• Reija Janneson Bolwell

The Empowering Nature of Boudoir Photography

It has been intriguing to me how empowering boudoir photography can be for women. I often contemplate why this is so? I also contemplate what true empowerment really means?

I think that empowerment is an ongoing process of becoming grounded in one's inner strength and truth, and speaking and taking action from this place. External circumstances have an impact, but ultimately it is a feeling that comes from within that we can consciously nurture, despite what's going on around us. True empowerment has a ripple effect that inspires others without controlling or disempowering others.

So how does this relate to photography? Very early on in my professional photography career I was surprised by what I noticed in my portrait sessions. The sessions seemed to have unexpected benefits for my clients. I consistently noticed that even before my clients had seen the images, they had a wonderful boost in self confidence from the session itself.

A photography session can confront people with their fears and insecurities about themselves. Most of us seem have a metal list of our flaws, so people may feel anxious when thinking about the session and may feel quite vulnerable in front of the camera. For a boudoir session these feelings sometimes multiply because, by it's nature, the session is more exposing.

However what happens in reality, when a client goes ahead with a boudoir session, is that it can be a very empowering experience. This is often quite unexpected. Discomfort is overcome quickly as clients realize that the experience is fun, freeing and up-lifting. A professional photographer will be focusing on all the beautiful things about you, and looking for poses and lighting that is flattering for you. It is a completely different experience than the quick selfie or phone snapshot (with mediocre lighting) that we're so used to. These, I know, can be discouraging. In contrast, with the right photographer, your final retouched images should "wow" you and put a smile in your eyes and spring in your step! You'll begin creating a new metal list of all the beautiful things about you.

Forever you will have images that capture your unique beauty and femininity during this time in your life. If you tell your friends about your experience, you will inspire others by your own courage. You will have done something edgy and liberating, a bit like an extreme sport, but in a completely safe environment. This, to me, is why boudoir sessions are so empowering!

My hope and wish is that every woman, regardless of age or body type at least once in her life does a boudoir session. Not for anyone else, just as a gift for herself! xxoo

Model: CeCe, 60-something.

Model: Coco on Pointe, 40 something.

Model: Aurora Bunnycake, 30 something.

Model: Indi, 20 something!

Note: Client images are always kept private. My portfolio consists of everyday women (my friends or acquaintances) or models. I typically look for models inexperienced with boudoir posing so that my portfolio feels authentic.

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StudioR Boudoir Photography, 2196 Portola Drive, Santa Cruz --- 831-332-0375 ---

© 2016 Reija Janneson Bolwell