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Kerri Cipriani Posted by: Kerri Cipriani 2 years ago

Once Upon a Time…

Let’s talk about myths.  A long time ago, in a kingdom far, far away… Wait, hang on, that’s a fairytale.  Myths usually start with crazy names like Odysseus or Achilles or Eustus.  Maybe not that last one so much- that one seems like a pretty modern name.

There are a lot of myths out there.  Stories of Greek heroes, tales of Viking gods, all that stuff that is making great Netflix content right now.  And here’s the thing: not a single one of them are rooted in any kind of truth. They usually are an attempt at teaching some kind of lesson, but they are absolutely untrue.

When it comes to boudoir photography myths, they can be even more unhelpful.  They’re just flat out misunderstandings, misinterpretations, or, in some cases, malicious.  And because these myths can have the affect of discouraging women from experiencing boudoir, we thought it would be useful today to address some of these untruths.

Lets “Demythify”

Yes, today, we are going to demystify boudoir.  De-myth-ify, if you will.  Yikes, that got ALL of the red squiggles under it.  I tried.

But seriously, let’s take a little time to deconstruct a few common myths about boudoir photography.  In some cases, we’ll look at where the myth came from in the first place, but in other cases, we’ll just set the record straight.  If you’re unsure about boudoir, maybe one of these is a myth you have heard.  Let’s see if we can’t restore some confidence and slay a few dragons today.

Alright, dust off your tomes, and let’s explore the mythology of boudoir photography…

Myth #1: Boudoir Photography is the Same as Pornography

Okay, let’s tackle a dicey one first.  Some people see this as a particularly toxic misconception.  Here’s the thing: we want to remain open-minded to anyone engaged in legal, consensual sex work.  Some women find this an incredibly fulfilling and empowering business to be involved in.  So, no judgment if that’s your jam.

It’s just that boudoir is absolutely not pornography.  Yes, there is an element of sexuality to how the photos are taken and presented, but that is a quantum leap away from being pornographic.

In most cases, pornography is produced for a broad, paying (and generally male) audience.  It is for the consumption of the male ‘masses,’ so to speak.  And it is a specifically for-profit industry.  There is an expectation of payment to access produced pornography, but anyone who pays is typically allowed said access.

Boudoir Photography Is About Choice and Empowerment

Boudoir is a much more private, intimate and curated experience.  It is for the enjoyment of the subject, not an audience. Even the term ‘boudoir’ refers to a private back room in a woman’s chambers.  This is not something for the whole world.  It is for you, and your partner if you choose.  

Boudoir images are not meant to be publicly distributed, though we love to celebrate our bombshells on social media if they give us permission.  They are not meant to be shown off en-masse to paying audiences.  And they are not sexual for the explicit purpose of being sexual.  They are also not inherently “male gaze”. We have curated empowering poses to counter the “male gaze” implication. Boudoir photos are intended to show off confidence, beauty, and inner-passion.  It is far more a personal expression than it is billboard.  

Ultimately, it is up to you who you share your boudoir photos with, if anyone.  But the purpose is not for profit or distribution.  It’s an individual experience.  Maybe to be shared with a partner.  Which brings us to our next myth…

Myth #2: Boudoir Photography Is A Gift For a Male Partner

So this second one has a certain element of truth to it insofar as the historical context of boudoir photography.  If you read our article about the history of boudoir, we discuss how the photography style experienced a boom in the 1940s.  This tended to be tied to young women sending a gift to their husbands or boyfriends who were about to be deployed in World War 2.  And while it is generally accepted that this is where the practice of giving boudoir as a gift began, it has evolved a lot ever since…. and so has our construct of relationships ;) Celebrate that rainbow!

The fact of the matter is, boudoir photos are for no one except the person in front of the camera and the people she decides to share it with.  If any.  We have women come into our studio all the time who simply want to do the shoot for themselves.  And we encourage that!  You shouldn’t need an ‘excuse’ to do a boudoir shoot!  You should be able to just do one because you want to do one.  

Celebrate YOUR Journey with Boudoir Photography

Especially at Boudoir by Cipriani, we view the experience as a profoundly personal journey, and a reason to celebrate yourself.  Do we have women come in that are preparing a gift for their partner?  Absolutely!  But more often than not, women who are preparing a gift for a partner are surprised by how much of a gift it ends up being for themselves. Some want to remember a particular moment in their life.  Some use it as part of a healing path- to fall back in love with themselves after a difficult time.

There are LOTS of reasons to do a boudoir shoot.  It does not just have to be something you give to someone else.  Do it for you.

Myth #3: You Have to Know How to Pose

Quick game.  Think of the name of a few models you know of.  You don’t even have to like them; just know who they are.  Got them?  Okay: are any of them boudoir models?


Exactly.  Most fashion, fitness, or lifestyle models are highly trained and practiced in a very specific physical presentation style tailored to their particular industry.  And because of that, there is a misconception that boudoir is the same.  It’s absolutely not.

When you come into our studio, we will teach you how to pose.  And all of that will be done slowly and gently, within the boundaries of what you yourself are comfortable with doing.  No experience required.  None.  In fact, being too practiced at certain poses can actually take away from the organic, natural feel of a boudoir session.  We’re not posing you to show off some pair of leggings.  We’re posing you to show you off.  

A Different Kind of Posing

We’ve talked a bit about posing in previous articles, but I want to do a callback here.  Think about the last time you sat for a portrait- whether with your family or for school pictures or for whatever.  Was it comfortable?  Did it feel natural?  Did you feel sexy?

Probably not.  And again, that’s because portraits, fashion shoots, and even some lifestyle photos tend to be a bit rigid, practiced and specific.  Boudoir photography is a little looser.  It’s a little more freeing.  Relaxed.  So don’t worry if you don’t have a repertoire of poses in your head.  We take of that for you.  All you have to do is show up!

Myth #4: You Have to Lose Weight First

We really don’t like this one round these parts.  For, like, so many reasons.  But before we get into those, let’s just put this idea in a corner.  You know that corner that no one puts Baby in?  We’re putting this idea into that specific corner.  Go away.

No, and no again, you do not need to lose weight before a boudoir shoot.  You are perfect exactly the way you are.  Your body is exactly ready for its boudoir shoot right this very second.  I promise.  Trust me.  I’m kind of an expert.

There’s a few things going on with this idea that I want to deconstruct.  One, it contributes to negative self-imagery, and is the complete opposite of what boudoir photography sets out to accomplish.  Boudoir is a celebration of you.  It is not an attempt to create some magical, nonexistent paradigm of perfection.  It’s about being vibrant and sexy and empowered for being you.  Just as you are.  You are beautiful.

Crash Diets = BAD

Also, y’all, crash dieting or over-exercising before a photo shoot really takes away from the experience.  Just ask my brother about the last time he tried to do a cut in the gym- he got so cranky he tried to eat a notebook.  And if you’re already concerned at all about how you look, believe it or not, trying to lose a bunch of weight right before a shoot can make some things worse.  You’ll look and feel tired, and you won’t have the energy or excitement to put into your session that we would love you to have.

So seriously, don’t worry about it.  You don’t need to lose weight.  You’re perfect.

Now Go Live Happily Ever After

What a journey we have been on today!  What strange lands we have visited and creatures we have seen!  Creatures like… you know, misunderstandings or misconceptions about boudoir…

Look, I tried to bring this back to the mythology metaphor.  It worked a lot better in my head.  

Hopefully, though, you’ve got a few new ideas about boudoir photogrpahy, and we were able to clear up some of those misunderstandings.  But maybe you still have questions left.  That’s to be expected!  After all, there is quite a bit to know about boudoir, and it can seem a little overwhelming sometimes.  Fortunately for you, we have a ton of resources to help continue to demystify boudoir.

Our blog has a lot of great information, and we cover many topics from the value of boudoir to some of the must-knows before a shoot.  There’s a lot of reading in there, but the easiest way to have your questions answered is to reach out!

Let’s talk, bombshell.  Call me, set up a consultation, let’s connect, and let me answer your questions directly!  I can’t wait to show you what the camera sees in you. 

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