I’m a big believer in staying on top of your game. Even when you think you’re really good at something I think it’s important to continue to try and better yourself, there’s always room for improvement. Generally I am very proud of my work and at this point in my career I could probably shoot a boudoir session with my eyes closed (haha), but I felt like I needed to add something MORE to the images I was producing.
I don’t follow many boudoir photographers simply because I want to keep my work unique to me and don’t tend to want to be influenced to emulate the poses, lighting or general style of any other photographer. However, there is one photographer I have started following (and became friends with), and that’s Denise Birdsong of Modern Love Photography.
Denise is an F-ing amazing boudoir photographer in San Francisco and more importantly, a genuine and generous person.
The boudoir gallery on the Modern Love Photography website is full of images of women looking sensual, vulnerable, flirty, powerful, and confident…the first time I saw her website I was like HELL YEAH! I need this. I want to produce work for my clients that not only makes them feel empowered and beautiful but to also create an environment for them where they feel safe and comfortable being vulnerable with me. My biggest sticking point? How the hell do I get my clients to trust me enough to lead them into such raw and vulnerable expressions? Better yet, what do I even say or do to get those emotions in the first place?
After spending some time chatting with Denise on Skype, she invited me to do a mentor session with her at her studio in California. I booked the trip and was really excited to go and learn from someone whose work I admire.
Denise told me that in order to learn how to coach the right expressions, I’ll need to know what it looks like on my own face and in my body language. The Modern Love team did my hair and makeup and I got in front of the camera. I was so awkward, normally I am not uncomfortable in front of the camera but it was a big realization for me that I am very much used to being strong and I don’t reveal my own vulnerability too often. We used a mirror so that I could see my face as well as her face emulating specific expressions while using breathing techniques and body language to complete a look.
OH MY GOD you guys it was AMAZING. Here are some of the shots I got when we spent the 2nd day working with a model.
I ate up everything I learned during my mentor session with Denise and just couldn’t get enough, so I signed up for her Stripped Down Boudoir Photography Workshop in Vegas. Here is a small selection of the images I got from the workshop:
I almost never photograph men, but I got the opportunity to photograph R…it was super intimidating for me to shoot a guy…I know how to create a rapport with women so easily that when it came time to shoot him, I was shaking in my boots! LOL kidding of course, but still I was nervous, but am really pleased with the connection I got here.
I am so excited to share the work I’ve been producing since the workshop…after my first shoot I was literally bursting with excitement about the power and vulnerability I was able to capture.
Now for something even MORE exciting!!
If you’re a boudoir photographer in search of that special something to take your art to the next level, I urge you to attend this very special 3-day boudoir photography workshop at Modern Love Photography May 18-20th in sunny California. Denise has asked me to come speak about the business of building a high end boudoir photography business and I am SUPER honoured that she has asked me and also 100% jazzed up about sharing my knowledge with others so they can build a successful business doing what they love. May 18-20 2014 is the only workshop date I’ll be speaking at. Spots are filling up quickly, so CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR SEAT NOW.
Can’t make it to California to learn from us on May 18-20? You can still book a mentor session with Modern Love, attend a Stripped Down workshop or purchase their PDF guide on coaching for emotion. Check out all of their educational offerings HERE. If you’re interested in learning from me, I’ll be rolling out some special offerings for photographers later in the year. You can sign up for my newsletter below (check ‘for photographers’) to get the announcement straight to your inbox.