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Archive for November, 2009

I’d like to dispel some myths many people have about boudoir and nude photography. First Boudoir (bood wahr) is a French term that means a woman’s dressing room, bedroom, or private sitting room.

  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. I’ve had clients have a enlargement made of their nude images and hang them in their homes. I’m sure if it were porn they wouldn’t do that.
  4. Boudoir photography can be simple or complex in nature. It’s up to you and your personal preferences. Anything from a typical bedroom scene to a totally plain background.
  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. Contact Casual Elegance Photography ® today for your Boudoir or Nude photosession.

And guys… contact Casual Elegance Photography for a “Dude-oir” photosession! It’s something your loved will love forever!

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Ok, so you’ve decided you want to do a boudoir photoshoot for yourself or for someone you love. WHAT NOW???

Let’s start with what boudoir photography is all about. Boudoir actually means a woman’s bedroom, dressing room or private sitting room. Your boudoir photographs should reflect a sense of intimacy, sexiness, and femininity. That is easy for me to write, and to describe, but to get your images to look great the most important thing is that you are comfortable and relaxed!

As a photographer who specializes in boudoir and nude photography, I can tell you that 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 the Casual Elegance Photography® studio – even if they have been completely naked for artistic nude photographs! And most of them are surprised by this! I 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. This allows us to get the most out of the 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. Take a relaxing bath, listen to soft music, meditate… just spend some time keeping the nerves at bay. Prior to the shoot I will be sending you an email that will outline a bunch of hints and tips to help you prepare for the shoot. You can also look at the FAQs on my site to get some sense of the process and normal questions that people have about a shoot. Again, the key component of a successful shoot is that you are relaxed, feeling confident, and prepared for your shoot.

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I know we have mentioned it before but please plan early if you want to do a photoshoot and calendar or book for a holiday gift. A calendar needs 13 edited images and a book needs 20 – 25. It will take you a while to pick the images out, then several days to edit them and provide the proofs to you, and then a few more days to lay the book or calendar out. Once that’s complete there is the time it takes the lab to print it and ship it to us. I usually say that you should allow about 20 days from the shoot to have the finished product. Calendars are a bit faster because the layout is a simpler process and can actually be done via email and a phone call or two. But the book layout is much more complex unless you want only one image on a page. Then it’s similar to a calendar time frame. Both books and calendars can have words placed with the images. On a calendar we usually recommend that you create a “tag line” that goes with the shot and represents the month. For instance, a shot in a sexy halloween outfit for October with a tag line of “Trick or TREAT!” But a book could have a poem with the photo or something that would make the person receiving the book know how much you care about them. It can get complex and time consuming. There are SO MANY options…

So plan early, have some themes in mind, get your outfits ready ahead of time, and be ready to create the most unique and sensual gift that they could ever receive. And as a reminder, Valentine’s Day is only 2 months away!!!! Hint hint…

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I just had a call from one of my favorite model friends. She and her fiance want to come in for a couples artistic nude session. What will be great about this shoot is that they are both ballroom dancers. Can you imagine the images we can get as they dance and interact with the music? I’m really excited about being asked to shoot this. I envision shots that will be along the lines of “the Kiss” by Rodin, the sweeping beauty of a passionate embrace as the dancers dip at the end. I can also envision the classical dance moves captured in a romantic, sensual way. Yes, there will be nudity, but it will be the purest form of expression and the most sincere expression of emotion.

The key to a great couples nude session is to express your passion and feelings with your partner. Although it may be difficult to imagine forgetting that you are being photographed, my clients have said that once they let the feelings take over they were in another world. The first reaction is always that they think they have to pose. But I keep telling them that posing is not what they need to do – they need to be natural. Once the posing ends, the beautiful natural images begin. A kiss, a hand being held, a touch, or a hug. Natural, beautiful, expressive, and sensual. That’s what it’s all about.

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I’m still getting used to the new studio and the challenge is the amount of space I have for storage. But today, just before we cleaned the studio we put up a 30″ wide storage cabinet and a 24″ wide wall cabinet. Between the two I was able to free up 4 storage shelves and 2 shelves in the kitchen area. This will allow me to store more props and things, as well as organize the storage areas a little better. We’re now thinking of removing the front reception area and building another set in it’s place. In a smaller studio everything has to serve a dual purpose!

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The word Erotic congers up many different thoughts and each person has a different idea on what Erotic is to them. I’ve asked many clients about the word and their thoughts. It amazes me at how different the answers are. I have a few shots in one of my books at the studio and I use it to determine the client’s view of erotic. By understanding what “Erotic” means to them I’m able to focus my shots on those types of images. When a couple asks for an Erotic Couples shoot, I use basically the same technique to gain an insight into their thoughts on the word so we can put together a plan for our shoot. The variation in thoughts is something I would have never believed. For instance, I had a shot of a woman’s legs in Red heels and a rose draped down one leg. It’s set to a gelled red on black backdrop (see it below). I’ve had some say that it’s the most erotic shot they have seen and had others say it’s not erotic at all. I’ll bet there’s some study or psychological paper about why people perceive it differently, but I really don’t want to know that much, just what they think it should look like. I remember taking a class once called “What you are is what your were when”. The class was about how we take in the world around us and develop our personal views as we grow up. Cool class!

So, if you call me to schedule an Erotic Shoot either alone or as a couple, be prepared to discuss what erotic means to you. 🙂
Erotic or Not?

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I know the title is a bit strange but let me explain. I received a note from a wife of a serviceman who is currently serving in Iraq. He is scheduled to come home in the next few months. This couple has always wanted to have photos taken of them that express the intense love and sensuality of their relationship and have chosen me to photograph it for them. I’m honored and I will do all I can to fulfill their request. They will be flying in from half way across the country to shoot with me and I plan to make the trip a success from the photographic standpoint. I also have a deep respect for the families that serve our nation. Yes, I said “families” because I firmly believe that it’s not just the person in harms way, it’s a family that feels it all. Mom, Dad, Wife, Husband, Child, Brother, Sister, Friend, and the list goes on. We’re all a part of the process and we all feel it. I served in VietNam – my wife and I can tell you how hard it was – not just for her, but both of our families.

Bottom line – I’m going to do my finest to make this shoot go great!!!! His wife and I have some great idea for shots and I’m sure that we will get some emotional, sexy, and very personal images!!!

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