Archive for May, 2012

Nudity isn’t anything new so why the social stigma about nudity?

“The finest clothing made is a person’s skin, but, of course, society demands something more than this.”  ~Mark Twain

I believe that society in the U.S. links nudity with sex or porn.  Many people don’t get the fact that nudity is just the absence of clothing and nothing more.  The human body is a work of art and has been sculpted, drawn, photographed, and painted for centuries.   Back in time the absence of clothing had no meaning other than they didn’t have clothing on.  Today a vast amount of society looks upon the absence of clothing as a sign of sex.

“How idiotic civilization is!  Why be given a body if you have to keep it shut up in a case like a rare, rare fiddle? ” ~Katherine Mansfield, Bliss and Other Stories

I have a deep admiration of the human form.  We come in all shapes and sizes and, to me, that’s what makes us all so beautiful.  There is a beauty in every one of us and we are all a miracle of engineering.  I enjoy photographing the beauty and letting the subject see how beautiful they are through someone else’s eyes.  I love it when we look at the image and see why the great artists in years past took the time to create nude paintings or sculptures.  It was a labor of love.  A labor in honor of the human body.

“If we were meant to be nude, we would have been born that way.”  ~Author Unknown

I actually had a client call to cancel a portrait appointment because her husband “has seen my website and saw the word ‘nude’ ” so he told her that she cannot get her headshot/portrait done by a photographer who has the word nude on his site because nudity is BAD.  He was so against nudity and the word nude that he screamed at her about even considering getting her photo taken by someone who even considered nude to be okay.  I wondered how he must have felt to take his showers with clothing on…  🙂

“A nudist is simply a human being without artificial additives.”  ~Author Unknown

As I stated above, we are all beautiful in our own ways.  We are all different and we all light up the camera in our own unique way.  I get the honor of being chosen by people to capture that uniqueness and beauty, and to help them present their human-ness through the media of photography.  I applaud them for their view of nudity and of life.

Visit Casual Elegance Photography® to make your appointment to express your beauty!

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I read a newspaper article about a woman who had boudoir images taken of her and then found her images on the photographer’s site.   Long story short – the photographer finally took the images down but had it in their contract that the images could be used by them for advertising.   WOW!  I was shocked that a Boudoir photographer would have that in their contract.  I can understand it in a head shot or portrait contract, but in an intimate contract where the client is shooting the images for their significant other or themselves???  No way.

I’ve been shooting Boudoir images for well over 10 years now and my contract has always stated that images would not be used by me and to even get re-prints, they must be the one who picks them up so no one else will ever get their images.  I wouldn’t even consider using a client image unless the client signs a separate Release to allow me to use them.  And, I never ask a client but I have had a few ask me please to use an image of them on my site.   It’s not often they do and they have to sign that separate release, not the base contract.

When dealing with intimate images, the clients privacy, trust, and respect for their feelings are of primary importance.  At Casual Elegance Photography® we take it seriously.

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I’ve written about bridal boudoir in some prior blogs and the trend keeps growing.  I’ve seen posts on the message boards of several of the wedding sites and have had several inquiries directly from my site asking for information about what the shoot consists of.  I’ll try to net out the most common questions and also discuss how to pick a Boudoir Photographer in the following.  This goes for Boudoir, Bridal Boudoir, and Glamour or Artistic shoots too.

Can I meet with you prior to my Boudoir / Nude photoshoot? Definitely!! At Casual Elegance Photography ® your comfort level is my highest priority! I am always happy to set up a time for my clients to come in and chat – look at my portfolios – discuss the types of photographs they would like for themselves… besides making them more comfortable with their experience, it also allows us to set up a “game plan” for what types of shots we will be taking well in advance of the day of the shoot!

Do I need to come in for a consultation ahead of time? No. Because many of our clients come to us from across the United States, and even from other countries, for their boudoir photo sessions, we have gotten very good at doing complete consultations by email and phone. So if your schedule is too crazy to allow time for an in person consultation, we can always do a consultation for you over the phone or via email. Lots of my clients send me several emails ahead of time discussing what types of boudoir / nude photos they want, what outfits they plan to wear, etc. Whatever works for you, works for us!

Do I have to be nude for Boudoir Photographs? Absolutely not!! In fact, most of the time boudoir photographs are not nudes. One of the reasons boudoir photography is so popular is that it allows you to create the illusion of nudity without actually having to be nude. Of course many of my clients elect to do at least one or two shots where they are completely nude during their boudoir photoshoot, and that is totally up to you! Even in the completely nude shots it is possible to leave everything to the imagination through posing and lighting/shadowing.

Can I bring someone with me to the photoshoot? Of course! We have a very comfortable area set up in our studio for friends or companions of our clients to wait during the boudoir shoot. It is right off our shooting rooms, so they are able to be part of the process without interfering with the shoot.

What type of outfits should I wear for boudoir photographs? The answer to this is simple – articles of clothing that you are comfortable in (if you buy new lingerie or clothing for your shoot that is not comfortable, your discomfort will show in your photographs), and items that have special meaning to both you and the person you are taking the photographs for. Don’t forget the accessories such as heels and jewelry that would go with your outfit. One important note regarding outfits – PLEASE arrive for your shoot wearing loose clothing or undergarments – many clients choose to wear a loose sundress with nothing under it. Why? Clothing lines take hours to disappear, and although many can be removed in post processing, excessive or deep indentations in the skin cannot always be completely eliminated. If you are doing a combination of boudoir and art nude photographs, your session will start with the art nudes so that the articles of clothing you choose for your boudior session do not leave marks on your skin.

Do I need a makeup artist or can I do my own makeup? Unless you are familiar with how to do makeup for studio photography, we highly recommend using a makeup artist. The ones we use are not only great makeup artists, but also help with ideas for the boudoir / nude photoshoot. If you are on a budget, our makeup artists also can provide a “paint and go” service, which runs a little less than full service. Some clients prefer to have their makeup done at one of the larger department store makeup counters prior to the shoot. If you decide this is what you want to do, be sure that they understand that it’s for a photoshoot – not everyday wear. There is a significant difference in the type of makeup as well as the application of it for photography. Also make sure that they blend your neck so there is not a drastic transition from your face to your body. Remember you will be shooting under powerful strobes, which wash out normal, “everyday” makeup.

What is “paint and go” makeup? With a paint and go service the artist will arrive when you do, apply one look, wait while we do a test shot to make sure it is perfect, and then they leave. With full makeup service they stay for almost the entire shoot (until the last look is applied) and continually adjust/touch up your makeup during the photoshoot. They can even change your look entirely during the shoot if you are going for multiple looks in your photographs.

My husband likes to read “men’s magazines” and loves the more explicit pictures in some of them. Can I get that type of photograph taken during my shoot? Yes! Our goal is to capture the type of images that you want taken. At Casual Elegance Photography ® we have only the highest respect for our clients and understand that they are coming to us for the most private and intimate of photographs. It is important to us that you feel safe, secure and confident in our studio. Your privacy is our utmost concern, and aside from you and me, the only people allowed at the shoot are the ones you allow! This is one of the reasons we offer the paint and go service – if you don’t want her to stay for your session, she doesn’t have to (however if you read our testimonials – our clients love our makeup artists and their input into the process!)

I’m not a model, and I don’t know how to pose for photography. Do you offer assistance with posing etc? We will guide you with suggestions for posing based on what has worked well for other clients. At any time, if you are not comfortable with a particular pose, you can simply let me know and we will choose something else. During your photoshoot you will be able to see your images coming up on the computer screen, and if you or I feel that a certain pose does not work for you, we will make the necessary adjustments. You will be surprised at how much fun you are going to have during your shoot! Once the pictures start coming up on the screen, any jitters you might have are sure to disappear!

Is there an age limit for doing boudoir or nude photographs? Yes, you must be over 18, and less than 145! Seriously, at our boudoir or nude photoshoots you must present at least one form of photo ID (preferably two if there would be any question as to whether you are of legal age) before we will even begin the process. Each client must sign an agreement that they are of legal age and that they are doing the shoot of their own free will and desire. We’ve also have had clients come in who were well into their 60’s and many of our clients are in their 40’s and 50’s. Remember, beauty is not age dependant, and the boudoir photoshoot experience is for woman of all ages.

What if someone calls you and asks for copies of my pictures? Your photographs are never made available to anyone without your signed, written permission. This means that even if your boyfriend or husband paid for your shoot, and they called me later for reprints, they would not be able to get them without your specific written and signed permission. We are known for our integrity and the value we place on our clients’ privacy.

What if one of your packages isn’t quite what I want? All our photography packages are able to be customized to your specific requirements. Just give me a call or send me an email and let me know what you are looking for and I will create a photography package just for you!

Is your studio located in a shopping mall? No, my studio is a completely private and comfortable studio – and not located in a shopping mall.

How long does it take to get my photos, book, or calendar back from your lab? I recommend planning about 15 – 20 days after the shoot. It takes a day or so to build your gallery so you can select the images you want edited. Once you select the images and let me know it takes a few days before I will send you the edited proof images for your approval. Once approved, I will transmit them to the lab for printing. Normal prints take up to 7 working days, books and calendars take up to 10 working days (unless you want expedited service). On average most orders take about 15 – 20 days from the end of the shoot.

How far in advance should I book my boudoir photography session? The earlier the better. We are available for weekdays, evenings and weekend shoots. The closer it is to a holiday like Valentine’s Day, Christmas, etc, the more booked up we get. If you have a specific date that you need your images by (for instance if you are booking a Bridal Boudoir session) PLEASE talk to us well in advance so that we can do your shoot with plenty of time to get your prints back. Our overall process takes 10-20 business days to turn around orders.

Can I pay with a credit card? Absolutely. We accept most major credit cards, checks and cash. What if I have to cancel my appointment? A deposit may be required to book your session. Please visit our website http://www.casualelgancephotography.com under Services and Pricing to read our deposit and cancellation policy.

Can I get images on a CD instead of prints? Yes. There is no difference in pricing, but we can provide your images on a CD. Call or email me for more specific details.

I have stretch marks and a few scars. Do you edit the images and airbrush them? Images that you select for printing are completely edited. We have many techniques that we can use to make your pictures gorgeous!

I’ve been shopping around and have found a wide price range for boudoir photographs. Why should I come to Casual Elegance Photography ® for my photographs?Casual Elegance Photography ® is competetively priced. We hope to earn your business based on the work you see on our website, our client testimonials, and the integrity that Casual Elegance Photography ® is known for. In choosing a photographer for boudoir or nude photography, please be sure that you feel comfortable with the photographer, the processes, and the work that they have done in the past. We have been in business for over 10 years and pride ourselves on being able to capture the images you want and providing you with a professional, comfortable, relaxed and private atmosphere for your photo session.

What Questions Should I Ask to help select a photographer? I recommend that you get to know the basics first.  Such as (answers are ours):

1. Do you have a business license? (yes – in Sandy Springs where my studio is)
2. Are you a corporation and in which state? (yes – Mark L. Anderson, LLC – Georgia – DBA Casual Elegance Photography® – notice we have a registered trademark representing our commitment to our business)
3. Do you have insurance? (yes – liability and loss of property)
4. When did you start the business? (2000)
5. Do you have a Website? – (yes – casualelegancephotography.com)
6. Do you have a studio? Can I meet with you ahead of the shoot and see your studio? (yes – I encourage that. It’s always a good idea to see if you click with someone.)
7. Do you have a Makeup Artist? (yes – I utilize the services of several in the area but work closely with 3 – all licensed estheticians. They all believe in cleanliness and ensure their equipment and products are cleaned between uses.  They all are experts in media makeup and love their jobs!)
8. Can I bring someone to the shoot with me? (YES – I highly encourage you to do that)
9. Will my photos be sold or used by you? ( NO! I do not use client images. If a client wants me to use an image I require them to sign an agreement for me to do so. I don’t even allow anyone other than the client to order prints or a CD)

Then, look at their past work and see if the style meets your ideas of what you want to get.  Boudoir photography is a special type of photography and takes practice to be good at it.  I’ve seen many advertisements for boudoir photography and some seem like it’s an add on to their business and not a specialty.  At Casual Elegance Photography ® it’s about 85 – 90% of our business and we have been providing the service since 2000.  Our studio was designed with Boudoir in mind.

Visit Casual Elegance Photography ® and book your session today.

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