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Archive for March, 2008

These are words that we hear over and over when women call Casual Elegance to discuss doing a glamour, boudoir or artistic nude photo session. We”ve become so accustomed to seeing those edited photos in magazines, that many absolutely beautiful, “normal” women think that they don’t measure up!Recently Mark and I saw a television show called “How to Look Good Naked”. I love this show! Each week features a woman with different body issues. Many times they start to cry when discussing how they feel when they look in the mirror. There are women of all shapes and sizes on the show, and I usually end up boo-hooing along with them because it is so sad to hear how they see themselves. It really is unbelievable! The show takes them through various processes to show them how attractive they really are, and how they are viewed by others. Most of the time they are astounded to hear people say they are pretty, or sexy! By the end of the show each woman sees herself in such a different light that she agrees to do a nude photoshoot and loves the results!When the first show ended I looked at Mark and said “That’s what you do! I know that for Mark the most important part of each photo shoot is making his client see how beautiful and sexy she is. He always says his favorite words to hear are “I never knew I could be so beautiful”. That’s music to his ears! Don’t tell him I told you, but I’ve seen him get tears in his own eyes when telling me that a client cried when she saw how beautifully her photographs turned out. As an artist, that is the biggest reward he can get from his photography.I absolutely love seeing the art that Mark creates with his photography. He has me look at every photograph after a shoot because he likes to get a woman’s perspective on which shots “work” and which don’t. And believe me, we don’t always agree!It’s especially fun for me to see the first couple of test shots compared to those taken later in the shoot. Many times there’s a stiffness in the face, or in the body language – before those “beginners nerves” get shaken off. But once they get going (and they are seeing their photos coming up on the computer monitor) it all changes. They see that there is a gorgeous and very sexy woman on that screen!Going through the photos you can watch them relax and come alive in front of the camera. The look on their face says “I look hot!” And they are right! Mark truly does create art from life in his photographs. I?m not prejudiced – I’m proud of him! Even my friends have said “If I look at a group of photos I can always tell which are Mark’s there is just something about his lighting that gives it that special something!”So if you are thinking twice about doing a boudoir (glamour or nude) shoot don’t! Just do it! I promise you, you will be glad you did.

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Is your special someone deployed overseas? Casual Elegance does many shoots for women who want to give their significant other a personal gift while they are stationed far from home.

Since the rules in various countries can be quite limiting when sending photographs especially to someone serving in Iraq or Afghanistan – we usually put together a plan to capture images that will pass the test, yet still be a unique gift that they will love.

I’ve found that situational glamour is well suited for these shoots. In one shoot we created a baking scene. The client was dressed in an apron and nothing else. In the shots she was “baking” cookies with flour everywhere. It looked like baking havoc, but the look on her face and the twinkle in her eyes said volumes. She picked her favorite image and we had it printed. Then she placed it on the top of a box of homemade cookies and sent it to him. Needless to say he loved it!!

We have also done situational shoots involving construction work, with hardhat, toolbelt and power tools; firefighting, with helmet, coat, boots, etc; and even military service itself with flags and his uniform as props. You get the idea! So when you are deciding what you might want to shoot for your special serviceman, consider a theme based situational glamour shoot.

Another great option are shots done in the old pinup style that was so popular during WWII. Back in those days many starlets posed for this type of photograph which servicemen used to decorate their footlockers. They were very sexy shots of scantily dressed women, but were not too revealing. This type of art was also called “nose art” as some pilots had beautiful women painted on the nose of their planes.

In our studio we create these photos with the use of props or with the use of body painting combined with props – “clothing” our clients with an outfit created entirely out of paint. This is extremely popular and our clients are always amazed that the illusion of the clothing makes them feel as if “they are actually wearing something!” They love it! Note: body painting shoots are LONG shoots – so need to be planned well in advance.

So if you are looking for a unique photographic gift, consider situational glamour or pinup – these photoshoots are always a lot of fun!

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I’d like to dispel some myths many people have about boudoir and nude photography.

  1. Boudoir does not necessarily mean nude. You can wear clothing or lingerie, or you can be nude. It’s up to you.
  2. Boudoir does not mean Porn. Boudoir is a romantic, sensual, and sexy type of photography but it’s not porn. The images capture the essence of beauty and femininity – soft and romantic.
  3. Nude does not mean Porn. Tasteful artistic and even glamour nude can be a beautiful expression of sensuality and is not porn.
  4. Boudoir photography can be simple or complex in nature. It’s up to you and your personal preferences.
  5. Did I mention that Boudoir, Art Nude, and Glamour Nude are not Porn?

At Casual Elegance Photography we believe that the human form is a beautiful piece of art in itself. Whether clothed or nude, we capture sensual, sexy, and romantic images that express the beauty that’s you.

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Ok, you’ve called Casual Elegance and booked an appointment to do a boudoir photography session, and have gotten yourself relaxed and comfortable with the idea. How do you prepare for your boudoir photographs? Here are several tips:

Have your nails done prior to the session your hands will be in the images, so you want them to look great! We recommend a French Manicure because it is natural yet very stylish looking. French nails will complement any outfit or setting.

Remove any unwanted body hair prior to the session. If you wax, do so a day or two ahead. Shaving should be done the night before not the day of the shoot! You don?t want any redness (or soreness) for your shoot.

Choose outfits that you feel comfortable in. It’s not just important that they fit well you should really LIKE the outfits, and you should also feel that your partner will like them. Why is this as important as the fit? Believe it or not, if you are uncomfortable with your choices in any way, it will most likely show on your face or in your body language when we are shooting. Remember our goal! Relaxed and comfortable while shooting!!Our makeup artists do minor hair work but are not hair stylists. If you want to hire a hairstylist for the shoot, please give us plenty of notice. You should have any haircutting, coloring or highlighting done a couple of days before the shoot.

Hungry?? Don’t eat a big meal just prior to the session. This can make you feel bloated and sluggish during the shoot. Don’t starve yourself, but keep it light. Drink water to keep your skin hydrated. And be sure to get a good night’s sleep the night prior to the session.

Pack your clothing items neatly in your bag so they won’t require a lot of preparation at the shoot. Be sure to bring the accessories that go with each outfit, such as jewelry and heels. I recommend that you put the jewelry in plastic baggies and place them with each outfit so that you can find them easily at the session. Searching through your bag, trying to find the right items will stress you out. With everything put together beforehand you won’t even have to worry about it at the shoot! Bring jewelry and items that are important to your partner. They may not be dominant in the photos, but I can tell you that they will be noticed, and make your photos even more special.

Now you look great, you’re relaxed, packed and ready to go to the session. What do you wear? Nope, not those tight jeans! You should wear something loose that won’t leave any clothing lines on your skin. Why? Because they take hours to go away, and we want you to look your best ! Most of my clients wear a loose dress with nothing under it to the shoot. They also pack something to wear home many bring a special outfit to go with the great makeup that they will have on when the shoot is over. J

And speaking of makeup, I recommend arriving with a clean, makeup free face so that the Markup Artist can start right away. And PLEASE, no moisturizers containing SPF of any sort! Remember, SPF’s job is to reflect light away from you. This can cause a “blown out” look in your photographs. If you have any specific questions not answered here, please don’t hesitate to contact us. 770-294-5225 See you soon!

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At Casual Elegance Photography we understand the importance of a good headshot. That’s why we have a headshot special for $65 that includes a 1/2 hour photosession and 1 fully edited portfolio ready image on a CD WITH a release to use it. We have several clients who come back every 6 months or when they change their look for new shots. Your headshot should reflect your look and be current.

If you add our makeup artist services (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) to the package it’s just $199 for the package and a 1 hour photosession. Contact us to set up your appointment!

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Hi all, Ruth Anderson here!  Mark asked me to put together a piece for Casual Elegance Photography’s Blog that will tell you a little about us.   Many of you already know plenty, having known us our entire adult lives.  Many of you know the bits and pieces that you’ve picked up in the 8 years you’ve been associated with Casual Elegance Photography…. but many more of you are new to us every day.   So welcome to the world that is Mark and Ruth Anderson!

Both of us were born and raised in the Northeast. We met as teenagers and became great friends while dating other people. Even way back then I never saw Mark without a camera in his hands!  After about a year we realized we should be dating each other, but the Viet Nam war and a dreaded draft notice (does anyone remember the draft?!) took Mark away for the first two years of our relationship.  When he finally came home, we were married within 6 months.  And the rest, as they say is history. Thirty seven years of it!  Mark got me interested in his photography hobby, and we spent many weekends out taking pictures of whatever we happened to be doing at the moment.  On occasion he would shoot a friend’s wedding, but he knew that wasn’t his real area of interest. We joined a local photography club, and each submitted shots for monthly judging by pros from Kodak, Nikon etc.  It was a blast!  Although he dabbled in various types of photography – nature, photojournalistic, still life, it was light and shadow that really fascinated him.  I am sure that is how he came to be so talented in shooting artistic nudes, glamour and boudoir.  For him it is all about the lighting!  Mark went to work with IBM and as he worked his way up through the company his assignments took us from NY to south FL, and finally to GA.  During that time we had two beautiful sons, who grew into tall and handsome young men.  While they were growing up, life got so busy for Mark between IBM and raising the boys, that his photography bascially became family photography – OUR family.  Everywhere we went there were hundreds of photos taken, but any idea of being a “pro” was on the back burner. 

Once the boys were grown they each met and married beautiful GA girls, and in the past 9 years they have given us 4 (with another due to arrive in May) absolute treasures in the form of grandchildren. The birth of the first really lit the photography passion up in Mark again, and Casual Elegance Photography also was born.  Now it is a family joke that our grandkids all think that Poppy is the guy with one big black eye! They literally have all grown up in front of the camera (as grown up as you can be when you are only ages 3-6!) We also have 5 “children” of the feline persuasion as the result of my work in a Veterinary Hospital for 8 years.  Many more have passed through our doors as orphaned kittens that we hand raised and found homes for — some of them with you, the friends we have made through Casual Elegance.  Mark retired from IBM this past December, and is thrilled to have so much more time to devote to Casual Elegance.  I am thrilled to be able to put him to work on the “Honey Do” list!  I will pop in here from time to time and update you on the latest “doings” with the Andersons. Meanwhile – Happy Spring!Ruth and Mark 2

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Now that you’ve decided to do a boudoir or artistic nude photoshoot, for yourself or someone you love… what’s next?

 Boudoir actually means a woman’s bedroom, dressing room or private sitting room.  Your boudoir photography session at Casual Elegance will reflect a sense of intimacy, sexiness, and femininity.  The key to getting your images to look great is comfort, and relaxation!  Nerves will show in the photos every time.  If you read our clients comments you will see that without exception they are comfortable and relaxed in our studio – even if they have been completely naked for artistic nude photographs! And most of them are surprised by this!  We have robes available in the studio for your use before we begin shooting and during set changes. It always surprises me that halfway through the session most women aren’t even bothering with the robes anymore! I am glad that they are that comfortable.

Remember, this is new to you, but as the photographer, I have done this hundreds of times. I use digital imaging and shoot directly to the computer – so we can see the results as we shoot. I have never had anyone say that they didn’t enjoy their shoot once the photographs start appearing on the screen! Most say that they cannot believe how beautiful they look, and seeing their images on the screen helps them to relax more.

There are many things you can do prior to the photoshoot to calm yourself if you need to. Take a relaxing bath, listen to soft music, meditate… just spend some time keeping the nerves at bay.   Then just come in and let us do the rest.  You will have fun, and get some fantastic images as a bonus!

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