The English dictionary translates Boudoir to being a woman’s private sitting room. The term derives from the French verb bouder to sulk, or boudeur sulk or sulking, and originally was a room for sulking in, to put away or withdraw to. Historically, the boudoir formed part of the private suite of rooms of a “lady” or upper-class woman, for bathing and dressing, adjacent to her bedchamber. Boudoir photography is not generally a new concept and numerous examples exist including images of Clara Bow, Mae West and Jean Harlow photographed in a boudoir style from the 1920s through the 1940s.
In recent years, the term Boudoir became to denote a style or genre of photography. Many woman are finding that doing these sessions give them a sense of empowerment, bodily acceptance and confidence in themselves and really show a soft, sensual and intimate side of their personality. The human body is really a beautiful thing and when you highlight and shape the body with light and shadows, it showcases that beauty in a way I find difficult to describe.
However, I prefer to call the “Boudoir” session La Femme. La Femme was a term originally meant to mean “finding the woman”. Hence, this is what these sessions are all about. You’ll find during the session with me that it is all about rediscovering that softer feminine side of yourself. Something we tend to set aside as we fulfill our rolls as women, caretakers, business people, entrepreneurs, mothers, wives, and daughters. Its about letting your guard down, loosing that strength we carry around and becoming a little vulnerable and embracing that we as woman are also soft, tender, and yes sexy.
I’ve been inspired by a number of photographers and their work and how they shape light, so I decided to take a workshop with Goao Guedes. His work is phenomenal. I needed to feel inspired and be rejuvenated as lately I’ve felt like I’m struggling with my work and the direction I feel i need to go. So much so, I almost felt like giving it up. Meeting Goao and learning from him was fantastic. Meeting and collaborating with other like-minded photographers was also exhilarating and amazing. Making connections with people is what I believe we as humans need to do.
I loved seeing the perspectives others had on how they approach their photography. I also saw how Goao’s style of “boudoir” photography has now influenced me and how I will approach photographing weddings and children’s portraiture in the future as well as boudoir. It’s kind of interesting that I was drawn to his style as I had already started to photograph on the dark side. haha I think I was struggling with my direction of style. I’m feeling I need to change it up a bit and I’d started to do just that. Finding a balance can be difficult and I sometimes question myself. However, after today, I think I have an understanding or more of an acceptance of where I’ve want to focus my photography. How I see light and capture it in an image. So thank you to those who have inspired me.
Boudoir…a word for some reason I’ve always used but have never liked. It’s another thing I’m struggling with in calling my sessions. Many have started to change it to Confidence Sessions or Intimate Sessions, but I’m still not sure on these words either. Still thinking on this…but for now, enjoy these images of Victoria taken during our workshop in Toronto.