Women's intimate portraiture

My First Boudoir Shoot | Orange County Boudoir Photographer

July 26, 2019

My first experience with boudoir photography was in February of this year.  My daughter is Alyssa Michelle of Photography by Alyssa Michelle.  She had been asking me to do a shoot with her for at least two years before I finally, reluctantly agreed.  At that time, I was 59 years old, since then I have turned 60, an age that in my mind seems rather landmark. 

I am going to share some thoughts with you, that I have since my shoot experience:

Trust Yourself!  By this, I mean know yourself;  your likes, your taste, your limitations. I chose three outfits that I knew I could be comfortable seeing myself in.  Style, color, and material were important to me as I know my body type more than anyone else does.  I think this will be true for anyone.  I also knew what poses I would be uncomfortable seeing myself photographed in.  I expressed my concerns about these ahead of time and we agreed to stay away from the poses that I couldn’t see myself in.  Lastly, I have back problems and I didn’t want to get into a situation where I put myself in a pretzel that might have made matters worse.

Trust Your Photographer! Once I narrowed my outfit choices down, I was told why some colors and styles work better than others. I am no expert in photography, so I needed to trust that I should stay away from any selections that would wash me out on film, make certain body parts appear in ways I didn’t want them to, and others that just didn’t “challenge” me enough.  The last recommendation was the most difficult for me because I am such a control freak that pushing the envelope was something that was foreign to me. In the end, we found a happy median in every aspect of the shoot.  I ended up wearing one outfit that was solely chosen by me.  This was my least favorite.  The other two outfits were in my color palette but definitely pushed me slightly out of my prudish comfort zone.  The photos I liked the best were taken in these outfits.  

     During the shoot, Alyssa suggested poses that seemed a little extreme to me.  By that, I mean they seemed a little too exaggerated to look natural in photos.  I could have done more to put myself in these “exaggerated” poses, but I held back a little thinking that they would look odd or too forced.  I wish now that I had done everything that was asked of me because I can see that they do not show up as fake or forced at all.  Indeed my photographer daughter knew exactly what she was doing and I just needed to trust her!

Trust Your Own Eyes!  And don’t be so hard on yourself.  I had no idea what to expect when it came time for my reveal.  I was fairly certain that none of the photos would be good, at least not in my eyes.  I was worried that I would look 59 years old in each and every shot and that I would look awkward and uncomfortable in every photo.  I tried to keep an open mind, but I am always very critical of myself which makes it hard for me to view myself objectively.  Needless to say, the photos that I thought I would like the least were actually my favorites and the poses I thought were too extreme were among the best.   I was so happy to see that she had chosen certain pictures to be black and white and I agreed with each one of her selections.  For my next shoot, I will still stay true to myself as far as style and preference, but I will keep a more open mind on poses and I will definitely take the time to enjoy the whole process from beginning to end.  I think if you go into it with the right frame of mind, it can do wonders to build confidence in yourself. 

By Dana Nicolai (Mom)

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