What's the Difference Between Boudoir & Intimate Portraiture
Words are important.
The words we choose to use carry weight, they carry meaning...and sometimes a little baggage . (If you haven't read What is Boudoir Photography, go check it out and you'll hear a little about my own baggage with the word "boudoir" haha)
I've always had slight hesitation in knowing what to say when people ask what I do. Part of that is probably because I don't have an elevator pitch nailed down and it's often a surface level question we ask people in order to attempt at categorize them and isn't always leading to deeper conversation (...you know we all do it), but most of all I think it's because I've never felt content in the words I have. I feel this way quite often, but I'll stay on track.
"I'm a boudoir photographer."
Whether you're all for it or it makes you blush a little, that statement feels like it slaps a tidy little label on the speaker. On the other hand - I shoot more than just strictly boudoir...what I really do is specialize in women's portraiture, and portraiture is inherently intimate, even if some clients do choose a more traditionally risqué "boudoir experience". Not to mention, the experiences I offer are more than just a photo shoot - they're specifically tailored experiences that create space for and encourage reflection, growth and healing.
And so we're left with insufficient words...just grasping at descriptors.
To be alone in front of a camera... You're exposed. You're seen. I don't care what you're wearing...that is a vulnerable experience - and that intimacy met with authenticity is what creates such an impacting experience. I find myself going back and forth between using the terms boudoir and intimate portraiture depending on what I want to convey. I almost get giddy when someone says "what's boudoir?" because it feels like this beautiful clean slate where I can genuinely explain what it is I do without preconceived opinions.
But why do I care? Why does it matter if I have the words just right or if someone has a bias opinion? Well..Personally, I don't. No one else has to understand why I am so deeply affected by my own boudoir experiences, or why I think every woman can benefit from a portrait session. Boudoir and intimate portraiture aren't going to be something every woman even wants to take part in and that's fine! But it would break my heart to know that someone who really wanted or needed this experience shut it down because of the same limited ideas I once had.
There is no age range, there is no preferred style, there is no amount of needed or lacking attire, there is no body type or location...there aren't any outside factors that can make you worthy of this experience. You already are. You don't have to be more or less of anything to be ready to celebrate who you are right now.
So call it what you want and make it what you want. It's all about you anyways ;D