Categorized | Business, Family, Living, People, Weddings

The Beauty of Boudoir

By AML Publisher
Photos courtesy of Kristen Hudson-Nichols

“What I love about boudoir is getting to know my clients and translating their personality into the shoot.  Women are held to ridiculous standards in today’s society with what is an acceptable body type. And, we deserve to celebrate our selves in our current, beautiful form,” enthused Hudson-Nichols.

“What I love about boudoir is getting to know my clients and translating their personality into the shoot. Women are held to ridiculous standards in today’s society with what is an acceptable body type. And, we deserve to celebrate our selves in our current, beautiful form,” enthused Hudson-Nichols.

The pinup girl is an American classic which brings to mind images of Bridget Bardoe, Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, Farrah Fawcett and more. In the early ‘90s, Anna Nicole Smith ignited a renewed interest with her popular (Bardoe inspired) black and white advertisements for Guess Jeans-catapulting Smith to a household name overnight. Today, peruse the magazine stand at any local bookstore or grocery aisle and the celebrities on the cover are commonly captured in what is considered a boudoir photography style—be it Jennifer Aniston wrapped in a bed sheet, Kate Winslet in an English castle in front of a vanity in her nightgown, alluring photos of Kim Kardashian, Scarlett Johannsen, and more. And now American women want the same opportunity to celebrate their gorgeous selves!

In 2009, boudoir photography has started to gain a new level of interest – and respect – amongst us non-celebrities. It’s been heating up on the west coast, particularly in California, over the last few years. And now, thanks to the talents and artistic vision of a local photographer, sassy and sexy women across the Philadelphia region can celebrate their gorgeous selves.

Kristen Hudson-Nichols is the owner of Jubilee Photography and president and founder of a successful letter press business called MilkMaid Press, and her love of this classic art couldn’t come at a better time. With a successful and steady wedding clientele (that benefits from both of her business ventures) Hudson-Nichols is most excited about the growing group of women across the Delaware Valley whom she is tastefully and exquisitely capturing through her newest endeavor, Haute Boudoir Photography.

Originally catering largely to bachelorettes and brides, now executives, best friends, and newly divorced women are becoming a staple segment of Hudson-Nichols' growing clientèle.

Originally catering largely to bachelorettes and brides, now executives, best friends, and newly divorced women are becoming a staple segment of Hudson-Nichols' growing clientèle.

AroundMainLine.com: What types of women come to you for a professional boudoir session?

Kristen Hudson: I’ve photographed women from all walks of life, backgrounds, socio-economic situations, all ages and sizes. My clients are women who admire fashion, who enjoy looking beautiful. The one thing they all have in common is that they all enjoy looking good and they want to capture a time in their life when they feel good about themselves, about their bodies. It gives them a sense of accomplishment, and a place to go back to and relive (with the photographs) at another time. For the most part, there is really no definitive type-which has been kind of surprising to me. I’ve had older, divorced wealthy women, younger women fresh out of college, single women who work out and are proud of their bodies…it really runs the gamut.

AML: Certainly it takes a tremendous amount of confidence to decide to embark on a boudoir session. When you are working with a client what do you do to make them feel comfortable?

Hudson-Nichols’ industry influences include Richard Avedon, Annie Lebovitz and Ellen Von Unwerth.

Hudson-Nichols’ industry influences include Richard Avedon, Annie Lebovitz and Ellen Von Unwerth.

KH: Everyone gets a little nervous when the session is about to start, and that’s just natural. And that’s really my job to make them feel comfortable, talk to them, connect and go through some different ideas. It helps when we do a couture boudoir session because when my client gets pampered from the start and has their hair and makeup done, it helps them relax and get into a certain mindset. But, inevitably, after a period of time I see this little glimmer in their eye when they are over the nervous part and are excited and ready for the shoot!

AML: There’s definitely an art form to boudoir photography, what is your approach to each client?

KH: Having a conversation with them first and foremost is absolutely key, and developing a level of trust. I want them to work with me on what they are insecure about or what part of their body they love–what shines about them. I might suggest to them what I think are their strong points–physically great arms, gorgeous eyes–and help them with suggestions and ideas. I also show them how the first photographs are coming out and it seems to help the session and build confidence in the process.

AML: How do you decide what the client is going to wear? That is obviously a key part of the look…

KH: Interestingly enough, I usually find that the women I am about to shoot want to pull rather skimpy outfits together. So, I try and guide them to show that many times their boyfriend’s shirt or a t-shirt is actually more flattering and intriguing. It’s not a less is more mentality–it is a certain level of class and sophistication with what we are shooting. The bottom line–a boudoir photography session is about feeling good about ourselves.

AML: Where do your shoots take place?

KH: It all depends on the client. Some of my women are more comfortable coming to my home for the shoot; others want to do it at their house or a friend’s house. If it’s a group of women for a bachelorette party, they usually will do it at one of the bridesmaids’ houses.

AML: What I’ve been very intrigued about and learned from our chats and getting to know you as a professional photographer is that this is a very mental process. Boudoir is much more than just posing for a few pictures.

Hauteboudoirphotography.com

Hauteboudoirphotography.com

KH: You have to get caught up in a mood, embrace and recognize the moment. I’m sort of going through this Ellen Von Unwerth stage—she was a model who turned into a very successful fashion photographer and is still very much in demand for her way of capturing femininity through a lense. (Unwerth recently shot Britney Spears in a 1930’s themed boudoir session-playing off her upcoming tour of her album Circus.) I am trying to take my clients to the next level emotionally. When a woman feels beautiful and sexy and strong, she will feel good about her life in general and will have a better sense of self worth. I see the confidence that this instills in women.

AML: Lastly, do you find it’s a common misconception that boudoir photography is about cheesy lingerie or perceived as a superficial extravagance. That is something you explained to me that you really want to dispel…

KH: This used to be such a ‘hush hush’ topic. This is not about lingerie; this is a professional fashion shoot. You can wear a turtleneck and be sexy, or wear nothing and look awkward. What my sessions offer are a classy, tasteful way of empowering women and celebrating who they are. Look at mainstream media today-splashing all these photos of celebrities who are extremely thin running around the beach or out partying. And, that is considered the norm! Women are held to ridiculous physical standards in today’s society. We deserve to celebrate ourselves in our current, beautiful form.

Photographer Kristen Hudson-Nichols can be contacted for boudoir sessions via email at: xoxo@hauteboudoirphotography.com or through her website at hauteboudoirphotography.com. Be sure to check out her blog: all-things-lovely.blogspot.com

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1 Comments For This Post

  1. Madeleine Says:

    I felt so comfortable being in front of the lens with Kristen & extremely confident with her being behind it. She’s a true talent!

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