As a boudoir photographer, I have a long list of frequently asked questions or concerns that I hear from my clients. Of course its a long list - when you work with people on creating portraits that are vulnerable, raw, and sexy, its inevitable that most clients have areas of their bodies that make them insecure, or emotions about an upcoming session. At times I almost serve as a therapist, coaching my clients through the process from anxiety and nerves to embracing their god-given skin - but that's a topic for another post.
There is one question/concern that I see in particular, although presented in a variety of ways, but all of them centering around the booty. AHHHHH, the booty. The glorious body part that is both a joy and an enigma for many women.
Some of my clients believe that they have too much junk in the trunk for boudoir. False. You never have too much booty for boudoir.
Some of my clients say "I have no booty. It is so flat/long/skinny that there is no way my booty will look good in photos." This is also false.
And yet still more of my clients believe that they will never find a pair of underwear that flatters their particular booty shape. While this is also false, I completely understand the desperate search for underwear that is both sexy, cute, flattering, and comfortable in a society where an overwhelming percentage of underwear styles are catered towards a small percentage of booty shapes. Rest assured, there ARE underwear companies that make amazing pieces that will make your behind look AND feel beautiful. It takes a little searching, yes, but they do exist. In another blog installment I will be sharing some of my favorite tips for finding the right underwear fit and company for your body shape... but for now, let's focus on the actual posing of booty in a boudoir session.
When I hear my clients complain about their bum or have insecurities about it looking amazing in photos, I take it as a personal challenge. It becomes my goal to send you home feeling like your booty was the star of a lingerie show. To this date, an overwhelming amount of my clients email me back after receiving their images to gush over how their booties looked. In fact, even my clients who claim that their behind isn't their favorite body part, generally tend to chose a booty shot as their favorite image from the shoot. To me, that's a sign of a job well done. Challenge completed and leveled up! *insert high five*
So what does it take to make the most of what your mama gave you? The right pose, the right angles, the right lighting, and more booty-popping action you've probably seen since your freshman year of college (if twerking was a thing when you were a freshman, anyway). I tell all of my clients that they will wake up the next morning feeling a wee bit sore in the thigh/butt muscles, and unless you are a yoga professional who does a nice routine before and after the session, that's generally true for every session. You use muscles that you don't normally use during the day. If you find yourself sore after a session, get in the bathtub with some epsom salts - like the ones I put in your session gift bag (because I heart you and want your muscles to not hate me).
While in the PDX studio over Memorial Weekend, my lovely boudoir rep Kelsy helped me put together a nice visual of how booty can go from "average day" booty to "you might get pregnant like that" booty (sorry, inside joke with Kelsy). You'll notice that in the first image, she is standing in a normal, relaxed standing position. While some people may have bubble butts that look magazine worthy every moment of the day, our typical standing positions don't really do much for the average person. You see the booty, we love the booty, but its regular day booty.
Now, in the next image, pay close attention to how lovely Kelsy is standing: all her balance is shifted into the left leg, while her right leg is popped up in a nice curve and using the left as a stabilizing point. Her arms are up above her head, which lengthens the body. Her face is turned to the left, which draws her face out of the neck to booty line, creating curve. The way her legs are positioned cause one butt cheek to "pop out", while she's physically also pushing her hips backwards to help that "pop" effect. Her shirt, which covered the top of her booty in the first image, is pulled up and a little tighter in order to help create a better waist curve. The light coming from the window on the left puts a nice highlight on the curve of her booty. I shifted the angle at which I took the image from, coming from slightly below her and to the right, rather than dead on (which is the worst way to shoot booty, in my humble opinion) All of these components come together to create a pose that flatters her booty, lengthens her legs, and draws attention to the curves that are already there. BAM. A pose that literally took 20 seconds to execute.
No matter what your booty looks like, you can and will leave a session feeling good about it. You can and will have booty images that make you feel like a million bucks. Trust your photographer, relax, and allow yourself to be putty in their hands: this is what boudoir photographers do. We work hard to do right by your booty, and all your other assets. I want you to see your booty in a new light and find love for it - after all, its the only booty ya got ;)