Recently a group of 5 Bay Area photographers all got together to attend their first Unraveled Shindig with the goal of practicing shooting and modeling for Boudoir. This blog post shares their view points on posing for boudoir and what it is like to shoot along side industry peers. Surprise, but not really, the images all have a different vibe, even though we all have the same lighting, backdrops and models!
Here are some behind the scenes images I captured of us in action – man did we have some fun, teach each other tips and assist when needed. I can’t wait to do it again. If you are local photographer, find your tribe. (or give us a shout out!) Scroll down to hear all our stories from this eventful day.
Posing for boudoir is insane! I got a true taste of what my clients go through. Not only are you nervous about showing your body but the actual positions and poses are quite challenging. Is it sad that I’m a bit sore from it? Haha! The good thing about boudoir though, even if you feel silly while you’re doing it, is the body positive message you receive. We (photographers) understand that stripping down to your undies in front of someone you barely know is probably a little terrifying so we are probably extra uplifting with our words. In our eyes it’s art and it’s beauty. So having 4 photographers point their cameras at me while I was laying on the floor and hearing all of them tell me how beautiful I looked, well, it simply made me happy. THEN, seeing the images they took of me and saying to myself, “holy cow, is that me? I look goooood!” It’s such a crazy wonderful feeling. I want ALL of my clients to feel like that when they get their photos. Being on the other side of the camera was such a great thing for me to experience as a photographer. That being said, I think I need to hit the gym before my next one because my muscles are achiiiiiing.
Attending a photographer’s shoot out with 4 other photographers who live in my area when I have never actually met these ladies was a little scary. I wasn’t sure what to expect but once I got there I feel like we all instantly clicked! Thank the good Lord because the purpose of the meet up was to model (and photograph) boudoir, ha! Awkward much? I thought so, but it wasn’t! Like, not at all. I felt like we were a bunch of girlfriends hanging out and giggling a little too much. Four of us modeled and all five of us photographed one another. We worked on lighting, posing, angles and tactics. I learned from each of them and had such a great time. I’ve never participated in anything like this so I wasn’t really sure how a group of women would be able to photograph the same model without getting in each other’s way, but we were all very aware of each other and everyone was SO NICE. It was a truly humbling experience. We all helped one another and allowed each other to get the shots we wanted. Community over competition has been a running motto for some time now and this was a perfect example of that.
Modeling for Boudoir was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Let’s just say this girl does not do the whole in front of the camera thing. I happily live my life behind it… And it’s there, safe and snug behind the camera, that I see beauty all around me. I see it in the seemingly mundane, in the messy, the imperfect. But..very rarely do I acknowledge my own beauty and power. Very rarely, do extend that same loving kindness to myself. I look in the mirror and only see the things I wish I could change or the regretful life choices, like eating those cheeseburgers and not getting that gym membership. But hey, modeling boudoir was on the bucket list and I was excited to give it a go regardless!
So fast forward to the session, and one word comes to mind: THERAPY! Like seriously, an afternoon of girl time in an adorable vintage hotel (um, when . can I move in!?). Initially I was super nervous to get in front of the camera…but that faded away quickly. I usually feel like the most awkward person ever, but it’s hard to be too self conscious when four women are hovering over you telling you how gorgeous you are. Made me blush, hehe 😉 And bonus, I got my workout in after all because, ladies, Boudoir is no joke! Holding those poses was working all kinds of muscles I didn’t know I had. There were definitely poses where I thought to myself, yikes, there is NO way this is doing me any justice. But boy! Was I wrong?! And it was in receiving my images that I realized what an awesome job us photographers have. We get to hold up a mirror and say “Damn Girl. You are fire! Look how freaking gorgeous, and powerful and radiant you are.” And she takes another look at herself and says, “Yes, yes I am, aren’t I!”
Being a creative and self doubt are synonymous. That’s normal I’m realizing. Except when you are just starting out, you don’t know that. It’s so easy to freeze up with fear and self doubt and compare yourself to others, rather than the artist you were yesterday. The antidote to that is finding your tribe, building a community built on building each other up, inspiring others, creating together, not making the same mistakes, just the knowledge that others have trekked this same rocky path, survived and then thrived, and that you don’t have to go it alone. As a community, we all get where we dream of going a bit faster and we make some pretty kickass friendships and memories along the way!
This was my first shoot out, and OMG yes! How did I not know this was a thing before?! Amazing, supportive, kind, creative, talented and all around kickass human beings, who happen to share my affinity for taking pictures and light that falls just right and finding beauty in weird things. This is AWESOME! My biggest take away technically and creatively was in my image composition and the magic that comes from moving. With five photographers, you have five different takes on the same scene, five different stories being told. My mind was absolutely blown when I saw the images from the other photographers. Together we worked all sides of every shot and wow, I now see that there is literally endless possibility. And now on a shoot, I am telling myself, remember jess, there is more here that meets the eye, initially.
Walk the scene, work those angles, don’t be afraid to try something that might not work because if it happens to, it’s got a good chance of being gold!
I’m a family lifestyle photographer. Boudoir is something new to me. I have never shot or posed for it and the feelings that I felt when this opportunity came up were all over the place! I was SO EXCITED! I mean, how cool right? I get to meet and shoot along side some fabulous photographers! On the other side, I’m already super awkward in front of the camera and now I have to get basically naked in front of strangers all while not feeling super confident and having body issues, my mind was spinning.
Everyone should experience posing for boudoir. Not to show off your images to everyone (you totally should though!), but for yourself. I was so uncomfortable at the thought of posing in lingerie, but knew pushing myself to do this would help me grow. I decided to to wear something not typical for boudoir – a long skirt with a high slit, and a lace long sleeved top and even though I was the most covered up, these amazing photographers made me feel so sexy. Stepping WAY out of my comfort zone was so refreshing and filled up my self esteem cup. The positivity I received throughout the session made me feel like I could do anything. And when I received those images from each photographer, I wanted to burst out into tears of pride and happiness because I couldn’t believe it was me and that I actually did that!
Participating in the shootout was so helpful to me. I got to direct poses, learn new perspectives to shoot from that I normally wouldn’t have, see how others shoot, and it gave me the chance to talk in real life with other photographers (something I don’t do enough of). I’ve gained four new friends that I can bounce ideas off of and ask for advice when needed. I love shooting families, but getting to shoot something different than what I’m used to was so fun!
Would I do it again? Totally!
It is so important in our industry to make connections. Being an artist can be a lonely life if one allows it to be. It takes a huge leap of faith and a lot of determination to embark on a career in the arts. We are putting our creativity and passion out into the world on a daily basis where it is up for anyone to judge, and people do. This is why it is so important to find your tribe to journey alongside you. Connecting with these other photographers was nothing short of amazing. Instant friendships were made because we share a common path and struggle. There is an unspoken understanding and compassion for one another as we navigate our way through the often difficult task of being a creative. To my fellow photographers, thank you for lighting me up when I need it and allowing me to shine on your darkness in return. We are all in this together. Community always.
Andra didn’t get to pose for us this round.. because we ran out of time. We got you next time girl!
This was not my first time modeling for boudoir… I have been posing occasionally with my previous boudoir photography partner. Us creating a gift for our boyfriends back in 2008 was actually the whole start of a boudoir photography company! But it has been a decade, and two children, since I got in front of the camera for this type of shoot .. and man I was just as nervous as the first time. Luckily, I knew from experience that angles that feel kinda weird look good on camera and these girls promised to catch my good side! They made it a blast. In fact, I could hardly stop laughing (sexy pout ain’t my thing) but they capture just want I hoped for and made it fun along the way. And just like all my clients say – posing that way can be a work out!
This group of ladies met online and we had been trying to get something in the works for a shoot out for months… finally I decided I would put it out there to have one at a favorite location of mine and we could trade off modeling boudoir. I half expected no one to jump on it, but we did! At first we all met in the hallway and decided a drink before we get half naked with strangers from the internet was a good idea. We became fast friends with a love of creative photography and I cannot wait to shoot with them again.
If you are interested in learning more about Unravel Academy visit this website: www.theunraveledacademy.com
And please reach out if you would like to join us for a shoot out!