Inspiration

When You're Confidant | The Power of a Boudoir Shoot | New York Boudoir Photography

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We all want happiness. Even the most seemingly “put-together” women have their own narratives taking place behind the mask that challenges their livelihood. 

When I first started shooting boudoir, I didn’t quite realize the impact it could have on my clients. I loved the idea of working with women, taking beautiful portraits and creating a photography career that didn’t involve weddings or infants. But as I started photographing more women I started to realize the bigger picture in what I was doing. Upon seeing a sneak peak of their session, either on the back of the camera, from the teaser image they get the day after their shoot or at the photo reveal itself, inevitably the woman in front of the lens would say, “Wow! I didn’t know I could look like that!” And THAT is why I shoot boudoir. Because every woman should be able to look at a photo of herself and go wow, that’s really me? And feel GREAT about the fact that, YES! Yes. it. is. 

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Boudoir, to me, means confidence and inner beauty. As much as it seems boudoir photography is all about outer appearances, the truth is, it really doesn’t matter what you look like. Boudoir isn’t about being the perfect size, the perfect shape – I mean, what even is that?? It’s about having confidence in yourself. When you have confidence, it oozes out of you. It touches everything you do, and it’s something you can’t fake. This is hard for a lot of people, and leads to excuses like “I’m not thin enough,” “I don’t see myself like this,” “This type of session isn’t for me.” And the personal attacks and excuses go on and on and on…

You have it in you. I know you do because I see it come out during my sessions every single time. Need help getting there? That’s ok! It’s my job to bring that confidence out of you! When you are confident, you are beautiful, stunning, fierce, unstoppable. And really, you could have clothes on and still gain the same experience out of this photo session. What you wear (or don’t wear) doesn’t matter – it’s just the icing on top. What matters is finding it in yourself to feel like you are feminine and ENOUGH.

Ms. T., whose images you see here, was one of my favorite sessions from last year. This amazing business woman almost had to reschedule because — and get this — she is a motorcycle racer amongst many other things and had a spill a week before her shoot. She was scraped up but, as she was traveling in from Texas, and that she is a super badass, we went ahead with her session as planned, working around her injuries.

You would think that being such a beautiful woman and #badassfeminist she would have all the confidence in the world. But the cover is not always the book. Like so many of us, she had her own struggles with self-acceptence, and I’m just so so happy I could be a part of her journey towards loving herself just as she is.

Ms. T said:

Just WOW. I can’t express what a gift you’ve given me. As someone that’s struggled with a lifetime of negative self talk, convinced I’m always going to be either too much or not enough, to finally exhale and have the opportunity to see myself with a fresh perspective through your lens and be proud of who and what I see…

And it goes beyond just the gorgeous images — it’s the experience you create from start to finish that’s helped me learn to celebrate myself and simply be comfortable in my own skin. Thank you for the confidence to finally own my value, my worth and to know that I am enough.

^^^^ THIS! This is the reason why I LOVE being a boudoir photographer. Women need more love and self respect in this world. Many of us feel the need to compare and judge ourselves based on other people’s “highlight reels.” We go to the grocery store and don’t share a smile with the people we pass. We don’t compliment the woman with the nice shoes or who looks like they did their hair extra nice today. Why?

Boudoir to me is extending my light and my confidence to others. I have the skills and the means to show women they are beautiful. I have the courage to give them an experience unlike any other. That’s why I became a boudoir photographer – to extend compassion instead of comparison and to show you the truth about yourself: that you are enough.

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So if you’re feeling like a boudoir session ISN’T for you — be assured that each session in our studio is unique and all about you! Show a little, show a lot -- but either way, I believe that every woman deserves to see how beautiful, sexy and unique they truly are. Every body is beautiful and you should be comfortable in your own skin regardless of where you are in your journey in life.

XOXO, Stephanie

Ready to find YOUR confidence? Contact me and let’s chat!

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Elise Joan | Client Spotlight | Destination Boudoir Photography

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If you don't follow Elise Joan on Instagram, you must go and do so immediately. A beautiful and charismatic yogi and lifestyle coach, her feed is flooding with the most breathtaking organic images of her in practice, in stunning location around the world over along with the most thoughtful and insightful captions. Her stories share amazing lifestyle tips, incredible travel photography (most recently she’s been in Croatia), with occasional cameos by her handsome husband and adorable dog. I assure you, you'll see this feed and go researching yoga classes in your city and then make your friends take them with you. So inspiring and goals AF. 

Elise Joan has been a satellite friend of mine for nearly 20 years. I say “satalite” because there were only a few months at a time that she & I were living in the same city, and so our visits over the years have been few and far between. Even so, time and distance have barely affected our friendship — even after years of being out of touch we can chat over Skype for an hour as if no time has gone by at all. Originally from New York, Elise now lives and teaches in Los Angeles, but travels quite often. So I was thrilled when on my last trip to LA we were finally able to connect.

In a city flooded with yogis, Elise truly stands out. She’s obviously beautiful with an infectious smile and some inspiring travels under her belt. But it’s really much more than that. The magic in Elise’s teachings is that she makes yoga & healthy lifestyles choices seem easy and accessible to anyone, even the most intimidated beginner (raises hand). When you speak with her, you really believe that she’s seeing you, your challenges, what makes you tick. No stranger to life’s challenges herself, she’s honest, open and all about creating a life you are happy with — one that lets you be your best, most authentic self, to help you reach our full potential in life, not just in the yoga studio. And so, our goals for our clients (and women everywhere!) are really very similar.

When I visited her this past March, we almost didn’t get around to shooting because we spent so much time talking! I had thought we would capture her in her yoga practice, but then we realized, she’s captured herself like that so often… we wanted to capture something different. Being in her own home, we created images that feel intimate, quiet, and personal.

Elise said:

Stephanie gently guided me and directed me to bring out my own inner confidence and created a beautiful image showing he complex juxtaposition of my feminine curves and my strength. I felt comfortable, confident and feminine!

Her advise to anyone considering their own boudoir shoot?

Be yourself!! Loose your inhibitions and channel your inner goddess!! I recommend a quick grounding meditation before beginning your shoot to really get rooted in what you want to create and share!

You can find Elise’s workouts at Beach Body on Demand, and come January she will be expanding her classes to a Barre Class (which is very much up my ally, I can’t wait for it!!)

Infinite thanks to Elise for sharing her words, her home, her skills and her beauty with me and the rest of the world. I continue to be so so grateful for the amazing things my camera allows me to be a part of. 

Namaste. ;)

xoxo, Stephanie

Ready to be YOUR best self? Contact me and let’s chat!

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How to Shop for Lingerie | Tips for your Boudoir Shoot | New York City Boudoir Photographer

So excited for my purchases!

So excited for my purchases!

I was transitioning my closet from spring to summer recently when I noticed that all of my “lingerie” (and I use that word in quotes) were, well, tired.  No scratch that, they were beyond  tired, they were exausted, old, torn up, stained basically in an unacceptable starte for any grown woman.  How long had I had these pieces?  Honestly I don’t remember but suffice it to say it was before I had a baby and everything about them was wrong. My body is different post-baby and my underwear hadn’t gotten the memo.   But where to start when looking for a total lingerie refresh?? I knew I needed help!

Enter lingerie blogger Melissa AKA The Lace Appeal.  I photographed her this past winter and I knew she was the perfect person to ask about rejuvinating my lingerie wardrobe.  If you haven’t checked out Melissa’s site or insta yet, do yourself a favor and do so.  It’s a blog dedicated to all things lingerie, specifically helping women find products that make them feel beautiful.   She’s got amazing recs on boutiques all around the country (east coast, west coast and everything in between), lingerie & activewear reviews, on top of being completely real and relatable.  Her blog is full of fun reads and no topic is taboo - from period boobs to briefs that won’t give you a wedgie, she’s not afraid to talk about it all.  In her words, The Lingerie Appeal is a place for women to explore topics of their bodies freely, sans judgment.   Basically, she’s got the point of view on lingerie as I do on boudoir photography!  I was thrilled that she agreed to take me shopping. 

We met at Sugar Cookies - an amazing ligeerie boutique in Chelsea, which just celebrated it’s 10th birthday this past weekend!  I must admit I was nervous!  I, like so many other women, had never been properly fitted for a bra, and I am (as I’ve written about before) essentially flat chested.  The store is filled with tons of beautiful lingerie options, but would they have anything that fit me?  

Beautiful Sugar Cookies Lingerie Boutique

Beautiful Sugar Cookies Lingerie Boutique

The amazing Monica took my measurments and brought me pieces to try on.   This was KEY.  She was endlessly patient and had a sixth sense about what would work for me.  We tried on a LOT of different options and through good old fashioned trial and error I ended up getting a completely new lingerie wardrobe.  Here are some tips I picked up between Monica and Melissa:

Get fitted by an expert

Monica helping me select the perfect piece of lingerie

Monica helping me select the perfect piece of lingerie

Melissa told me that a shocking 80% of women were wearing the wrong size lingerie!  This seems insane given that most of us wear bras every single day (side note, I’m noticing more and more young women going sans bra these days… but that’s a blog post for another day…)  Many women are surprised to learn what their actual bra size is.  There’s no need to guess or to awkwardly try to manuever a measuring tape around yourself — take it to an expert.

Don’t get bogged down by the sizing.  

Once you do get messured, give yourself some sway in either direction.  Just like with clothing brands, different lingerie brands fit differently.  I was a a 32A in most brands but a 34B in bras from The Little Bra company.  I never would have treid on a B cup bra in the past, but the thing is, you never know unless you try.  The key is to keep an open mind.  Another trick I learned was to aim for a bra that fastens on the loosest hooks, that way as the bra stretches out over time, you’ll have the tighter hooks to compensate for the stretch. 

And speaking of “ I never would have,” don’t limit yourself based on preconceived notions!  

That’s actually good advise for life in general isn’t?  But when it comes to bras, I never would have tried on an unstructed, unlined piece, becuase, well, I feel as if I need some extra oomph.  but when I tried on the Lise Charmel Splendeur Soie No Wire Bra, a silly smile came over my face.  I just felt fantastic and sexy and THAT is what good lingerie is all about.  So try it all on and choose what makes you feel GREAT - you’ll know it when you find it.  

Bring outfit pieces with you.  

If you’re looking for lingerie to go with a specific outfit, it’s a good idea to bring those pieces with you when you go shopping. This way you can match colors and textures together, and see how certain combinations look. Show your outfit or accessories to a store clerk to give them inspiration. They will know the store’s product lines and may be able to help you find the perfect piece to pair with your outfit.  If you’re looking for an every day bra like I was, bring a smooth tight tee shirt or whatever type of top you normally wear to be sure the bra works with it. 


When you find a brand you like stick with it.

I have a hunch that I am the ideal client of “The Little Bra Company,” so I know I can probably count on them for bras and other pieces alike.

Ladies, lingerie is all about confidence.  Try to go when you’re feeling good about yourself, eat a little something to keep your blood sugar up, and give yourself time to sift through the options. If you’re having a hard time, try to remind yourself that we are always our toughest critic. Your partner will think you look amazing no matter what you choose so be sure to be true to yourself and get pieces that give you swagger.   You’ll be really happy you did.

Look at the big goofy smile on my face — I am one happy customer!

Look at the big goofy smile on my face — I am one happy customer!

Here are all the pieces I picked up at Sugar cookies (from top to bottom):

The Little Bra Company Lucia Push Up Bra in black and nude, with matching thongs

Cosabella thong

Lise Charmel Splendeur Soie No Wire Bra

The Little Bra Company Sascha Smooth bra in nude

BlueBella Carmen Basque - just for fun, and because the lace couldn’t be more beautiful.


And a bonus My Bra Kitty, which Melissa turned me on to — the perfect way to pack your bras without them getting squished & misshaped.  

How sexy is that Faux Croc?

How sexy is that Faux Croc?

Have any other questions i can help answer? What tips do you have for lingerie Shopping? Share them below!

xoxo, Stephanie

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How to Prepare for Your Boudoir Shoot | New York City Boudoir photographer

Should you get your bikini waxed?  Is tanning a "yay" or a "nay"?  Not sure what to bring? 

These are just a few questions my clients wonder about in the weeks or days leading up to their boudoir photo shoot. As your boudoir photographer, it's my job to be sure I've answered as many questions as possible before you even ask them!  In the efforts to help you better understand what preparing for a boudoir photo shoot entails, here is a small excerpt of tips I offer my clients in my “Boudoir Prep Guide” that I send prior to their boudoir session.

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One Week Before

If you wax, do so a good five days before your session to avoid red bumps and irritation.

Get a mani and pedi if that's your style.  Polish-free nails are absolutely ok too, but chipped polish will bug us both, and is tough to fix in photoshop.  Clean, neat nails, whether manicured or not, are key. 

Drink plenty of water so that you are hydrated. This will ensure your skin is luminous. Contrary to popular belief, drinking lots of water also helps to minimizing bloating.

Another way to minimize bloating is to cut back on salty and fried foods, alcohol (sorry to say!) and anything that might make you gassy.

Pin some of your favorite boudoir shots and poses on Pinterest & send them my way. The idea isn't to duplicate the exact photos but it will give me a good feel for what you like (and we can always try to get close to the inspiration). Follow me on Pinterest @brooklynboudoir and we can even create a "secret" mood board together.

Please don’t go tanning ESPECIALLY if you don't normally tan!  Tan lines and burns do not translate well on camera, nor does burned skin. To that end, please do NOT spray tan either! It can come out blotchy  or orange in photos, and might rub off on your clothes, or the bedding.  Not a good look.  You don't need a tan to look great!

Plan to bring a neutral colored panty, a black one and at least one thong with you to your boudoir session. Depending on the shot (and your comfort level) your panties may be showing in your photos… so leave the panties that you’ve had for the past 20 years with the overstretched elastic waist at home 😉

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One Day Before

Moisturize and shave - Unless you’re going for that au naturel look, which is totally fine by me! However, if that’s not the style you’re looking for, please do remember to shave and moisturize prior to the session.  A few stray hairs can be removed here and there but we don't want to rely on that.

Get plenty of sleep!  Easier said than done, I know!  But do your best to get some rest so you look and feel your best.

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The Day Of Your Session

Please don’t wash your hair the day of the session.  Even refrain from using dry shampoo. Freshly washed hair isn’t as easy to work with for our stylist, and we want to assist them in creating your fabulous look!  That said, greasy hair isn't good either!  "One day" hair is ideal for hair styling. 

Moisturize!  You should arrive with your face washed, makeup free and well moisturized.  Your should moisturize your body as well.  You don't need anything fancy -- classic Jergins or even coconut oil works great!

Aim to show up 10 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment.  There's nothing like showing up late, being frazzled and feeling stressed to ruin your day.  Subways run late, ubers bail, life happens!  Planning to show up earlier than planned with help you feel relaxed and start the session off right.  

Wear loose-fitting clothing like yoga pants, leggings, or a jumpsuit to your shoot. Don’t wear anything tight-fitting that will leave red marks on your body (such as skinny jeans or fishnets). Wear a loose-fitting shirt and either a sports bra, tank with a built-in bra or no bra at all! The goal is to avoid red marks or indentations on the skin. 

Wear clear deodorant (or no deodorant… I won’t judge). You don’t want white getting on your clothes or having those white deodorant bits in your underarms.

Eat something light. I know it’s hard when you want to feel your slimmest but being hungry during your session will not be fun.  Without a small meal, you'll feel low energy which will make you look & feel tired. You will also tire out faster and crash by the end of your session. A boudoir session can feel like hard work if you’ve never done one before! You need to eat something, even if it’s just an energy bar.

Stretch!  Sounds crazy but some of the poses can be challenging.  It's almost akin to a workout!  Many of my clients tell me they are sore the next day!  So your shoot is a good excuse for skipping the gym that day

Put yourself outside of your comfort zone. Many people plan to be entirely covered up during their session, and that’s totally okay if you want to go that route!  But once the session gets going, many ladies start to have fun and get a little more daring! It’s all up to you how much you want to show.  I highly recommend pushing your comfort level because there is no one to judge you and this could be a once in a lifetime experience for you.  Remember, this session is for you and about you. So regardless of how much you decide to show or not show, it’s all about creating fun, sexy, and classy photos.  Many times the magic happens when you let your guard down and let all those pesky insecurities go.

MOST IMPORTANTLY – Relax and take a deep breath! It’s okay to feel a little nervous before your session but please don’t worry – you are in good hands!

A boudoir session is unlike any photo shoot you have ever done before and it does require a little bit of preparation!  My goal is to ensure that you feel great, look great and that you fall in love with yourself in the process.  Hopefully this post helps you feel more confident about preparing for your shoot and ease any doubts you may have, and this is just a small portion of it.  Don't worry -- I got you! 

Prior Clients -- what advise do you have for those about to have a boudoir shoot?  I'd love to hear in the comments below!  

Never had a session, and feeling more confident about one?  Contact me below and I can answer any other questions you may have!

xoxo, Stephanie

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The Brooklyn Boudoir Philosophy | New York City Beauty + Boudoir Photographer

The Brooklyn Boudoir Philosophy | New York City Beauty + Boudoir Photographer

If you are thinking about booking a session, it’s important that you find a photographer who’s style you love and whose ethos you can relate to.  My boudoir philosophy can really be summed up with one quote by Dita Von Teese: "It's not about seducing men. It's about embracing womanhood."   Read on for a more in-depth discussion about Brooklyn Boudoir’s Philosophy…

Read More

Why Boudoir? | Brooklyn New York Boudoir Photographer

Why Boudoir? | Brooklyn New York Boudoir Photographer

Boudoir Photography as a form of therapy?  Believe it.  

Read More

Just do it, Seize the Day, and other Clichés that are True

Happy New Year all!  It’s the day of resolutions, the day we set all the good intentions about bettering ourselves and not falling into the same patterns as last year.  My goal for this year?  Rev up this business.  Blog more.  Get on top of my social media.  Shoot more.  Find more like minded women to collaborate with.  

But wait, I think my phone needs updating.  I should do that first.  And that pile of papers that’s been sitting on my desk - that definitely needs addressing.  Is there milk in the fridge?  Hmm, yeah, I should probably go to the store and get some fresh milk cause I wouldn’t want for it to run out just when I need a big cup of coffee, which I will definitely need before I start all the blogging I plan on doing…

Brooklyn Boudoir was conceived several years ago while I was visiting my husband’s family in Miami.  A friend of ours had done a boudoir shoot as a Christmas gift for her fiance.  This woman was not traditionally sexy - she was rather tomboyish and I was shocked that she would choose to give her partner a boudoir portrait for Christmas.  And at the same time I was completely inspired.

It was such an ah-ha moment for me.  I had been wanting to build a portraiture business but had no real interest in photographing babies or children, or weddings.  I had already been exploring boudoir without knowing it or assigning the word “boudoir” to it in a self-portrait project.  I had no idea that boudoir could even be a business!  It was a perfect fit, something I had already essentially been doing, and a perfect marriage between all my interests - portraiture, sensuality, girl power…  and I felt so validated to know that there were other women out there who wanted to celebrate their sensuality in the same ways that I did.

Photography I felt comfortable with, but building a business??  That was a totally different story.  First I need to build up my portfolio.  And create a logo of course, and create business cards, and study the specifics of boudoir photography and of course then study what it takes to build a small business … and then I got pregnant.

And suddenly it’s 2 years later and while there have been a lot of valid delays to revving up the business (I had a baby after all), there were a lot that we mere procrastinations.  And procrastinations of course, just boil down to fear — fear of failure, fear of putting myself out there, fear of judgement, fear of not being able to provide for my family, fear of … 

How often is it that the anticipation of something is way scarier than the actual DOING of it??   I can either casually see what happens, or actively pursue the career that I’m passionate about, that I’m good at, that i can help people with.  Or, I can spend my time doing chores, browsing Facebook and letting more months pass by.  

Look, life happens, chores need to be done.  But here’s to spending 2017 working towards something for YOU, procrastinating the procrastinating and actively following your heart.  

The answer is YES - YES, this is the right time, YES you can do it, YES to whatever it is you want to do.

So let’s do this thing!  2017, yee-ha!

xoxo, Stephanie