5 Myths about Boudoir Photo Shoots

I've heard it all before. The countless reasons women (and men!) feel unworthy of stepping in front of the camera. "I need to lose weight!" or "I'm not photogenic!"

But honey, let me tell you this. You are quite literally paying me to make you look good, and dammit, I do my job well. That extra padding you're terrified of showing off or the new laugh lines framing your face doesn't mean you can't vamp it up for the camera.

So whether you're building a bridal boudoir book, spicing up a long-term commitment, or just feeling the urge to show off your goods, here are five common myths that should never prevent you from booking a boudoir session.

Myth #1: It costs too much money!

I get it, it seems strange to invest so much money in photos. But notice I used the word invest, because that's exactly what photos are. Skilled photography is an investment in your future to ensure you have a clear picture of your past. 

Most people feel comfortable investing in wedding and family photography but forget the power of intimate portraiture. Traditional photography captures a beautiful shared moment you can remember fondly with friends, but boudoir photography captures something totally different. The intimacy and vulnerability you feel with yourself and/or your loved one is a memory worth investing in. 

Myth #2: You need to be a perfect in shape

Feeling good in your skin is important and I'll never hate on the necessity of exercise, but I promise the only thing you'll notice in your photos is how glamorous and beautiful you look. A skilled boudoir photographer won't hide your "problem areas," but draw attention to your natural beauty.

There's no need to wait until you have the ideal body to show off; the most important thing is preserving this moment in time and embracing your body the way it is, right now.  You'll be amazed at how beautiful your body truly is when you relax, smile, and let your true beauty shine through. 

Myth #3: It’s only for young people/brides/relationships

While a spicy book of portraits is a fun gift, having a significant other is by no means a requirement. I've seen countless clients bare it all as a gift to themselves. Your body is the most precious thing you own; it's important to celebrate and remember all that it has done for you. 

Myth #4: You have to be kinky/sexy/confident/love being naked

There is no standard for sexy. And thank god for that! I've had some women prance into my studio with spanking skirts while others donned a hoodie and sweats. The particular kind of sexy is completely determined by you. You set the tone and the mood with whatever makes you feel the most glamorous. 

And hey, you might be surprised at how liberating being naked can truly be!

Myth #5: Everyone is going to see them!

I understand this concern. It's scary to think of your photos getting in the wrong hands. But professional photographers should have very particular policies in place to protect you. Your photos should never leave their hands without your explicit consent. If you're unsure, absolutely ask about where and how your photos will be used. It's your body, you have the right to protect it.


All in all, these myths shouldn't stop you from exploring boudoir photography. Regardless of your weight, finances, or relationship status, there is a way to make intimate portraiture work for you. I promise, you won't regret the investment. 




Creating Visual Interest in Your Bridal Boudoir Session

Stumped on what to wear for your bridal boudoir session?  Here are a few ideas to add a little glitz and glam to your boudoir session.

A cathedral length veil will create long and lean vertical lines that bring the eye up and down.

Here are a few eye-catching statement pieces that are beautifully made, finely detailed and very feminine.

Bracelets accentuates the the wrist.

Another statement piece to lend a polished look to your boudoir wardrobe.

A finely detailed headband or comb will draw the eye up to your face and into your eyes.

bejeweled boudoir

...and if you have a flair for the dramatic... 


All of these lovely accessories are available at BRIDE. located at 1800 Wyandotte, Crossroads Arts District, downtown, Kansas City, Missouri.

True beauty is unapologetic.

As I grow older and wiser, I lose a little bit of my 'give a shit'. So what if I'm not a perfect size 8 or even 10 or 12. In the big scheme of things, it doesn't matter. What matters that I am comfortable in my own skin and healthy. The tiger stripes on my hips and tummy come from bearing the three loves of my life. Those were earned.

Acceptance. It's a state of mind and it comes from within. 

In a conversation today with my client, Ms. D, we spoke of the change that happened to us both when we turned 40. Instead of looking upon ourselves with unrealistic expectations, we both came to a place where we finally accepted that our beauty lies within our imperfections. It's almost as though the tide had turned, now living confidently and no longer apologizing or berating ourselves for all the 'little shit' and appreciating ourselves for who we are, the whole damn package.


No apologies here.  Just beauty.



Yearly ramblings with a skoch of insight perhaps.

I have so much to share about this year past. Things of joy, hardship, friendship and a kick-ass group of supportive friends but I can barely keep my eyes open tonight, so you'll have to wait :) 

Quick share from something I had the honor of shooting this afternoon.  So flirtatious.

Boom! How it's done, plus a bit about makeup

Meet Miss J (well, now she's Mrs. J, but at the time of her session she was still Miss J) 

Mrs. J is a young professional who recently came to Bella Boudoir for her sexy portraits intended as a wedding gift for her fiancé.  When discussing her look she mentioned that she didn't wear a lot of makeup on a daily basis and preferred a more natural look for her boudoir photos.

Terra Treece, makeup artist extraordinaire, chose pink for the base color of her makeup palette as she thought it would best reflect J's personality.  Terra says that pink can be playful, romantic and soft and it certainly made her blue eyes pop!

Look good, feel better

So a couple months ago I blogged a bit about the whole cancer thing.  I've not said too much about it because I've been determined to NOT let it take over EVERY aspect of my life, particularly not the professional aspect of my life.  But, there's always a but, it is a life experience that reshapes who you are.  

Of course with treatment comes hair loss. It sucks. Not gonna lie. Treatment is like trying to live in a vat of cold molasses, and on top of feeling like shit you get to lose the hair on your head, the hair on your face, even the hair in your nose! ((not something I ever realized I would miss and was glad when it returned)) The ironic bit was that I retained the hair on my legs.  SERIOUSLY!

Photo by Neil van Niekerk

Photo by Neil van Niekerk

I was incredibly fortunate that my hair started to grow back even before my treatments were finished but at two months post-chemo my newly regrown lashes and brows did a mass exodus.  As vain as it may sound, I was slightly devastated. The feeling of 'normal' would be delayed for a short while.

Fast forward to five months post-chemo, my newly regrown lashes and brows fell out yet again.  This time I was pissed. Cancer had triple dipped and at this point I'm just ready to move on and be OVER this whole thing.  

Photo by Christine May

Photo by Christine May

Monday, I took action dammit.  Monday I invested in myself had lash and brow extensions done. BEST THING EVER.  EVERRRRR!!

Sandy Thammavongsa, Lustre Lash & Brows in the Boardwalk shopping center near Zona Rosa.  She's amazing!!

Trust and confidence are key ingredients to a successful boudoir experience

Confidence carries more sex appeal than garter belts and stockings.  It's one of two of the most important things to bring to your session.  The other is trust.  Trust in my abilities to see you and pose you in the most flattering of ways. Poses that diminish perceived flaws and highlight your 'assets' this is WHAT I DO, this is where I excel, this is my area of expertise.

Through trust, confidence grows.

Meet the dazzling and daring Mrs. D.  Shot with an anniversary gift in mind, Mrs. D BROUGHT IT. Confidence and trust in spades,  her resulting images are FABULOUS! I'm thrilled to bits to be able to share on this little bloggity-blog.

boudoir anniversary gift

© 2015 Bella Boudoir

Client privacy is held in the highest regard as I believe that the portraits we create are private by their very nature. Please be assured that images published by Bella Boudoir are done so only with written permission by the client.


She said she'd been following my site for two years

... when she finally gathered the courage to just book her session. She'd also mentioned that she wanted to get to know me a bit more through my blog.


I'll admit to being a horrible blogger. Even more so in the past twelve months as I'd been dealing with a pesky case of cancer. Excuses aside, I find blogging somewhat painful and will find 1,001 other things that require my attention in order to avoid this bloggity-blog. It's sad. I know.

Moving forward. I'm trying.  Really and truly! 


Anyway, my point is this, I'm a bad blogger and if you are considering a session and are curious about the process feel free to call the studio and schedule a consultation. You'll be able to sneak a peek into the lavish studio, peruse through album samples and have a pleasant conversation. It won't hurt, I promise.


A proper farewell.

I remember the moment like it was yesterday, when the reality of what we were doing truly set in. I nearly crumbled.

In June I flew to Denver to have a very special set of fine art nudes done by my very good friend and talented photographer, Lynn Clark.  We were photographing what would be the last photos ever taken of my breasts as I was scheduled for a double mastectomy in July.

Now, almost 2 months post-op and cancer-free, I am halfway through the 'reconstruction' of my body and my mind and I want to share a little about my experience as I cherish the beauty of what was and look beyond my scars and learn to love what is.





No pressure.

Only 106 days until Christmas.  Holiday sessions are now booking and limited.  This year's holiday deadline is December 1st, 2015. 


I have a thing for purple.

When I was in kindergarten I chose black as my favorite color because I felt sad for black - none of my classmates had chosen black as their favorite.  Black and purple.  Then and now, though black is a fave for entirely different reasons. 


Pushing boundaries

The look on Tracy's face was priceless when I suggested that she wear pasties for her last set of the session. Paired with the mask, gloves and vintage'esque choker, I couldn't resist the suggestion but I was fairly certain that we'd really be pushing a bit beyond her comfort zone.


When following up with past clients I will often hear that their only regret was that they 'played it too safe' or were 'too conservative'. Already stepping out of their comfort zones, I do my best to nudge a little a further out but am very careful not to push. There's a fine line, one on which I tread lightly.


With only a moment's hesitation, Tracy placed her trust in me and the end results are HOT! ((her husband has responded like a kid on Christmas morning))


Do you blame him?


© 2015 Bella Boudoir and Petra Herrmann

Client privacy is held in the highest regard as I believe that the portraits we create are private by their very nature. Please be assured that images published by Bella Boudoir are done so only with written permission by the client.




Tushie/Tooshie/Tushy Tuesday

Happiest of Tuesdays to all.  A quick and dirty post as I run through my never-ending to-do list.  

© 2015 bella boudoir | www.kansascityboudoirphotography.com

Client privacy is held in the highest regard as I believe that the portraits we create are private by their very nature. Please be assured that images published by Bella Boudoir are done so only with written permission by the client.

Pardon the dust, renovations in progress

Do you remember when...

  • The only user-friendly internet was provided by AOL?  ((You've Got Mail!))
  • MySpace was cool
  • Dinosaurs roamed the earth
  • Pee Wee Herman was awesome ((there's nothing wrong with loving oneself, just do it in private, dude))

Times change.  Visitors use devices more than computers when surfing the web these days so pardon the dust as I update the look and feel and most importantly the navigation to be device-friendly.


On the path to self-acceptance

One of my "wishes" is to live in a world where acceptance comes from within.  Of course the only person who can make that happen is me and as I've grown older and wiser I feel like I'm in the neighborhood of self-acceptance instead of worlds away. I like it here. In terms of confidence and self esteem - it's good to be in the 'hood. When my recent client, Miss J, booked her session she sent me this -

"Until 18 months ago, I spent my entire life as a size 0 w/ great body. Some very stressful life events resulted in significant weight gain & my self esteem took a major hit. I am slowly losing the weight I gained, but I spend every day feeling ashamed of my body. My negative body image had gotten out of proportion w/ reality & I have decided I seriously need to address this issue. I believe that taking photos in which I feel confident & attractive will help me see myself more realistically & expand my definition of beauty."



Her statement still gives me goosebumps even though I've read it at least a dozen times since it landed in my inbox. I'm beyond thrilled that I've received Miss J's permission to share both her words and her photos as I find both to be inspirational. It's stuff like this that makes my heart sing!

© 2014 bella boudoir | www.kansascityboudoirphotography.com

Client privacy is held in the highest regard as I believe that the portraits we create are private by their very nature. Please be assured that images published by Bella Boudoir are done so only with written permission by the client.