Molly // Boudoir Sesh + Questions Answered!

Last week I posted on IG asking for your Boudoir questions! I plucked a few from the comments and my DMs to share with you all here!

Without further ado, here are 8 of your questions, answered!

1. Taking these types of photos sounds… nerve-racking. What do you do to make your clients feel comfortable?

I give them something to do besides pose! I’m kind of like a coach, throwing things at you like: “ok now pretend I just told a really funny joke and you’re just laughhhinggg, you’re laughing, you’re laughing to the left side, and ope! – your hair just fell in your face because you’re laughing so hard and now you must tuck that hair behind your ear but you’re still laughinggggg”  or “ok just kinda gaze out that window as if you’re seductively, like, looking for your uber”  – trust me, I’ll be acting a fool like this during our entire shoot, so you won’t even realize you’re posing half naked in front of a camera. 👌🏼

Secondly, I TALK TO THEM! Like, a lot! Like, WHILE I’m shooting! This might sound kinda weird but think about it this way – when you go to the gynecologist, and they’re doing their gynecologist thing, the gyno (in my experience) talks to you. They’re saying things like “so, remind me again what you do for work?” or “so are you ready for this blizzard that’s coming in this weekend?!” – and suddenly you’re thinking about your job or how you need to pick up another bag of salt for the sidewalk vs. the person that’s literally in between your legs.

It’s kind of the same with boudoir and actually – all of my shoots! I make conversation and I shoot at the same time. There are times when I’m quiet and just observe, but this is a great way to take the pressure off.

Lastly, I put myself in the pose first. This. is. GOLD! Think about it – if someone says to you; “sit in that chair, place your right leg over your left leg, with your left leg draped over the arm of the chair. And use the pointer finger on your left hand to line your jaw and arch your back while looking over your left shoulder… you can use the other arm of the chair to rest your butt against” – um, fucking.. what!? I’m naked and nervous, I can’t be expected to know my left and right! So, I sit in that chair and show them first! Also, I always make sure to let them know that this is just a suggestion – that if it doesn’t feel right, just “settle into it” to make it feel good to them!

2. Are the clients as comfortable and confident in their own skin as they are in the photos?

No way José – not all of them are as comfortable as they might appear in photos! And one thing I aim to do in these shoots is to welcome those awkward feelings rather than pretend they aren’t there.

I start off shoots with a conversation like “Yooo, let’s get weird and walk around in your underwear with a camera pointed at you!” to lighten the mood.

So, I take the edge off of the discomfort by recognizing it, but actually, I love to capture and celebrate that shyness as well! The vulnerability/shyness/discomfort – it’s there – no use pretending it’s not, and it’s a good thing. And honestly – it’s kiiiinda hot. 🤷🏼‍♀️ So, be prepared to hear me coming at you with the truth like “Look at you, showing up even though you’re FREAKING out inside! Look how cute you are when you’re nervous!! Okurrr ok ok okayyyy yes yes yes Miss tug-on-your-sweaterrrrr!”

Every person comes in with a different amount of level of comfort! Some people walk in and start ripping off clothes, and some people walk in saying “I’M SCARED AND UM I DON’T EVEN KNOW IF I CAN DO THIS” and pure fear in their eyes… then there are the people somewhere in the middle. I’ve seen it all! Each level of comfort is its own amazing, badass experience and all of them yield beautiful photos. If you show up and allow yourself to be vulnerable, you won’t regret it.

Timid as hell or completely undaunted – at the end of each boudoir shoot I’ve ever done – EVERY single person left the shoot FULL of fire-cracker excitement, exclaiming things like “Oh my GOD that was SO FUCKING FUN! I feel so fucking good! I had a blast! I can’t wait to see the photos!!”

This type of shoot is for anyone and everyone, regardless of your confidence or comfort level. Regardless of what you want to wear (or not wear.) Regardless of what it means to you, who you do it for, your physical state, or how you want to do it. WhatEVER – YOU GOOD GIRL, don’t you worry about a thing!

3. What should I wear? 

Yo, literally whatever you feel sexy in. For me personally, I’d wear black lacy, high-waisted booty shorts with a simple matching bra. I’d probably toss a comfy over-sized sweater into the mix at some point, which gives my legs a chance to shine. Maybe I’d ditch everything and just curl up in some blankets because I LOVE BLANKETS!! 

I’ve had people do their shoot in a grey t-shirts and a black thong… a frilly braw with Sueperman booty shorts, a leather jacket and a strappy thigh-high situation…

The point is – it doesn’t matter! Whatever you can feel cute in. I would encourage you to bring three options to wear – one that you KNOW you feel good in, one that is kinda pushing you, and one that is like “OK I like this one but it scares me and I probably won’t wear this one buuuuut just in case we get on a roll or I have one too many sips of mimosa.. I’m bringing it.” You just might surprise yourself.

Also, I have an ever-growing Pinterest board in which I always post boudoir inspiration to – you can check it out and probably find some really great wardrobe inspo!

4. Should I get my hair and makeup professionally done for the shoot?

You definitely don’t have to but I mean.. hell yeah, why not?! A little pampering that’s going to pump you up before a photo shoot is always a good idea!

5. Where do we shoot these photos?

Wherever you want! I usually do them at your home or in a hotel room – like this shoot! Every once in a while I’ll have someone who wants to do them in a studio – both with or without a mattress!

But honestly, we can do it almost anywhere! I once did a boudoir shoot in a pick-up truck on the side of a dusty desert road! It depends on what you like and I’m always down to brainstorm with you! 🔥

6. Do you retouch boudoir images? I don’t want to look fake… but I wouldn’t mind a lil somethin somethin. ;) 

Hahaha YAAAS I totally hear you. Yes, I do lightly retouch boudoir images – and actually, all of my images – including wedding days, family portraits, etc. 

I don’t do anything too crazy – the last thing I want is to have your photos lookin’ like you had a date with an over-the-top Instagram filter. (For the record, I’m all about dem IG filters.. but for your profesh photos, we’ll go a different route. 😉)

If there’s something you’re self conscious about – let me know! For example – you wouldn’t believe the number of times a stress-induced zit to appeared on my client’s forehead the morning a client’s shoot. Annoying? Yes. A problem? No! This is something I can zap out in post-production! (or not, if you prefer!)

I’ll go in with the intention to have your back and “clean up” vs “erase” your features. 

Also, with the way I shoot and edit photos in general (intentionally being aware of light, shadows, and exposure) is flattering –  so it eliminates the need to retouch on a deep level.

7. What would I do with the photos? I don’t have anyone to give them to… but I know a lot of people do them as a gift for their partner. 

My boudoir sessions come with a print release, so you can do whatever 👏🏼you 👏🏼want 👏🏼with them.

Make an 11X17 print and hang that puppy as art in your bathroom (I can help you choose a print lab), create an album to give to your partner (if ya got one) as a Christmas gift, save them in a box to look back on whenever you feel like it, post them on Instagram cuz hell yeah why the fuck not?, on your boo’s birthday month – text them one photo every day for the entire month. 

Whatever you want to do with them, do it. You don’t need to have a “special someone”, you don’t need it to be Valentine’s Day, you don’t need to have just achieved some big physical fitness goal  – literally, it just FEELS GOOD! It’s a practice of being comfortable in vulnerability – of being brave and afraid at the same time.

Whatever reason you have – it’s reason enough.

8. I’m want to do a shoot like this, but I need to be in better shape first!

I hear this a lot… like – A LOT A LOT!

Let me start off by saying I 100% hear you. I feel you… because I feel the same way.

While I do agree it’s important to feel good about ourselves and sometimes we might have some work to do within our mind + body + soul to get us there, it’s also important to know that we should/can/are 100% worthy of doing things even before our standard of “perfection.”

When have we EVER thought we were 100% in the best shape of our lives? Even in high school, where most of us would say “we were in the best shape of our lives,” we shamed ourselves! I was tone as hell but didn’t like my body. I wanted bigger boobs, clearer skin, smaller feet and longer hair. I didn’t realize that 15 years later I’d be looking back at photos of myself and wishing for that skin/bod (not hair – I fried my hair in high school! LOL!) 

We are never going to reach a point of “I’m perfect now! Let’s do this!” – so don’t let the things you want to do wait around on that feeling.

The other thing is – you don’t even KNOW what you are capable of yet. When I give people their photos, they are shocked; “This is ME!? I did this?! I didn’t even know I could look like this!”

If you’re waiting until you’re confident, I encourage you to jump before you’re ready. We can be brave and scared at the same time. Simply doing this shoot in the first place will fulfill you with so much confidence I can’t even explainnnn! 

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Photo by Kristi Beadling. Me, photographing Kristi, from her point of view.

Thank you guys so much for submitting your questions! I always love to hear what’s going on in your guys’ minds when it comes to photo shoots – so if you EVER have any fears/doubts/concerns about ANY type of shoot, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me! I’m more than happy to talk it out with you. 

If you’ve got any questions lingering in your mind right now – about boudoir or otherwise, shoot me an email!

Thanks for stopping by!

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