HOW TO STYLE A VINTAGE BOUDOIR SESSION | A MODERN TWIST ON THE
CLASSIC TIMELESS BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHY EXPERIENCE
As a boudoir photographer, I sometimes like to imagine my studio as a real, living storybook. Every boudoir session we complete together as team is like a colorful page in a winding, epic novel. We have stories about the past, present and future that unfold before my lens. Through these visual stories, we often help women re-examine their self image and for some, experience self love in a totally new way. Styling is a super relevant part of this equation. That's why we love stylized boudoir sessions most of all.
Sometimes, just for fun, we like step into the PAST, creating a rich visual storyline through vintage boudoir. Timeless yet classy; Dramatic and unique, these sexy stories of the past are truly special.
But how do these sessions come about? How can you go sexy retro without looking all cutesy-and-kitschy? Well, style is our obsession here at my Red Bank studio. If you love styles of the past, here's a bit of insight from myself and my amazing New Jersey & NYC Makeup Artist, Miranda Richards.
What are the most popular hair and makeup trends? What do you see happening next …and how would you like to see this work for
Says Miranda Richards, "We often hear a lot of people asking for the dramatic contour, which can be flattering on some, but for others it gets a little overwhelming. The Kim Kardashian look is still very requested for boudoir, but unfortunately it is not flattering on every face. The Victoria's Secret look is extremely popular, which consists of a simple, natural, smoked eye and tousled beach waves." This is very common -- and seductively easygoing... But what if you want to go a bit dramatic?
Sometimes -- letting go of a little control enables some amazing outcomes, as we were able to do with client Dana Leigh in this session. Miranda is truly an artist, and letting her do her thing produces some wildly amazing results.
Here, Dana relinquished complete control to us. Armed with a plethora of wardrobe choices from the in-studio boudoir boutique as well as a brave client, Miranda and I worked some magic on an already gorgeous "canvas".
SO HOW DO WE PLAN AHEAD TO CREATE THESE RETRO LOOKS?
Sometimes we pull inspiration from weird things, like the tapestries in the studio, furniture, the wardrobe, or even a single accessory to style a session. Or maybe it's from a recent movie we've seen or favorite book. For this particular shoot, Miranda pulled her inspiration from a color. She had been obsessing over cranberry and wine color palettes for a while, and I told her to go rogue. We selected wardrobe based on Miranda's vision for the hair and face.
Some of the questions I may ask a client, to appropriately design her stylized session might include:
- Is there a certain era you identify with? Or that your loved one identifies with?
- Do you have a favorite fashion icon or designer (this often gives me insight on how elaborate we should go)
Tell me about your home... how is it styled? (This might tell us what kind of artwork could look great on the wall).
Armed with these insights, we mix together some of the old (era, vintage pieces and a an overall setting/vibe), with new, modern makeup trends that blend into an awesome styling canvas. It sets us up for an epic boudoir photo shoot.
BUT FIRST, A SELFIE...
I always ask a client to send me a barefaced selfie before the session, so that Miranda can dream up some looks and plan ahead. Looking that gorgeous? It's way more orchestrated than you'd imagine and requires our attention as artists.
Sometimes, Miranda will experiment on her own face to test a new look. This way, she knows what products she needs for the session and how to execute it brilliantly. If you follow her Instagram (@Mrndmua) you'll often see some of these interesting test looks.
We also lay out the CLIENT'S BOUDOIR WARDROBE before the session, preferably while hair and makeup is being done. This helps us guide the session and keep it running smoothly. Preparation helps us maintain the constant zen relaxed vibe we enjoy at the studio. Our clients often tell us how at ease they feel during the styling session once we lay out and select all that wardrobe!
Here at the studio, we have a beautiful lingerie boutique for shopping, an accessories closet to borrow and stylize, and plenty of inspiration lying around to help you plan the session of your dreams.
Are you interested in planning your own special boudoir photo experience? Look no further, we are excited to dream up something special with you...Just send us an email below...