Modern Glamour Boudoir | Lingerie Lessons

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Modern Glamour Boudoir | Lingerie Lessons

You may be wearing very little, but choosing what you wear is important.  Looking your best helps you feel comfortable (and confident) in front of the camera.  Proper fit and support are critical.

Lingerie is way more than bras and panties.  Checkout our suggestions below to see all the things you could bring with you to your boudoir portrait session.   Get the most out of your Boston boudoir photography session.  Choose wardrobe that flatters and highlights your best features.

 Enjoy your self. 

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Bedside Boudoir Folio

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PORTRAITS ARE MEANT TO BE PRINTED.

Check it out!  Another bedside boudoir print folio heading out today!  Her session will be featured soon -s o you can read all about her journey.  Until then, savor this sneak peek at the beautiful Sue! 

A recent muse on browsing samples albums in the studio, running her fingers along the surface said “oh! These are beautiful!  Yes. They are.  Here’s why you should print your boudoir photos.

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Boudoir portrait sessions are special. They are  investments, both as an experience that you will love to relive and also an investment in a piece of your history, your relationship to self.  We trust, love and push ourselves to the edges of our comfort zones, acknowledge parts of ourselves in a powerful way.  This is why I want you to have finished tangible objects that are presented beautifully and ready to be seen.

First memories of photography are not with the camera but in the darkroom - the thrill of seeing the images slowly emerge from a white to grey, the contrast building until a slick wet picture glistened under the surface of the developer. Those moments watching and waiting for the silver to turn, for the chemical reaction to take place - they were magical bated breath moments.  

The folks that work in print labs have seen everything and anything. If it’s a professional lab there will be privacy and discretion. Their focus is only on making the prints look their best. Our folios, prints and albums are printed at a professional lab with quality inks and paper.  It’s a quality that you cannot get through consumer level companies like Snapfish, Shutterfly or Blurb.

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boudoir shoot preview

A few from our recent boudoir photo shoot with muse Rebecca! She brought simple and classic boudoir session wardrobe: cotton robe, a grey silk chemise, a pink silk robe and we ended with using the bodysuit she came into the studio with.  A little preview of the boudoir session below. 

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Fine Art Nudes

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Fine Art Nudes

It seems simpler, in some ways, to not have to think about wardrobe.  But it also involves more risk, more intimacy and more courage.  

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Camera Phobic? | Getting Ready to be Photographed

The real gift of gratitude is that the more grateful you are, the more present you become.
— Robert Holden

IT STARTS WITH LOVE

It starts with love. Self love, specifically. This weekend in a meeting with a wedding client, the bride confessed that she was already nervous about getting portraits made.  She knew they should have them - and her parents would want them - but she was already feeling the nerves. And she’ll be wearing a dress! This exchange reminded me that the idea of boudoir or intimate portraits can be scary. Boudoir is about remembering and reveling in your own magic.  So how do we make that possible?
 

HONORING YOU AS AN INDIVIDUAL

We begin by honoring who you are as an individual.  And make that forefront.  It’s less about wardrobe and props and sets. Less is more. It’s more about presence and attitude and honesty.  I want you to shine.  The real you.  

My role as a photographer, and you as my muse, means that I recognize and capture the beauty and the spirit you bring.  Much of what we do is to create a safe space for you to share yourself and be vulnerable.   The process for each of you will be different.  You don’t have to share any of the images.  I hope you will want to, and I believe that you will want to. These are, ultimately, a gift to yourself.  For you to remember and revel in your self. In your own magic.

TREAT YOUR BODY WITH GRATITUDE

We all live in our bodies.  And none of our bodies are perfect.  Remember that your body is working in countless ways every minute of the day. As gratitude for your self (mind, body, psyche) grows, you can fully embrace the whole person you embody.  Your self should be acknowledged and respected and cared for.

Start here.  Show yourself some love.


Modern Glamour is Boston's glamour & boudoir photography studio run by artist and photographer Allana Taranto.  I treat each shoot as a collaboration, and value truly connecting with each muse to help you remember and revel in your own magic.

Call me at 617-942-1449 to book your Boston boudoir photo shoot.

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Featured Boudoir Session | Ghislaine

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This is how I want to look back and remember myself in this moment. Honest and unlayered.
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glamour portrait photographer boston downtown studio

When Ghislaine saw my call for women, she felt a little urge to volunteer.  What pushed her to finally take the leap was a recent breast cancer scare.  This experience scared her more than she had ever been scared in her life.  It was this moment that she promised herself to no longer sit on the sidelines, watching life pass by.  She committed to be an active participant in her life, to be bold, brave, take leaps, and do the things she always wanted to do. Too much of her life as a silently observing wallflower.  Why? Because she was afraid of taking chances, being rejected, of saying or doing something silly, of not being good enough.  I'm sure we can all recognize this thread of self doubt. 

At 28, she realized how tired she was of missed opportunities, missed experiences, and regret.

Come as you are.  Find beauty in who you are.  Embrace who you are and own it. 
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Ghislaine prefers to wear her hair in it's naturally curly state.  She also preferred to wear minimal make up - and her confidence in herself radiates.  She feels her curls make her look younger,  that people see her as "cute" and take her less seriously.  This, she admitted, has been a source of insecurity. Something that made her feel more like a girl and less like a woman.  As someone with her own head of natural curls that took a long time to love, I understand this well.  

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In order to feel good about myself on the outside, I have to love myself on the inside. And it’s not a quick fix. 

Many thanks to Ghislaine for candidly sharing her experiences on her journey of self acceptance! 

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Featured Boudoir Session | Ariana at 40

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Featured Boudoir Session | Ariana at 40

At 40, this is the most confident she has ever felt in her skin.  At 40, she has found more awareness about who she is as a woman and as a human.  Embracing that she is a very sensual person, she used her boudoir session to access and celebrate that part of her.  

Getting to this place of confidence requires being true to yourself.  It requires loving yourself in this moment, even if you don't feel your best.  it requires being open to opportunities and asking for help along the way.  It requires giving back. 

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Making Up Wardrobe As We Go

When I had my senior portraits taken for the yearbook, I’m not even sure what I brought in for clothing.  What I do remember was the the photographer humored me, the novice portraitist, in explaining all the lenses and filters (this was in the heavy handed era of cokin soft focus and diffusion).  The last set of images he took, he draped a blue piece of fabric around my shoulders and I tucked the shoulders of my t-shirt out of sight.  With the in camera crop, suddenly I was ‘wearing’ an off the shoulder gown!  No matter than outside of frame I was in my regular clothes and had a giant piece of fabric clipped around my back.  It worked. And looking back at it now, it created a lovely neckline for a my portrait.

Wardrobe, what to wear to your glamour or boudoir session, is nearly always a concern when I talk with clients before their shoots.  I have a few things in the studio that can be paired with what you bring in - but the most versatile things aren’t exactly clothing - they are pieces of fabric.

Ivory crepe de chine - I bought this piece of fabric at the terribly missed Winmill Fabrics that used to be in Chinatown.  I love the way this fabric looks draped on a body.  

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Black muslin - this is unreflective fabric and it’s inexpensive. It’s great for hiding a chair or raping over the couch if I want just the body to emerge from shadows.

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Black spandex - I created two long back spandex pieces, with the help of my neighbor and friend painter Kelly Kerrigan and her serger. I can use these pieces to create a variety of “dresses.”

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Black lace - Lace is nearly always a crowd pleaser.  Here I’ve created what looks like a bodysuit out of a piece of lace and a belt.

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Tulle - I love tulle for bridal boudoir.  Sometimes clients come with their own veils, but if they don’t I have yards and yards of tulle that can be used to envelope the body.  

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When a client shows up to with a small bag and a few pairs of undies, I reach for the fabric.  While I have some clothes (body suits, silk slips, robes), we can fashion what looks like more from the fabric, some clips and a little imagination.  Many DIY solutions come out of problem solving in the moment.  

I also use fabric, especially upholstery fabric, as backdrops.  The thick upholstery fabric hangs well and doesn’t need as much steaming as other types I have worked with.

 

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And then of course, there are pearls! 

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Changing Light / Changing Mood - Boston Studio Boudoir

Changing Light Changing Mood

Boudoir photography is so much about lighting.  We want to create an alluring and beautiful boudoir image -we need alluring and beautiful light. And ideally over the course of a boudoir portrait session we want to vary the light as much as possible.  Glamour portraits typically have a soft even light - it’s flattering for everyone skin. In boudoir portrait photography we can play around even more with directional light - to create moody and evocative images.  In our studio session as Modern Glamour I like to play with different ways of lighting to create a variety of images.  

Here are some examples from Ariel’s session of how I use reflectors or V Flats to harness the beautiful natural light we get in the studio.  My current studio space is on the top floor and faces northwest.  We get indirect sunlight through most of the day.  In the late afternoon we get direct light streaming in, but I prefer the soft indirect light that we have in the mid morning.

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Natural Light Boudoir Studio in Boston

Getting 4x8 V Flats home.  This comes up fairly often on the photography boards.  I drive a very small car, nothing that could handle a 48x96” piece of foam care.  The first time I purchased a set of them, I rented a van an drive there and back.  I should have bought a few more, as the cost of renting the van was more than the cost of the boards themselves.  The second time I borrowed a friend’s truck.  And this time I got many more than I thought I needed.  Guess what?  I don’t regret having extra.  I do use them.  

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An unexpected bonus is that these huge reflectors, which I bought for bouncing light end up creating a sense of smaller rooms within the studio.  An enclosed space makes people feel more comfortable.  I started to notice that clients were getting comfortable faster, having a sense of security.  I could see this change in their expressions and in their posture.  

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SULTRY WINDOW LIGHT

Window light is beautiful and flattering.  You need a window, some white and black foam core and practice looking at light as it hits a face and a figure.  It's been so much fun to figure out all the different looks I can create from a wall of windows and the DIY foam core reflectors.

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#nomakeup Boudoir

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#nomakeup Boudoir

I've had a recent flurry of inquiries for no make up boudoir sessions.  A year after the Alicia Keys letter and subsequent #nomakeup movement.  

Of course if you prefer to be armed with a little styling, or a lot, we'll do that too.  I don't wear make up every day. Sometimes I want to.  Most of the time I don't have time to remember to do it. 

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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.  

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Maternity Portraits | A New Perspective

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Maternity Portraits | A New Perspective

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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

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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.  

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

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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.

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IMMERSE YOURSELF IN SOMETHING NEW

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IMMERSE YOURSELF IN SOMETHING NEW

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?


 

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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

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.  

 

 

THE STORY OF YOU AT WORK

   

 

 

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.

Discovery

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!

 



 

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UNDER THE INFLUENCE: USING PINTEREST

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UNDER THE INFLUENCE: USING PINTEREST

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.  

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Calling All Moms | #GETINTHEPICTURE

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Calling All Moms | #GETINTHEPICTURE

Calling All Moms! #GETINTHEPICTURE

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! 

Take Your Mama Out! MOTHER'S DAY PORTRAITS #GETINTHEPICTURE

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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.

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Light & Dark: Bridal Boudoir Boston

BRIDAL BOUDOIR SHOOT IN BOSTON

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WHAT SHE WORE TO HER BRIDAL BOUDOIR SHOOT. 

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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COMFORTABLE IN YOUR OWN SKIN

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.
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ACCEPTING YOURSELF

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

THE GIFT OF BRIDAL BOUDOIR

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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!

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UNDER THE INFLUENCE: SUE BRYCE

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UNDER THE INFLUENCE: SUE BRYCE

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.

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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. 

TRUESELF PROJECT

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

What is TRUESELF?

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 . . .

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COLLABORATIONS

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

EMBODIMENT

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.

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WORDS AND PICTURES: GIVING VOICE TO PORTRAITS

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. 

female portrait photographer boston

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all images © Modern Glamour/Ars Magna Studio 2017