First things first, let’s talk about the term “plus size.”
Personally, I think it’s difficult to know how to handle this term these days. “Plus size” is a phrase that is full of negative connotations for so many women. It says “too much” and “not enough” and “you can’t shop in the same stores as your friends” all at once. It seems mean-spirited.
On the other hand, I know brilliant women who have taken this phrase and made it their own, carving out a niche for themselves in a blossoming industry and becoming role models and spokeswomen for body positivity. For them,”plus size” is a description they own and say with pride. Their attitude and unapologetic self acceptance is inspiring women in droves.
To complicate matters further, I sometimes work with fashion models, where the standards get pretty ridiculous. I’ll have you know that the European fashion market defines “plus size” as starting at just size 12. SIZE 12! That’s a USA size 10 at best. *eye roll*
So this is what I want to say:
I use the term “plus size boudoir” on this page, and throughout the rest of my website for one reason, and one reason only: it’s still the most popular search term that “curvy” women are using when looking for photographers online.
If I used “curvy boudoir photography” or “voluptuous boudoir photography,” or maybe if I just titled everything with “BOMBSHELLS – This one is for you!” I wouldn’t reach even half of you. So I SINCERELY hope the term “plus size” doesn’t offend you, it’s certainly not intended to. I’d just rather WORK with you than refuse to the term and never meet you.
Plus size sessions are so much fun. Curvy girls often become my most happy and loyal clients, and they are frequently the ones who really, really love their time and experience at Rebel & Romance. Please check out the information below for more details.
A few common questions…
Is a plus size boudoir photography session different than other boudoir photography sessions?
Yes and no. The layout of a shoot for a plus size or curvy woman is identical to any other session – planning and prepping before the session, a few conversations beforehand to make sure we’re on the same page and that you don’t feel like I’m a complete stranger, a professional makeup artist and hairstyling on the day of your session, several wardrobe options and sets, plenty of posing and coaching, editing and retouching on your best images, and a beautiful viewing a few weeks later.
There are a few things I’ll probably do differently if you indicate that you are plus size/curvy/have child bearing hips;)
First off, I’ll tell you not to worry. Being curvy often means that you’ve had a LOT of bad photographs taken. This often translates into a general dread at the thought of being in front of a camera. After all, it’s much easier to simply be missing from the picture than have to deal with the shame spiral that takes over when you see how horrible your stomach/arms/whatever looked in said picture. I want you to know that I really get this feeling, I understand it in a personal way, and it’s a big part of what led me to photography in the first place.
The great news is you are not going to feel that feeling with me. Not over my dead body. A camera is just a magnification. Inexperienced hands and bad light means a camera magnifies all the things we dislike about ourselves. On the flip side, when you put your trust in a photography professional who has the necessary experience, you’ll be amazed how great you actually look. It’s simple things like moving your shoulders a few inches forward, turning slightly, stepping a little further into the light, etc. but they make a world of difference. I know how to light you properly and how to direct you into poses that will be the most flattering for your hips, your stomach, your chin, etc. It’s all starting to sound very technical now, but it’s actually a lot of fun. It’s liberating if you let it be, and by the end of our time together, I’m pretty confident we’ll change the way you see yourself. All you have to do is be brave enough to give it a go:)
Second, we’ll chat about any body concerns you might have. This goes a long way to helping you feel comfortable about the shoot itself and optimistic about your final images. If there are areas of your body you’re not so keen on, we’ll chat about ways we can make these bits look their best. Usually, we’ll tackle this through clever posing and smart wardrobe options. Sometimes, the situation calls for a bit of lighting trickery (particularly good for vamoosing cellulite), or a little sneaky photoshop (great if stretch marks or scars bother you). We’ll also chat about any parts of your body you and/or a partner loves so we can be sure to highlight and celebrate those.
Third, we’ll talk extensively about wardrobe in relation to your particular body shape and style – what works, what doesn’t work, what items to consider, and where you can find them.
When should I book my session?
I recommend you contact me as soon as you know you’d definitely like to work with me. The sooner I can put you on my calendar, the better, as spring/summer, pre-Christmas, and pre-Valentine’s Day dates fill up quickly. If you’re planning to create a beautiful album to give as a gift for a special event like an anniversary or birthday, we’ll aim to schedule your shoot for about 2-3 months prior to that date. That gives us plenty of time to plan all the details of your session, and leaves me enough time for the editing/retouching process, album creation, and shipping time. It also gives us a few weeks buffer in case we need to reschedule or something needs to be reordered.
I can also accommodate a limited number of last minute sessions. If your event or gift is needed imminently, I’ll do my very best to squeeze you in somewhere. I offer rush retouching services, and a rush weekend service for international clients flying in from abroad. Please enquire for details.
What should I do to prepare?
There are a few maintenance type things that you’ll want to think about in preparation for your shoot. This isn’t a must-do list, it’s just some suggestions for things you may want to consider having done:
Get your roots done! This one is not optional, you’ll hate your images if you don’t.
Mani/Pedi. Don’t forget that the colour you choose needs to work with all your wardrobe options, so a neutral is usually best.
Waxing/shaving. Whatever your routine, just make sure you’re happy with the state of things in time for your shoot.
Eyebrows. We’ll do makeup, but we don’t have time to tweeze and shape, so give them a once over.
Hydrate! It’s great if you can drink plenty of water in the days leading up to your photo shoot. It makes a world of difference to the appearance of your skin and eyes, and it’s good for you anyway.
Lip Balm. Apply liberally for several days before your shoot to avoid chapped lips.
Watch what you eat in the day or two before your session. This is not the time for crash dieting, but it’s worth avoiding anything that makes you feel bloated. On the day of your shoot, you MUST eat, but aim for small healthy meals rather than a giant plate of greasy chips. I think this is actually far more psychological than physical, but either way it’s hard to feel sexy if you’ve carb loaded on crap, right? Save that for after the shoot;)
A note about wanting to lose 5/10/15 Pounds before your session….you do not need to. You are beautiful and absolutely fine exactly as you are. You will look fabulous in the images we create together, whether you lose a few pounds or not. If you tell yourself you’re going to wait until you are the perfect number on the scale to come see me, there’s a pretty good chance I’ll never get the opportunity to photograph you. Forget the numbers, let’s make you feel amazing NOW.
However, if you’re absolutely set on losing a little first, then my recommendation is to book your shoot for a little further out than normal. Don’t put it off, book it now. We’ll pick a date a few months from now and plan your shoot, and that’s it – no going back on it. You’ll be getting in front of the camera whether you lose the weight or not, so it’s a powerful motivator and a great way to celebrate when you do or to learn to love yourself when you don’t. I’ve had a few clients do this, and apparently it works pretty well!
What should I wear for my session?
What you wear can make or break a shoot, so be sure to leave yourself time to prepare the outfits you’d like to use. I recommend 3-4 looks. If you’re not sure on your final choices, we can have a sort through options when you arrive and decide together.
We’ll discuss wardrobe thoroughly before the shoot, but in general it’s nice to have plenty of variety so your album is a real page turner. Everyone looks great in an all black look and stilettos. For curvier clients, corset-y type pieces and shapewear are always popular options. If you’re planning a surprise or a gift for your significant other, you may also want to bring along something from his wardrobe (white dress shirts are great), or any other items that are personal to the two of you. The single most important thing for plus size boudoir photography sessions is that your lingerie fits you well. If it’s been a while, treat yourself to a girly shopping trip, a bra fitting, and pick up something you love.
If you need a little lingerie inspiration, I’ve put together a Pinterest board with some ideas I love. Check out my Plus Size Boudoir Inspiration Board here. There are lots of other ideas too, so please feel free to have a browse around.
What about posing? I’m worried I won’t look good…
It’s absolutely normal to feel this way. The thought of getting in front of a camera can be scary. Doing it while half naked can be downright terrifying. I totally get this, and it’s my promise to you that I will do everything I can to make sure you feel prepared, comfortable, and know what to expect.
Posing is actually something you shouldn’t even worry about, because it’s 100% MY JOB. All you need to do is listen and attempt to do what I say. In most cases, I’ll be doing the pose right along with you. If you know your right from your left, and your elbow from your knee, you’ll be absolutely fine.
I’ve worked with every body type out there, and I’ll coach you into the positions that are going to flatter you the most. And then…I’ll coach and coach some more. I’ll coach so much that you’ll be sick of hearing me by the time we’re done. Posing is a great workout too, so you can enjoy your post-shoot meal totally guilt free:)
Can I see some examples of your Plus Size Boudoir Photography Sessions?
Absolutely! I’ve worked with lots of curvy women, and I’ve listed a few of my favourite shoots below. You’re also welcome to search the blog
Here are some of my favourites:
For more curvy goodness, search the blog archives for the plus size/curvy category.