This was a shoot we threw together at the end of a very busy day, so everything was a little rushed and haphazard. Adrienne did her own hair and makeup (on the bathroom floor no less – sorrryyyy again Adriene! you’re such a trooper), and we were racing against the setting sun from the get go. All that considered, I’m pretty happy with the way things turned out.
Loved this iron gate/door thing.
We lost the light really early on, so we ended up having to go for a moody, dramatic look. It doesn’t quite fit the lingerie, but A still looks fab.
Silver leafed mirrored cupboard doors for the win.
A little window light.
Ahhh to be blonde…
Moody in motion
Our final look was a topless look with a pair of high waisted bottoms.
This purple wall. I through it looked gross but I am converted.
This shot on the right is probably my favourite.
Just hanging out in the doorway, as you do.
A few final images on the bed. I loved this chandelier lamp thing.
And a few of these because you know I love this pose
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:)
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.
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.
She’s a yoga-doing, vegan-eating, entrepreneur-minded stunner. Also, a salon owner and dreadlock extraordinaire at The Eclectic Chair in Idaho Falls, ID where she does great work. She cut and coloured by hair while I was in America and I’m so happy with it, which is really saying something.
And now…I’ve captured her soul in my camera:)
We created this outdoor set for Shante’s boudoir photography session, but when Tia said she was up for a shoot as well I couldn’t resist adding her to the mix. I mean – look at her real life hippie hair!
I’m still so amazed by this light:)
This lacy shawl is ideal for a bohemian theme. It’s also a really forgiving cut, so if you’ve overdone it on the cake lately something like this would be a great wardrobe option.
Dreamy. Those earrings are perfect.
Tia never smiles on camera, but I tricked her into it.
See? I’m funny.
And if you don’t think I’m funny, I’ll just fall off something or do a chicken dance. Whatever it takes. You can only be so serious when your job is basically playing dress up and taking pictures of people in their underwear.
Look two with big hair and really dramatic, dark lips. This is probably a stronger look than would suit most people, but it certainly makes a statement.
Love love this image.
These look so different in black and white, don’t you think? I prefer the colour versions for most of this shoot, but I liked the soft light spill at the top on this one.
The golden hour is so bewitching.
Tia, it was such a pleasure working with you! Already looking forward to next time:)