Far from the campy pinup prints or the yawn-inducing traditional bridal portraits, the boudoir photo has become the "it" gift for women looking to empower themselves and delight their significants. The photos can be sweet to steamy, offering women a chance to play up their naughty or nice side with lingerie selections — or a simple men’s dress shirt. Leaving the image of half-naked glamour shots behind, boudoir photos are a sophisticated way for women to embrace their Victoria’s Secret vixen, helped by the artful eye of a trained photographer.
Women, and particularly brides-to-be, have taken to the trend with gusto.
"I decided to do them as a wedding gift for my groom because it is something he would have never expected me to do," says newlywed Andrea Van De Vort.
"The wedding is sometimes when women are in the best shape they’ve ever been in. Capturing that time when brides feel good about themselves is a treat," says sought-after wedding photographer Jennifer Dery, who shoots boudoir photos under the studio name Sassy Pants (sassypantsphoto.com).
A number of San Diego — based photographers offer boudoir (French for "a pouting place") sessions, and several specialize in the sexy yet tasteful images. Major national wedding blogs such as Style Me Pretty and Wedding Chicks have vendor listings for boudoir photographers. Sessions can take place anywhere from a private residence to a studio like that of The Boudoir Divas in San Diego (boudoirphotographysandiego.com), the choice of Van De Vort. "I felt more comfortable with them since it is all women who know how to make other women look just right in their photos," she says. Women often opt for full hair, makeup and outfit changes during a single session. A glass of champagne to take away the nerves isn’t a bad idea either.
The best part of Andrea’s boudoir experience? Gifting her husband, of course. "The look on his face was so priceless — he was like a little kid who just opened the best Christmas gift ever!"