Have you heard about ‘couple’s boudoir’ or ‘intimate couple sessions’? They’re nothing new, although the media has recently been batting them around as a crazy new trend in wedding photography! Yet intimate couple sessions have been going on for years and can create some of the most special, beautiful and emotional photos of you and your beau.
Today I wanted to chat to photographer Dustin Cantrell, who specialises in these kinds of photo shoots, to ask his advice on doing one. It was also a good excuse to share some of his gorgeous photography with you!
Why would a couple want to have an intimate photo session?
The goal of an intimate session is to capture your connection and love you feel for your partner. Shooting the session in your home allows intimacy to occur. In the past (and still for lots of couples) the point of a couple session, also known as an engagement shoot, was to capture a nice photo for something like Save the Dates, or to display at their wedding. However lots of couples don’t have engagement photos done at all because it’s just another thing on the checklist of things to do in preparation for their wedding.
With an intimate session, it’s just about the two of you. You are probably not going to send cards out to your guests with these photos on so you are able to really cherish the beginning of your lives together with no cheesiness is involved (save the date signs, fake picnics, tandem bicycle riding). Years down the road you don’t want photos to remember the time you staged or posed for photos that weren’t capturing the real you, you’re much more likely to want to look back and see who you really were.
This type of session doesn’t have to replace your engagement shoot though. An intimate photo shoot can be part of your engagement photos. You can start or end the session with some intimate photos at your place. Intimate sessions can be for newlyweds, anniversaries, a way to take reconnect with your partner.
I don’t often feature boudoir shoots or just couple photo sessions (without the wedding), but when a shoot featuring someone you’ve followed on Instagram for ages pops into your inbox, you make an exception!
Kelly Eden is a model, artist, YouTuber and Cosplayer, and she and her boyfriend Davey Suicide did this gorgeous shoot with German photographers Schneider’s Family Business when they were visiting the US. The shoot started in Kelly’s apartment (serious home décor goals, OMG!) in Hollywood.
I’ve got something a bit unusual to share with you today – milk bath boudoir shots! Photographer Melissa Mullins explains, “I was inspired to create a unique twist on bridal boudoir. Something different for an independent girl who wants to showcase her rebellious side, without being totally out-there. I wanted to create something soft and romantic but also a little edgy!”
“I chose vintage lingerie straight from the 1950s and loved the delicate lace and flattering shape. To keep things simple and elegant, I used a white milk bath and brought in some natural elements – fall leaves and flowers in shades of pink – to add in bright pops of colour.”
There’s definitely a fascination with Marilyn going on at the moment. Just two weeks ago I shared a shoot recreating her wedding, and today I have another, this time of some of her most iconic boudoir photo shoots!
The concept and styling came from the mind of Corie of Vigilante Cosmetics. It was photographed by William of Six Hearts Photography and the model was his wife Schellie! “I wanted to do this shoot because it turned me on”, William explained.
Joelle & Jake’s shoot was described to me as “intimate, organic and unique” by their photographer Anna Jones and I really couldn’t say it any better. Somewhere between a boudoir, a day in the life and a wedding portrait shoot, these images that took my breath away as soon as I saw them. Perfectly honest and stunningly peaceful. They are just utterly, utterly beautiful and everything a couple shoot should be.
That may well be the oddest blog post title I’ve ever written but either way…
I have a love/hate relationship with boudoir. I’m sure I’ve written about this before, but while I love the thought of girls celebrating their bodies, stripping off and feeling sexy, I’ve just seen all to many boudoir shoots that are, forgive me, but so so wrong. A bit tacky, kinda cheesy or just plain slutty. Yeah, I said it… so sue me.
But this is not one of those cases.
Hanh aka ‘Angry Panda’ really wanted to show off all her bright and colourful tattoos. She loved the work of wedding photographers The Willinghams and so booked them to do just that. “Angela rocked this session”, wrote photographer Drew. “This shoot is the beginning to an awesome addition to our offerings to our unconventional clients.”
So I’ve come to a conclusion. These are the key things to making a boudoir session awesome and not awful:
♥ Tattooed bodies – always and forever.
♥ Simple styling – setting the shoot in a plain, unfussy and unpretentious environment (no satin sheets – vom!) Your own bedroom is perfect.
♥ Cute but not overly sexy underwear – boy shorts, vest tops, cotton bras, pull up socks (absoultely no suspenders, lace see-thru knickers or peek-a-boo bras).
♥ And a panda hat never hurts either…