Being a Male Boudoir & Body Confidence Photographer in London

So how did I come into shooting this style of photography?

Well, it was by complete chance in a way. I was shooting engagement, weddings and some portraits back in 2017. I met up with one of my favourite brides-to-be for a coffee to discuss her wedding plans, namely the timings of the day. Without warning, she asked me if I’d be willing to take some photos of her in a bedroom.

If I recall correctly, I may have choked on my coffee. This sounded like an attempt to get me alone in a bedroom! Mayday! Mayday! She had a glint in her eye and I started to feel quite uncomfortable, using my peripheral vision to suss out the nearest exit. Turned out the glint in her eye was hayfever and she was actually asking if I would do some boudoir shots of her for her husband-to-be!

“Oh, yeah! Absolutely, of course! Let’s give it a go”. I stopped toying with my panic alarm in my pocket.

Prior to this I’d done loads of creative projects with women in all kinds scenarios and really enjoyed them - I still do. So it still puzzles me that it took me so long to realise my potential as a boudoir photographer.

As a man, I appreciate I won’t be for everyone when it comes to who they decide on for their boudoir photography. And I’m absolutely fine with that. My goal during my shoots is to make each and every woman as comfortable as she possibly can be. We have a drink, we play music, my make up artist is always on fire with the jokes, plus some girls bring a friend for moral support.

What I hear often from women that I work with is that I’m not like most guys. I’m told I’m very attentive, sensitive and passionate about what we’re doing, which is such a warming feeling. I’m not your everyday lad with a penchant for boobs, Bentleys and booze. We’re not all built the same and I feel like I’m flying the flag for men who are just a bit more aware.

Nonetheless, I’m so aware that I’m a man shooting a half (and sometimes fully) naked woman so I TOE. THE. LINE and treat her space with respect and distance.

Every woman is different and that’s the beauty of my job. I’m yet to meet a woman who has felt uncomfortable or even crossed the line on her part. But I'll keep the panic alarm close by just in case 😉.

Mervyn Reid-Nelson