Confessions of a Boudoir Photographer: What Women Really Want

As Toronto’s #1 boudoir photographer, my studio is always packed and I am booked back to back weeks to months in advance. This means, I interact with a huge number of women every single day. From phone conversations to photographing them, there is so much insight I have gained in to the psychology of different women that I think now is the time to pen down some of them. One day, maybe, I will write a book about it, too! But until then, read on to see my take on what women really want.

(Disclaimer: Names/location/demographics may have been changed to protect the identity of individuals. Portfolio images in this article were all taken at Dream Boudoir Photography but do not necessarily represent the subject of the following stories and observations.)

 

 

APPRECIATION

A mom of four walked in to my studio and we were in the middle of her shoot when she stopped me to give me a big hug to tell me how appreciated she was feeling. In her 25 years of on-going loveless marriage, she was beginning to feel that nothing she did was enough. That she was expected to work, expected to raise kids, expected to be a good wife, daughter, mother — but she wasn’t told playing all these roles how monumental of a task she had undertaken and was fulfilling at least since she was a young 21 year old East Asian bride. She stopped dressing up and trying to look good because she felt no one noticed because she had “lost it.”

It was only after her kids were grown and she started taking out more time for herself and doing the things she loved that she felt that it wasn’t her but the situation and the people she was constantly surrounded by. She decided to leave her long-term job and started a new career where she instantly became successful because she was no longer in the company of people who had little to no passion outside of work. She convinced her husband to downsize and moved to a more hip and busy location so she could keep herself occupied. Although the marriage still stayed in place because she wasn’t looking for a new romantic adventure, when she received appreciation from her larger circle and from myself and my crew in the studio, she knew she was ready to accept the goodness and the greatness others were seeing in her and started to believe in the power of who she was as a direct result of being appreciated for being her best and doing her best.

 

ACCEPTANCE

Among reassuring women of all sizes — from smallest to fullest, there is so much more women feel they can’t share because they will be judged. Because of my line of work, I am often contracted by women in adult industry to photograph them for their online presence. My style of work is classy, sensual, and timelessly beautiful so this fits in perfectly with the kind of clientele they want to attract. My boudoir studios in Toronto and Vancouver are judgement-free zones so they always feel warm, welcome, and comfortable during their shoots.

There was also this time when this woman came to celebrate her new corporate job and being back to work after having her first baby at 36. She was very forthcoming telling me how she is in an open relationship in her marriage and has an adventurous sex life which keeps her fulfilled so she can devote her essence to her family and those who matter the most. We proceeded to take a collection of several different images that were catered to the taste of different partners in her life so she can share it with them. Needless to say, it was a great collection of images we created that day!

 

SECURITY

This one time I was speaking to a courageous woman on the phone about the reason she wanted to book a session with me — she broke down telling me how she was in love with a man overseas and when she visited him, she was subjected to serious sexual assault. At the time she was in shock and pain but upon her return to Canada, she started writing about her experience and uplifting other women.

We have seen all about the #MeToo movement where women are now feeling empowered enough to speak against the culture of violence we have been subjected to. Women want to feel free and secure from emotional, physical, sexual, and passive forms of violence. This need to feel secure and safe is one of the biggest reasons why I have a female-only staff because this encourages the women who come to me to feel empowered as opposed to keep anticipating the worst and constantly looking over our shoulders.

 

CHANGE

Doctors and nurses in scrubs, police officers and flight attendants i uniforms, mothers stuck in a rut, corporate leaders constantly in and out of high stake meetings with pristine appearances, women in their late 50s looking to do something more than RRSP management — you name it. I have seen it all. The one thing all of these women have in common is that they are looking for a change: The ones who get no time or reason to glam up want me to turn them from natural beauties to knockout bombshells. The ones who need to present themselves in high heels and tailored suits want to throw on a sexy-T and booty shorts and have me take beautiful photos of them being the causally slaying queens that they are. Moms who are consumed by the plethora of responsibilities just want to take a day out for themselves to recharge and remind themselves that they are more than just mothers. Police officers putting their lives on the line and dealing with tough nuts want to put on those high heels and show that they know more than one way to kill ;).

toronto boudoir vancouver photography angel wings beautiful victoria's secret pinup
A nice change is good and healthy. When they see their beautiful boudoir and portrait images in my Toronto studio or Vancouver location, they sometimes cannot believe that they’re looking at the same woman they stare at every morning.

 

FRIENDSHIP & ADVENTURE

When I first opened registration for Dream Boudoir’s glamour photoshoot and vacation trip to Santorini, Greece, the fact that half the slots were sold out within the first half hour confirmed for me how important it is to have female kinship and friendships. Some of these women are my past clients who trusted me with their vision and have become my good friends since! I can see similar patterns when someone posts about their life experiences in my VIP facebook group for women — these women come together to see how they resonate with each other and start up conversations, sometimes as intimate as sexual habits(!) as if they have known each other forever.
While I other can’t stand the hippie connotation of the word “tribe,” these women definitely are looking for one and have found something simple as the love for beautiful portraits bringing them together. Be it going to our glam trip to Santorini or commissioning a boudoir glam party with all their girlfriends — so many ways to feel the power of a feminine collective!

FREEDOM

Freedom to change our minds. Freedom to live our lives as we please. Freedom to wear what we want and be who we want to be. Freedom to think for ourselves. Freedom to live for ourselves. Freedom to explore our dreams. Freedom to catch a break.
Freedom to be true to ourselves.
This may sound cliché, but in my career, I have at least twice photographed women who were married off as child brides, at the age of 15 and 16, respectively. At 46, one of them had a 25 year old daughter. She never got the chance to explore who she was when she became a mother and had a tough life. Only now she is beginning to take life in her own hands and become the woman she always dreamed of being.

Toronto Boudoir Photography by Dream Boudoir Vancouver | Female Photographer Alishba | Mature, sexy, glamour, beautiful, elegant, Boudoir, escort, women,

This feeling of liberation is something women fiercely want in my personal experience and I know this is true for all women.

 

TRUST

I recently did a shoot where the entire theme was leather and latex wardrobe. No laces, no frills, no two-piece sets — strictly rocker chic session. I did another shoot where the theme was vintage retro pinup: Pin curls, coke bottles, polka dot dresses, the works. And then there are those who leave it all up to me to guide them through the motions and show them everything I can do and then they choose what calls out their name. This entire group wants their word and their wishes to be trusted. Not someone telling them what they should want but LISTEN to them and help bring THEIR vision to life.

Again, only recently we have started creating a culture in the world where a woman’s voice matters. But at my boudoir photography studio, this has always been the case and this is what I became convinced of as the right thing to do throughout the years.

Recent from the studio

All images are used with the permission of our beautiful clients. We are committed to protecting your privacy.

 

Tell me what's your Dream Photoshoot?

Toronto Boudoir Photography by Dream Boudoir Toronto | Female Photographer Alishba | Bridal Boudoir

Women need to stop asking for permission to feel sexy

“This sounds awesome! Just let me talk to my husband about this.”

“Wow! I really want to do a boudoir photoshoot! Just let me see if my work will allow me to take a day off.”

“Oh, I LOVE this! Just let me get back to you after I have prioritized a few things.”

Woman, what the hell?
  • You DO NOT need your husband/boyfriend or anyone else’s permission to feel sexy, empowered, and fulfilled. You only need to GIVE YOURSELF THE PERMISSION to feel full. To feel beautiful. To do something for yourself. My Toronto boudoir photography studio is an all-female, safe, body positive and sex positive space. There is nothing you need to be afraid of when you come in for your magazine-style boudoir photography session in my studio. If you still feel like you need your partner’s permission? Use this an excuse not to wiggle out of the shoot but to actually DO IT and then gift these saucy photos of yourself in an album to them!

 

  •  Are you going to tell me that you have NEVER taken a personal day from work or made a “sick day” excuse to do something that needs done? If you have never taken a personal day, YOU ARE SO DUE FOR ONE! And if you have made up an excuse to get out of work, why would you not do it again to come in for a day that’s dedicated to celebrating YOU and is entirely focused on you? Boudoir photography is all about you and you can rest assured that this experience in my Toronto boudoir photography studio is the best experience you will ever have.

 

  • So you’re saying that the wellbeing of your own self is not a priority for you? We need to change that. We need this fixed. Because you cannot give to others what you refuse to have for yourself: A little investment to love yourself and to document exactly where you are in your life will go a long, long way into how you see other things and other people in your life. I will be there along with my all-female team to guide you and create the best boudoir photoshoot ever!

Honestly, I am so tired of women making these excuses and feeling guilty. You are not splurging on an overpriced handbag that has a lifespan of maybe a couple of years. You are giving yourself the GIFT of pictures of yourself for how you want to remember yourself and be remembered.

Photos are a forever gift and that’s why I treat your photoshoot no less than a wedding day photoshoot.

This is an event, a CELEBRATION of your life.
And you are ALLOWED to be a part of your own celebration.

let's plan your perfect photoshoot day

Toronto Boudoir Photography - Tasteful black & white sexy photoshoot for women by female photographer Alishba

Are sexy photos important for women’s empowerment?

 I posted about my Vancouver Boudoir Photography Marathon on my facebook profile describing how I recently got some heat at a Conference for my unapologetic opinions about women and sexuality. In that post, I talked about how I know from my work with women that a woman who is not sensually and sexually confident is not yet empowered. This was part of my talk at the New York Conference I was invited to speak at. As soon as I made the post,

A woman who follows me on social media asked me sarcastically that, “Yeah ass and tits shots are important for women empowerment.”

You know what I said to her?

I said: Actually, they are.

And here’s why:

When women are shamed for “leaked nudes,” it is important to normalize tits.

When women are shamed for wearing leggings that hug their asses, it is important to normalize women’s asses.

When women are made objects of tabloid cover story because of “side boob” or “nip slip,” it is important to normalize and #FreeTheNipple.

When women are blackmailed for leaked sex tapes, it is important to normalize the fact that women, too, have sex and enjoy sex.

When women are blackmailed by their exes for “revenge porn” publication, it is important to talk about privacy and take away the SHAME from women so that the only person who can be shamed or prosecuted is the person who records and releases someone’s audio-video without their consent.

And most importantly, as another reader chimed in on the post: Whatever photos we (women) want taken of ourselves are important for women empowerment!

I closed with the final statement to the woman who first commented who couldn’t imagine the fact that unclothed, revealing images of women can contribute towards women’s equality that:

As far as my list of reasons to do a boudoir shoot is concerned, I can go the fuck on, girl! 😉

Do you have something to add to this list of political reasons why women should do a boudoir photoshoot?

Send me an email and I will include your reasons to do a boudoir shoot on the blog: hello@dreamboudoirtoronto.com

Want to book a Toronto boudoir photography session with me in my empowering all-female studio?

Click below to send me your email and phone number and let’s schedule a consultation phone call!

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