Why I Photograph Boudoir

I am often asked why I photograph boudoir. The answer is a bit complicated but it boils down to the basic principle I hold dear to my heart: we as women deserve to feel confident and beautiful in every moment of our lives.

I haven’t always felt confident or seen.

When I was a teenager, I shrunk into the walls and away from all attention because I was afraid. The weight of others’ (perceived) judgment was almost more than I could bear, and so I turned away from attention (good and bad), while constantly worrying that I wasn’t pretty enough, thin enough, with boobs and thighs too big. Did I have a weird face? Why do I have a gap in my front teeth?

The gift of hindsight is that it’s truly 20/20 and I look back on photos of my teenager self now with a much kinder eye. I was so cute! How did I not know how cute I was?! Looking at those photos, despite the 90’s hair and baggy flannel, I feel empowered and pretty. I understand now why boys chased me, and why a random little kid at my arcade job told me I was “so pretty”. I’m sad for that girl because she didn’t realize how awesome she was at the time. If I could go back and tell her, I would. Wouldn’t we all?

[Learn more about me as an artist over here.]

I love working with and empowering other women.

Because I know how we all feel as women and how hard it is for us to see our own beauty. I love seeing my client’s face light up the very first time she sees her boudoir photos and realizes, “Holy shit, that’s ME!” and begins to revel in herself. That’s not vanity, that’s self-love and we should experience an abundance of it. We spend so much time staring into mirrors to pick apart our flaws. We deserve to feel beautiful instead.

I want you to feel fearless and confident.

Makeup by Glam By Jeet

Feeling fearless is feeling joy. It’s exhilarating. Remember when Ashley Graham burst on the scene with a music video wearing just her undies while she flirted with Joe Jonas?

She began her body image activist movement, and the world started stirring.  Here is a supermodel who is not starving herself, who admits she doesn’t always love her body, and actively encourages women of all ages to love themselves just how they are in this moment. Even though sometimes that’s really hard.

She’s fearless.

I believe every one of us deserves to love ourselves the exact way we are in this moment.  Every curve or sharp corner.  We’re not too fat or too skinny, we don’t eat too much or little.  We are perfect right now. We deserve to feel fearless and confident.

Boudoir portraits are a celebration of ourselves.

You are worth feeling more than for a day (and forever), getting glammed up, and learning to love who you are at this very moment.  We are worth taking home portraits of ourselves that we get to cherish for 20, 30, 50 years so that every. single. time. the world has us down about ourselves, we need only to pull out our album or look up at our sexy wall art for our pick-me-up and know that we are f*cking beautiful all the time and we shined bright that day, baby.

why i photograph boudoir - handmade album constructed in Italy
This beautiful album was handmade in a castle in Italy

Every woman should experience a boudoir photography session for herself.  It is liberating, it exposes your vulnerabilities, and it will leave you feeling empowered and strong.  There is nothing else like it. It’s time we take back our bodies for ourselves and own the shit out of them.

And that is why I photograph boudoir.

To instill confidence and realization of beauty one woman at a time.

Jennifer James, Jacksonville Florida Portrait Photographer

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