I’m so pleased to finally be sharing Anna’s NYC boudoir photography session with you. It’s been months since we met up in Brooklyn and created these images, but that means nothing – this shoot is definetly in my top 5 favourites of the year.
I’m struggling with what to tell you about Anna because I’m just so fangirl impressed by her. She’s gracious and cool and funny. She wears all the hats at once (wife, mother, entrepreneur, etc.). Plus, she’s got great style, and an effortless kind of beauty that can’t be denied.
Anna doesn’t wear much makeup in her everyday life, so she was understandably nervous about makeup for her shoot. Unfortunately, a lot of newer makeup artists just don’t know what to do with skin or facial features different from their own. It’s very common for black women to come away from a new makeup artist looking ashy and slightly dead. Anna introduced me to the official term for this, which I now use at all the time; “funeral face.”
I insist on professional, experienced makeup artists that come by way of recommendation whenever possible. If you’re in London, I’d be happy to recommend a few genius girls. If you’re further afield, it’s best to get a recommendation from someone you trust, or you can ask a great wedding or boudoir photographer in your area for a few suggestions. You also want to make sure there are women who look like you in the makeup artist’s portfolio. Don’t allow yourself to be the first and only Chinese face she or he has touched.
Thankfully, I had brilliant makeup artist Victoria with me, and we convinced our lovely client we knew what we were doing;) Of course the result turned out stunning, but with such natural beauty and incredible cheekbones I never had any doubt.
We started off with this cute cotton ribbed bodysuit with snap front. Anna is wearing her husband’s favourite earrings.
I like starting with a barefoot set. There’s a lot to think about when posing, and it helps if you’re not trying to balance in sky high heels right from the start.
If you’re like me and constantly have a hair band on your wrist, please help me remember to have you take it off lol! We usually catch it eventually, but missed in in this image on the right.
Historic woodwork and natural window light for these.
A quick wardrobe change and we have a completely different look – just add heels, a high waisted lace lingerie set, and throw your hair up.
For me, working on location is about making the best use of a space and it’s available light. Often (who am I kidding, always) this means I work up a sweat rearranging furniture, but it’s worth it. I do NYC boudoir photography sessions in a variety of locations, we can chat about the sort of look and feel you’re after for your own shoot.
Louboutins and booty for the win.
A high waisted knicker might not seem like your thing, but I’d encourage to give them a try. They are almost universally flattering, so you might like it better on your body than you do on the hanger.
A few gorgeous details.
Love love love these.
I mean, doesn’t Anna just look divine?
Hands down, my favourite image of the shoot. #slay
I love it so much I’m posting it twice.
A few floor poses. How much you’re able to arch depends on your flexibility and bone structure, but don’t worry – any amount makes for a great shot.
I’m a little bit obsessed with this image too.
A stretchy, form-fitting piece like this is great for showing shape and curves. They also tend to be more comfortable than regular lingerie and work well for bending and arching.
I hold shoots in lots of fancy and unique places, but it’s certainly not required. All you really need is simple bedding and good light.
I do quite like a window though.
A sneaky peek through the doorway…
…and these killer shoes;)
Anna, you blew the roof off. Until next spring!
P.S. If you’re interested in your own NYC boudoir photography session, please feel free to get in touch or add yourself to the list. My next planned trip is spring of 2017, and I’ll be setting dates and locations very soon:)
It was my pleasure to work with Ms. A a few weeks back, and she’s very kindly provided a report on our time together. You can find her thoughts below:)
In this image, A is wearing the Agent Provocateur Lacy Bra (£85) and Suspender Belt (£75). We paired these with stockings, heels, and (if I’m remembering correctly) black knickers from another AP set with a slightly better fit. Mixing black on black is a great trick – you can almost never tell in a photograph, and in ensures you get a fit and cut you like.
If you’re new to Agent Provocateur, their lingerie is beautiful and well made. I definitely recommend it if you’re looking for something luxurious or unique. I find their sizing to be pretty consistent across different styles, but as they have their own 1-5 sizing scale it’s worth trying a few things on your first time (or ordering a size up and down). They have an excellent return policy so nothing to worry about. I also highly, highly recommend looking out for the legendary AP online sales, where you can get up to 70% off even their best pieces.
“I was incredibly pleased with my photoshoot with Stormy, and I loved the pictures that she took! 🙂 There were so many pictures that I liked that it was difficult to decide which to go in the app and in the album! The photos were beautifully shot, with a real variety of styles and background; some are more dramatic and sexy, whilst others are more playful and elegant.
Stormy was very professional throughout and did a really great job. I was really pleased with the location that Stormy chose for the shoot – the light in the space was great, and it allowed for different looks. Stormy also did a great job beforehand about advising on what looks might work best for me. On the day, Stormy was very friendly and it was a really fun experience! Debbie did a great job with my make-up too; I love my smokey eyes in the pictures!
I would really recommend working with Stormy. Not only do I love the pictures, but its nice to work with such a professional and friendly person. I hope to have another shoot in the future!”
On the blog today – a few stills from Mollie’s curvy boudoir photography shoot (finally). Mollie and I connected via Instagram and managed to pull a shoot, wardrobe, and full team together in something like three days, which surely must be a record.
Our inspiration for this shoot started with an iconic image of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and grew into a mood board that felt like Sunday morning. We really wanted to keep things fresh and natural, and brilliant makeup artist Victoria created the perfect look to match our brief. Undone, tousled curls by yours truly.
Mollie is wearing the ASOS Billie Lace High Leg Body £20.00 in navy, which is available in various colours and sizes in the main line. There are also a few colour options and sizes 18-30 in the curve line.
Mollie is such a class act, you’d love her. You can’t not love her really. She’s the sort of person that sends handwritten thank you notes, which always impresses me so much. This was the image we both had in our heads and the inspiration for the shoot. Wardrobe credits: feather duvet. Scandalous.
Boudoir photo shoot with Mayse at the London penthouse
A few favourites from my recent boudoir photo shoot with Brazilian beauty Mayse…
I owe a huge thank you to our makeup artist Sadaf, who did a top notch job sorting out hair, makeup, and all the wardrobe for this shoot. We managed three completely different looks in about 45 min., and there’s no way I could have done it without her.
For the first look, M is wearing this beautiful set from supermodel-turned-lingerie-designer, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Her lingerie line is called “Rosie for Autograph” and it’s been a favourite of mine for ages now. It’s beautiful, romantic, comes in great colour and size options, and is available for affordable prices at Marks & Spencer of all places. This is the Silk & Lace Padded Plunge Bra (£16-26, A-E) in Antique Green colour. However, it’s not green, definetly more of an aqua/blue colour. The Matching knickers are £8-£12.50 and come in sizes 6-20. Some colours of this particular knicker style have sold out online, but there are more coordinating options available in slightly different cuts. If Rosie’s line is available in your size, you owe it to yourself to take a look. So many clients bring her pieces in for their boudoir photo shoot, and everyone seems to love it.
It was lovely working with M. She’s only been in the UK a short time but was a real pro, which was a blessing with our tight timeline. Additionally, her eyes are literally half the size of her head?!
Plus – that faaaace.
For makeup, Sadaf did a gorgeous dark eye, paired with a neutral lip and great skin.
This is the navy “Midnight Hours” body from Free People, available (in slim pickings) from various retailers. ASOS has a few sizes in black on clearance, and Urban Outfitters and Revolve each have one colour which is not available at Free People website, but both are sold out at the moment. Alternatively, you can purchase this body directly from FreePeople for £68-78 in a range of colours, and in sizes XS-L .
For shoots like this, a neutral nail colour is usually best. A good french tip or nude-y colour will coordinate with all the different wardrobe pieces you bring. Also, remember your toes will show up in a few images too.
Finally, a cheap and cheerful set from M&S. We can’t all be lingerie snobs all the time, and sets like these are a great addition to your everyday lingerie. This is the matching “Penelope” bra and knicker set, available in A-DD (£4-14) and 6-20 (£4-6). This colour is called “red mix.”
When I can steal the time away, I’m working on some ideas for demo boudoir photography video sessions. My latest project was shot with lovely lovely lovely Mollie, and I’m delighted to share it with you today. Brilliant Victoria Reynolds was our makeup artist for the shoot, and I knocked up some messy bed hair for M myself.
We filmed this video as part of a larger stills shoot a few weeks ago. If you’re following me on Instagram (@stormy_rebelandromance) you’ve already seen some of our favourite stills from the day. I’ll be posting the full set of stills here soon, and there’s a bit of behind the scenes footage I’m going to cut together too.
Mollie is wearing a black bodysuit by ASOS in this video. It’s a flattering cut and looks great in person, but in retrospect it reads a bit sheer on camera. It’s still gorgeous, just keep in mind that you might #freethenipple on film if you wear it for your own boudoir photography shoot;) I wish I would have noticed sooner, because we ended up having to cut a few shots to make it social media friendly – the nipple police are everywhere these days.
As a side note, I love ASOS for boudoir wardrobe options. They have a huge selection, and a good variety of sizes with plenty of affordable prices. Also, for UK based girls they do a £10/year offer that gets you free next day shipping and free returns on everything you purchase. SO convenient/dangerous.
I can’t find the exact piece Mollie wore, but here are a few similar options:
Anyway, this video means I finally have a curvy / plus size beauty represented in the video category, which is a step in the right direction. I’ll be adding more diversity to this category as we test new ideas, stay tuned.
A few new bits of work from one of my favourite London shoot locations, le warehouse:) This was Hayley’s 2nd lingerie photo shoot, so it was great to use a venue with a completely different look and feel. We didn’t have much time, so we cut the chit chat and got right down to business.
A classic black lingerie set with matching heels to start things off. These lace robes are great for photo shoots – very versatile and getting easier to find every season.
We started shooting by this plant and then stopped because it was looking weird and a little too “glamour.” But then, dunno…it’s kind of grown on me? Maybe they are still a bit too much though…
For photographer friends out there, we used 1/2 of my Profoto B1 location kit for much of this shoot. It’s an ideal setup for location sessions because let’s be honest, who really has the patience to hunt for outlets and trip over wires all day?
I mean…maybe you do, but I certainly don’t.
Natural light to show off a great bum and the prettiest head shot evvahhh. Hayley did her own hair and makeup for this shoot. You probably know that I normally use professionals (you know that liquid eyeliner can smell your fear), but if you’re comfortable doing your own face and know exactly what you want, it’s always an option.
Bright colour palettes can be hard to do well (at least when indoors and living in cloudy London), but the combination here turned out fab.
Our final number is this blue lace basque-y piece paired with a navy silk robe, shot in natural light against a distressed brick wall.
SUCH a stunner. Thanks babes, lovely working with you again!
You guys, I’ve written and re-written this post so many times. I have way too much to say about Photoshop for a single blog post, so here’s what I’ve narrowed it down to…
Today’s post features curve model Natasha. She is “unconventionally” beautiful.
My inspiration for this shoot came from the Aerie campaigns (they’ve stopped retouching models) and the StyleLikeU interview with Iskra (below). These images have had a bit of colour work, but no body modification, wardrobe modification, liquify, etc. They are essentially”photoshop free,” and therefore imperfect.
And so am I. And so are you. And this is totally fine.
I believe in Photoshop, and I make no apologies for it. It’s an incredibly useful tool that I use daily – a bit of kit that gets a bad rap and is often used irresponsibly, but unless you would like me to leave that monster pimple on your chin to be forever immortalised in the photographs you’re paying a bunch of money for, we’re probably not that far apart in our thinking.
But do we need to “photoshop” everything all the time? Are we now so offended by the “flaws” of a perfectly healthy, normal body that we can’t appreciate it for what it is? Seventeen Magazine has been telling us how to have perfect skin since we were 12, but I don’t recall them mentioning how the skin texture they taught us to idolize was made by a computer.
I just think…enough.
Let’s appreciate art for what it is, the smoke and the mirrors and the aspirational aspect of bringing a vision to life. But let’s also show some bodies of women who maybe look a bit like you do, not retouched to “perfection,” and let’s hold them up asalso beautifulandworthy of praise.
Iskra (face of Aerie) on being photoshopped and learning to love her body.
And finally, Natasha, my freckle faced, red-headed beauty:)
N is wearing super simple black lingerie here for a casual, easy look. These little corner has the best light – I’ll have you know I moved about 27 rolls of Colorama to free up this space before the shoot.
Natural light, no photoshop, no fake hair, no fake nails, no fake lashes, no chicken fillets in the bra.
I’m quite partial to colour images with redheads, but monochrome is also nice.
Our second look was my favourite – a cable knit jumper for the win.
The props are so random but I still like it lol!
We threw in some long socks for fun.
And golf clubs. Because…I don’t know. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
That backlight though.
Our last outfit was a super pink number. To be honest, we really weren’t sure this would work with the space but we gave it a go anyway.
It wouldn’t be my first choice, but N just looked so lovely that we couldn’t not use them.
A few head shots because I am a little bit in love with N’s face.
Miss. N traveled a few hours from her home city to meet me for a shoot in Chicago. We really lucked out finding the most incredible venue, a salvage yard/store that also hires space out for weddings and the odd photo shoot. It was a dream of a space, floor after floor of old furniture and odd sets and big windows. If I lived in Chicago, I’d shoot here allthetime, so well done to Miss N for turning up such a gem of a location.
We started simply, with a figure-hugging long black dress. Doesn’t N look fab? Such a gorgeous canvas, with beautiful makeup by Chicago-based makeup artist Debbie, hair by yours truly.
Warehouses throw around the most interesting light.
We found this distressed old mirror and I loved beat up it was – perfect for a mysterious portrait.
Miss N was after an editorial, fashion-inspired vibe, so we tried to create images with a feeling of story and interest over lots of bodyscapes and detail shots.
I love the way the lights are reflected behind her in these.
I’m still a little bit in love with this pose. I’ve been trying it on everyone, everywhere, and it’s nearly universally flattering. Revealing this type of image to clients is one of my favourite things too – everyone is blown away by how great they look:)
Legs for days.
Please universe, send more of this sunshine to London. The irony that my name is Stormy, yet I cannot control the weather, is not lost on me.
The sexy shadows. N is wearing a simple bodysuit with a plunging v neck and black stilettos.
This art deco wall thing looked pretty weird in real life, but I saw potential. Miss N. was like, “up there? really?” but I persisted. Sometimes you just knoooow.
If you’re a fan of this outfit, you can pick up something similar for cheap, and it can be worn again later – pair it with jeans and a good jacket and you’ve got a ready to go date night outfit.
If standard sizes suit you, you’ll be spoilt for choice at ASOS. For bigger busted and/or curvy clients, options are (as is typical) a little more limited and ugly. If you need or want support, Figleaves has a few decent choices. If you’re not worried about built in support or overall longevity, Boohoo has a great selection of plus size bodysuit options with lots of cuts and fabrics.
Miss N loved the feel of a shoot I did with Jada in NYC, so she brought along this cozy cotton, long sleeve T and plain, high waisted knickers to replicate the look.
I love how effortless cotton feels. It’s a great option if you’re feeling a little nervous about showing lots of skin, or if you would like a non-obvious way to cover a midsection.
And then we found this magical angled mirror, which I am a little bit in love with. What’s better than one gorgeous woman owning her curves? Why 3 of course!
Miss N is wearing high waisted knickers here, and I think it give the images a little bit of that showgirl-gets-ready-backstage feel. We put her hair up in a super mess bun too.
We finished the day with another bodysuit, this one much more strappy and daring. People were getting married here the next day too….bwah ha ha ha;)
Miss N, thank you for a showstopper of a shoot, you brought the house down. Until next time!
A little tattooed treat today – Mrs. A’s destination shoot in middle-of-nowhere Idaho:)
Mrs. A and I had originally chatted about a shoot the last time I was in America, but logistically we just weren’t able to make it work. Needless to say I was delighted when we were able to find a date and make it happen this go around. It’s such an honour working with clients who have been quietly stalking the blog for years, or putting off their shoot until we can find a way to be in the same part of the world at the same time. I’m so humbled by your support, I know it’s not an investment made lightly and that booking a boudoir shoot can be a very emotional, confronting things to contemplate. All I can say is thank you, I hear you, and I’ll do my absolute best to make it the best photographic experience you’ve ever had.
There are a hundred good reasons to do a boudoir shoot, but I think the best ones revolve around doing this for yourself. Mrs. A is a great example example. Mainly, this was about how she wants to feel – confident, beautiful, maybe still trying to prove to herself that feeling and looking sexy after having babies is a real thing. But, the Mr.’s birthday provided a very convenient excuse, and that’s win/win if you ask me.
We started in the shadows…
If you’re thinking wall art, something like this is super popular. It’s killer on acrylic – I’ll show you when you come for your shoot, and I’ll get something up on the blog eventually too.
It feels like ages since I’ve photographed someone with loads of tattoos. It’s so fun – I generally prefer lots of tattoos in colour, but these black and white frames work well too.
Perfectly positioned. I love Mrs. A’s pin-up meets alternative vibe.
The standing back arch. If you’re not sore the next day, you’re not doing it right.
With a few killer shots in the bag, we lightened up a little and had some fun:) A flowerly kimono here for a spring/summer feel.
Mrs. A did her own makeup and had her hair done pre-shoot by my friend and hairdresser extraordinaire Tia. Tia is a bit jet-setter these days, but when not on a plane you can find her at her Idaho Falls salon or on Instagram at @thahairbiz
Moody cuz we can!
With perfectly pin-curled hair, there was no way I was missing the chance for some beautiful vintage styling.
A is wearing a slip passed down through generations of the women in her family. GENUINE vintage people.
Ahhhhh yes. Let’s put her on the side of a plane already.
I was like, “Your bum is amazing.” And A was like, “what? oh….um, thanks but…[nervous, deprecating laughter].” And I was like, “OMG shut your face, I’ll prove it to you.” And then took this picture and showed it to her. And she lived happily every after, sure in the knowledge that she had the best bum in all the land. The end.
This purple lingerie set is from Victoria’s Secret. The colour matches her hair perfectly, so a great choice. If VS is not your style, we’ve also been having lots of luck with Boux Avenue sets.
Ohhhhh we so sneaky.
Seriously though, it’s fun. You’re going to love it.
Mrs. A, you were fantastic and strong and powerful and beautiful, and I hope these images help you feel that way every time you look at them. Thanks again for your help sourcing locations and being so very very brave.
I’ll let Olivia, my new favourite wedding planner, tell you about her experience in her own words. A few screen shots below, and a full writeup (plus some fun wedding mood boards, ideas, and advice) is available on her blog, Nulyweds.
Olivia is lovely, I thoroughly enjoyed working with her. I feel certain that if I hired her for a wedding everything would go smoothly and look more put together than I could possibly manage on my own. If you’re in the market for an organised, reliable wedding planner who loves bright colours and knows how to create a magazine-worthy tablescape, I’d check her out:)
“There I was. My big nose, my flat chest, my ski-like feet – all together, all beautiful. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It has been a week since I received the photos and I still haven’t come down from that inner sense of confidence. Every woman deserves to feel this way…”
It’s been such a manic spring that I’m just now getting around to blogging shoots from my recent trip to America, but let’s kick things off properly anyway. Today, a fab little lingerie test with Christabel and makeup artist Victoria in Brooklyn, NYC.
Some clients can feel like they need to buy a bunch of fancy things before their shoot, but there’s really no need. This slouchy jumper is what Christabel arrived in. Vic and I both loved it for a casual, Sunday morning feel and decided to use it for her first look.
Pair with simple bottoms for a super easy, no-cost wardrobe option. #mycalvins
This chair is my new favourite thing.
The light was so lovely here. For my photographer friends, this was shot with natural light and a silver reflector.
A moody black and white version.
For our next look, we added a smokier eye and slightly more polished hair.
A white lingerie set like this is great for a bridal look, and a sheer robe or wrap makes the whole thing more interesting.
Clients often ask whether they should bring nude or white stockings to go with their bridal look. I think nude tones look a little better, but it’s really down to personal preference.
If you’re not sure what YOU like, I’d recommend spending some time on Pinterest. A search for “bridal lingerie” will turn up lots of images of both.
How great is this look? It seems complicated, but it’s just strappy black separates with a strappy body harness thingamajig layered over the top. ASOS has a few of these right now and they will make you look 100% braver.
My favourite image of the shoot. Because THATFACE.
Today on the blog, a handful of Abby’s favourites from her boudoir shoot:
For our first outfit, we did a bridal inspired look. Something like this is perfect if you’re surprising your groom with a boudoir album. If you want to up the bridal factor you can add in a veil, wedding shoes, tiara, etc.
Beautiful makeup from @debbiepmakeup and hair by @gemdtyler. It goes without saying that Abby’s figure is ridiculous.
Love the tiny polka dots on this lingerie.
This fire was so toasty – we had to shoot very quickly for fear of Abby roasting.
A low lit moody feel for these doors. There are some other frames from this set that I really love, I’ll try to share those soon.
Finally, a duo of this image. I’ve been experimenting with hard, super directional light like this. It’s tricky to get right, but it’s killer when you nail it.