Outdoor Boudoir Photography Ideas

After what I am referring to as the Lost Spring (in regards to the 'soggy bunker' of the 4th trimester and the perpetual raincloud that enveloped New England this year), I am fully ready to embrace summer time.  And it announced itself loud and clear this past week as temperatures rose into the 90s. Even the porch shade is hot. Hot. HOT. 

And now that it's delightful outside again, and knowing that this will not last i started thinking about outdoor boudoir photography.  It’s daring and intentionally vulnerable.  The juxtaposition and contrast in textures is arresting visually, but the real force in these images is the open context and ambiguous story inherent in them.  


Maternity Portraits | A New Perspective


Maternity Portraits | A New Perspective

sunlit silhouette studio maternity portrait white crepe de chine

Boston Maternity Portraits

Whether you do it once, many times over or not at all - pregnancy is a time where the wonder and magic of the body is visible.  Even though I'm a photographer, and have access to equipment and other photographers, I didn't take many images of myself while I was pregnant.  I didn't do the monthly bump pictures.  I didn't show off my belly in candids.  While it doesn't feel like it goes by quickly - it does.  I kept meaning to do it and finally around the 8th month I did - see my maternity portrait here.  And I'm so glad I did.  

Its a challenge to feel like getting your portrait made when you are uncomfortable and your feet are swollen and your body doesn't feel like your own.  At your maternity portrait session, you don't have to channel some beatific and angelic ideal of motherhood.  It can be about who you are, and how you are feeling right now.  

Repeat Portrait Client

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The last time I photographed this beautiful mom-to-be was two years ago at a mini boudoir shoot that we did for a bachelorette party.  Seeing my own pregnancy announcement back in January caught her eye and she clicked through to the blog post.  At 36 weeks pregnant, a lot of what I had written resonated with her.  She told me that she had practically no photo evidence of her pregnancy, partly due to a lengthy struggle with infertility and partly because IVF and pregnancy itself has left her feeling not particularly photogenic.  Her body had definitely changed and suddenly she was ready to document this change.  To create a series of images that she can show her own daughter one day. 

Her husband opted not to join in, and that was fine as this portrait session was really about embracing the new form that her body had taken.  With her focus the last few years on getting pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy, she wanted documentation of it to share with her daughter - it's part of their family story. 

A New Perspective

owl themed nursery maternity session boston mass

I've joked in the recent sleep deprived months, that now that our son is here I can't even remember what it was like to be pregnant.  Ha!  I was wrong.  As soon as I saw that beautiful round belly, it all came flooding back.  How different it was to have a child inside me than it is to wake up to his laughing face.  I'm so thrilled for this mama to welcome the child for which she and her husband have wished.  


The Finishing Touch | Exposure's Alien Skin in My Workflow


The Finishing Touch | Exposure's Alien Skin in My Workflow

With portrait photography sessions there's more post processing latitude in playing with the tonality, color and mood then there is in wedding photography.  When editing a wedding, I want the entire body of images, from the beginning through the end of the day, to be a uniform and consistent look.  With a boudoir portrait session we are able to vary as the wardrobe and set changes. The goal is to get as much variety as possible on one session.  We can do that with lighting, wardrobe, set changes - but also with post processing.





boston portrait artist 

Taking A Leap

All Art Involves Risk (a card from the Desire Map deck that sits on my workbench) [insert picture here] a reminder that I shouldn’t play it safe with my work, with my ideas.

Started going to Opus Affair as a way to get out and meet new people (and of course try new cocktails)  My attendance has waned (mostly due to baby) in the last year. I want to go out to the monthly events, I do! But I’m likely in bed by 9pm nowadays.

The first event I attended I was nervous and walked in anyway.  Time to be outward facing and meet people.  And I met so many interesting and fascinating people.

Through connections from that network I was able to connect with and photograph musicians - something new for me.  I was asked a few times if I could photograph a musician for their latest album or series.  I hadn't really ever done that before.  But I realized that I could approach it like I was already approaching personal branding portrait sessions.  Portraits that tell a story. Portraits that are a marketing tool.  Portraits that are compelling and build audiences.  

Exploring New Things

 I met conductor Beth Willer of Lorelei Ensemble through Opus Affair.  I was able to meet and then work with several performing artists and ensembles in the Boston area.  One of my favorite collaborations is with the women's vocal ensemble Lorelei. 

I am inspired, of course, by other photographers and visual artists, but I am also consistently inspired by my clients! I spent two days with Lorelei at their retreat on the Cape. Taking the time to listen and immerse myself into the sound - a sense that I don’t really flex or use in my own work.  I have tremendous respect for these women as artists; the control they have over sound.  Listening to them is an emotional experience that brings the sensory forefront.  

Personal Growth

Bringing a new perspective working with performing artists.  They needed visuals as a marketing tool - but their expression is auditory. The fun challenge is to convey their work, their persona, and their energy in a silent image.

From meeting, enjoying cocktails with and photographing musicians I started to actually go and enjoy their work on stage.  Broadening my own horizons - and loving it!  

All Art Involves Risk.

All good paths in life seem to as well.

What risks have you taken?  Where has that led you?




Headshots vs. Personal Branding Business Portraits

Professional Business Portraits are Smart Marketing Tools

You work hard at defining your brand. You invest in marketing. Complete that investment with a compelling editorial portraits that engage and built trust with your audience.

We work together to create portraits for your business that integrate your brand narrative and portray you authentically in a natural environment.


First impressions are critical.  Whether you are launching a new business or updating your LinkedIn profile what people see when they search for you matters. 

Advent of social media and the little square representation of you in pixels that punctuates your facebook, instagram, twitter, LinkedIn, etc feeds.  It is a tiny piece of real estate to work with.  In the 21st century many people’s first impression of you are online. You should make the most of it.

I often hear people lament that they hate their business portrait.  Or sheepishly admit they have been using the same one for a decade.

 How often should you update the online representation of you?  Every two years, or if you have changed considerably since the last portrait.  People will want to recognize you when you meet in person so they know who they are working with.  

Your online avatar is a portrait is that is representing you out there in the world.  The care you take when you go out to a networking event, when you give a presentation, when you interview for a new job - this is the care and consideration you should take when you get a head shot done.  It's a marketing tool for you.  


Portrait photography has changed tremendously.  One of the things that I often see is a grey, blue or white background with a dark suit. Oh and there’s a face there too.  These kind of portrait seem completely interchangeable.  There’s uniformity to them that is safe and likely works for some markets.  

If you are looking to stand out from the pack, consider a personal branding portrait (or a series of portraits) that show you are polished, professional, engaging, trustworthy and memorable.

Personal branding is a full styling portrait session.  It’s no longer standing in front of a background and grimacing at the camera like you did in grade school.  Save the boring headshot portrait for your passport.  







Show your clients where you works. Branded business portraits taken in a location, not an anonymous blank background, provide a series of images that speaks to your professionalism and customer service.  Portraits that tell the story of you and your business, in an own environment that reflects your industry, builds expectations and creates a comfortable and confident atmosphere.


It all begins with discovery.  Who are you?  What field are you working in?  Who are your clients?  What’s great about what you do?  Who are your competitors? We start with these questions and more to begin planning a personal branding portrait session that reflect you.  Authenticity is important.  Your portrait should look like you. 

When was the last time you were professionally photographed? Are you happy with the image that's out there repping you and your business?  

Have any more questions?  As always, I am happy to answer them!







With less time in my life. I find myself going down the Pinterest rabbit hole with less frequency than I used to.  But when I can I like to scroll through my own boards, remembering what I pinned, and discover new pinners to add to my arsenal of inspirational images.  

Here’s an example of an image that I found and pinned to my Boudoir Archetype: Glamazon board.   A bridal boudoir client came in last weekend and brought in a pair of gorgeous high waisted black lace knickers.  This image came to mind.

I didn’t want to create a duplicate, or clone, of course.  But the it was the seed of an idea.

The original pin is a page from an old issue of Marie Claire.  Not sure how to hunt down the photographer for proper attribution as I can’t make out the year of the issue.  






Six weeks into parenthood and I fell right into it.  A friend, and talented photographer, met up with me and the boy in our neighborhood park.   It was gorgeous light, one of the first days of spring.   She had her camera out and picking it up a few inches offered, smiling, to take a few images of us.  

I wasn’t sure when the last time I had showered was.  I was wearing rumpled clothes and exhausted.

Nah, I said.  It’s okay.  Her camera dropped back to her hip.

It was only later that I realized I was doing the same thing that I see other parents do.  Shy away from getting their portraits made with their children.  Why?  Because I wasn’t ‘ready’ to have my picture taken.  How do I even unpack that?  I’ve been taking images of the boy nonstop, mostly with my iphone as it’s handy and can be used with relative ease one handed.   And I’ve gotten images of him with his dad.  But in comparison to the number of images of him, there’s aren’t that many of him and me together.  

But these images aren’t for me as much as they will be for him.  And I can get over my self consciousness for that.

Thankfully I am surrounded by photographers who push past by my hesitancy.  

taken by our friend and neighbor Roberto Mighty

taken by our friend and neighbor Roberto Mighty


As I make a conscious effort to #getinthepictures, I encourage you to do it too! 


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mother and daughter portraits boston photographer

Give your mom a photo of yourself, a photo of you two together or book the session just for her.
For an beautiful, and unforgettable, gift, treat the mother in your life to a one-of-a-kind fine-art portrait at our Fort Point natural light studio.



Light & Dark: Bridal Boudoir Boston


white bridal corset boston boudoir studio



While many brides bring in whites and light colors to their boudoir session, black lingerie is also a classic choice.  This bride brought her wedding veil and a beautiful white brocade corset.  She also brought in a black and grey lace bra set, completed with black suede heels. 

She also brought something specific to her relationship: rainbow socks.  I didn't quite follow the personal story behind the rainbow socks, but I know er husband will love this personal reference.   

She wore what you felt comfortable in and she looked amazing.  Choosing things that focused on the pars of her body she's proudest of. And she brought a load of confidence.

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This gorgeous muse is getting married in June and thought it would make a great gift for her soon to be husband.

He has watched me struggle with my body and work so hard to get fit.  He would love to see me comfortable in my own skin especially in sexy photos.
bridal portrait with veil boston ma photographer
bridal veil corset boudoir studio massachusetts


I am a mother first! I have 2 beautiful children, both difficult pregnancies and 1 emergency c section. Each stretch mark each scar signifies my motherhood.
tiger stripes stretch marks boudoir boston

I was thriled that this muse was comfortable, and even proud, of showing her stomach and her stretch marks.  


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Above are some ideas about how what to wear and how to rock your bridal boudoir session.

Getting married and curious about doing bridal boudoir session with Modern Glamour?  

Let's start planning your ideal bridal boudoir portrait session now!





Under The Influence is an ongoing series to share the work of other visual artists whose work inspires me and influences my own photography and portrait work.  I hope that this will serves as a reminder or an introduction to these artist and also give you some visual pleasure.  I am drawn to artowrk that has an interesting and unique point of view, that is simply gorgeous and/or thought provoking.  In these posts, I’ll link to the artist’s website so you can explore and enjoy more of their work.



Revisiting: True Self Project

Revisiting a collaborative portrait project from a few years ago.  This was so much fun and an incredible experience.  The images were shared at Fort Point Open Studios but I realized I hadn't shared the full stories, of either the project or the participants, on the blog.  Here's an introduction to the Trueself Project. 


Joyful, playful, sensual, emotional  . . . . . the TRUESELF experience begins with you. 


Driven by a passion for guiding women celebrate both their inner spirit and outer beauty,  Ashley and Alana work to help women see and celebrate their own unique spirit.

This is an experience of sensual embodiment and enjoyment and celebration of YOU.  Remember how to feel good in your skin, focus on what makes you come alive in your SELF.  Embrace the internal sublime, celebrate who you are right now.

When you begin the True Self Immersion Experience this what will happen . . .

boston womens portrait photographe


This project began as a collaboration between me, portrait photographer Allana Taranto, and embodiment expert and transformational coach, Ashley Maina.  The TrueSelf Project shares stories of women on a journey of self understanding and acceptance.   Through sensory visualizations, coaching, and culminating in an embodied portrait session, each of these women journeyed through a process to discover, embody, and behold Truthful and Honest and Beautiful version of herself.  The one that lives within her body and heart, not her head.

womens portraits boston photography studio


As an embodiment expert and transformational coach for women, Ashley Maine guides women to their body, their truth and their desires.  This is a homecoming and celebration of all parts of themselves.

Her inspiration is drown from personal experience and from her mentors and coaches who have illuminated the path back home for her - showing the power we all have have within and the beauty that unfolds when we fully accept and express all parts of ourselves - as all parts have wisdom and lessons.

The True Self experience begins by connecting, listening deeply, and holding space to be seen.  Then, we paint a picture of who you wish to step into on the outside - the embodiment - a marriage of the inner and outer selves, where both sides dance as one.

Often, the shifts we experience as we grow personally, are neither seen nor witnessed. With this work, Ashley helps women reconnect with their power and live a life of full expression.  It’s an expression and celebration of all sides of you.

portrait studio boston women


Portraiture is for the patient.  With time you build rapport, then gain trust.  You sit and watch for fleeting unguarded moments, for fleeting connection in a universal human experience.  When this happens, one can clutch a few instants from the vast story of our lives.  In many ways, portraits are born both of a specific person and instant, but also of a boundless eternity and shared humanity.

Portraiture is the hunt for the unguarded moment.  In carving out space for vulnerability and seeking these unguarded moments, to examine these moments and to admire them is to see and understand parts of myself.  Photography is, in it’s mechanics, objectification.  And I believe that objectification must be balanced with compassion, respect and responsibility.  I must coax dignity, humility and nobility out of each subject.  This is an exercise in necessary humanism.  Our own personal barriers, self built, want to be impenetrable.  We’ve built these defenses and we do our very best to keep them.  But when clients can and do drop these defenses, it's these honest and beautiful unguarded moments that tell their stories. 

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Introducing the Bridal Boudoir Essentials Collection

modern glamour bridal boudoir boston photographer

A good portion of our boudoir portraits at Modern Glamour are bridal boudoir sessions.  Perhaps there's something about a the extravagance of a wedding that gives people permission to be indulgent.  I know that at least half of these bridal boudoir clients are also doing it for themselves, not just for their parters.  A boudoir session or a bridal boudoir session is an amazing experience, a incredible gift to yourself as well as to your partner - one that will ignite and affirm who you are at this moment as you embark on a new path and journey. 

One of the privileges of my job as a boudoir photographer is working with people at milestones in their lives.  Choosing to join your life with someone and making the public celebration of love is certainly one life milestones worth documenting and celebrating.


veil white lingerie lace bridal boudoir boston photographer

A Bridal Boudoir Album is a sexy, beautiful and clandestine gift.  

This year, I've bundled the most requested bridal boudoir products into the Bridal Essential Collection. This collection is comprised of our most requested items, making it easy for you to celebrate and share your outrageously sexy self.



Bridal Essentials Collection

20 image Little Black Book in Velvet Bag

all finished images from Little Black Book delivered on high resolution on crystal USB

print release and guide

custom mobile app with your images to share with your partner

gift voucher for your next session

Note: you don't actually have to be a bride to go for the Bridal Collection.   

Want a closer look? Sign up for our mailing list and I'll send you our 2017 Studio Product Menu. 



Expressing Gratitude Toward Your Body

Expressing Gratitude Toward Your Body

A recent client stated in her pre-shoot boudoir questionnaire:

I am a mother first! I have 2 beautiful children, both difficult pregnancies and 1 emergency c-section. Each stretch mark each scar signifies my motherhood.

I'm thrilled when boudoir clients approach their portrait session with acknowledgement and gratitude for their own bodies.  

My postpartum belly is like a soft little dumpling.  And I love it.  

Two weeks after having my son, I am yet processing and in awe what the body can do.  The birth experience was so focused and amazing- I have a hard time putting it into words, though I might and should at some point try (if only to put in his birth book).  The idea that my breasts are now the source of food for my child - and how perfectly he fits into my arms to nurse.  I’m grateful that for the most part we had an uneventful pregnancy and delivery.  And that our downstairs neighbors are already parents, who recognized that I was laboring at home at 2am and send us a gift instead of a complaint.

Turning Something Ordinary in Something Special

A friend of mine, photographer Amanda Fisher, send me a link to this wonderful video:

Watch this. Please. And get back to me on your thoughts.  

Angela Lansbury (yes! that Angela Lansbury of Murder She Wrote and childhood fav of mine Bedknobs and Broomsticks)

boudoir studio boston photographer shower

Taking a shower, indulging in a few moments alone - taking an ordinary moments in my day to indulge in acknowledging the power and the beauty in my own body.  Not just childbirth, of course.  But the back and shoulders that support the weight of my cameras and help me do my job, my legs that I stand on to propel me through my day.  What I have, I want to acknowledge and love.  

I encourage you to do the same.  Our relationships with our bodies change throughout our lifetime.  And it should be a deepening and loving and accepting one.  



Best Way to Relax at a Boudoir Photo Shoot: Laughter


Best Way to Relax at a Boudoir Photo Shoot: Laughter

It’s fun to look back at my boudoir portrait work, and see how much I’ve changed - and how much has stayed the same.  One thing that I’ve realized is that the more boudoir sessions I do, the more I love the real laughter and happiness and levity that can emerge in a boudoir shoot.  





Looking for ideas for your spring boudoir shoot? Check out these gorgeous soft, low contrast prints and patterns with beautiful early spring colors. Springtime calls for either soft colors: pinks, corals, bits of green - colors that echo the natural colors that will be emerging around us in a matter of weeks OR vibrant and intense pops of color.   

There is, as I’m sure you notice, an overlap of these lovely spring colors and fabrics with bridal boudoir colors and fabrics.  Ivory! Blush! Florals! Lace! Tulle! Bring it on.   



Boston Beauty Portraits


Sharing today some images from a glamour portrait session that I did to wrap up the end of the year, before the studio construction began.  L. was in town visiting her sister, and came up for a early morning session.  Taking advantage of the cool winter light here.  

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glamour portrait studio new england


Face, Place, Clothes, Pose: Basics of Portrait Photography


Face, Place, Clothes, Pose: Basics of Portrait Photography

Selfies have their time and place.  But a real considered portrait requires more. 

A portrait is more than a picture of of what you look like.  In a portrait facial expression, location, choices in clothing and accessories and posing all come together to show who you are. Portraits can be an exploration and affirmation of who you are. 

As part of the process, we begin by planning to set goals for your portrait session.  Going over different styles and choices in portraiture, we'll make a place on how we can best collaborate on making a memorable, compelling and striking portrait of you.  



Plus Size Bridal Boudoir

I'm thrilled when a boudoir client embraces their body.  So many of us avoid the camera because we feel we are overweight - that we don't look like we used to.  As you can see here, you don’t need to have an idealized figure to look amazing.   It’s my job to use the right posing, lighting and lens choices to make you look amazing.  It’s your job to bring your self confidence - full force. 

"I liked Allana immediately! Her personality was comforting and I felt at ease face timing with her! I'm big on people, and Allana had a great vibe about her. Along with that, I was drawn to how modern glamour celebrates all women. It's about embracing and loving yourself and expressing that in these pictures for yourself or loved ones."




Valentine’s Day is about expressing and sharing love.  And that requires courage and fearlessness.

In that spirit, I begin this new phase and open up to our personal lives, our inner world, our private selves.

As such, I hope that your day (and week! And year!) is heartened with reminders of the courageous and loving people you have in your lives.  


Male Boudoir | Best Valentine's Day Gift for your Wife


Male Boudoir | Best Valentine's Day Gift for your Wife

It's not only ladies who want to get a boudoir session at the studio!  Male boudoir is a thing.  And, of course, we make it modern and classic and sexy.  

This gentleman, husband and father of three, wanted to give his wife an awesome and unexpected Valentine's Day gift this year.  He had received a boudoir album from his wife a few years ago, loved it and wanted to reciprocate.  He told me he's been working out a lot recently and feeling good in his body again.   .   

We planned out the session to include a dapper look, a fitness and a fashion look.  He rocked all three.  It's really fun to create several different moods with one person by changing the wardrobe, the lighting and the lens choices.  



Boston Personal Branding Portraits


Love this woman!  I've known her through the photography world and also from photographing her with her wife and their adorable twins. 


Leise Jones reached out a few months ago about getting updated images for her website, which was getting a rebrand.  That meant time for new head shots - portraits that were visually aligned with the direction her business is going in 2017. 

A portrait of you that represents that your business and brand is more than what your face looks like.  Though your face is important! A personal branding portrait should represent your business and appeal to your ideal client

I adore doing these kind of shoots.  And it starts be having a conversation.  For personal branding portrait sessions, clients thoughtfully answer questions that help me know what kind of look they are going for.   From your answers we can discuss the specifics of your brand identity and how we can accurately express your brand identity in a portrait. 


Leise, who primarily photographs weddings is trying to attract couples who are a little outside of the "traditional" wedding market. Couples who are down to earth, creative, interested in authenticity over perfection.  Her clients love her sense of humor and that she is honest and approachable. Sounds wonderful, right? 

I feel so happy and proud when I make a client happy with their photos. If they love the stories that their photos tell, I am absolutely on Cloud 9. I am a big extrovert and so I get a lot of energy from portraits and events.

Her emphasis is not just on the photographs, but on the entire experience of being photographed and of enjoying the wedding day. She makes sure that she completely understand their vision and their goal for the day so that she can make the photos they're most excited about. 


We decided that she should show off her extrovert persona in the images - which meant big smiles and lots of laughter.  A new haircut and bold glasses brought her spirit and energy to the forefront.  We wanted her to look as vibrant and joyful and welcoming as possible. 

Interested in learning more about a personal branding session?  Ready to update your website with a striking and compelling portrait that calls to the right client?  Let's talk! 






all images © Modern Glamour/Ars Magna Studio 2017