When people think of boudoir photography and maternity photography, most think of two distinct and unmixable photography themes. The phrase “boudoir” is French for “bedroom.” Boudoir photography typically describes any photography taken intimately, often in the bedroom. This doesn’t necessarily mean the photographs include nudity or even lingerie, though they often do. Boudoir maternity photography is an intimate portrait of pregnancy, which can mean different things for different clients.
As a pregnancy-positive maternity photographer, I offer boudoir maternity photography as a maternity package option. Here’s why I think it’s important, and what you should expect if you plan on turning your maternity photos into a boudoir shoot.
The body goes through many changes during pregnancy. Hormone changes, new and surprising bodily functions, and, of course, the baby bump. Many love their baby bumps. But for some– especially those who struggle with their body image before pregnancy — gaining pregnancy weight and a baby bump is overwhelming.
Even those who love being pregnant may feel a disconnect from their bodies. When you’re pregnant, people can often focus on your stomach rather than on you. That can be hurtful, even if it’s just because they’re excited to meet the baby you’re currently in the process of growing. Many women struggle with people (including strangers!) walking up and touching their stomachs without asking permission, which can feel violating, almost as though you have no agency over your body.
And even if you love the way you look, it can be difficult to feel sexy because of the strain pregnancy can put on your body.
Rest assured I’ve never seen an ugly pregnant person. Truly.
But the feeling of being an alien in your own body can be extremely real for 9 months. Boudoir maternity photography aims to help women feel good about themselves and their pregnant bodies. To put them in the spotlight just as much as the human they’re growing. That’s what I try to achieve with all my maternity photos, but boudoir photos can be extra-special when it comes to helping people get in touch with themselves during pregnancy.
Maternity photography can be quite the surprise for clients, but boudoir maternity can be even more surprising. Here’s a run-down of what happens at a typical maternity boudoir session.
Getting ready for a boudoir session is deeply personal. I think the most important thing you can do to prepare for the session is to pamper yourself in a way that boosts your self-esteem and makes you feel good. Maybe that means getting a manicure, or maybe that means going for a bit of a hike beforehand. Whatever you choose, make sure your preparation includes relaxation. Here’s what I recommend:
I hope I’ve convinced some of you to take a walk on the wild side for your next maternity photoshoot. Let’s meet and chat about what a boudoir session would look like for you!