Many of you have shopped from us for your boudoir shoot, or have been thinking about getting your very first boudoir photographs. This week, we have invited McKenzie, the face behind Note to Self Boudoir, to answer our questions about boudoir photography and self love.
Note to self was created as a safe space for women to feel empowered, confident, beautiful and sexy in their own skin! I have been at my current studio for almost 3 years but have been photographing boudoir for over 8 years. Every session is so different from the next but every one brings me the same sense of gratitude for every client that walks through my door. Boudoir has been my passion from the start and although I have dabbled in other types of photography, the core of my business has always been helping women find love in themselves!
What is Boudoir and boudoir photography?
Boudoir photography can mean something different to every single woman I photograph.
To some, it is taking the plunge into self-love; it is being vulnerable and accepting all the parts of them that they consider flaws. For others, it is a way to take back their bodies after a traumatic event, and for them, boudoir is a way of healing. Some women don’t even do their session for themselves, they do it for their significant other, but in the end, they always say that deep down, they needed this too.
I don’t like to put a definition on boudoir because everyone’s experience is different here at Note to Self. My main focus is reminding my clients of all the beautiful things about them both inside and out!
In your opinion, why is boudoir photography such an empowering experience?
Boudoir is empowering for so many reasons! I think In the society we live in, and in the times of social media, it can be almost impossible not to compare yourself to others. We live in a world where women are taught how they should look and act, what they should wear and say, and so much more. Boudoir is empowering because it goes against everything society wants women to be. It empowers women to love their bodies no matter what size or shape they are. It shows them that they can still be respected without clothes on. It empowers clients to want to show themselves love and care. It allows them to be free of all their doubts and have a constant reminder of how beautiful they truly are. We as women put the most pressure on ourselves to be perfect, and I just help them realize that they already are and that in itself is empowering!
Some of us might feel hesitant about posing before the camera, is there any advice you can give us?
Everyone is always nervous for their first session! Women mostly worry that they’re going to have to pose themselves but I have an hour long posing algorithm that I help you through every step of the way! Another big worry is how their face will look because clients are used to smiling in most photos they’ve had taken but I do have some tricks up my sleeve for that as well! My biggest advice is to stretch before your session! It sounds silly but your back will thank you later! Practice your “bedroom eyes” before your session in the mirror and remember to release that nervous tension in your jaw during your session! Last but not least, try to remember that this is something I do every day. I do not judge your body no matter how big or small and all of your secrets are safe with me so try to shake off those nerves and have fun with it!
Are there any themes or settings that you offer? Can you give us some examples?
I do offer a few different scenes! I have a tub and shower scene as well as fireplace with lots of romantic candles. I also have a very colorful scene with plants and a bright yellow couch that is always a client favorite!
Do you offer any suggestions or ideas when it comes to choosing boudoir outfit and lingerie? Are there any colors or styles that are more photogenic than others?
I send all of my clients a pre-session guide with lots of tips and tricks to help them prepare for their session! I love love love when clients bring personal items to incorporate into their sessions because it just adds a little extra something and helps me to learn more about them or their partner. I’ve had clients bring chefs coats and books they’ve written and so many other things that spice up the session a bit! Don’t be afraid to wear color! If you bring 3 black teddys all of your photos will look the same!! Also I am not the biggest fan of baby doll lingerie and it will be a quick “no” from me when you pull it out of the bag. They just don’t give anyone any shape and we want to show off those curves! Try to aim for 3 very different outfits to get the most from your session! And YES bring the 2 piece or I’ll make you choose one from the client closet!
How long does each session last?
Each session is an hour with the option to add a wet set (tub or shower) which make it an hour and a half. I have tons of different add-ons to choose from such as bondage, just the sheets, and tub styling if you choose from the a la carte menu. You can also choose a collection which bundles some of these items together as well as an album for a carefree experience without having to choose! Clients usually invest around $1200 in their sessions but I do have options ranging from $700 - $1700.
How long does it usually take to receive the finalized photos?
It all depends on what the client chooses to order but it is usually 4-6 weeks. After the session, the client comes back within 2 weeks for their reveal and ordering session. Once they’ve ordered their images they can expect digital images in 2 weeks and products in about 4 weeks.
Is hair and makeup included in the session?
Yes! I have a resident artist that does all of my sessions and she’s the best at making clients look as natural or as glammed up as possible! It’s nice for clients to be able to come in and relax and get to know me and the studio before their session and hair and makeup just elevates the photos that much more!
Thank you Mckenzie for answering all our questions and share your experience with us. I really love how you explained boudoir and how it empowers women. Afterall, it just sounds like a lot of fun to make "bedroom eyes" and get hair and makeup done!
Mckenzie's Picks from Moxy
Lime Green Botanical is so pretty in the tub with all of the greenery wall and added florals to the bath! The shape of the bra is so feminine and beautiful!
The Blush Flower Lingerie set is the most perfect bridal set! It is dainty and the detail is impeccable! Paired with a veil and some wedding shoes this set is *chef’s kiss*
The black lace bodysuit is a must have for any body time! The lines created on the bodice are so flattering and you can’t go wrong with a classic black bodysuit!