what to wear boudoir shoot

The Ease of a Brooklyn Boudoir Experience | Ms. J's Bridal Boudoir Session | NYC Photographer

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Ahhhh the boudoir experience… a source of mad anxiety from the time of considering the session to showing up to the studio. It doesn't matter how much I preach about how EASY it's about to be for a woman, the idea of stripping down in front of a stranger's camera is stressful...and...well...terrifying. 

Ms. J came to me all the way from Australia! She was having whirlwind week in NYC in which she arrived, had an engagement photo shoot, had a boudoir shoot AND got married underneath the Brooklyn Bridge. Whew! Her lovely fiancé set up the shoot as a gift to her — best husband to be ever (though admittedly there was *something in it for him as well).

Like so many women who come to me, Ms. J was so nervous at first. Not to mention the overwhelming week she had ahead of her… so my main goal, as always, was to make her feel entirely 100% comfortable and for this to be the easiest thing about her week in NYC.

Good thing making women feel comfortable in front of the camera happens to be my superpower. You can read it in my rave reviews, in other past blog posts and from other client testimonials, but let emphasize the ease of this experience for any of you who may be nervous about this here.

So, what's it like?? What *exactly* goes on during a session? 

First and foremost, by the time you walk through the doors, you've already received so much information from me that there really isn't anything left to wonder about. You know how long we'll be together, how many outfits we'll be photographing you in, how long hair and makeup takes, and that I'll be giving you guidance along the way. 

We go through your outfits together and I'll offer you a beverage while you're slipping into your robe. My makeup artist chats with you about how much fun you're about to have, and calms your nerves. 

When it's shoot time, I give you another run down of the process, how it's actually fun and silly and not at all a "sensual" experience. We'll be chatting along the way. I'll encourage you the whole time. I'll be mindful of your "insecurities" and play up your favorite features. I'll direct EVERY SINGLE POSE. Every limb. Your hair. Your face. All of it. All you need to do is copy me. 

Time will FLY. It ALWAYS done. If I don't make a very conscious effort to check on the time, I would shoot all day. It's fun for me, it's fun for you, and it's over before you know it. You'll already want to do it again (and probably will...they always do ;) )

About 10 minutes into the session, Ms. J, like most of my other clients, was able to relax and find her flow. We had captured some beautiful portraits of her, with NYC as the backdrop.

Ms. J agrees:

I was really nervous about the photo shoot but you made the day really relaxed, assisting with the posing made me feel much more confident!! I never thought I would do a boudoir shoot but it was totally different to what I expected and I love the finished images you created. I didn’t think I would ever be tempted to do another but after working with you I’m tempted (when we return to NYC one day ;))

2 weeks later I was able to meet her again, this time as a married woman, with her husband along for the reveal. They sat together through her photo reveal slideshow in stunned silence...when it was over, she breathed a deep breath of relief, and did a little clap.  The photos, of course, turned out incredible, and became such an amazing memory of her time in NYC.

ALL of my clients are nervous, some more than others...but they all have that self-doubt that all of my clients are models and naturally good in front of the camera and that they will be the very first person that I cannot photograph.  Yes, the women on my website look modelesque...but they are women just like you: nurses, accountants, lawyers… Very few of them are actually comfortable in front of a camera, and not many of them would describe themselves as photogenic and sexy. Yet every single one of them looks that way. 

Ladies, I’ve got you. You will laugh at how nervous you were and will most definitely want to do it again...knowing that if your photos turned out THIS good when you were terrified....they will be even better the second round when you know what to expect. 

Trust me. 

xoxo, Stephanie

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Ready to bite the bullet? Let's chat!

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The Big 4-0! | Thoughts on Aging | Brooklyn Boudoir Photographer

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Many of you know that yesterday was my 40th birthday! I had an amazing weekend at the NYBG Evenings (the orchid show was amazing!!) and having a very civilized tea at the Plaza with my hubs and three year old. It was a classic New York weekend, which is fitting as that’s just how I think of myself: Classic NYC.

I don’t really feel 40, but then again what does that even mean? When I look around I feel basically the same age as most everyone around me. Age has never been super important or scary to me — I’ve always felt pretty balanced and “in the moment” of the age I was at the time. At 22 I started dating a man 15 years older than me. At 37, he seemed like a “Man” with a capital M. None of my friends could believe I was dating “an old guy” but I just shrugged. Age is mental, and I still believe this to be true.

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While every phase of life has had it’s share of good and bad, there are some things about aging in general that remain consistently true. Here are a few things I actually love about aging:

I no longer “should” myself to death.

I come from a very conservative family with a lot of social and familial obligations. The way we “should” look or act has been a constant theme in our house growing up. And of course, there ARE certain ways you should act…(politely, with respect for others…) but back in my 20s I did things solely to please others to a fault. My mom (who is amazing) is the ultimate “should-er”: I “should” go to church, I “should” wear more makeup, I “should” put a barrette in my daughter’s hair. There were stale friends having parties that I “should” go to, even though I didn’t want to, and ended up overextending myself and exhausting myself just to save face. The thing is, I have reasons that I DON’T do these things, and I’m finally confident enough in myself and my decisions not to buckle to external pressure. And so I don’t wear more makeup, I don’t put barrettes in my kid’s hair, I only go to the parties I really WANT to go to, and I go to church as often as I feel is right for me without guilt. And it feels great.

Feeling good in my skin.

Think back to how you looked when you were 20. My guess is that you were HOT but that you didn’t think you were at the time. At 30 you probably looked back on your 20s thinking, “I WISH I appreciated how cute looked!” I sure do. I’m a solid 10 pounds heavier than I was before I had my first kid just 4 years ago! I had no idea, or at least no appreciation for how svelte I was looking, and what a shame. It’s so hard to take a step back and see yourself as you really are, so difficult to be kind to yourself sometimes, but it’s SO WORTH it. Hating on your looks is a massive waste of time (oh, and negative self-talk also ages you faster!) It would be nice to be back to that pre-mom bod, sure, but I also now know how AMAZING my body really is. I grew and birthed an incredible little girl, fed her from my body for a year, continue to support her with my body, brains, heart… and no amount of cellulite can take away my pride in that. Sometimes my daughter points to my tummy and asks something like, “is there a baby in there?” or says she likes cuddling me “because your tummy is so soft.” It doesn’t get to me, because she only ever looks at me with pure love, and I try to look at myself through those same eyes. My smile lines? There are lots of stories and happy times behind them. My forehead wrinkles? They can instruct my kid (and husband for that matter lol!) to do what I need with a mere glance. My underage circles? Well, those always existed, they are hereditary and there’s not much I can do about it so I’m not going to stress those either.

Rejecting the myth of perfection

You know that voice — the one that tells you you aren’t smart enough/successful enough/attractive enough. By 40, you know it well enough to tell it to shut the f*ck up. I’m not saying we shouldn’t strive for self-improvement. But I don’t let what I’m NOT decrease the importance of what I AM, and I certainly no longer compare myself to other people. Comparison truly is the thief of joy. NO ONE is perfect, even those people who seem to be on the surface. Pefection is not only unattainable it’s frankly in my opinion, boring. I’d much rather be my own perfectly imperfect self, not hold myself to an unattainable standard and just be happy being who & what I am right now. Imperfect works.

Perspective and resilience

I’ve been a shy child, an awkward middle schooler, a ballet-loving tween, a punk teenager, a college girl in love, an on the prowl twenty-something, a blissed out newlywed, a dual-career thirty-something, a terrified new mom, a newly forty year old woman writing this post… Life has had enough downs to know there eventually is an up, and that nothing is the end of the world. Sometimes you feel stuck or lost or heartbroken, but things always change. There is always a plan B. Hard times can feel endless, but they always always end.

I also hear sex is best for women in their 40s. Just sayin.

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OK, I’ll quit being a Pollyanna for a second and say of course there are things about aging that bum me out, such as:

Being Called Ma’am

Failing to understand Snapchat

The crackling sound my knees make.

Grey hairs that poke straight up on my head. I’ve been pretty lucky in the grey hair department, and I’ve finally stopped plucking them out but still, 😑

At the end of the day, it’s better to get older than NOT to get older! I’m grateful for all the experiences, (bad boyfriends included) that have led to me being this version of me.

In the words of the late, great, David Bowie: I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.

xoxo, Stephanie

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The Mental Equivalent of Losing 10 Pounds | Client Raves | The Brooklyn Boudoir Photoshoot Experience

Ahh, this beautiful and special woman. Where do I begin?

I have mentioned to some of you that I was recently interviewed for a documentary exploring motherhood and the workplace, an important topic that is close to my heart in it’s own right. It’s going to be a fantastic film, I’m so proud to be a part of it and I’ll keep everyone posted on it’s release, probably sometime next year. Aside from our interview, the filmmaker wanted to capture a photoshoot with me. I didn’t feel right asking a client to be filmed during our session, because your comfort and privacy is my utmost priority. But, we also wanted to capture the real vibe of a Brooklyn Boudoir shoot — as opposed to a shoot with a model — to accurately show the process and show how transformative it can be for a woman. And so, the filmmaker asked a friend of hers, who had been toying with the idea of boudoir shoot, if she would be willing to have her shoot recorded for the documentary.

So as you can imagine, this wasn’t a completely traditional shoot as there were 2 additional people in the room and TWO cameras on Ms. H. We were under time constraints but I still wanted to give Ms. H as close to the Brooklyn Boudoir experience that I could given the unusual circumstances. She handled it like a champ, and within just a few minutes, BOTH of us forgot there was a camera on us!

Turns out, Ms. H really needed this. She had recently had a few surgeries that left her feel less than her best. She was in that NYC apartment limbo with half her stuff in storage… she really needed a day to just pamper herself.

Despite the limited time frame, we shot 3 looks with some slight variations. The first was a classic Calvin Klein sporty look (with and without cozy sweater), the second a more feminine pink & black set, and hen the real piece de la resistance was her 3rd look - an amazing vintage denim jacket with nothing but her Calvins on underneath. When she walked out of the dressing room in this 3nd look… well, even the filmmaker said she could feel the confidence oozing out of her friend. It was true — she was beaming and I could tell that she was feeling like her best, most authentic self.

Now, i don't normally show clients too many sneak peaks durning the shoot — I like for there to be an element of surprise at the reveal — but I am SO TICKLED that someone was able to capture Ms. H when I showed her a quick back of the camera shot. When I say she freaked out… she actually exclaimed, “THAT’S what guys get to see when the F*CK me???” PAHAHAHAHA I died laughing a that one. It’s not about the boys, but also yes. Yes, that IS what they get to see and LUCKY THEM.

Said Ms. H. about her experience:

From your first email to me detailing what to expect in the shoot, I felt like I was in excellent hands. I felt completely comfortable, free and sexy and that is 100% due to the easy-going, professional, warm and FUN atmosphere you create. I am not usually comfortable in front of the camera but you made it easy. 

I appreciated that the shoot felt tailored to me—you were able to pick up on the particular brand of "sexy" I was going for, that felt authentic to me, and both the shoot and the photos reflect that. I felt like ME—just the best, sexiest version of me. 

I especially loved the direction you provided. It really helps take any pressure off. Then, once I was really in the moment, the spontaneity as we both came up with ideas was great too. Just all around an incredible experience. As I told my sister after the fact, "I felt so fantastic afterward, it was like the mental equivalent of losing 10 pounds." This was the best damn way to kick off 2019 and I can't wait to do it again!

Her advise for other women?

“Just trust Stephanie! She knows what she's doing and she has thought. Of. EVERYTHING. It is everything you could want out of the experience: fun, relaxing, gratifying, rejuvenating, self-connecting, and yes, so sexy. Don’t get too hung up on bringing clothing that is "traditionally" sexy, unless that's what you find sexy as well. Bring outfits that you feel good in and that fit your personality. It will show in your photos, like it did in mine.

Thank you, Ms. H . for trusting me with your photoshoot experience, for stepping outside your comfort zone with me and for bringing such amazing energy to our shoot that we could both let loose, be ourselves and capture some amazing photos of you. I also can’t wait til next time!!

xoxo, Stephanie

Need an end of winter pick me up? Send me a note and let’s chat!

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What to Wear for Your Portrait Session - Maternity Edition! | Brooklyn Maternity Photographer

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I recently blogged about no-stress boudoir wardrobe that you likely already have in your closet. But what if you’re pregnant and, well, not much in your closet actually FITS you right now?? There are still plenty of classic and classy options for your maternity portrait session, and you STILL won’t have to spend an arm and a leg.

KEEP IT SIMPLE

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This is my number one rule in ALL kinds of shoots. These photographs are of YOU not your wardrobe really and I don’t want to distract from your natural beauty, or create something trendy that you are embarrassed by 10 years from now. So in my mind, classic & simple is best. Overall, opt for solids over patterns and neutrals over bright colors - think black, white, grey, creme, navy and dark red. This helps keep the focus on you, your belly and your connection to the camera. I have a few simple stapes in my kit including a beautiful white lace gown (which looks beautiful on every body type)

MAKE IT PERSONAL

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All that said, many women opt to bring a beautiful silk robe form their wedding day or honeymoon, or her husband’s button down shirt as one of their wardrobe options. A snetimanetal item can add meaning and variety to your photoshoot. Often times this type of wardrobe will “breaks the rules” with brighter colors and patterns but in this case, it’s the meaning behind the piece that matters most. So if you love it, bring it!

SHOW OFF YOUR BUMP

There was a time when women wanted to hide their bumps under tent-like clothes and baby doll lingerie, but that’s not why you’re having your maternity portrait taken, is it? If you don’t feel comfortable showing off your bare tummy, consider form fitting pieces that hug your curves. I love a simple, stretchy tube dress for this and have a black one in my studio that amazingly fits so many women. It’s sleek, form fitting and timeless. Bodysuits are also a favorite of mine, or (if your regular bodysuits no longer fit) a black bathing suit or even a tight black turtlenects worn with a simple undie give the same idea. This look can be completely covered up and fashiony while still featuring your bump beautifully.

SWATHS OF FABRIC

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If you’ve been looking through instagram for inspiration you’ve no doubt seen images ot women with long flowy fabric flying up in the background. It makes an epic and artistic photos and was something I was setting out to learn when I mentored with the master of the fabric toss, Lola Melani this past summer. i have collected and a few large swaths of silk and chiffon for this dramatic and iconic look, which is particularly magical with a growing bump.

GO BARE

The “Demi Moore” was scandalous at the time but now is a classic for good reason! It’s intimate choice, natural and my personal favorite. There are so many different ways to be nude but also covered up in your photos. Your body never goes out of style. (Bonus that it requires the least amount of prep work or planning!) We can take this even further by applying some body paint to your bump - it’s edgy and artistic and when else in your life might you do something like that!?

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Whatever you decide to wear, a maternity shoot is a beautiful way to memorialize this time in your life and something you will always be happy you did. The ideal time to have your maternity portrait taken is between 28 - 34 weeks so be sure to plan in advance and book during that “sweet spot.”

xoxo, Stephanie

Expecting? Let’s capture your pregnancy in a classic and classy way — contact me to learn more!

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A Changed Woman | Ms. W's NYC Shoot Experience | Brooklyn Boudoir Photographer

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Ahhh this photoshoot has a soft spot in my heart. At Brooklyn Boudoir, your photoshoot is customized to my client’s style, and THIS was one of my proudest moments as far as that customization is concerned. Ms. W flew in from across the country and we had been planning our shoot for quite some time. She had mentioned in our pre-shoot consultations that her dream shoot would resemble the Brittney Spears “Toxic” video… which I just happen to LOVE. We had a lot of ideas on how to make this happen together — we even looked into having one specially designed for her! It seemed like a long shot UNTIL I met the AMAZING Beth Claire, a fellow boudoir photographer / magician who specializes in fantasy shoots and has a closet full of incredibly beautiful custom pieces she’s made herself. I told Beth about the “Toxic” idea and it just so happened she had something that would work perfectly for our needs! Ms. W and I were elated — I couldn’t wait to photograph her in the amazing piece (and I may or may not have also taken some self-portraits in it because SEQUINS JUMPSUIT)!

Besides the amazing wardrobe, we shot in the most beautiful hotel suite with a 180 degree view of Manhattan — it was truly breathtaking!

Said Ms. W:

My session was tailored perfectly to me, from setting, to hair and makeup, to music--it was incredible. Stephanie is friendly, enthusiastic, encouraging and so fun to shoot with! I felt like I was hanging out with one of my BFF's the entire time! I can't imagine shooting with anyone else. I was pampered from the moment I arrived to the location. My makeup artist was incredible and so sweet. I feel like I gained two new friends after this shoot.

Of course, our shoot was a whole lot more than a Brittney Spears fantasy. Ms. W and I… well we are kindred spirits. Even though we live in different cities, even though she is an avid hiker, and that I barely own a pair of proper sneakers, we had an instant connection — it was like 2 long lost friends spending the afternoon together, and I was just so so happy she was able to come to NYC and have this incredible Brooklyn Boudoir Experience.

More of Ms. W’s words:

I have never been super body-positive, or really enjoyed much of my body -- apparently all I needed was a photo shoot with Brooklyn Boudoir. I have never felt so beautiful in my life. I have never felt so empowered in my life. My newfound confidence kicked in the second Steph started shooting and it's still going strong. This experience was absolutely life changing for me! One photo by Brooklyn Boudoir, and I am a changed woman. One. That's all it took. One photo by Brooklyn Boudoir, and I see myself with a completely new set of eyes...unlike I've ever seen myself before. Thank you so much; I will always hold this experience close to my heart. <3

^^^^ THIS!! This is what it is all about. Ms. W is a strong, intelligent, creative, spirited and BEAUTIFUL woman who completely deserves to see herself the way the world sees her. I felt so grateful that she found me and that she was able to make the trip to NYC and for the friendship we made. Love you, girl!

XOXO, Stephanie

READY TO SEE YOURSELF WITH A NEW SET OF EYES? LET’S CHAT!

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Dear Big Booty | A Love Letter to My Most Prominent Feature | Brooklyn Boudoir Photographer

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Dear Big Booty:  

In contrast to my breasts, which took their time to arrive (and did so with little fanfare), you showed up front - or should I say, *back* & center - early in the sixth grade, along with your sidekicks, wide hips and cellulite.  You sabotaged my aspirations of becoming a ballet dancer, and filled me with body image dysmorphia and self-doubt.  You had outgrown most clothes and the kids at school would tease that they could see you “hanging out” of my skirts despite my best efforts to cover up. Even my mom affectionately called you "BB" for "big butt" as a teenager.  (Et tu Brute, MOM?! )

While you're fun to shake on the dance floor, we both know life isn't always a Nikki Minaj video.  The low cut jeans of the early 2000s bordered on the obscene for me, offering a bulls-eye view of my undies (and more) when seated. In middle school I quite literally wore my mother's jeans, and my favorite accessory was a flannel shirt tired around my waist to block you from view (note from the current me: It was the 90s, so this look was somewhat acceptable at the time, and while I’d love to take credit for the mom jean trend, truth be told I wasn’t that cool or forward thinking.) By the time I was 15 I was on the receiving end of cat calls nearly every day. It was before the “Me Too” movement and I am ashamed to say I believed the unwanted attention you brought was inevitable because of my shape, and I accepted it as “just one of those things.”

When I got my first job, I realized I had to be careful not to look unintentially sexy at work.  Pencil skirts were a staple for co-workers, but boy did they push the boundaries of decency whenever they graced my rear.  There was even one summer when I was so fed up with the unwanted attention that I cloaked you in peasant dresses. But then... peasant dresses.  

I wish I could say I came to terms with you on my own, but it took 90s heroin chic ending and figure-hugging Versace dresses coming into fashion for me to accept my own apple bottom jeans. Somewhere between J. Lo and Beyonce, I started to realize that -- hold up -- a round butt was perhaps a GOOD thing. Or at the very least not something to regret. My college dance troupe celebrated my curves and we worked my shape into our choreography. Eventually those booty-shaking moves became my trademark and I got the courage to stop hiding you altogether.  It was truly life-changing to FINALLY accept my body as it was. Flat chest + little waist + big booty = ME (and I could work it).

As I grew my boudoir business, I took many self portraits to beef up my portfolio, and to this day, my favorite shots are those of my derrière. Do I still have cellulite?   Yes.  Do I wish I were one of the 10% of women out there who don't have cellulite? Sure I do.  But I've learned how to pose and use light to flatter my curves & make them look beautiful in photographs.

Now that I'm getting older, my bottom - while still strongly resembling a lower case "b" - is slightly less rotund, and frankly, I miss it!   And perhaps the most shocking revelation of all as I near the big 4-0: a bit of cellulite is fine!  We are women, a lot of us have it, and it doesn't take away from our beauty or power one bit, so long as you don’t let it. Your beauty isn’t tied to a few dimples here and there, the same way it isn’t tied to the number on the scale, or the numbers on your birth certificate (says the woman whose birthday is in six weeks!).

And so, Big Booty, while I don't need to accentuate you (you need no help from me there), I no longer want to minimize you either.  I embrace silhouettes that emphasize my waist (hello A-line skits and high waisted pants) and found a tailor who helps show off my assists while still leaving plenty of room to sit down.  You are a part of me, and I dare say that sometimes I even like some of the attention you bring my way.  It took me years, but my dewdrop shape finally has the love it deserves, and my overall self is so much better for that loving acceptance.

xoxo, Stephanie

Need some helping loving YOUR shape? Let me show you how beautiful you really are.

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Everyone is Nervous at First | Brooklyn Boudoir Photography | Client Spotlight

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This gem....THIS gem of a woman! We had been in "talks" about a boudoir experience for some time. Eventually, Ms. S pulled the trigger before her wedding as a gift to her new husband and herself. She had such a cool demeanor about her and a great attitude despite her nerves. in fact, even though she told me several times that she was nervous, you never would have known it once she walked through the doors of the shoot.

Said Ms. S:

I had a very smooth, positive, fun experience and I'm very glad I decided to book this. While I was super nervous to do it I felt very mentally prepared the day of.

This comment made me chuckle because 100% of my clients are nervous about their boudoir experience in the days leading up to it. Of course you are! You are about to have your photo taken, which many people already feel uncomfortable doing, much less in your underwear! But trust me when I say, we’ve got you covered! My hair and makeup artists are great about putting you at ease — you get to sit, relax and get pampered by a professional for an hour which will definitely start to settle your nerves. And then I take over. And I REALLY take over. There isn't much of a chance for you to feel unsure about what you're doing because I tell you EXACTLY what I want you to do. And I show you. All you really have to do is be there with me, and follow along! 

Also, I help you prepare, in all the ways you will need, mentally and otherwise! We can chat on the phone or Skype before your session to get to know each other better. I send you prep guide with tips on skin care, wardrobe, dos & don’t, how to cultivate sensuality in phones (and in life!) … whatever you want to talk about before hand, I am there for you and will guide you before, during and after your shoot in getting the best images for YOU.

And about those nerves: within the first 10 clicks of my shutter, I witness my clients transition from deer in headlights to a state of relief, and soon after, to a woman who is having SO much fun and is SO at ease that she forgets that she's not wearing much. Truly - no exaggeration!  We talk, we laugh, you might wonder how I am getting anything that looks sexy because the experience really isn’t a “sexy” one. It’s much more like 2 girlfriends handing out/a therapy session than anything else.

I don’t mean to be flip about this. I know that you probably have a hard time standing in front of the mirror naked and REALLY taking a good look at yourself. I know that you cringe every time you lean forward and see what gravity does to your boobs and belly. I know that, because I experience it myself. And I know that most of my clients do as well. We're women, and unfortunately that's pretty typical for us. 

Know that I take all of this into consideration. Even if I don't see the flaws on your body that you do, I know that insecurities exist. I don't write them off as my client just being "blinded by insecurities." 

But here’s the thing: I am REALLY good at making people feel comfortable. Really comfortable. Like "oh, I forgot I was in my birthday suit" comfortable.  Second to that, I understand women's bodies and their insecurities. I know how to pose women of all shapes and sizes. I know how to use light strategically to make you look your absolute best. 

Also know that I'm not a stranger. From the second you send me that first e-mail that starts with "I can't believe I'm finally emailing you about this....", we are friends. I care about you, I take my job as your photographer very seriously and I will want to stay in touch with you long after I’ve delivered your album. I can’t help it. I love my clients, take interest in them, and that doesn’t just disappear after your shoot.

So, thank you to Miss S for being a firecracker during her photo session, for overcoming her nerves, for delighting me with stories of her wedding & wedding gift and for allowing me to share her photos. And also for telling me there was a “Hamilton” app which lets you enter the lottery by cell phone - genius!! (What can I say, the musical theatre geek in me will never die).

xoxo, Stephanie

Nervous to reach out? Let’s chat and let me put your mind at ease.

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Stress-Free Boudoir Wardrobe | Brooklyn Photo Studio | What to Wear to Your Boudoir Shoot

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One of the most common questions i get from clients is, “what should I wear to my boudoir shoot?” It makes perfect sense - you most likely have never been photographed professionally before, must less in a state of semi-undress and you want to look your best. Ladies, I got you. Once you have booked your Brooklyn Boudoir Experience, I will send you a very informative guide that goes over what works well for different body types and what looks best on camera - this covers different styles of lingerie, what colors look best, and what textures to avoid, and I am always available to consult with you on wardrobe ideas. Many women feel they need to go out and shop for new sexy lingerie. If this is something you WANT to do, something that will make your photoshoot feel extra special (or simply give you an excuse to hit up Agent Provocateur), get it girl! But if it’s something you are stressing about - PLEASE DON’T! I am sure that there are pieces in your closet right now that you may not even be considering that work beautifully for any boudoir shoot. Check out these ideas for stress-free boudoir wardrobe options:

1 - BODYSUITS

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It’s no secret that bodysuits are one of my favorite wardrobe pieces to shoot. They look good on EVERYONE, regardless of body type and there are so many different options out there at many different price points. Yes, there are lingerie-style bodysuits (Journelle has some of my favorites) but there are also bodysuit tops out there that are totally covered up (very on trend right now, check out Cuyana). You can even wear a one piece bathing suit! Andies makes some really beautiful ones in classic styles.

2 - TEE SHIRT or TANK TOP

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I find a classic white tank so sexy. It can be worn with or without a bra underneath for 2 totally different looks and can be wet down to kick the sex appeal up a notch. I love this look bra-less or with a black bra underneath if you want the extra coverage. Black tanks and cropped tee shirts give a similar effect. You can show as much or as little tummy as you want to with these looks - great for variety. And if you have a tee with a message you love — bring it! This ^^ “Badass Feminist” shirt ^^ is one of my favorites (currently out of stock but I am stalking the website to see when more are coming in).

3 - KIMONO, SCARF or ROBE

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This is another look that lets you choose how much or how little you want to show. A robe gives a cool, “I just woke up like this” vibe and you can be 100% covered up in it. Or, slip it down over your shoulder to show just a little bit of skin. I find shoulders, clavicles, collarbones and backs really beautiful. Scarves can serve the same purpose or we can play around with them to get some more energy & movement in your images — it can make a fun “peek-a-boo” moment.

4 - JACKETS

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Fur, leather or even a blazer - I LOVE shooting women in jackets. It’s unexpected and modern — a real fashion moment. If you have a statement jacket you love, BRING IT!

5 - ACTIVE WEAR

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So many women feel their sexiest and most powerful when they are working out. If this is the case for you, why not capture that feeling in your workout gear? With the rise of “athleisure,” active wear has become really sexy with fun cut outs, straps, and illusion panels, plus they tighten up the look of the body for a smooth line.

6 - COZY SWEATER

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January felt about 75 days long to me this year, and all I wanted to do was cuddle up in a big cozy cardigan. Worn with a simple bra and panty or nothing at all underneath, it gives the vibe of an intimate evening at home. Extra bonus that you can show as much or as little as you want with this look, and use it to highlight some of your favorite, perhaps under-appreciated parts, similar to the robe look listed above (hello, collarbones).

7 - JEANS

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OK, I KNOW you have a favorite pair of jeans in your closet that make you feel like you can take on the world. Skinny jeans with a bra and heels gives a powerful, New York Woman feel, and a looser boyfriend style is easy to slip on and off for a suggestive, “leave something to the imagination” vibe. High waisted jeans when worn alone give a very modern, “fashionista that isn’t trying too hard” feeling.

8 - BUTTON DOWN SHIRT

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Many women like to bring one of their partner’s shirts in to the shoot — it’s a classic for a reason! Another great look is a sheer-isn button down of yours. When photographed backlit it shows just enough of your outline in silhouette and looks really artistic & graceful.

9 - TIGHTS

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One of my earliest clients brought in a pair of opaque tights and I realized how genius it was! It’s totally unexpected, pretty much covered up, and also so fashion-y & sexy! Statement tights also work great to show off the legs.

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10 - BLACK BRA & PANTY

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Simplicity is often times the best! Whatever the texture - lace, cotton, sheer - a black bra and panty photograph and are sexy in an every day, not trying too hard kind of way.

11 - NOTHING AT ALL!

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Of course, no wardrobe at all is required for your boudoir shoot! “Nude” doesn’t have to be over-exposed or sexual. In fact, often times the nude looks we photograph are the most covered up of all! You can be ENTIRELY covered in a white sheet and look incredibly sexy. It’s all about what’s left to the imagination! Or, we can shoot fine art nudes that could be hung up on your wall without anyone knowing that it’s you. Or, hell, tell EVERYONE it’s you! There is no shame loving yourself and being proud of your body.

The truth is, “sexy” is much more about how you feel that what you are wearing. Whatever you decide to wear, trust me when I say, when you feel good you will look good. So feel free to think outside the box with your boudoir wardrobe and most of all, don’t stress it!

xoxo, Stephanie

Have more questions about what to wear to your shoot? Hit me up and let’s chat!

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What If...? | Artistic Bridal Boudoir | Brooklyn Boudoir Photographer

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I have been waiting a few months to share these amazing images with you! Ms. H is a POWER.HOUSE. She is an actress, dancer and currently works in the fitness industry, so needless to say she is very body aware and knows how to move. It isn’t even fair for me to take full credit for these photos because she brought SO MUCH to the table — she SERVED it with the looks, was willing to take some risks and most of all trusted me to do my thing. The results were nothing short of magical.

This is a woman you can’t help but want to be around. She’s real. She’ll tell it like it is. She’s sexy without trying. She has freckles and she loves them. She’s charismatic and she’ll kick your ass in a workout (I speak from experience here, holy hell we worked out together and for a week afterwards every step I took was pain). She’s got a passion for life, for love, she’s got a tough “New York woman” energy with a soft side… which is how I like to think of myself.

Ms. H just got married this past month. The STYLE of this couple. NYC meets Nashville: edgy yet somehow still traditional, stars everywhere, the most gorgeous flowers, and a couple who are so clearly into each other you can’t help but want to fall in love. I’m SURE their wedding will end up in the pages of a glossy magazine — and I am so pleased I got to be a small part of their incredible day. We captured a few more traditionally bridal looks with a veil, and then went more artistic & raw with some portraits on black, a shower set and some of my favorite “in the sheets” shots ever. I love how much variety we captured and how we illustrated the different sides of her personality.

Said Ms. H about her Brooklyn Boudoir Experience:

I am so blown away. I've had my picture taken a good bit, so while I've never done a boudoir shoot, I'm comfortable in front of a camera and had a pretty good idea of what results I could expect. I have NEVER seen myself like this on film. Sometimes, I'll get dressed up to go somewhere and look in the mirror and be like "damn girl you look good!" but then I see a picture of the same night and it makes my heart sink. Do I have an elevated opinion of myself? Is my mirror broken? Which one is really me? Which version are other people seeing? Working with you made me realize that it comes down to the person behind the camera caring as much about me as I do, or probably even more. Working in the fitness industry I take a lot of care to make it less about physical results and more about empowering women. But, at the end of the day, it's a physical result driven business. It's always about progress and the next step. What can we improve, what can get even better? This was the first time I've been able to stop and, in your words "be where I am now". 

These are easily my favorite pictures of myself I've ever seen and I'm so happy I have these images to capture and celebrate this phase of my life. I felt so cared for and celebrated.

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These words meant to much to me, because (and this is somethingI hope this comes through in my blogs, my newsletter, and my instagram — and is worth repeating here): I care about you. We may be strangers at first, but we will get to know each other, we will likely become fast friends, I will want to know your story, your “why,” hear all about the crazy things happening in your world, and will be following along your wedding photos just like I did with Ms. H here. I care! Everyone comes to a boudoir session for a different reason. Sometimes you just want pretty images of yourself, often times it’s something deeper than that. Whatever your reason, I want to honor it, and celebrate YOU and through the process, my clients and I often make real connections with each other!

Her advise for other women who are thinking of having a shoot of their own? “Do it and go for it. Push yourself as far as you can. If you don't like the result, nobody ever has to see those shots! But if you don't do it, you'll always wonder "what if."

^^^^^^ THIS! Personally, one of my biggest fears is looking back on life and wondering “what if…” Back in my dating days, I used to go out with pretty much everybody who asked (insert joke here). I always felt like there was nothing to lose - if I didn’t like the guy, at worst it would be a funny story to tell my friends (and let me tell you there are some REALLY funny stories). Saying YES can lead to some great adventures - and also some bad ones, sure. However, I really do believe that people rarely regret the things they go for, the things they say YES to. So much more common seems to be regret over saying no. Did I go on some really bad dates by saying yes? Ummm, you have no idea (i.e.: strong YES!) But was it really so bad?? Nah…and I have to believe if I hadn’t gone out with Barbara Streisand’s nephew (true story) I would have wondered “what if” I had.

Anyhow, I digress, as I sit here thinking of all the bad dates of my past, lol. My point is, there are a lot of excuses you can think of NOT to have a boudoir shoot. But who wants to look back and think, “if only I had done it before I had kids” or “i wish I had been able to appreciate myself earlier in life.” I wish I had learned to appreciate myself and my body earlier in life, but it’s never too late to start saying YES. It’snever too late to start appreciating yourself and loving yourself. You don’t have to be perfect - you just have to be YOU. (And by the way, you ARE perfect, and I am happy to be the one to remind you of that).

OK, this blog post is much more rambling and tangental that I intended it to be, what can I say, Ms. H and her wedding brought out a lot of feelings in me.

Love you guys - my readers, my clients, my women, my muses, my friends.

xoxo, Stephanie

Wondering “what if” YOU had a boudoir shoot? Shoot me an email and let’s chat!!

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