The rise of Boudoir Photography - Man's world magazine

April 20, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Interview excerpts from Man's World April 2018 issue on Boudoir Photography - Hot Shots : The Rise of Boudoir Photography by Cynthia Lewis

What drew you to this field?

It’s a derivative of Fashion, Nude and Modeling. These all involve humans. Probably the artistic interest in shooting Humans in their nude forms and the Photography exhibitions which followed created the category of Boudoir Photography on my website. A lot of people wish to be photographed like a model. A lot of people like to flaunt their assets but just for themselves or their loved ones.

Did you have any apprehensions about its feasibility as a business?

Since I am involved in a whole variety of genres, it does not really matter to me if Boudoir as one of the options in my photography portfolio works or not. As a standalone business option, I don't think India is ready for it as yet. On the other hand, as it grows, I do have the lead and the experience to take it forward.

What lessons did you learn from early shoots?

Not really from early shoots but early inquiries, I would say. One has to be careful before the shoot and the terms and conditions should be very clear. The outfits need to be discussed and most importantly the objective needs to be discussed. I do not earn my bread and butter from this category so I turn down a lot of inquiries, where I do not have the right feeling of proceeding ahead.

One gets an idea. Some would say, a model release is important, but it is meaningless when no one is going to see the images. Or when the face can’t be identified at all.

Who are the sort of people who usually do these shoots and why?

It can be any sort of people who can afford to pay for the shoot. The main reason to do it is for themselves for their own memory. They may not have the same figure in years to come so basically would like to document the way they look today. Many are not perfect but do have the confidence. Aspiring models, may add such looks to aim for certain categories in Films and modelling. In that case the reason is more of a commercial aspect.

I usually avoid getting into the details of “why” beyond a point. You never know if you are being told the right reason. Mostly it is for oneself only.

Do the grooms often join in?

Let’s not mix it with a Pre-wedding shoot kind of a scenario. Most of the couples have a lot of reservations. It will take years in India for Boudoir photography to blend with a photography session before marriage.  We are still very conservative or at least pretend to be for the world. Sometimes women go for it as an experience and sometimes it’s a mutual decision between a couple after the marriage.

Are there any concerns often that need to be addressed, on your part or the client's?

It’s very important to understand what exactly the client is looking for. If the expectations are not artistic in nature, the shoot is declined. Unfortunately, in India, there are clients who are at the extreme ends. Very few who can understand, that exposure can be subtle or more but still artistic in nature. It can be sensual without being vulgar.

Some would ask if there would be a female Photographer! Or How many people would be there! So, one needs to explain the technical aspects and that it’s all very professional. You either do it or you don't do it. Psychologically, in general, Husbands are usually fine if the wife is wearing revealing outfits or posing erotically but in front of a camera with a woman behind it. However, when women take a decision, it’s based more on the talent of the Photographer irrespective of the gender. 

What do you use to convey a sense of sensuality or create the right mood?

Light and the absence of Light works for me to create the right mood in a Photograph. I do not take it up if the basic understanding on this aspect does not exist. I am more inclined towards lowkey photography and shadows play an important role especially in case of Implied Nudes or a pure form of Boudoir. Next to lighting, it’s the body language that plays a key role. Accessories are next.

How different is India's boudoir photography scene from other countries?

It’s one of the major segments abroad while it’s still coming up very slowly in India and most importantly it’s very private, confidential and Anonymous in India. One can say it’s still very much a taboo to go for a Boudoir Photography session. Trust and confidentiality are major issues and for many people, eyebrows can be raised at a slight hint of flesh. Most importantly and unfortunately the whole character in our country is decided by the kind of clothes one wears. So, Boudoir Photography session if one has gone through remains as a hidden part of one's life and personality. Something one does only for personal reasons and not to put across on the social media.

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