One Reason You Should Not Do a Boudoir or Body Confidence Shoot

A huge part of my job is perception. It applies to every part of what I do. On the photography side of things, I have to think about how things like lighting, angles, colours etc. will affect the image. On the business side of things, I have to think about the message I give out, the words I use. But most importantly (and also my favourite) is my interactions with humans, in most cases clients. I have to be very perceptive of their feelings and moods at every stage of interaction. It helps that I’m naturally intuitive person anyway, so it’s relatively easy for me to pick up on someone’s energy.

Becky was clearly super nervous when I met her for a coffee to talk about her shoot. It wasn't the first time I'd met up with a potential client that was outside of her comfort zone. In fact, I'd say that every single woman feels nervous before going ahead with the experience.

But what usually happens is we laugh and chat about how much fun the shoot is gonna be, they ask me lots of questions, I tell them funny stories about lingerie and the nerves tend to slip away. But I felt Becky was still nervous, even after 20 mins of chatting. I asked her again what her reason was for doing the shoot and she admitted that her partner had wanted her to do it.

Red flag.

You see, my goal is to encourage women to feel more empowered and confident through the art of photography. This is for them. I am not out to make anything for anyone else. I am not here to encourage any of my clients to do this shoot for anyone but themselves. Including social media. Whilst it's an extremely liberating thing, to have a boudoir shoot, the reality is that it is not for everyone. There is a level of vulnerability evolved and you have to be sure of what you want the outcome to be from the experience before going ahead with it.

I often liken my shoots to skydiving. Most people will never get to experience the thrill, joy and adrenaline that jumping out of a plane will give you. This is usually because fear holds them back. Fear of danger perhaps? Fear of not liking it? Of not being an expert skydiver? But those that do take the plunge, they know. It's a life-changing experience for some. But not everyone can handle it. Some people are afraid of heights, some people have phobias of flying etc. So it would be a pretty awful thing if a person like that was forced into the plane and pushed out of it at 12,000ft, mostly against their will or because they were mostly doing it for someone else. Can you imagine the panic? The nerves…

And so we're back to Becky. She's not ready. This isn't for her. And I tell her that. I'm definitely not the kind of photographer that takes the money and runs. If rather we didn't go ahead with the shoot instead of her having a terrible experience because of her reluctance.

I'm not saying to not do a shoot for your partner. In fact, I've written a blog all about when you should right here. But that shouldn't be your sole purpose and they definitely shouldn't be coercing you into it either. Or anyone else for that matter.

I wish you peace and something sweet today,


Mervyn Reid-Nelson