Every photographer has a different style and inspiration that flavors their work, whether a wedding photographer, or boudoir / intimate photographer. I’m a fine art nude and more edgy style non traditional boudoir. So why not traditional boudoir? There are a bunch of boudoir studios in Nashville and most other major cities in a more traditional sense. They do what they do, and many clients love it. A good studio of that sort is very good at styling and set design. That’s not my bag at all. Because of that, it doesn’t make sense for me to work under the same design.
For me, it’s more about the light and curves of the subject, using textures, and mood to make a photograph. It still has that intimate private feel, but more mood and shadowing, where the location can still add to the photograph, but less emphasis is on the location, and more on the female form. In it’s somewhat vulnerable, sexy, and confident state. Set design doesn’t inspire me, so it’s best I do what I do well and offer something unique for customers who want something different with more edge. There’s enough to go around for everyone. In this life, we do best doing what inspires us.
What does this have to do with spirituality? Everything. Because when traveling, we should always think of our fellow man and woman, and the process goes smoother. The last airline travel I did a couple months ago, I flew from Nashville to Dallas, sat next to these 2 really friendly ladies, but I couldn’t help but notice the whole vicinity smelled like cat food. I said something about it and one of them said, oh we brought leftover BBQ from the airport, it’s in my bag. I remained civil of course. The look I gave them should have let them know I wasn’t overly impressed with their travel etiquette skills, even if that’s an unspoken rule. The guy I sat next to on the way to London was perfect. He didn’t say much but was accommodating both times I needed to use the toilets. And didn’t take forever to exit the plane.
The short leg to Dublin was uneventful thankfully. A day of walking in Dublin city centre felt good after a long overnight flight. The next day, my cousin’s husband and I (who lived in Dublin) took a tour bus to Northern Ireland and the guide was great. She gave us some Irish history and we made one stop each way. She reminded the passengers that they may bring a cold beverage on the bus but no hot food or beverage was allowed because it makes the bus smell. I instantly had a flashback to the leftover BBQ on the plane that smelled like cat food. I was so grateful and I may have told her I loved her for that. I’m thinking to myself, why would anyone even need to be told that?
I took a train from Dublin to Howth to walk the piers along the Irish Sea and check out the village, enjoy some fresh seafood. The train going that direction was relatively quiet, it was a weekday afternoon. I saw signs reminding people that if someone elderly or less physically able than you, or laden with groceries etc. to consider giving up your seat for them if the train is full. But they also had a sign made in a comical way, to remind people that “snoofing” wasn’t cool. The act of pretending to be in a book or sleeping to avoid eye contact with those said people. It’s good to bring those things to peoples’ minds although it’s sad that it has to be done.
On the way from Dublin to JFK, a Chinese man butted the line ahead of this single girl to get to the security gate faster. He acted like he didn’t know what people were saying when they were telling him what an asshole he was. I was just glad people called him on it. Though I doubt he learned from it. Human decency clearly wasn’t on his list of priorities. So, I get on the plane and it would be almost an 8 hour flight. I was in the window seat, I may change that strategy on International flights. I was next to these 2 girls, maybe 11 and 13, her parents and other sibling were in front of us. They were mild mannered and seemed pleasant. I had to get up and use the toilets, and they scooted their knees sideways instead of standing up. AND they had crap all over the floor. Oh no, that wasn’t going to fly. I said no, please move your stuff and stand up and let me out. I’m not climbing over you or your stuff which shouldn’t even be in the floor. Their parents must have overheard me and looked at me in disbelief. I thought, why would this basic teaching have to come from a complete stranger? But the stuff was moved, and they got up and let me in, I smiled and said thank you 🙂
I am lucky to have such an organic relationship with clients, and enjoy so much diversity. I get a lot of clients from out of town or out of state to work with me, which I find fascinating. Some prefer that discreet feeling of not knowing anyone here and that their experience feels more secure. Others looked for the specific style that I have when it comes to artistic nude photography or non traditional boudoir that they couldn’t find locally. Most of my clients are working professionals and well off. I think they enjoy dealing with me for the fun and non corporate experience. They’re busy and I value their time, they value mine, it’s a great pairing.
We often talk about life as we get started on the shoot and in between looks. I think they think it’s neat that I’m different from them and value my craft, living simply and my dogs over large homes with lots of things. So I feel like that diversity causes us to inspire one another. Intimate photoshoots are a personal service, and one where a feeling of discretion is needed. It would be a shame to not take advantage of the opportunity to get to know the people I’m working with, for that I feel privileged. The day we stop thinking and questioning our thought processes we stop truly living. May that never happen in this life. 🙂
One of the most frequently asked questions I get when emailed or called by a prospective client are, How long are intimate photoshoots? My standard boudoir / nude photo session is about an hour and a half. It may not sound like a long time for a photoshoot, but it’s been the perfect formula for just the right amount of time. Whether in my studio, the client’s home, boutique hotel, or on location, it gives us time to take advantage of different settings and body angles, body positions and the most dynamic lighting. I will explain some things about my process so that you can see how I work and how this works for a basic session.
This is physically demanding for most, especially when they’re not professional models. I heard about a lady in an online discussion about a boudoir photoshoot that lasted over 6 hours and the photographer shot close to 1000 images. I was thinking, holy shit, what could the need for that possibly be? No doubt that came from overshooting the same look until moving onto the next. I’m not a rapid fire shooter. I take time to carefully select body angles and have lighting and mood figured out to compliment each subject. I’d rather have this be a fun and rewarding experience than an exhausting one. And we don’t need 100 photos in an album.
I’ve had clients come from out of state, some have even returned if they wanted to do a different shoot, and they find that balance worked well. In cases of a spread out area, or many specific outfits or looks, more time would be needed. But this covers the majority.
In last article showcasing a recent intimate couples’ photoshoot, I promised I’d share sample photos of their album, they consented, so here it is 🙂 I always offer albums to clients as a great way to present the photos from their personal intimate photoshoot. Print has so much depth in comparison to digital files, and there is no format or other obsolescence. Plus it’s an elegant and artistic, yet discreet way to preserve and display the photos. Whether for an individual boudoir or artistic nude photoshoot, or in this case, a couples’ photoshoot, it’s a great heirloom for a lifetime. I’ve heard regret from older people that they never had the courage to do a shoot like this when they were younger, or didn’t know a skillful or trustworthy enough artist. This is where I am happy to provide this service.
This particular album is 8″x8″ with an espresso brown leather cover. Other cover options available such as different color leather, hard cover, photographic (not recommended for intimate albums), linen, etc. I shot a few of the album in my studio.
Here are samples of the pages with open book, so you can see the design elements and how it all flows together. Also that the album is lay flat and there is no gutter in the center which causes puff up. It’s a seamless bind, where the very subtle crease in the middle doesn’t interrupt the design if a photo overlaps from page to page. This is why the 2 pages seen are called spreads. The paper finish is a beautiful semi lustre, you have to see in person to truly appreciate it.
Here is a close up of the open album so you can truly see the lay flat flush mount design.
Also a closeup to get an idea of how substantial the nice thick pages are! Please ask for any further details, I hope you enjoyed this little product tour from Farrell Gallery 🙂
I’m very excited to finally have a great intimate couples shoot to show off! I mostly do female form artistic nudes, or implied nude / boudoir sessions, as both parties of the couple being confident enough to do an intimate shoot are few and far between. These clients were visiting from out of town and came to Nashville to see a concert, so time would be limited for us to coordinate our schedules. I’m so thankful we were able to make it happen because they are so well connected and fun to work with. She has been wanting to do this shoot for a while, it just took him time to get comfortable with the idea. I was just glad they found me, because with my unique style of capturing my subjects, they felt a connection to my work and that helped establish comfort. Once they arrived, we talked for a few moments, and I got an idea of what inspired them, and so it began in the studio! We broke the ice with a silhouette. As an FYI, I made sure the couple was ok with me using these photos before doing so, I always ensure a fun and discreet experience.
It didn’t take them long to get comfortable on their own, so throughout the photoshoot, I followed the lines of the bodies, and began to follow their lead while I work with body position, hand position, dramatic lighting with contrast and shadow play, as well as most interesting composition.
They even braved it for outdoors, even though fairly private setting. The pool water was a tad brisk, they rocked it still! I’m happy to hear that they enjoyed their intimate session so much that they are thinking of doing another one! I also put together an album for them. Photos of that album are coming next article. I hope you’ve enjoyed this lovely couples intimate photoshoot.
I was on the motorcycle on several occasions this week, the late Summer air has been unseasonable cool and less humid for the past few days. It’s at least a nice temporary relief from the heat. I was on a street while approaching downtown, which isn’t the nicest. In the past it had been known for prostitution and drug deals, etc. It’s still not squeaky clean. But certain times it can be the road less traveled. Plus areas like that are less affected by gentrification, at least for now….so it’s a possible area that if I explore it, I may find a different abandoned building to do photoshoots at! That’s how I have a nose to sniff out cool locations. It’s a sense I have, when something tells me to keep my eye peeled, or exploring an unknown road with the hopes of finding a different spot to do an intimate or nude photoshoot.
I saw one road that I never noticed before, it went uphill and nothing was in sight. I thought hmmmm…..there could be some cool industrial places up that way, or abandoned houses! I turned in on the motorcycle and noticed a few houses, and a couple other warehouse businesses, etc. Then a dead end. Nothing abandoned or particularly interesting. But I may go back and make a couple contacts in the industrial yards for an open area especially in non business hours, if I can get the green light. But even if I came up empty, I took 5 minuted out of my day to satisfy my curiousity and explore a road not many probably even notice. I’m one exploration closer to the mecca of abandoned buildings, to be continued.
I was with a student photographer in recent days, we were talking about the use of textures and shapes in photography, and how using those 2 things in conjunction with intimate / nude photography are a perfect balance. And how the most photogenic things and locations aren’t pretty. They can make a photogenic person look all the more amazing and create that interesting contrasting element in a photograph. When we parted ways, she wished me a “have a nice day”. I said thank you, although I mean this in a kind way, I don’t wish you a nice day, just hear me out. I have to keep the students guessing, because there is always a hidden meaning 🙂
I told her, go find something inspiring, whether an abandoned building or house, or any other structure with rough and distressed textures. Find something dark and disturbing, bring yourself to that place so you understand it. Feel that connection to that subject, whether human or inanimate. Because, that to me, is a nice day. So, in that regard, have a nice day 🙂 Then you can work on the lovely female form and how to bridge the gap between the soft curves of her body, and the rough features of the location.
Green Acres is the place to be. We continued on to some outdoor locations far back enough from the open road, to do some green acres implied nudes, new term lol. This gal is a true country girl. She is beautiful as the day is long, but also isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty, is loyal to people she cares about, and doesn’t tolerate a lot of nonsense. She values her quiet living, a strange car pulling up should have a good reason 🙂 We first headed to a creek while the water was still high after recent rains. How awesome was it that we found a dock?
Next we sought out an open field area, as the sun was setting. Although it was hazy, the sun was peeking through the clouds, just enough to provide some nice backlighting which I happen to love. She is one with nature, a free spirit, and comfortable in her own skin. That is what defines beauty. I love exploring, whether abandoned buildings, in the country, or industrial settings. Picking your location on the fly helps the creative senses and gives me something to work on with the subject, so our inputs on the photoshoot are more equal.
I have known this lovely gal for a couple years and have done a couple photoshoots with her, but this would be her first intimate photoshoot. We did very little planning, and did most everything playing by ear. We started in her home, in the bedroom, and by a window. We did not rely on fancy furnishings. I take the minimalist approach to my fine art and boudoir photography, where it’s about the features of the woman and not the surroundings. Beauty in her facial features and body, every curve and detail kissed with light, as the main attraction. This intimate photoshoot was just that 🙂
The common misconception that you need a 5 star hotel room or fancy parlor room to photograph the female form is a shame to me. It’s great when that, or better yet an abandoned building with lots of texture is available. Sometimes it’s about the soul and body you capture, right where you are. To me, this hones me as a photographer of the female form, if the viewers see them and their beauty, and do not think about the location.
Bringing that confident, sexy and elegant mood to the bedroom. No doubt her and her significant other will enjoy the photos, and the best part, she had a fun and comfortable experience! I hope you’ve enjoyed this casual boudoir series, some outdoor intimates coming next!