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3 Things I Love About Boudoir Photography in Charleston SC

In this blog I will share the 3 things that I love about boudoir photography and how this genre of portrait photography has made an indelible mark on my growth as a portrait photographer, here in Charleston, SC and as a person. I hope that you will share those things that you love about boudoir photography in the comments below.

Boudoir photography helps you get in touch with how strong and courageous you are

Often, we forget how strong we are. Your first boudoir session is filled with those “AH HA” momtns where you realize that you are strong and that you can manage much more than you give yourself credit. We all go through milestone events in our lives, including marriage, children, many birthday milestones, aka 25, 30, 40, 50, etc., losing weight, had an augmentation, want to celebrate a promotion or career change, do this as a gift to a special partner, an excuse to go lingerie shopping, a girls night out, or probably the most important reason – a chance to focus on yourself and honor who you are and how wonderful you are at this moment. There are so many more reasons to schedule a boudoir portrait session.

Nothing beats seeing women, in front of my camera, enjoying this moment, from the makeup and hair session, to picking out the outfits for the session, to sipping their favorite beverage, snacking on munchies (taking care not to ruin the lips!!), and reviewing the poses in my pose book, but most of all it is the first peek at the initial images on the back of my camera that makes it all worthwhile. I’ve had reactions of screaming, crying, and embarrassment,

Boudoir photography helps you conquer your fears.

It is quite common for clients to feel and admit that they don’t know how to be “sexy”. They worry about looking awkward and “goofy” in the image. Whether you are comfortable or not in front of the camera, everyone has at least a few cracks and crevices of self-doubt, shyness, feeling self-concious, or other self-descriptors. Well my friend, I am skilled (like so many of my colleagues) at not only giving you expert posing instructions, but to ensure you look GORGEOUS!!!

There comes a point in every session when a transformation happens. I can see, hear and feel it and clients can as well. Most of the time this transformation isn’t something we discuss but it is palpable and visible. You see and feel yourself starting to pose with confidence. Your face becomes relaxed and the smiles are genuine and free flowing. You move with authority almost without guidance, and you seem to know exactly how you want to be posed. Of course, I love to see clients realize they have both confidence and courage.

Boudoir photography will let you see yourself as others see you

You wanted to feel and look beautiful. I don’t want to say “again”. Women have told me that they want to look and feel beautiful AGAIN. TRUTH BOMB COMING ATCHA -- you never lost it. You have been, are and always will be beautiful. It comes down to being lost in everyday life. Kids, partners, work, housework, extracurricular stuff for the kids, carpooling, doctors’ appointments, dropping the care off for repair, oh my gosh, you just want to feel alive again. All you ask for is some “me” time, to be pampered, feel gorgeous and beautiful again.

If you take stock in yourself, the chances are that you will realize that you spend a significant amount of time putting others first, constantly doing for others, shopping, chauffeuring, laundry, cooking, cleaning, and maybe working a full-time job as well. With all that who in the heck has time to schedule some “me” time let alone schedule a boudoir photography session just for yourself? It seems like you must find an excuse or reason to do something for yourself. Know what? – that is totally ok. It’s hard to ditch the comfort of “taking care of others” routine. I get it. What matters is that you recognize it and take steps to schedule routine “me” time into your busy life.

I’ve learned a few things in photographing 100’s or women in the boudoir photography niche. It’s always a bit nerve wracking at the beginning of a session. Even after explaining the steps, what’s it’s like, how wonderful my makeup and hair artists are, how long the session is going to take, how to prepare, do a wardrobe consultation, schedule an image reveal, etc., a boudoir photography session is always at least a little anxiety producing. When you are in the HMUA chair and realizing that in a short while you will be changing into lingerie to pose in front of a camera with someone you’ve recently met and talked to a few times the anxiety begins. The good news is that whomever you choose to photography your boudoir session, we all have at least one thing in common, we work extremely hard to see that you feel safe, secure, and relaxed because before the transformation can occur you need to feel comfortable and safe. Gaining your trust that everything is well-in-hand, you will be posed, pampered, through the entire session will support you through the entire process. For instance, I have a posing book with 100’s of poses and if I can’t explain the pose, I will show you the pose in the book, so you never have to guess or worry.

It is not until you are done with hair and makeup, reviewed and chosen your outfit, slipped into the bathroom to change and return that the “fear” becomes noticeable. Maybe what really is on your mind is that you don’t think you have lost your “sexy” or that you could never find it. Maybe you don’t have a clue about how to pose like the women in those pictures you’ve seen on the internet after you looked at them while working up the courage to schedule this session in the first place. Maybe some self-doubt about your perceived flaws has crept in and you contemplate stopping the session because you think you are “THE ONE” that I can’t make look like the women you’ve seen on-line. So far, I’ve proved all of you wrong!

After the first few shots are in the camera, I am going to show you an image or two – and here is the response 99.9% of the time: “WHO IS THAT?” you say screaming. Sometimes you cry and then laugh. This is when the transformation begins. Yes, you thought it was when the hair and makeup were done or when we found the perfect clothes to flatter your figure and complexion. I have chosen the lighting and posed you down to your little finger. Remember, boudoir is not about just the photographs. It’s about this transformation.

It’s the moment when I show you the back of the camera. When I flip that camera around, I am not looking at the image with you. I am studying your face and gauging your reactions to the image. I already know it is a beautiful image – NO DOUBT ABOUT IT. I know your reaction will show on your face and in your posture. You become excited, relieved, relaxed, convinced that you still have it – that you have found your glamour maybe even a little bit or sass as well. You see in that first image that you have found what you’ve always had but has been unseen because of all of life’s commitments, busy schedules, and everything else however, it’s what WE see.


Boudoir photography is a specialty of the glamour portraiture genre. Done well it is a liberating experience. The 3 reasons I love boudoir photography is the excitement in seeing my clients feel their strength and courage, realize that through posing and wardrobe selection they are far more gorgeous than they realize, and finally and hopefully, they realize that the outside world sees them like the camera does ~ a remarkable, confident, and beautiful soul.

I enjoy seeing a women (and the occasional man) realize that this just isn’t as scary as they thought it was. I love it when they see a few images and realize that we have teamed up to make some beautiful artwork and that the session is a chance to reclaim that which they have not been in touch with in a long while. It is what I like to call glamour in lingerie. We are specialists at making you feel beautiful in your own skin.

Please don’t give in to the negative self-talk and reach out to a photographer in your area, and if you are in the Charleston, SC area I would LOVE to talk to you about any and all questions you might have about boudoir sessions in general or schedule your session with me.


For more information please check out these blog posts:

You got this!

Arthur Ellis is a published portrait and boudoir photographer in Charleston, SC, and specializes in revealing the beauty in everyone. His passion is to give lasting memories. Your satisfaction is his guarantee, and your timeless memories is his promise. He can be contacted through his website at:

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