The word "boudoir" makes me feel awkward. Throw the word "photos" after it and omigod, I am on the verge of feeling full-on queasy. In my head- based fully on preconceived notions- the whole concept of taking sultry photos in lingerie you would NEVER wear in real life to give to your significant other is something I could never, in a million years, EVER see myself doing.
Enter one of my close friends who also happens to be an incredible photographer, Jen Goldberg. Jen has taken photos of my family for as long as we have known each other- her work can be seen on various Falik Family holiday cards, giant acrylic prints in my home and, of course, on her website.
A few years ago, Jen mentioned to me that she was starting to do some boudoir photography here and there. A short time later, she was doing wayyyy more than "some"- and opened up Private Portraits, dedicated to boudoir shoots.
Jen has a modern aesthetic, and a sophisticated style to her photography (not to mention a sophisticated clientele). I could not reconcile that with women draped in feather boas pouting towards the camera donning overly painted red lips and perhaps even- GASP- body glitter.
So I took a look at her work. And I was FLOORED. It was cool and modern and sophisticated and beautiful. And fascinating. Every photo I saw was completely different- but there was one thing every single shot had in common- you could tell that the women in front of the lens felt POWERFUL.
On a whim (and probably after 3 Tito's on the rocks with a splash of soda), I decided to do it.
And now, I get it. Completely.
The process may be the coolest part. This shoot is an appointment on your already packed calendar that forces you to think about what you think is sexy about YOU. And, I can tell you, what I find sexy about myself at this moment in my life has nothing to do with lingerie or body glitter or feather boas. Going out on a limb here but- guessing most of you will agree?
Between the booking and the shoot, I pored over Pinterest images, comparing notes with Jen on how we could translate them into something that felt right for me. We had one "official" meeting where she took me through what the shoot would be like (very helpful!) and tips on what to bring- meaningful pieces of jewelry, signature shoes or a favorite old t-shirt, etc. I don't think we uttered the words "pearl thong" or "leather bustier" once.
One week prior, I did a Shopbop order (felt like i had to have these) and a trip to Urban Outfitters. The night before, I packed up 3 giant rolling suitcases of shoes, accessories, favorite tank tops, the neon distressed sweatshirt from this pic, an oversized hat, my signature black blazer and most beloved jean jacket, and then some.
The morning of, I got my hair blown out, threw on makeup, took a few deep breaths and drove to Jen's studio to get naked. I worried it would feeI a little weird- I mean, this is the house, besides our own, in which family and I probably spend the most time hanging out. But it wasn't weird at all. It was so much fun.
When the proofs came back, I had a giant hardcover coffee table book made with my favorite images.
Not for my husband.
Not as a relic to prove to my girls how I once looked when I am inevitably older, more wrinkled and more paunchy.
The book is a gift to ME. A gift to make sure I always remember the things that made me feel powerful and strong and confident about myself when I was 38 years old, raising 2 young girls, learning to take care of our first home, growing a business and trying desperately to keep my head above water. Many (er, most?) days, I feel like a hot freakin' mess. But on that day- and the days leading up to it- I just felt hot. And for all the right reasons.
Moral of the story? Don't let your preconceived notions of any experience deter you from actually having said experience. Because it may surprise you- and in the process, you will most certainly surprise yourself.
So whaddya think- would you do a shoot in your skivvies? Do tell.
Or, have you already? If so, would love to hear what you thought of your experience...I mean, c'mon, I shared mine...