needed to create history.
If you have been with me for any length of time, you know how vociferous a supporter I am of shedding inhibitions and allowing authenticity to shine through. But often, abuse of the sensitivity of an intimate photography session leaves me seething with anger. And as always I take to my blog to voice my opinions and to educate the thousands of women out there who are just opening up to the exhilarating experience of boudoir photography and may be deterred by any attempt at obfuscation.
In my years as a camera girl, I have seen it all. I have shot women in extreme displays of exhibitionism. And I have been the camera wielder and witness to the passions of newly engaged couples. My lips are sealed!!
But with me and my practice, one thing is inviolable and sacred. And that is trust. I go along with the suggestions made by my clients and I explain to them, in unequivocal terms how the final images will look and the impressions they will convey. I am nobody to meddle with the desires and dramas of my clients. My job is to make the best of their vision without compromising their privacy and their integrity.
And this is the reason why it is so important to read what I have penned and be informed.
Eroticism and its Connotations:
Erotica is grossly misinterpreted these days. It is not pornography. It is the Kama Sutra. If you know what I mean! To be erotic is to stimulate sexually. And there the definition stops. It doesn’t go ahead to include the how. And this huge loophole is exploited left, right and center, often at high psychological costs to women and couples.
A beautiful, artistically shot silhouette image is erotic. Without any doubt! A lovely, limpid beauty lying on satin sheets strewn with rose petals is eroticism at its best. Erotic doesn’t necessarily have to be graphic. On the contrary, its magic lies in subtlety.
It is the responsibility of the photographer to have a candid pre-shoot conversation with prospects and discuss their vision of an intimate shoot that is to be more erotic and less classic. It is possible to handle the entire situation with class and sophistication and get myriad breath-taking shots that scream raw sensuality. There is no need to stoop to sleaze.
The Problem with Erotic Boudoir:
The issue here is twofold.
First and foremost, erotic boudoir is confused (I do not know if this is intentional) with explicit sessions. Don’t get me wrong, explicit photography has its merits and it is a huge confidence booster and medium of obsession satisfaction for some people. But to push it into the realm of erotica is not acceptable to me. Clients, often couples, rely completely on their photographer to guide an erotic shoot. And without knowing it, they transcend the boundaries and enter the land of something new. Unprepared for the consequences! Yes, each boudoir session has its consequences. For one that is done in just the ‘right’ way, the end result can be everything from transformation to an utter disregard for stereotypes. And life improves manifold.
But when a couple is in the spotlight and the ‘flow’ of the shoot, practicalities are suspended. And often the end result comes as a shock. Instead of a testament to lasting passion, they are faced with shots they would rather forget. This is so unfortunate and it directly ties to the second part of the problem.
Because of this muddling of the fine line between erotic and explicit, many couples shy away from documenting their love and their intimacy. Because they just can’t trust the sanctity of their relationship to someone who may take advantage of it to create a sleazy, smutty portfolio.
Some Things to Keep in Mind:
A few tips…
- Tell your photographer loud and clear that you are looking for erotic and not explicit. Share your vision board to further clarify the direction you wish to take.
- Use strategically placed items to cover your modesty if you do not want to go all out. Remember it is your shoot. And no one else should have an effing thing to say about it!
Be bold. And be informed!
Happy Birthday to the smartest, sexiest, loving, giving, inspiring, and talented man I have ever met. You surprise me everyday with all your quirks and gifts and I know there will never be a moment where you are not growing, exploring and looking for wonder in all that life has to offer. You are my best friend, my partner in crime, and my dream come true. I’m your biggest fan and I am grateful for everyday that I get to spend with you.
All my love, M