I am so excited to bring this blog to you because I am going to be talking about my beginnings as a boudoir photographer and help you navigate how to start too! Most importantly, I want to help you find your “why” – the reason behind your boudoir photography passion. Some of you may not know this, but before I was a photographer I was a full-time Registered Nurse! The pivot from nursing to photography was hard. When I started boudoir photography I really had no one to go to for guidance or advice. No matter how hard my first steps into this business were, I knew from the very start that my intention with boudoir was to empower other women. I wish I had found a course or “how to” to guide me, which has inspired me to do just that! Here is Boudoir 101: Why and How to Start……
I have a clear memory of visiting my grandma’s house as a child and seeing photos of her in the 1950s and 1960s. I was in love with how gorgeous she looked with her hair and makeup done in such a glamorous way. She looked confident, feminine, strong – she looked like a movie star. I treasured those photos and they were the first inspiration for my boudoir photography. I wanted to help women archive those same images for their grandchildren to see one day. As amazing as it is to provide those gorgeous photos for clients, it’s even more rewarding to see the emotional impact. We, the boudoir photographers, are helping them love themselves and reflect back what their loved ones see too.
When it was time for me to leave my full time nursing job, I sat down and focused on my “why”. Just like my grandmother had felt 60-70 years ago, I wanted to provide women a creative, empowering outlet. As soon as I started boudoir photography I learned how incredibly rewarding it was to see women shine and come out of their shell in front of my camera. They may not always notice their collarbones or eyelashes, but I made it my mission to love and highlight all of their stunning features.
The first step in my boudoir journey was seeking out classes or mentors. Right away I noticed that there was not as much education as with wedding or family photography. More so, what I did come across for education was…….so not me. I was finding that boudoir photography was presented as super smokey, sexy and moody. While I respect that aesthetic for other creatives, it was just not me or my photography style! I am a naturally happy, giggly, Disney-loving lady. Shining light on beauty, not putting it in the shadows, was my goal. That’s how I started with a natural, light and airy style of boudoir photography. I thought about how I would want my own body to be highlighted in boudoir photography, and I followed my instinct!
I really didn’t know what I was doing when I started photographing boudoir but I focused on helping my clients feel natural. I’d watch how they naturally moved, talked, and relaxed. The thing with posing is that it is not natural! However, you can make posing look natural and that was important to me. Especially because, in boudoir, you have an added layer of unnatural with the lack of clothing or added lingerie! It was an extra challenge of making my clients feel confident and natural but I learned to do it. (Pssst I even have a blog post about body confident posing! Check it out!)
When I first started photography, I also didn’t have a boudoir studio! There wasn’t even a studio space to rent in my town when I started! I would invite women into my home and took their photos against a blank wall. I didn’t have fancy furniture or a beautifully styled bed. It was my intuition and gut instinct that I used to help these women feel beautiful and empowered without props. My advice to you is, use the resources you have right now. Don’t focus on other photographers’ studios, props or set-ups – work with what you have and focus on your “why” in every step you take!
My love for female empowerment has grown exponentially with every inch my business has grown, and now I want to focus on empowering the women behind the camera too! I want to help you discover your “why” and focus on that with every step. I’ll be the helping hand I wish I had when I first began. I am here for you, girl!
So, I want to leave you with some amazing resources! First, make sure to join my Light and Airy Boudoir Facebook group. It is a community specifically for boudoir photographers! I do live videos, answer questions, and share tips and tricks regularly. Second, download my free boudoir posing guide and beginner boudoir ebook! I created these resources to help you to go confidently into any boudoir session. Third, look around my blog! I have a number of educational posts that share all the knowledge I’ve gathered, ready for you! I’d recommend 15 Questions to Ask in Your Boudoir Session Questionnaire – it will give you good insight into my approach to each client! Finally, if you’re looking for personalized, one-on-one coaching, contact me! We can talk about posing, booking clients, and any other boudoir questions you may have.
Feel free to leave any questions that you may have in the comments below! I love helping you guys in any way I can.
Boudoir photography celebrates all the ways your crazy beautiful body has held you up, moved you forward, and turned you into a woman who can get. it. done. Sis, that is something that should make you proud.
I’m Emma, a Sioux Falls Boudoir Photographer. Helping people feel their best has always been part of who I am. Before focusing on photography, I worked as a nurse, and now I use that same expert care to help women feel like a million bucks. Oh my gosh, it is the best.