All the time I am asked what type of photography it is that I do, which honestly is a difficult question for me. In general I tell people I am a boudoir photographer, but I hate that term because most of the time I realize by the look on people’s face they are envisioning glamour shots of the 80s. Other times I tell people that I am a fine art portrait photographer, which is more accurate, except for the fact that the majority of the portraits I do involve lingerie or nudity…which brings it back to boudoir.
So why do we have to label what we do…the answer is quite simple. While generally I don’t think of myself of a “traditional” boudoir or fine art photographer, the majority of my clients are familiar with the term “boudoir” or “fine art portrait” so without the generic terms I probably wouldn’t have any business. Since I want to keep and roof over my head and eat, the generic terms are here to stay.
On a plus side there is an advantage to sucking it up and being okay with using these terms. When a potential boudoir client finds my work, it not anything like the glamour shots of the 80s. I like to think of my work as fusion of fashion, fine art, glamour, boudoir and classic portraiture…which is not what the clients are used to seeing. The reality is my style of boudoir is not something new…it’s something rather old. When I think of the masters of boudoir what really comes to mind are photographers such as Horst, Helmut Newton, Hurrell, and Lillian Bassman to name a few.
So in the meantime instead waiting for someone to come up with a new term for what it is I do I would much rather focus on bringing back what boudoir really is!