Why I Shoot Boudoir Photography. | Shayna Hardy Photography

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Why boudoir photography?

I get asked this often and it is challenging to put it into words all the reasons, but here is my best attempt. (I’m better at face to face conversations so ask me next time we meet to tell you more about why I love boudoir photography.)

Boudoir photography is more than just pretty pictures. It is about what is happening on the inside (before and after) and the woman’s motivation to do the session. It is about self-acceptance, going out of your comfort zone and that feeling of accomplishment from doing something that was a bit (or maybe a lot) scary.

Creating boudoir portraits is also about the art of the human form. I believe we have all be uniquely made and this is one way to celebrate the bodies and spirit we were given. We spend most of our days covered up and hiding our bodies, boudoir photos give us an opportunity to free ourselves and be vulnerable in a place that is safe. We get the chance to see our bodies in a way that we never have before, a chance to see how our partners, spouses and loved ones see our beauty.

I believed that I could show any woman who comes before me, their beauty. It is definitely a challenge, not because I don’t believe it but because so many of use have deep rooted beliefs in the things that we believe are “wrong” with our bodies. I believe that every woman deserves to be seen. We carry beliefs in our heads that we are too tall, too short, too skinny, too much weight, too many curves, not enough curves… we never seem to be satisfied with our bodies as they are today.

I am on a mission to change that and I truly believe the tide is changing and women are starting to love on themselves more and more. I want to live our my mission statement of “you deserve to be seen” to its fullest capacity and it starts with one woman at time in front of my camera.

The Transformation

If I could write a new definition of “boudoir photography” it would involve the word ‘transformation’. It is not only a transformation from the everyday look to a more glam, sensual or playful side of you, but a mental transformation as well. Everyone’s transformation is different, but each woman walks away changed after their boudoir session experience.

I see it in every single session. She walks into the studio and I can tell she is a little nervous. Once she settles into the hair and makeup chair, the nerves start to fade. She let’s go of the control and knows that my team and I have her and won’t let her down.

After the hair and make-up are complete and she slips into her first outfit the nerves can start to creep back in, but they quickly fade after she sees some of the first photos on the back of the camera. I can visibly see her shoulders relax and posture lift as she realizes that is REALLY her in the photo.

“Is that really me? Oh my gosh”

-virtually every boudoir client

After the session, many report that they feel like they are walking taller once they leave my studio. They have accomplished something that scared them, something that made them nervous, something they never thought they would do, but they did it and they were AMAZING! Boudoir photography is more than pretty and artistic pictures, it is about allowing yourself the space to transform from feelings of nervousness into accomplishment and confidence.

bridal boudoir photography

My evolving story of “why”

Life stories are a compilation of events, moments, people, places and things that we do and have been done to us. I often think of my “why” as this work is so personal both for me and my clients. The reasons I do this work and am blessed to call portrait photography my career is always evolving, but this is a small snippet into my current loudest reason “why.”

All my life I would say I have been blessed with an attitude of confidence. I was lucky in that I have wonderful parents, a great community where I was raised, and friends who cared for me. So why did I always feel like I had to win the approval of others? I don’t know… but it is there. #workinprogress

I’ve always had a boy or man in my life, I suppose that was my built in approval system. Starting in elementary school and all the way through current day I have had a boyfriend, fiancee or husband. Most of the time it was great, until it wasn’t.

Now that I am single (or in the process of becoming single, depending on when you read this) and having lived 40+ years to learn from life I have a new found “why”. Having to re-establish myself and look deep into who I really want to be when I grow up has taught me (and I continue to learn daily) about my deeper “why”. My why is that I believe every woman “deserves to be seen.” I know I don’t need approval from others, I can live fully into who I was created to be.

I have lived where I didn’t feel seen. I didn’t feel that I mattered to the ones who were supposed to love me the best. I have lived days that I felt invisible and used up with nothing left to give. NO more. I know now that I am supposed to spread the message that women deserve to be seen and give them the opportunity to know that they are beautiful, loved and seen.

baltimore boudoir photographer

Yes these are from one of my boudoir sessions, I’ve had several. Warning, boudoir photography can be addicting. You’ve been warned. When I look at these photos I am reminded that I am loved, seen and know who I am and who I strive to become each day. A woman who desires to empower other women to conquer their fears & anxieties to live confidently in who they were made to be.

Come in. I’ll make you a coffee or tea and we can chat more about your reasons for wanting this experience.

Interested in booking your boudoir experience with us?

Click here to start your journey.

Why I Shoot Boudoir Photography.