After meeting internationally-known, award-winning boudoir photographer Angelica Roberts at this year’s Lingerie Fashion Week, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to pick her brain about her job and learn more about what’s involved in a boudoir shoot. What if I’m bloated from my period? Can you make me look slimmer? How do I prepare for a shoot? Angelica, whose work has been featured in “Vogue,” was happy to answer all of our burning questions about boudoir sessions— just in time for me to DO ONE! I’m super excited to work with Angelica, and I’ll obviously be writing about (and maybe if you’re lucky, sharing pictures from) my first boudoir experience on The Frisky, but until then, check out what she had to say to see if a boudoir shoot is for you. (Psst … it is!)
The Frisky: How did you become a boudoir photographer?
After being a newspaper journalist for a decade, I moved to New York with my husband and turned my photography passion into a career. My mission is to empower women through art. As a female who formerly lacked confidence, I found boudoir photography to be incredibly empowering. I believe that every woman is beautiful the way they are, and I’m looking to showcase that beauty.
In turn, watching my clients shine in front of my camera is the most rewarding part of my job. I want to make a statement of “fashion is for everyone” by bringing out the best of my subjects and providing them the opportunity to express themselves freely and fearlessly.
How do you help potential clients get over their “no way, never” reaction?
I’ve heard these hesitations thousands of times. Some of the most popular ones include, “I need to lose 10 pounds,” “I am not photogenic,” “I am not ready for it,” “I am too shy,” and “I want to do it but I am not in a relationship.” The truth is those that hesitate will probably never be totally ready for it. So it becomes a matter of me comforting and assuring them that they are great as they are and today is as good as any other day to show their natural beauty! Some women even book boudoir sessions to help them through breakups and feeling great about themselves again. Another thing I want to point out is that we may have been slimmer than we are today, but we are not going to be younger than today. It is time for the potential client to pamper themselves and create beautiful art with me that they will forever cherish.
Why should women consider booking a boudoir shoot?
Many women secretly dream of looking as amazing as those girls in magazines, at least for one day. With boudoir, you actually can! All clients find a boudoir shoot a fun and empowering experience. They enjoy discovering the playful and sensual part of themselves, feeling beautiful and fresh in front of the camera. I have so many clients coming to me nervous and unsure, but at the end of the shoot they are laughing and relaxing, telling me they wish they had done it earlier.
Why do you think boudoir is such a powerful medium for women of all shapes, sizes, and ages to tap into their confidence and feel sexy?
What’s more daring than showcasing yourself with just your skin and not hiding anything? Among the most beautiful sessions I have worked with clients on was one with a plus-sized woman and one with a middle-aged woman. You can view the art we created on my website (they are confident and happy to appear in my portfolio) and I am so proud of them. As Coco Chanel once said, “You can be gorgeous at thirty, charming at forty, and irresistible for the rest of your life.”
Have you ever had a male client?
I did have a few inquiries coming from males, but I am focusing on serving female clients at this time. (I’ll leave “Dudeoir” up to The Frisky!)
Should you let a significant other watch a shoot?
It’s totally up to the client. If having a significant other being there makes her relax, than I say go for it. Otherwise, surprise him or her with your gorgeous photos.
What is the most common request?
“Please make me look slimmer.” I can actually make it happen by helping my clients choose the right lingerie, shooting from a certain angle and using proper lighting techniques.
What is the most common misconception about boudoir photos (and/or photo shoots)?
One misconception is that the work solely involves photographing sexy girls wearing lingerie or partially naked. Naturally, clients discover that the experience is so much more than that. The shoot empowers women to embrace who they are, instead of waiting to be judged by others’ rules.
What should women consider or do in preparation of their boudoir photo shoot?
Practice posing and expressions at home. This will make you more relaxed at the actual shoot. Look at yourself in the mirror and know what part of your body you want the photographer to accentuate or deemphasize.
How do you make your clients feel more comfortable during the photo shoot?
I ask them to bring their favorite music to play during the shoot, which really helps them to relax and also sets the mood for the shoot. I try to know what they are comfortable or not comfortable with (like poses, nudity or expressions) before the shoot and always affirm them they are doing great during the shoot.
What are the ingredients for a successful (and sexy!) boudoir photo shoot?
The right lingerie, good hair and makeup, and proper poses are key! Communicate with your photographer about your needs, be authentic and let your personality shine.
Do clients bring their own lingerie? If so, what kind do you recommend?
Although I have some lingerie at the studio, I always recommend clients bring their own for better fitting and sanitizing purposes. Choose lingerie according to your body type and occasion. For example, if you are concerned about your stomach area, a corset might be a good option for you. If you are doing it as a wedding gift to your partner, then consider bringing bridal lingerie and props.
What poses do you recommend?
Poses should go with the mood of the shoot and individual body type.
What was your favorite shoot to date?
I have a few favorites ,and one of them is a shoot at the client’s hotel room with the New York City skyline in the background. I am so glad I helped her realize the dream of a boudoir photo of herself with the stunning city view!
Can you reschedule if you get your period and feel bloated the day of your shoot?
When we schedule the shoot, we will try to avoid the period. However, if there is any emergency we will reschedule to a more convenient day.
Do you have any tips if I try to take my own?
If you’re looking to take a self-boudoir portrait, set up a mirror next to the camera so you can see and adjust your poses and expressions. Good luck!
Angelica Roberts Wedding and Boudoir Photography is based in New York City. Interested in a session? Contact her here.