What It's Like Being A Male Boudoir Photographer
Boudoir photography is generally a female photographer dominated style. So what's it like being a male in a female-dominated industry? As a male in a female-dominated industry, I feel like I have a unique perspective on what boudoir means and how I approach each session.
Starting My Photography Journey
I'll start off what quickly what it was like starting and building my photography brand.
When I first started getting into photography, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do or where my photography would take me. I was living in Redcliffe. If you know anything about Redcliffe, you probably know it has lots of beaches and jetty's so I got my start taking landscapes like the ones below.
I spent this time learning how to best use my camera — learning the different camera settings and basic composition. Somewhere in this time, I decided to go to photography school. For me, the time and money investment of going to photography school was definitely worth it. It was eye-opening and helped me grow as a person.
Why I Shoot Boudoir
Why I decided to specialise in boudoir photography. To put it simply, I just want to make people feel awesome about being themselves! I know all too well the feeling of having low self-esteem and anxiety. My goal with Belle-Vous Photography is to make everyone feel fantastic about being themselves.
Not Gender Specific
When I was finished at school, I didn't have a pre-established photography brand to build on when I started Belle-Vous Photography; I started from scratch. I didn't have any well-established past clientèle to help me build up my brand and when I was first beginning shooting boudoir, and I worried most women wouldn't want a shoot with me merely because of my gender. I did a bit of research to see if the idea of male boudoir wasn't as crazy as it kinda seemed at the time. I found out some women prefer a male photographer over a female one and If the photographer is professional and respectful, the gender of the photographer doesn't matter. The final artwork still holds the same value, and after a being a boudoir photographer for years now this still holds true now.
During my research, the consensus among photographers and bloggers was males shoot more edgy and sexy styles, and females shoot softer and less provocative. I don't know where this idea first came from, but I don't think it's accurate at all. I've seen female photographers shoot edgy, provocative stuff and males shoot soft and airy. It just comes down to each photographer's individual style and not their gender.
The biggest challenge wasn't finding clients that wanted or didn't mind I was a male photographer. Women book a boudoir session with me because they love my work. Male or female it didn't matter; it was only the quality of my photos that mattered to them.
The biggest challenges are easing my client's nerves for most women a boudoir session well outside of their comfort zone. Stripping down and baring it all regardless of who is behind the camera male or female can be hard to do. To help overcome them these nerves I find myself asking lots of questions. These are anywhere from "what's your favourite type of music?" or "How did you meet your partner?" The goal of these questions is to ease my client's nerves and let them know my studio is a save friendly space. I also don't rush my boudoir sessions; I only book one boudoir client per day. I've had some super quick 30 min sessions and a few 9-hour epics. Everyone is unique, and I create a unique boudoir experience for each one of the women I photograph. As the session progresses, any nerves start to fade away, and my clients start to loosen up and become more carefree.
My Work Style
Boudoir photography is a life-changing experience. When one of my clients arrive at my studio, most of the time they're nervous, scared and sometimes freaking out. The biggest challenges are easing these nerves. For most women, a boudoir session well outside of their comfort zone. Stripping down and baring it all regardless of who is behind the camera, male or female can be hard to do. Once she sits in the chair to get their hair and makeup done, the transformation begins. She slowly starts to shed those sign and feelings of nervousness and anxiousness. I also don't rush my boudoir sessions; I only book one boudoir client per day. I've had some super quick 30 min sessions and a few 9-hour epics. Everyone is unique, and I create a unique boudoir experience for each one of the women I photograph.
After the makeover, the shoot will start. When I show her the photos on the back of my camera after the first set. I usually hear 'OH MY GOD, that's me? NO WAY That's me! Then the laughter and smiles start to come out, and she starts to feel sexy. As the session progresses, any nerves begin to fade away, and my clients begin to loosen up and become more carefree. And you can tell that's it's starting to click with them.
By the time we finish the session and go into the reveal, we're friends. We've just shared an experience that she will always remember. We've laughed and shared stories about our lives. Once I show them their pictures on the big screen TV, their jaws drop, they're seeing themselves like they never have before. This one of the fantastic things about boudoir photography. By the time they see their beautiful finished photos, my clients are over the moon with joy.
Why A Male Boudoir Photographer Might Be Best For Your Session.
If you're looking for a boudoir photographer, you will most likely find more female photographers than male ones. I want to share with you why you might want to hire a male boudoir photographer instead.
1. If you're looking for a boudoir photographer, you will most likely find more female photographers than male ones. I want to share with you why you might want to hire a male boudoir photographer instead.
1. Men and women see the world with a different lens, so we usually see each other differently. We have different life experiences, different mentality and different intent when we see the opposite sex. What men find sexy about a woman is different from what most women find sexy about themselves. You might think spending the whole day binge-watching Netflix in a plain old shirt might be super unsexy, but your partner might think you're at your most sexist when you're super casual. Barely there lingerie has the wow factor, but a lot of the time us guys think showing less is more.
2. The most common thing my clients hire me for is to give their boudoir images as wedding gifts for their husbands, and they hire me for a man's opinion and perspective. It's common when we are picking out photos and designing the album; I will be asked: "you're a guy which ones would you put in the album and what layout?" It's like when I'm buying a gift for my girlfriend, the best person to ask for advice is a woman. Another favourite reason why my clients hire me is for confidence-boosting of seeing themselves through the eyes of a male.
3. It is usually more comfortable for a woman to show her sexy side on camera with a male photographer because it's a dynamic women are generally more used too. Our body language likely will be a little different with a male boudoir photographer. The way you smile, move your hands, etc. If you are looking for a more authentic female to male dynamic in your final images, a male boudoir photographer might be the best choice.
4. Female photographers dominate boudoir photography. There is a perception that the client and her partner will be more comfortable with a female photographer taking the photos. Both female and male photographers are focusing on the lighting, posing, emotion and the overall experience. We are not looking at 'you' we are looking at everything that's needed to create the best image of you.
5. At the end of the day, find a photographer who will make you feel beautiful, whether it be male or female. They should have you feeling sexy, powerful and unique. It's a boudoir photographers job to make you feel relaxed and comfortable above all else.
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