Going deep on this one.
Whoah. That quote was like a kick in my stomach. But not in a bad way. In a "HELL.YES." kind of way.
I've been shooting for about 8 years now. Like most other amateur photographers, I started by shooting EVERYTHING under the sun. Families, babies, models, musicians, corporate executives, real estate listings, commercial products, weddings, annnnnndd boudoir. And also like most other newbie photographers, I thought that meant I was the shit and could do anything.
I VERY quickly discovered that boudoir was my favorite, it was what I was best at, and it was the most fulfilling. But it wasn't quite mainstream. At least not in the way that I wanted it to be. It hadn't caught on. The boudoir I was used to seeing was really just trashy porn-esque images with bad lighting and REALLY bad posing that served no other purpose than to be a turn-on for the viewer.
I knew that was not my definition of boudoir. I knew that I wanted to educate the world (really. The whole world. I'm a dreamer like that) on all the ways that boudoir was incredible, empowering, good for the soul, and beautiful- literally and figuratively.
Lots of photographers were offering boudoir on the side...but it was nearly unheard of to specialize in boudoir and ONLY boudoir. Friends, peers, and even my own husband said "But is there really enough demand to do it full time?" And my response was "There will be. I just need to do it. I just need to jump in and freaking do it.".
And I did.
Closing the door on EVERY photography opportunity that came my way and being exclusive to my specialty and passion was absolutely the smartest move ever.
I made it my mission to re-introduce boudoir as gorgeous, high quality, tasteful but sexy images ALONGSIDE the story of the woman in them. It was so important for me to let everyone know that it's NOT JUST ABOUT THE PICTURES. If you've followed my blog for any period of time at all, you know that I preach this.
I stuck with it until it caught on.
It caught on.
I am shooting in a dream studio with my dream clients. I am working full-time (+ crazy overtime) doing what I am absolutely PASSIONATE about, fascinated with, moved by, and GOOD at, damnit!
Now the women who contact me for the first time aren't saying things like "I want hot photos for my boyfriend". They're telling me their life stories. They're telling me all the reasons they need this uplifting of their soul. They're telling me that the stories of the women on my blog seem to be speaking directly to them.
And I couldn't be more moved by the women that come into my life daily. I cry just about every time I open my inbox...and it's an amazing thing.
If you are a photographer reading this, I encourage you to help continue to elevate this industry beyond just HOT photos. Yes...they should be sexy. It's boudoir, after all. But WHY boudoir? EDUCATE people. Make it count. Give it meaning and life. Make it worth so much more.
If you are a woman reading this, photographer or not, I encourage you to book a session. YES, give an album to your partner for your anniversary. Yes, create gorgeous wall art for your home. But above all else, do this for YOU.