SARAH CHATHAM BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHY FAQS
Here are my responses and answers to common questions, objections, and concerns that I receive from potential clients about the boudoir experience
WHAT IS BOUDOIR?
Boudoir (pronounced /ˈbo͞oˌdwär/) is a French word which refers to a woman’s bedroom or private room used for sleeping, dressing, relaxing or entertaining. Boudoir photography is an intimate form of photography, usually featuring women in lingerie or some state of disrobing. The intended use is typically private in nature and not intended for viewing by a large audience.
WHAT IS THE POINT OF BOUDOIR?
Some women choose to do a boudoir photoshoot as a gift for her significant other. Other women want to pamper and create photos that they can look back on in 20 years to be able to say “Damn, I was a good lookin’ woman!” No matter what the initial motivation is, I find that when everything is said and done, the real point of boudoir (at least for me as a boudoir photographer) is for my clients to walk away from their experience feeling full of confidence and seeing themselves in a new way, as if through the eyes of those who love them most.
ISN’T THIS TYPE OF PHOTOGRAPHY “INAPPROPRIATE?”
Boudoir might not be for everyone, but I have nothing but pride for the work that I do and the images that I take. My work is a celebration of the woman you are, your sensuality, sexuality, and beauty while also being classy and refined. If anyone finds that distasteful than I politely invite them to leave my website.
WILL YOU PHOTOGRAPH MEN?
I believe that all women are beautiful and deserve to see themselves as sensual and sexy but most women are blind to these qualities due to upbringing and cultural expectations. Helping women to shed what they have been brainwashed to believe their entire lives is my passion and what truly fuels me. Because I believe that it is my calling to advocate for women, I do not accept male clients at this time.
I SHOULD PROBABLY LOSE 10 LBS FIRST…?
**Everyone** says this. Will you love your body more if you lose 10 pounds? OR will that turn into another 10, and then another 10 and then another…? Or maybe you never lose the weight and then what? You’re never worthy enough for the experience because you don’t look like Gieselle Bunchan? I call bullshit. Unfortunately, and not surprisingly, 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and only 5% of women have the “ideal” body type portrayed by the media. I firmly believe that a boudoir shoot is not something you do once you’re 100% happy in your body, it’s a tool to help you love yourself just the way you are. Read more of my thoughts on this topic HERE on my blog!
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR FOR MY BOUDOIR PHOTOS?
I recommend bringing multiple different outfits to your shoot. You and I will look through all of the options and I’ll make recommendations based on your vision for the session, photographing for variety, and what looks photograph best. Check out my blog post with my top 10 must have items for your boudoir photo shoot.
WHAT IF I DON’T WANT TO SHOW MUCH (OR ANY) SKIN?
That is totally fine! My ultimate goal is for you to walk away from your boudoir or beauty shoot feeling glamorous, confident and beautiful. This can be achieved no matter what you choose to wear – a little black dress or nothing at all! I do want to encourage you though, to take a step or two outside of your comfort zone (this is where the magic happens!) One of my favorite client stories as an example:
I had a client who was about 4 months postpartum and she wasn’t feeling confident about showing her stomach (or much skin at all for that matter). She was clutching her husband’s button-down dress shirt tightly around her, buttoned up to the neck. I took a few photos as a “warm-up” and then made a suggestion: “would you be comfortable taking off the shirt and posing in your bra & panties?” She looked at me with a horrified expression and objected “I couldn’t possibly… my tummy…” “I promise, I will pose you, your stomach won’t show and you will look sexy without showing much of anything. Trust me.” She reluctantly stepped out of her comfort zone, I reassured and coached her and snapped a few images before she scurried to cover up.
At her reveal session, the image that made her step into discomfort flashed across the screen and my client gasped “I can’t believe that’s me” she whispered, shocked at how beautiful, sexy, and classy she looked. That image ended up being her favorite of the photoshoot and is currently hanging as a saucy framed portrait in her master bedroom as a reminder of the beauty that can be created if you just get a little uncomfortable and trust.
WHAT ABOUT MY CELLULITE?!?!
I’d like to start by saying that 90% of women have cellulite. 90%. Cellulite is normal and something that society has used to make women feel bad about themselves, perpetuate diet culture and sell diet and “beauty” products. So let’s stop speaking about our cellulite like it’s unsightly.
I had to put that notice out there.
With that being said, all of your images are retouched as much or as little as you want to your satisfaction. I do draw a line at over processing and making women look like perfect plastic barbie dolls. Skin smoothing is done to taste (a discussion that we will have during your consultation) and I do not alter your body shape or size in post production. Everything that I do to flatter your figure is done with posing and lighting (no Photoshop faux pas here!)
WHAT IF MY HOME ISN’T PRETTY ENOUGH TO SHOOT IN?
I enjoy the challenge that shooting in a new and different location brings and can execute a photo shoot just about anywhere (including small apartments, cluttered spaces or rooms with poor lighting). However, if you have a dream location in mind and your home doesn’t quite fit your vision, you may wish to consider other options. What about really treating yourself and transforming your 3 hour shoot into a weekend away at a posh hotel? Or finding the perfect rental home online and indulging in a stay-cation. Maybe a friend has beautiful mountain views and would love for you to utilize her home. If you’re really brave, I know so many beautiful outdoor locations if you’re willing to strip down in the great outdoors! The possibilities really are limitless and the perfect location can help to make your experience and resulting images unforgettable, unique and unparalleled.
CAN I BRING A FRIEND TO THE CONSULTATION, PHOTO SHOOT, OR REVEAL SESSION?
You are more than welcome to bring a girlfriend to the consultation or reveal session. Sometimes it is helpful to have someone there to help make you comfortable or assist in deciding on images and products. I do advise against bringing anyone to the shoot as it can be very distracting to the client as well as the photographer. You may bring a girlfriend to the photo shoot if absolutely necessary. If this is the case, I ask that the individual is not a significant other, remains in a separate room away from where we are shooting, and refrains from taking any photos while on set.
If you are interested in an experience that you can share with 3-5 of your best girlfriends, please contact me to discuss hosting a boudoir party (it’s a fun alternative to a traditional bachelorette party, birthday celebration or an excuse for a girls night out!)
WHAT IF I’M HORRIBLE AT DOING MY OWN HAIR AND/OR MAKEUP?
Maybe you can get some tips and tricks from the fabulous professional hair and makeup artist who will be getting you all dolled up for your shoot. You don’t have to worry about a thing, just arrive at your shoot with a freshly cleansed, moisturized face and clean, dry hair.
WHAT IF I DON’T KNOW HOW TO POSE OR WHAT TO DO WITH MY FACE…? I DON’T KNOW HOW TO LOOK SEXY…
That’s the point! If you were a professional model who knew all the moves, what would you need me for? I don’t expect you to know how to move your body or what poses look best. It is my job to coach you through the entire photo shoot including what expressions to make. I have a few tricks up my sleeve to get a sultry glance or a sexy giggle! During your session, I demonstrate the poses that I’d like you to get into, direct you on how to move, and assist you in making physical adjustments.
WHAT IF I’M NERVOUS THE DAY OF THE SHOOT?
You’re stripping down to your skivvies and having your photo taken, who wouldn’t be nervous? Nerves are normal and I will do everything in my power to make you feel as comfortable as possible during your photo shoot. After a glass of champagne and some pampering hair and makeup, you’ll be giggling and having a blast while we blast some sexy tunes and tune in to some major girly vibes!
HOW MANY PHOTOS WILL YOU TAKE?
During your shoot, I will take several hundred images capturing a variety of poses, expressions and compositions. From there, I cull (or edit) down to 40-50 images to show you during your reveal session. I know, it seems like a lot, but I will help to guide you to choose your favorites that will ordered for your album, portfolio box, or wall art.
HOW MUCH DOES A BOUDOIR EXPERIENCE WITH SARAH CHATHAM COST?
The creation fee is $500 and includes professional hair and makeup, a two-hour photo shoot, two-five wardrobe looks, and an in person viewing of 40-50 images to order from. Boudoir products begin at $750 and go up from there. On average, my clients spend around $1800 on their luxe, custom photography products. Payment plans are also available with zero interest.