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Introduction to boudoir work
Image by kind permission of Barrie Spence at Entropic Tendencies

Boudoir photography exists to make a woman feel attractive, beautiful, desirable, sensual and very special. No pressure on the photographer then! Perhaps it is equally important to state what boudoir photography is not. It is not pornography or erotica, and should not approach either genre. The challenge for a photographer is to capture the beauty of a woman in a way that her fiance or husband might see her - a beautiful person, both inside and outside, openly expressing her feelings through the lens of a camera. The model wants and expects to be flattered by the images, so the photographer must be tactful, and skilled at capturing the woman's best features and minimizing the effects of blemishes etc.

As with all the "sensitive" genres, such as artistic nude, glamour, beauty etc, it is important for the photographer to be absolutely clear where boundaries lie in terms of taste. It is all too easy to stray in to areas where the poses are too suggestive and the images suddenly become tasteless - at least in the eyes of some people. Keep the standard of the pictures high, the props up-market and the poses and lighting classy.

Always bear in mind that every model is different and has her own comfort zone. One woman may want to strip to the bare essentials and pose in a fairly bold or racy manner, but another may be much more coy and prefer a more modest approach. A photographer must be sensitive to these views and suggest only appropriate dress and poses. It is equally important to remain sensitive as a session progresses and adapt the way in which a model is directed. It is her session, so help her to go her own way, pose in the best way possible within her comfort zone and express herself as she wishes.

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