Ed Verosky, a photographer from Austin, Texas, commented, “Many female photographers play up the idea that their clients will be more comfortable with a woman as their boudoir photographer.”
I’ve seen those ads, too, and like a lot of ads, they say one thing and mean another. In this context, “more comfortable” is a marketing euphemism for “safer” that exploits fear—the fear that a male photographer is somehow, I don’t know, genetically incapable of treating a woman with dignity and respect while creating great boudoir images of her. Nonsense!
Look, at the end of the day, photography is not gender based, and women seeking boudoir images would do well to eliminate that criterion when choosing a photographer—make it about their reputation and their work!
That said, the essential ingredient for creating stunning and erotic boudoir images is not comfort, it’s tension. Yes, that kind of tension. And for the male boudoir photographer, this presents both the challenge and the opportunity to make contact with the client on a fundamentally different level, a level where, rather than denying it, both parties sense and exploit this tension to create great images. A word of caution, though: It would be foolhardy for anyone to assume this is easy, that you just somehow jump into it and know, intuitively, what to do or how to act. It takes time. Over the next few months, I’ll write much more about this, but the truth is, in the end, working at this level isn’t for everyone.
At whatever level a boudoir photographer decides to work, creating for their client an envelope of safety imbued with dignity and respect is essential—irrespective of the photographer’s gender.
I’ll be writing about the client-photographer interview process in a future post, but if you’re a women interviewing boudoir photographers now, make sure your requests include these: a list of past boudoir clients you may call; and samples of work from glamour to erotic, including before-and-after shots, preferably of more than one client.
PS: Today’s image: Melyssa in the Moment.