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The Beauty of Boudoir, and Why Every Woman Should Do It

The day before my boudoir photo shoot is the feeling beautiful pre-game show. I spend extra time exfoliating and applying natural oils. I drink copious amounts of water for days to ensure plump, hydrated skin. I pull out every piece of lingerie that I own. Silky, lacy, demure, racy; I try them all. I put on music, slip on some heels, dance in front of the mirror. I scroll through Pinterest looking for inspiration.

My love of boudoir pictures started in high school and followed me through college and beyond.

When I think of boudoir photographs, I can’t help but think of Rose Dawson in Titanic slipping out of her robe and asking Jack to draw her like one of his French girls. I, like most everyone in the world, love this scene. It’s provocative, romantic, sensual. But what I also love about this scene is what we hear.

Rose: Jack, I want you to draw me like one of your French girls. Wearing this. Wearing only this.

Later, standing in front of a sitting Jack in her silk robe, coin in hand.

Rose: The last thing I need is another picture of me looking like a porcelain doll. As a paying customer, I expect to get what I want.

For Rose, this picture would be more than a portrait of her, fit into the framework of what others thought she should be or look like. This was a power move. This was her deciding how she wanted to be reflected and how she wanted to live her life. She was taking ownership of her beauty and using it as she saw fit.

I agree with Rose. Embrace my sexy. Do it on my terms. Have some fun, damn it. After Jake’s initial fawning over his love, he get’s serious. Creating art is serious business and photographers, like all artists, care about their work and strive to create the best possible results.

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With boudoir photography, we all get to take part in the process of creating art. How fucking awesome. This isn’t to say that I wasn’t nervous going in. Even though my photographer, Quetsy, is a close friend, being half-naked, and the primary focus of a camera lens is hardly something I do every day.

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I’m one of those people who have no idea what I’m doing with my face unless I’m looking directly into a mirror. It’s bad. Thankfully, as a professional photographer, Quetsy understood that I wasn’t going to walk in there and start striking poses like a professional model. So the same way that Jack guided Rose in how to position her body for the best image, the same was done with me. So if you’re considering a boudoir shoot and you’re afraid of floundering because you’re no professional, no worries. Your photographer will guide you to beautiful shots.

Quetsy was also good enough to know that a little champagne never hurt nudity. Here’s a behind the scenes shot of me pretending like I’m not going to guzzle my mimosa.

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With music playing and champagne flowing, we went through my outfits and decided where to start.

In college, I was introduced to Edouard Manet’s Le Dejeuner Sur l’Herbe and fell instantly in love. It remains one of my favorite works of art.

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Here we find a woman gazing unabashedly at those who wish to watch her. But what I love is that this woman is a powerful force in the painting, and she doesn’t seem to mind. In fact, instead of being an object to be gazed at, she seems to make us, the viewers, her subject.

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I’m a big fan of the sexy nerd look and that’s what I was going for here. Keep in mind that you get to decide how revealing or covered up you want to be. This is your time to have fun, play with different looks, and reimagine some of the beautiful images you’ve been in love with.

Olympia, also by Edouard Manet, is another painting that I loved at first sight.

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This painting caused a scandal when Manet revealed it to the French Salon for exhibition. It was promptly rejected. The woman is intended to be a prostitute, and she’s being depicted, not as some rouge-covered woman harassing men in a grimy alley; she’s in her boudoir, looking away from the bouquet of flowers probably sent to her by a client.

The model for this painting is the same as in Le Dejeuner Sur l’Herbe. She is Victorine Meurent, an accomplished artist in her own right who was getting accepted into the Paris Salons even while Manet’s work wasn’t. Victorine got to be a model and an artist. How cool is that?

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Wouldn’t it have been something if Rose considered asking Jack to draw her but changed her mind because her stomach wasn’t as toned as she would’ve liked? And yet, that’s the response that I get from most women who are asked to consider a boudoir shoot. I’m not good enough, in so many words. Maybe if and when I’m good enough. It makes me sad, really, that women don’t see the potential in themselves to be art. You don’t need to wait for someone to tell you it’s okay. Begrudge the media for their narrow portrayals of beauty in women, but also go out and show them that we are unafraid to take the definition into our own hands and define it as we choose. Vogue would never put me in a fashion spread, so I’ve gone and made my own!

Behind the scenes was a blast.

If you’re thinking it’s for some other woman, get over it. It’s for you. Think back to that time you felt really sexy. What if someone had captured that for you? Wouldn’t you love to go back to that image on occasion? If you can’t remember the last time that you felt sexy, then you’d better be the first to sign up! When doing a boudoir photo shoot, there’s no option but to feel beautiful.

We’ll be on Instagram live this evening at 7:30pm to give you some quick information about some of the live discussions we’ll be having throughout the rest of this week, so stop by and check in. I’d love to see you there.

And don’t forget to find me on the other side! Instagram I Twitter I Pinterest

My name is Lyz-Stephanie and I want to inspire you to be more connected to yourself and the world, to find beauty in simple pleasures, and to have more adventures. Every day we can do something to make our lives happier and richer, make our minds more active and engaged. I’m on the journey. Will you join me?

Was I nervous? Yes. I’m no model, after all, and being the sole focus of a camera lens while partially dressed is not a daily occ

When I speak to most women about the boudoir shoots, I’m often met with a scoff

Boudoir (meaning a woman’s bedroom or private room) is photography that’s meant to capture a woman’s beauty in an intimate atmosphere.

51 thoughts on “The Beauty of Boudoir, and Why Every Woman Should Do It

  1. I did a boudoir photo shoot with my ex best friend as the photographer a few years back. It was one of the wildest and best things I’ve done. I also don’t have a model’s body, but being able to feel sexy and having it captured in print is a treasure that lasts.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes! Girl, you should write a post on this subject. You explain it so well. I think women expect weirdness, but it’s really so much fun and it lasts forever. Spread the word! We need to get more women on board 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I find it killer cool that your head is steaming. Fitting for a steampunker, lol. Thank you so much for all of the adjectives that cannot be found for lack of time and resources! And don’t die on me. I wouldn’t want my blog to be the scene of a crime and you’re one of my biggest supporters, so stick around. You know I like to get better with time, hehe.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Bwahahaha. I was going to say the issue might be the adult words, but it turns out they aren’t even in English. You know, what’s language anyway when most of our communication is body language. So don’t worry, it’d understand juuuuust fine.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I will be adressing you as ” Your Holy Hotness” from now on. You’ve forced my hand! I have always wanted to do a boudoir shoot as a gift for my husband ((but secretly to immortalize my sexy ass for all eternity) lol I love the video! You are so in your element girl!!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Lol, I don’t want to admit this, but I love that title. I’ll be using it for myself when no one’s around. First thing in the mornings to get revved up for the day ahead. I’m not even going to say this twice, you need to start looking for a photographer and book the damn shoot. Man or no man it’s worth it. You’ll have two people to show it off too. You’ll have such an amazing time, I promise. And you get to look fine as hell for the rest of eternity. If you don’t do it, who will! I’m so excited for you. You are doing this. It’s happening.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I feel like ‘Sexy Nerd’ is a fitting description of you 😛
    I’ve always kind of wanted to do a boudoir shoot, but the whole idea of being half naked in front of a camera lens with a photographer kind of makes me anxious. I just need to work up the nerve to do it really 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You should totally go for it! You know how you go to the lady doctor and you feel okay knowing they’re in it for your health? Photographers are in it for the art. You’ll have a blast. You can choose a woman photog if that helps. You can do it, girl. I can see you coming up with some really cool images 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Smoking beautiful shoot, Lyz, if that makes sense at all. Who cares about Vogue when you have your own personal nook to showcase your style statement? Damn girl, keep pushing the boundaries! I really enjoyed the windows into Manet’s paintings along the way, kind of transported me to another time and place, and the mind you know always wants to wander. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello, my dear Arundhati. Isn’t it great that we’ve got our own corners of the world to do as we please? I appreciate how Manet was giving the world broader views of women, breaking molds and traditions. I know that you’re a lover of history, as am I, so I couldn’t help infusing some into the post for others like us. I think it gives the topic added richness and I’m glad you appreciate it.

      Sigh. Isn’t being transported just the best. You’ll be having a picnic in Central Park just as soon as it gets warm again. Sigh again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is the very essence and charm of this entire set-up. It is good to be alive at a time and age when you do not need vindication from anyone. How did people like Manet ever be so ahead of their times? I always wonder about it. But that is genius I suppose that they could prevail over the mood of the era they were born in. Anyway, let me not go on wittering.
        Bring on the image of pretty picnics in Central Park. I have long yearned for the perfect picnic basket…maybe this summer 🙂 xx

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thank you! I love the light in that second picture. These are so much better than my selfies, lol. The librarian look would be especially appropriate for you. You could totally use books as props, like hiding the naughty bits or sitting on a stack of them. I’d be so good! You’re gonna do it, right?! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, I actually misspelled my own name in a comment today. Like, how it that possible? Oh yeah, the letter H on my keyboard is a piece of crap. I can see you doing something very 1930s inspired, something vintage. With big hair and your famous winged liner! And thank you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Shabbob, haha. Sometimes I feel like there’s a computer programmer somewhere in the world whose job it is to make up random crap substitutes for the things we want to write. Someone had to create the algorithm.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!! Wow, girl, you are absolutely stunning! Your sexy nerd look could turn most straight girls because intelligence and hotness is an irresistible combination, even for the ladies! You are adorable, and I admire your energy and passion for continually encouraging others – you are amazing!! Never have I considered doing a boudoir photo shoot, but damn, you have me thinking. We all need to embrace our beauty just a little bit more. Thanks for this and for being such an inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If I have you considering doing something exciting that you’ve never done before– and something that will help you feel more beautiful– then I’ve done my job! As always, I totally appreciate all of the support and encouragement. I’m always reading your comments with a big smile, so thank you. Keep dreaming and making it happen! xo

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love the way you wrote this! When reading it I felt like you are speaking to me and reading my mind!!

    Screw Vogue! I loved you’re shoot more. Seemed more real and authentic!

    Xoxo autumn

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhhh, thank you! I love hearing good things about my writing. I’m going to wrap it in a hug and put it up on a mental shelf to look at. Thank you for the lovely compliment.

      Yeah, screw Vogue… until they call me up one day to “try something new after half a century at least of doing more or less the same.” Thankfully, we don’t have to wait for huge conglomerates run by a few to give us permission anymore. We’ve got the internet now!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for this post! Just yesterday I modeled as a nude model for the first time ever. The experience left me feeling drained – proud, but unsure. I still have a few sessions left and I was thinking of bailing. Seeing this and those two Monet paintings AND reading about that bad ass lady Victoria helped to reassure me that I can do this. Seriously, thank you for your encouraging words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cara, I’m almost in tears reading this. You’ve really encouraged me just as much as I’ve encouraged you. You’ve made me so fucking happy. Are you writing about the nude modeling on your blog? I’d love to know how you got into it and what you’ve been feeling (if you wanted to share, of course). I’ve always been interested in that. There’s so many reasons for you to honor the experience and it’s great that you’ve found a new perspective. You’re awesome!


      1. Ahh! I’m so happy to share these brutally raw realities with you! I’m not sure if I’ll be writing about it in my blog. It’s still such a strange experience in general I’m not sure how to write about it. I’ll gladly talk about it in a casual forum. I’ve tried to put it all in this one comment but I keep drawing up short, not really knowing how to fit it all in. My email is c_shrdn23@yahoo.com though, so feel free to reach out.

        Seriously though, you don’t know how much I appreciate your words and kindness and shared enthusiasm for being bare and proud. You are awesome. And your boudoir shots came out lovely!

        Thank you again, lady. So happy I stumbled onto your blog!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. This is so wonderful. I love it when people encourage other Women to do Boudoir… It really remains one of those few types of Photography that exists almost solely for female consumption and empowerment- even if they choose to share it with others after the fact. It’s one of the reasons I really want to move into Boudoir photography myself eventually Some day, maybe!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Anna, you’re so cute with your eventually, someday, maybe, lol. I know the feeling, though. What’s stopping you from moving forward with it? You definitely sound passionate about it. I like how you describe it: for female consumption and empowerment. You need to be doing this. Talk to me! ☺📸

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve only recently bought my first DSLR and am getting used to it still. Plus I’ve never actually worked with model. It’s sort of an “Always the model, never the photographer” thing lol. So whm I say “maybe, possibly, someday” I mean that I’m new and have a lot to learn- and a lot of experience to get before I do start heading that direction ^-^

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m also a fan of French Impressionism. It’s the first art I truly fell in love with. How lucky that you could see it in person. I’d love to get an up close look and feel as if we were in the room together somehow.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Love the photos. I’ve taken photos for a few friends over the years (I did photography at college, which apparently qualified me), and learned that when you’re focusing on getting good photos, you don’t really “see” the person in front of you that think’s your ogling them. It’s strange.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re so right. As a photographer myself, I can totally agree. We sometimes get so self-conscious, but photographers have so much to think about that ogling is the last thing on the mind. Do you still photograph?


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