Hi again, this is Robin.
In my last posting, I described how I decided to find a professional photographer who could take good pictures of me and how I ended up signing up with one who would do a boudoir photoshoot.
After picking the photographer, my next question was what to wear (and how keep me from changing my mind about the whole thing!). To start with I had to think about what I really wanted from the photos. I came up with the following:
- the photos to be “classy” and not the typical “TG Slut” motif that seems so common
- to appear as feminine as possible, given the limits of my body
- to have both clothed and unclothed photos
- to show nice clothes in pretty colors
- to be original and not just do “cliche” scenes
- to be respectful of women and not be some caricature
I also decided I wanted a “story” associated with the scenes versus just showing up and getting pictures taken. I decided upon the theme of a busy, active woman at the end of her day who wants to relax and unwind in her room. It was a fairly “soft” theme but provided a little structure to the scenes. In some ways it also provided a “role” for me to play which made me feel a little less “naked” about the whole process. In some ways I was acting.
Now I had to come up with the scenes. I sent Denise a list of possible ideas and wanted her opinion on them. I figured I would pick the outer garments and then the undergarments to match. My list was:
- Businesswoman on trip returning to her hotel room
- Opera league president returning from a fundraiser
- Renaissance peasant woman returning from a working day
- “Steampunk” girl at the end of the day
- Bride after a wedding
- Construction worker after a day on the building site
- “50s” mom after everyone has been put to bed
- Party girl after the party
I based the choices based on both what appealed to me as well as what clothes I already had.
My favorites were the businesswoman, opera league, steampunk girl, Renaissance peasant, and construction worker. I thought the bride and 50′s mom were both a bit of a cliche. The Party Girl seemed too vague.
Denise generally agreed with my choices but thought the steampunk girl would not fit the hotel suite where she normally shoots her boudoir sessions. The Peasant girl was stretching it but adding a few props might make it work. We decided on those four scenes. Denise suggested an extra hour to handle the four scenes and I agreed.
This process actually was spread out over at least 6 weeks. I had decided to do the shoot in late February but Denise had a busy shooting schedule as well as family issues and so March went by. I had some business trips and a vacation in April (watch the tan lines!!) and so April slipped by. We ended up shooting in early May.
During the delay I went back and forth about whether I really wanted (could?) do this. I alternated between being excited about it and being terrified at what I had gotten myself into. I looked the mirror and wondered how I could ever pull off a boudoir photoshoot without looking like some bizarre creature. There is little to hide imperfections when just wearing a bra and panty. I could see every unfeminine thing about my body. I shared the idea with some women I know (including Denae) and they all thought I was being very brave for just doing it. They said that most women would be intimidated by the idea of a boudoir photoshoot, especially if you are over 30 or don’t have a perfect figure. I read some stories about actual models and how they are acutely aware of all their imperfections (which are invisible to almost anyone who sees them). I exchanged emails with Denise on this topic and she assured me that most of her clients did not have model figures and that part of her job as a photographer is to pose her clients in such a way as to make them look beautiful. She said she had a real gift in making all women feel good and look good during the session. I came to feel that I could really trust her to make me as as lovely as I could be. I still had the butterflies but felt I could actually do it, at least most of the time.
I gradually put came up with general outfits for each scene. For the businesswoman I wanted to wear a skirt suit and “power heels”. For the opera president, it would be formal dress of some kind (but not bridesmaid) and dressy pumps. The Peasant look would be the Rene Faire outfit that I wear whenever I go to a faire (I love going to them since EVERYONE is playing dressup). The construction worker would be a plain workshirt, jeans, and work boots. Denae thought the construction worker theme was a really odd choice as it is such an unfeminine outfit. I actually loved the idea since it was so contrary to some TG fantasy. As I realized after the shoot, it some ways it is very TG. Masculine on the outside, feminine on the inside.
Denise told me that typically her clients do 2-3 outfit changes in a hour shoot. This allows time for changing, talking, posing, photography, etc. For four scenes we decided to add an extra hour of shooting so that we would not be rushed.
In terms of which specific outfit for each scene, I went back and forth many times. Two of the scenes would be easy: the peasant girl and the construction worker. As I said I had the Renaissance Faire outfit that would work well for the peasant girl. I bought it years ago on ebay. It has a long cotton chemise underneath with “bloomers” under the chemise. I have a red lace-up bodice and long blue cotton skirt. The chemise was both plain and sheer which gave it a very sensual look. I added a belt and bag and a hair band of artificial flowers that a good friend made me. Some plain sandals made it work.
For the construction worker I wore blue jeans and a tan cotton workshirt. Just for fun I added a hardhat and a tool belt to “complete” the outfit. Underneath was a different store: red bra and panty. The contrast between the working clothes and what is underneath made the scene interesting.
The businesswoman scene was a harder choice, mostly because there were more options as I have 5-6 skirt suits in different colors. I wanted something with a rich color to it, something that would really stand out. I wanted it professional too. I narrowed it down to a royal blue suit, a black suit, and a brown suit. I wrote Denise and asked her which would photograph the best. She said rich colors are the best and so I ended up with the blue suit. I added a red silk blouse for a bit of a contrast. I had some black high heel pumps that look really good (but are completely unwearable for more than about 15 minutes). Some gold jewelry and a black briefcase/purse completed the look. Underneath I picked a bra with that was mostly white but had some black lace along to the top of the cups and black garter belt (what else!), black panty, and black stockings. One cannot have a boudoir photo shoot without stockings!
One bit of advice Denise gave that was really helpful: what you wear is less important than how you feel wearing it. If an outfit makes you feel beautiful, then its a good outfit. If it doesn’t then it does not matter what it looks like.
For the opera president, I wanted a formal that as long and looked like something an older woman would wear. I did not want the bridesmaid look. I had four formals in my closet that fit the bill. All were strapless (or very thin straps) and I had them in red, teal, black, and blue/silver. I loved all four of them. I choose the blue/silver one since it was very lightweight and “flowed” wonderfully when I moved. The others were made of heavier fabric and did not drape as nicely. I had some black and blue/purple pumps that matched the blue in the dress. Underneath I choose a royal blue corset from Lady Marlene that I had purchased for $15 on ebay. I wore the same black stockings from the first shoot.
I kept changing my mind as to what to wear right up until the shoot. I ended up bringing extra outfits for the businesswoman and opera scenes to the shoot just in case I changed my mind at the last minute but I ended up going with the outfits I just described.
Denise and I finally agreed upon a date and time for the photo shoot. All I had to do to was to get there on time. In the next entry I will talk about my adventures getting to the shoot on time.