Glamour Photography by Jay Kilgore

Boudoir and the glamour photographer

Boudoir and the glamour photographer is a question or situation that appears many times in our career. As you may or may not know, I am known for having an opinion that is…different than others, but is unique and all my own. I have my feelings because…well…they are mine. I have many people try and “educate” me and while I’m not saying I can’t learn, I have come to a lot of my reasoning by virtue of experience.

Boudoir photography for me is exactly no different than glamour photography.

That’s right, I said it!

Boudoir? Glamour? It's dependent on the receiver. Boudoir? Glamour? It’s dependent on the receiver.

I am of the opinion that the only difference between the two is boudoir photographers tend to make more money because people have been trained to think that boudoir means something to pay for.  How do I say this? What proof do I have? Let’s break down a boudoir and glamour session from client side, then photographer side:

Boudoir

  • Clients range in age from 20-60 years of age.
  • Clients are looking for a “fantasy” session.
  • Clients are looking for a boost of confidence or acknowledgement that they are still as good today, as they were yesterday.
  • Clients are paying for the experience first, product second.
  • Clients are shot by photographers who are able to look at the client as a person, a sexual person (not sexy, sexual) and bring that out.
  • Clients present the images to someone special and hopefully, appreciated by said person.

Glamour

  • Clients range from 18-40 years of age. Sometimes older.
  • Clients are looking for a “fantasy” session.
  • Clients are looking for boost of confidence and or acknowledgement that they look good.
  • Clients often times expect to be paid or shoot free.
  • Clients are shot by photographers who are able to see the client and utilize them for the best assets they have.
  • Images are presented either by client or photographer or third party client for whatever use that may be.
IMG_1072-copy Danielle and one light boudoir

 

It's not the photo that makes it boudoir, it's the experience. It’s not the photo that makes it boudoir, it’s the experience.

In the above situations, the clients needs are about the same with small differences in-between. The job of the photographer is the same for both genres:

  • Make client feel safe and secure and free from judgement.
  • Make the client feel as if what they are doing is right, even when adjustments are needed.
  • Empowering the client via verbal ques (“Yes!” or “That’s it!” or (“Killing it!”).
  • Glamour photographer uses strobes as a primary light source.
  • Boudoir photographer uses constant light or natural light with reflector.
  • Giving the client a positive EXPERIENCE they will never forget.

This is the job of the boudoir and glamour photographer. The true difference between the two genres are honestly small. I’ve often said “a “boudoir” photographer is a general portrait photographers attempt at glamour photography” They are free to shoot it and stay with in the confines of general portraiture. Most general portrait photographers shun glamour guys, but they all wish they could be us and do what we do.

 

At the end of the day, the wall that exists between glamour and boudoir is stupid. There is no real difference. Glamour and boudoir photographers aren’t cousins, we’re brothers and sisters. Our genres are the exact same (beautiful women half to totally undressed feeling good about themselves.) Glamour photographers will use consistent light, hard light, soft light, natural light to get the shot. Boudoir photographers typically use consistent light and natural light. In my speaking with a very, very well known boudoir photographer, she admitted that she had no idea why she preferred constant light, but that it’s a must in her genre. Once I got over the fact that she was serious, not joking, I advised her the reason most boudoir photographers use constant light is because it doesn’t flash. That some people anticipate the flash, thus giving them a fake appearance or inability to connect with the photographer/camera (Think shooting children. How many times do they give you the REAL look after your strobe flashes?). That once the client learns that there aren’t any flashing bulbs, she relaxes and gives natural looks. She has since added this to her teaching of boudoir photographers.

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