Boudoir Photography comes with a built in contradiction. The vast majority of photos that you see on photographer's websites are of thin, young, models. But many of the potential clients who can afford to pay for a professional photoshoot are older and heavier. Most have had children, some have old injuries, surgical scars and other signs of an active life.
Many photographers, especially those who are just starting out, have trouble photographing large women. Before I decide how to photograph a woman of size, I ask some questions and get to know her. I think it's critical to talk to the client and find out what her goal is. Some women are very comfortable with their bodies and don't want me to hide anything, but most appreciate it if I work my magic.
Perhaps she wants to show her large derriere, but not her stretch marks. Her voluptuous bosom, but not her double chin. Each client is unique and deserves to set her own priorities. Of course this is challenging for the photographer, but that just makes it more fun. One downside to photographing curvy women is that the percentage of "keepers" from the shoot will be a lot lower than a shoot with a thin model. It's just the nature of this genre. When you get a few great images, you appreciate them all the more for the challenge.
The most popular approach is to minimize her size and her "flaws" with the usual tricks: makeup, age and size appropriate posing, cropping, draping, lighting, corsets, photoshopping, etc...
An example of an alternative approach is the late Leonard Nimoy's "The Full Body Project." (Yes our own Mr. Spock was an avid photographer when he wan't saving the galaxy.) He has some great photos, but I notice his subjects don't look very happy. Nimoy makes no effort at all to flatter his subjects or get them to smile. You can tell he is an artist trying to make a statement and not a photographer trying to please his clients!
I rarely meet women of size who are as comfortable in their skin as the ladies photographed by Mr. Nimoy. I can do that style, but it feels strange. I'm more comfortable making my clients look their best according to my own taste, but the client's wishes take precedence.
Here are some images where I have used various posing techniques to make larger ladies look their best. The well-posed photos are on the right. Normally, you would never see the photos on the left and frankly, it was rather difficult for me to post them here. It goes against my artistic instincts!
A sex-positive photographer serving your private photography needs.
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