Photos of Pamela provided by gré-Kelly Segré
Many times photographers will receive thank you letters and testimonials from their clients. It is wonderful to know how much they appreciate what it is you did for them but it is not often we get to realize the entire experience from our their perspective. Some boudoir photographers say to fully understand what it is like you need to pose for your own boudoir session. While this is exciting and fun, it is not always the same for a photographer turned client as it is the every day woman who has decided to come in for a boudoir session for the very first time! This article was written by an actual boudoir client of her experience from beginning to end, and the words are her own.
My Experience with an Intimate Portrait Session …. Written by Pamela
Several times over the years I have seen ads for boudoir portraits offering a photo experience with professional hair and makeup like models and celebrities receive for their photo shoots. You know the ones that transform you from Plain Jane into Amazing Amanda and take photographs of you looking delightfully rumpled and sexy in skimpy lingerie? Whenever I saw them I thought it would be fun but didn’t seriously consider it until I turned the big 5-0 this summer. I reasoned that I wasn’t getting any younger and that if I was going to ever do it, now was the time.
Soon after committing to a mini session with Kelly Segre Photography, my insecurities went into overdrive and my thoughts went something like this: “Hmmmm, what a great gift for my husband for Christmas…Ugh, my thighs are so out of shape from all the times I’ve skipped going to the gym lately….It would be so fun to get made up and feel pampered and to have an amazing photographer photograph me…You know, I really should wait until I lose 10 pounds….and so it went until I vowed to diet and exercise for the few weeks before my appointment. A month later I found myself with one day to go before the shoot having done absolutely zero dieting or exercise! At that point all I had to rely on was a photographer skilled with great angles and lighting!
Apparently procrastination is my strong suit because the day before my session I still hadn’t bought any sexy lingerie. This was a serious problem since most of the nightwear I own consists of free T-shirts from the races I used to run…not the image I had in mind. I was hoping for a more covered up ”Mad Men” 40s (as in 1940) style of sexy, but since I’d procrastinated I couldn’t find what I wanted anywhere. I ended up with an assortment of lingerie including a bustier with a Marilyn Monroe-esque flavor.
I went home and the next morning – the morning of my appointment – I tried everything on in hopes that I would get “comfortable” with the lingerie before I had to expose myself in front of Kelly and the camera, but all I succeeded in doing was to feel horribly unattractive and, well, exposed. I started thinking really negative thoughts like “Who do you think you are parading around like you’re 25 and in good shape? Maybe this wasn’t very smart, you’re 50 after all, this may have been a nice idea – but it’s at least 10 years too late.” To be honest, I felt like a silly, foolish old lady trying to act too young. But I pushed aside my self-doubts, packed everything up along with some accessories and headed off!
I arrived at the studio to see the hair and make-up artist just finishing up with the young beautiful girl scheduled ahead of me – I found out later she was getting married in a week and wanted these pictures as a wedding gift for her husband. Yep – I’m DEFINITELY too late. But the artist went to work on my hair and makeup and in no time I was transformed (at least from the neck up) into a glamorous (albeit middle aged) woman. She asked me for my ideas about hair, etc., but I believe that when you go to a professional you should let them do their magic and I was very pleased with the results.
Then Kelly took me back into her studio that is set up very cleverly with many backdrops and different lighting in various rooms and hallways to get a selection of settings quickly. I showed her the things I bought the previous day and with her professional eye she picked out a first “look” to try. I do want to add that I had purchased several different styles of lingerie, not knowing what would work and the one that I thought would definitely NOT be used ended up being the best one. I would suggest bringing a selection, because Kelly knows what photographs well and what will flatter you best. Also, if I had to do it over again I would get simpler pieces instead of the overtly “sexy” ones.
Kelly put me at ease immediately – even helping me tie up my corset. She showed me how to stand to flatter and create a “sexy” line, to hold my chin up and out to elongate the neck and how to hold my arms to make them look thinner. (Something I learned: if it feels really uncomfortable to you, to the camera it is probably flattering!) I had a couple of “costume” changes and Kelly was constantly thinking of what outfit would look best under what lighting and in what pose. She is an amazing photographer, and really made me feel and look beautiful. There aren’t many times throughout my life as a wife, mother and business professional that everything has been focused on ME. To be pampered and made up very differently from my everyday self and then to have the focus on whatever would make me look best was an awesome experience!
The pictures were very flattering and there were so many great shots that I had a hard time selecting the best ones for the book. I came away from the experience feeling pretty, pampered and spoiled. And someday when I’m 80, I will look back at the book and say “These were taken when I was ONLY FIFTY!!” And I will think I looked very young and beautiful.