Boudoir Photography: My Experience & A Special Offer!
First things first, introductions! I'm Lucy (known to all at Lovehoney HQ as Plum) and I work in the Content team. Some of you might have seen me pop into the forums now and then, received an email from me, or read the odd blog I've written. If not, then hello!
I have one of the best jobs in the world, and I’m very lucky to be able to write about sex and relationships all day long.
When I was approached by Bath-based Boudoir Photography studio Divine Divas and asked to arrange a special offer for Lovehoney blog readers, I was delighted. I was even more excited when I realised I was being sent off to try the experience for myself!
Thanks to the lovely Jo and Neill at Divine Divas, Lovehoney blog readers can enjoy the same experience I had (worth over £200) for just £25 - what a bargain! Plus, with £100 credit you're guaranteed to come away from your day with at least one delicious print to savour forever.
'But I don't live in the South West!' I hear you cry. Never fear, as Divine Divas are part of the Boudoir by Fresh group who have studios all over the UK, so you're sure to find a fabulous studio near you.
Now I've had the odd photo taken before, but something told me this was going to be a different experience altogether. Knowing this would be a little more intimate, I was looking forward to seeing what the studio would be like, not to mention how I would handle posing scantily-clad in my knickers for a stranger...
What's it all about?
Since women everywhere have been experiencing the 'Fifty Shades Effect', whether they loved the books or loathed them, it's no secret that expressing our sexuality has become far more acceptable and openly enjoyable. Spending money on our sex lives has become a perfectly normal thing to do. Along with the increase in sales of lingerie and sex toys, Boudoir photography has seen a significant increase in popularity over the past year. A fantastic and permanent way to capture your inner sex kitten, Boudoir photography is a great way to treat yourself as well as your lover to an everlasting picture of your desire. I had to try it for myself!
There's no need to be nervous about having some sexy photos taken. Boudoir photography doesn't try to make you look like a page 3 model, but uses beautiful lighting and camera skills to capture you in your very best light. It's private, intimate and most of all, it's about celebrating you! I like that it helps me make lasting memories of a moment when I felt like hot stuff... so I can look back when I'm old and grey and say 'I wasn't too shabby!'.
My experience at Divine Divas in Bath was fabulous, and here's why...
The studio is inside a converted church and is clean, crisp and relaxing. I was warmly greeted by the manager Jo who offered me a glass of bubbly and went through what the afternoon would consist of so I knew exactly what to expect. After making sure I was comfortable and happy, Jo left me with some beautiful leather-bound albums of other women's photos, which gave me an idea of the kind of look I wanted to achieve and also showed me the quality of the images and collections they produce. Several of the albums had been created as special engagement presents, and one album by a rather beautiful blonde lady had been given to her groom-to-be the night before their big day. What a fantastic way to create even more anticipation for the wedding night!
I was then introduced to photographer Neill who was instantly likeable (a quality I think is quite important in this industry) and we chatted for a while about the kind of images I was hoping to achieve, what my background was and if there was anything I felt nervous or uncomfortable about.
As you can see from the 'before' image (right), I had scrubbed my face of any products whatsoever and was pleased to be swiftly handed over to Evie, who worked her LA-trained magic on my hair and makeup. Our conversation turned to look-a-likes (I get told I look like Drew Barrymore - make of that what you will), and it turned out she had actually done Drew's makeup when she was in America. Needless to say I was pleased to have the same hands powdering and preening my lowly face!
Transformed into a vintage queen and snuggled into a fluffy white robe, I was taken through to choose my first outfit and see the different rooms in which I'd be posing. The first was a light, airy space with plenty of white areas for classic face shots with beautiful powdery light. After taking a few simple pictures in this space we moved onto the bedroom (ooh-er!) which was decked out with a beautiful vintage dressing table and mirror and a white bed. This room helped me achieve the clean, classic look I was aiming for and I chose to wear the Sweet Streak Ribbons Overbust Corset-Style Bustier. I really loved the simple, fresh look this space gave me, and I can imagine creating a bridal scene in this room would be stunning.
Neill talked me through each look and instantly put me at ease. We even had a bit of a giggle over some of the not-so-great shots where I was blinking or talking, which of course were instantly deleted! He gave me tips on how to move, where to look and how to hold my hands and arms (which is more difficult than you might think!).
The final room at Divine Divas was my favourite, as the sultry black walls and gorgeous wallpaper made the perfect background for some pretty amazing light-sculpting shots. In the centre of the room is a flat metal surface upon which I achieved some of the sexiest shots of the whole shoot. Neill spent lots of time and attention on positioning the lights and using the correct filters to highlight the curves of my body and to create some real depth. I thought I'd feel really awkward lying on this table and stretching about, but once I saw a few of the images on the camera's screen I could see exactly what we were trying to achieve, I started to relax and began to feel like a proper model.
I've always hated my tummy and never thought a photograph could make me change my mind, but this picture (left) is actually one of my favourites from the whole shoot. To me my stomach still looks curvy and I certainly don't have a six pack (and never will), but there's something about the light which makes me see myself differently. I also love the curve created by my arm, waist and bum. It's totally altered the way I view my body. For anyone wanting to change the way they see themselves, I'd really recommend doing a boudoir shoot. If you're brave enough, do a Samantha from Sex and the City and go for a big print hung in the hallway!
I understand now why they say modelling is hard work - I felt like I'd had a serious work-out by the time we were done. Stretching and bending is tougher than it looks; all those yoga classes finally came in handy!
Whether you want to treat your lover to a sexy momento or just looking for an incredible confidence boost, I'd heartily recommend having a boudoir photography shoot. It's such a treat and it lasts a lifetime. Throughout the whole experience I felt completely cared for and attended to. From the moment I stepped into Divine Divas studio it felt like it was my birthday! Prosecco, a makeover, cups of tea galore (excellent news for me) and a brilliant playlist of my favourite music in the background all contributed to one of the best days I've had in a long time. It certainly didn't feel like work! I loved my hair and makeup and actually kept it all in place for a party I went to that night (top tip right there!).
Divine Divas is based in Bath, Somerset and is part of the Boudoir by Fresh group. Don't worry if you can't get to the South West, Fresh have studios all over the UK, and they have kindly agreed to offer a incredible deal exclusively for Lovehoney customers and blog readers across all their branches. Hurrah!
Book a session at a studio near you and treat yourself or your lover to a fabulous day out. Enjoy being pampered in hair and makeup, a 1 - 2 hour light sculpting photography session, free re-touching of all images and get £100 credit to spend on prints or towards products for just £25.
That's an incredible saving of £175!
Offer ends 31 July 2013.
I'd like to say a huge thank you to Jo, Neill and Evie for showing me a wonderful afternoon and producing some amazing photographs. More photos to follow in my next blog post...
Please do have a read of Boudoir by Fresh's terms and conditions below as other studios may differ slightly to Divine Divas.
Terms & Conditions: To claim your offer you must quote 'Lovehoney' upon booking. Offer includes a free consultation, makeup, hair style and boudoir photoshoot as well as £100 credit which may be spent on prints or products. Prints start at £95 (A4). Not all studios offer champagne. Entrants must be over 18. A Boudoir By Fresh photo shoot consists of various images taken in your own lingerie and accessories. Studios are not permitted to offer semi nude or artistic nude photography. This offer ends 31 July. One offer per person. For photoshoots booked through the Fresh Group, a £30 fully refundable deposit is required upon booking, which is refunded at the photo viewing session. 48 hours cancellation notice is required, otherwise deposits will be lost. All Boudoir by Fresh studios are independent companies. The organisers and promotional partners are not responsible for any services provided in its members' studios, including makeup, hair styling and photography taken with this promotion. Each studio has confirmed its willingness to participate in this promotion. The Fresh Group cannot be held responsible should any studio choose to decline or accept vouchers for reasons of its own. They cannot be held responsible for any personal loss or injury at participating venues.