Here’s something about me I never thought I’d open a blog post with: I used to hate my body!
On January 1, 2015 my boyfriend (now husband) and I decided enough was enough. Blue cheese was literally its own food group to me, and our lifestyle of over indulgence and sloth like tendencies had to change. Over the course of two years, we slowly learned what it took to maintain a healthier day to day, and I lost 50 pounds. Spoiler alert: I gained some of those 50 back, fight me.
When I was near the end of my ~JoUrNeY~ (whatever the hell that meant), a older female acquaintance otherwise known as my boss said something I’ll never forget: Go get your photos taken!
What she meant was: Get some sexy boudoir shots of myself to look back on after my looks fade. I was always turned off by the idea of boudoir shots, but even more so after that comment. Was I not worthy of photos at my highest weight? Have I peaked in attractiveness in my mid-20s?
Guess what? The scale was the lowest it had been in my adult life…and I still hated my body!
Years later, I launched Day of Pgh, and realized something: Boudoir shots were very popular with brides. Some used them as gifts to their future spouse, and others did it ‘just because.’ I had one client choose to book a boudoir shot at the same time as her best friend, and they made a glamour day out of it. Women of all shapes and sizes were raving, and that’s when I wondered: Why? Why is this so popular?
Last winter, I had a mini boudoir session done by my friend and photographer, Kayla Milroy (Kayla Bri Photography!), and I totally get it now! Did it cure all of my insecurities? No lmao. But it made me feel empowered, confident…and honestly? HOT!!!
She was cool enough to answer some questions about the process of a boudoir photo shoot, and why so many women love it!
Here is everything you never wanted to know about boudoir shoots!
Questions asked by me, answered by Kayla, and my obnoxious commentary is in italics.
You are primarily a wedding photographer. What inspired you to offer boudoir sessions?
I'm always looking for creative ways to fill my time during the week and in my off season. Boudoir is so fun— it usually involves hanging out with music and wine—so who wouldn't be down for that?!
What does a typical session look like?
I book an AirBnB somewhere in the city with a fun, classy vibe and lots of natural light! We will meet there, maybe drink a little wine to loosen up while you get your hair and make up touched up—optional!—and then we get started! Sessions last about an hour with 2-3 outfit changes. You will find yourself relaxing more and more as we move through the shoot! Can confirm! By outfit 2 I was totally sold, and felt super comfortable, which leads me to question two:
How do you make women feel comfortable at the shoot?
I have a super outgoing and bubbly personality, and I've been told it's contagious! It is!
I love finding someone's best features and highlighting them, so you better believe I'll be making you feel like a rock star. She does!
I try to be very clear and helpful with my directing as well, even to the point of laying on the bed and demonstrating the pose for you. You'll get a laugh out of it and feel even better about doing it yourself! Yes and yes, Kayla got right up in there and gave simple directions on how to angle and lay, it was really helpful!
Tell me about your favorite moment shooting boudoir?
Showing a sneak peek off the back of my camera and seeing the look of pleasant surprise when girls see how good they look! I totally screamed when she did this to me! I looked amazing!
What reaction/feedback do you often receive after women see their photos?
They are always super grateful, some say it brought them to tears! I can't say enough how valuable it is to look at yourself in that positive light and feel proud of what you see. When you show a woman how beautiful she is it's hard for her to ignore! Okay so this is weird as HELL lmao but I showed my mom a few photos and she was floored! She loved them!
For me, the most stressful thing was choosing what to wear! What do you recommend?
Know your body and what you feel confident in! Everybody feels sexy in a bodysuit, and personally, they are my favorite thing to shoot. Bra and undies can be adorable and comfy, or hot and edgy. Wear what feels like you. Bringing a lacy robe or kimono can also be a really great addition! Amazon for the win here when shopping for this stuff. I also felt my best in a bodysuit.
What should women search for in their boudoir photographer?
Research their style! Know how you want to look in your photos and make sure that photographer can deliver that vision for you. Also make sure you feel comfortable with them, nothing is worse than a stiff awkward session with someone you don't vibe with. I cannot say enough good things about Kayla, clearly. Shooting bright, fun, classy boudoir comes very natural to her.
Why do you think women--specifically brides!--take boudoir photos?
Mostly as gifts for their future husbands, but I have a lot of girls do it just for themselves! Who doesn't want a few killer shots to remind you how much of a boss babe you are? *Reminds self: I’m a boss ass babe!*
What advice can you offer to women on the fence about taking boudoir photos?
You will not regret it! It’s addicting: You'll do it once and want to do it again. Your body is who you are, celebrate it in whatever stage of life you are in. 11/10 would do again, and would definitely push the envelope more with my outfits.
What do people DO with these photos? Printing options, etc.
I deliver an online gallery for digital downloads. I can help you design and order an album after the fact! Kayla helped me create the best little black book at what I’d consider to be a killer price point.
How can women get more info about your boudoir photo packages?
Check out my boudoir Instagram page at @kaylabri_boudoir or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Thank you Kayla! Have more boudoir questions? Ask us anything! email@example.com