I’ve been asked many times to do a boudoir photoshoot & my answer was always the same. No. No. No. I never saw the point in taking revealing pictures & said that the only time I would maybe do one was when I got married one day. I never felt that I couldn’t do one because of my size or shape, I just honestly didn’t see the appeal in taking half naked or fully naked photos just for the gram or whatever. I had heard that some girls do them just for themselves, but I still wasn’t up for it. Fast forward to a few weeks ago…
My friend Caitlin was doing her second boudoir shoot as a surprise gift for her husband for their one year anniversary. Her first shoot was a year before then when she did one for her soon-to-be husband as a wedding gift. (See, I’m not the only one who thinks this is something that should be done for a spouse!) She had mentioned that she was doing a session with a girl named Lexi, who I had actually gone to high school with, & that she had welcomed any of Caitlin’s blogger friends to come take photos too. Lol, that would be me because I’m one of her blogger friends. When she told me this I was just as opposed as I always had been, but the longer I thought about it, the more I was actually wanting to do one.
This past year I have become my “biggest” I have ever been, but it’s also been the year that I’ve loved my body & felt most comfortable & confident in my own skin. I’ve always been a girl who is somewhat self-conscious & I of course have flaws that I would wish to change, but this year I have accepted who I am & what I look like at any stage in life, & have chosen to love every curve & pound. I can’t believe that this year is also the year that I have done three different photoshoots in swimsuits. Like, WHAT! You’d think with my body changing into something more & more “unaccepted” that I’d want to cover & hide my body, but nope! I have showed up in swimsuits, have let people take photos of me in them, AND have actually posted them on social media. So I thought, if I can be confident enough to use my swimwear photos to speak encouragement & #bodypositivity, then why can’t I use boudoir photos to do the same?
So that’s what I planned to do. I told Caitlin that I would join her & let Lexi take my first ever boudoir photos in a way that speaks body love over anything else. Honestly, I was still nervous & unsure how I would feel about it once I did it, but I think it helped that I knew the photographer growing up which did make me feel more comfortable from the beginning. Lexi does these sessions in her home which also makes you feel way less exposed during posing & changing. She also makes sure that you are positioned or covered up how you see fit before she even takes a photo. This type of a photoshoot was a bit of a stretch for me, & I was definitely wary in the beginning. But, then ya know, it helps when you have two other badass girls praising your wardrobe choice or saying from behind the lens, “oh dang girl, you look good!”. I highly recommend doing one of these sessions with a friend, as awkward as that sounds, because even though we obviously weren’t in any photos together, it helped having a friend cheer you on from the sidelines in a moment where you did feel exposed (though still covered) or vulnerable.
Here’s a few quick questions I’ll answer for you about boudoir sessions:
Do you have to be naked?
Umm, no! Neither of us bared it all to take these photos. We wore what we were most comfortable in. It was more about just feeling good about our bodies and overall ourselves.
Do you have to wear lingerie?
I didn’t. But you can. I felt most comfortable in a matching set of Calvin Kleins & a long t-shirt robe, & I also did a few poses in some high waisted jeans & a velvety bralette. I took a few other photos in a denim jacket & a silk robe, & even though I love how they look in them I think they’re too revealing & those won’t ever be posted. I felt best more covered up & love those images the most. Caitlin wore a few bodysuits that she would normally wear with jeans, & some similar looks to mine. You can be as sexy, as simple, as covered up, or revealing as you’d like. Lace, cotton, robes, #freethenipple, or whatever, it really is just all about feeling your best in whatever you choose or don’t choose to wear.
How does the posing work?
I’m sure we’ve all seen those over the top seductively seeming photos, but none of that happened that day. Lexi’s main point is to help you feel confident with who you are. It’s basically more like an outfit photoshoot, but you’re wearing a bralette, or a robe, & you’re laughing & smiling just like a normal photoshoot, but ya know, with less layers.
Do the photos have to be posted online?
No way! Lexi was very upfront about wanting to share her work on social media, but also promising to only share photos approved by you. Photos like these can be for your eyes only or you can post them if you’d like!
Is a boudoir photoshoot uncomfortable?
Yes. And no. I would say the beginning is slightly uncomfortable only because you’re doing something new. I do photoshoots all the time & even fully clothed ones are a little hard to get into at first. Add being less clothed & of course it’s a little uncomfortable when you start, but it gets easier from the first pose on & it helps to have a photographer that you are completely trustworthy of. I’ll say it again, don’t do a boudoir photoshoot with a creepy photographer & it won’t be an uncomfortable experience for you. Personally, I would never do one with a male photographer ever, but that’s your judgement call to make.
Is a boudoir photoshoot for anyone with any body type?
I am here to confidently say, yes! No matter your size, height, shape, relationship status, or age you can & should do a boudoir photoshoot. If anything, it helps you to see yourself in a beautiful light that can sometimes be dimmed by the worlds standards.
I took these photos because I love doing photoshoots. I never planned to get naked, I never planned to be too revealing, & I never did! I wanted to try out this style of a photoshoot that was different than anything I had done before. I knew I had pieces of clothing that I could wear that would cover me up enough to where I was comfortable enough to take photos in them, but also could prove that this was for everyone. Does my body look anything less than worthy of these kind of photos just because of the size on my clothing tag, or my relationship status? No. These photos make me feel beautiful, confident, happy, radiant, & satisfied with my body. They serve as a reminder to love myself & to be kinder to the body that literally carries me from day to day. Sure I took a few that will never see the light of day just for fun that are still completely innocent, but my main focus was to get images that I could share to show others that no matter what your body looks like you need to know that you are perfect, desirable, complete, & dare I say it one more time, beautiful.
Doing a boudoir photoshoot is an experience that I don’t regret doing. Will I do them all the time? Definitely not. Will I do one again? Probably. There was no shame involved in doing this boudoir session. There is nothing wrong with doing one that helps you to unleash your confident side as a woman. I believe as a photographer myself that a camera captures the beauty that is already there & just exposes to the world in a way that is now being noticed. Your beauty was there before the camera captured it, know that truth.
Always know that you are not defined by what others say about you, & to be confident in who you are, just as you are.
– abbey kay
*brought to you by a girl who said she’s never do a boudoir photoshoot, but then she did & she’s so happy about it
All photos by Alexis Lynn Photo.
Velvet Bralette – Target (similar)
Black Denim – Old Navy (similar)
Black Robe – LuLaRoe
Robe with lace – Macy’s (similar)