“I approach an intimate couples shoot from the male perspective… or to be more specific, from an unapologetically strong masculine perspective… and that comes with an entirely different view through the lens than that of a boudoir photographer who is female.”
Mindy’s and Ben’s intimate couples shoot was a breakthrough shoot for me, and when I say “breakthrough” I mean I learned something so valuable that it has permanently affected and elevated my craft to a new level.
I’ve had other breakthrough shoots before, each one marking a milestone in my evolution as a photographer and artist. They usually occur every few months or so, and dramatically change how I approach things moving forward from that point on.
I learn something so profound from them that I gain a completely new insight into what it is I’m attempting to do.
The lesson learned from this intimate couples shoot will not only influence any future couples shoot I do, but also permeate my solo boudoir work as well.
My Problem With How Couples Shoots Are Usually Done
I’d been asked to do intimate couples shoots before but never felt comfortable accepting the job and ended up referring those requests to other photographers in the area.
I wasn’t drawn to what was already out there and I didn’t want to go down that same path… it just didn’t feel right for me. It wasn’t in alignment with who I was as an artist or as a man.
I wanted to do something that fit my sensibilities but I couldn’t recognize what those were at the time.
I felt the best way to unravel this was to be as honest with myself as possible.
I’ve found that has always been a good approach to take, so I contemplated it for weeks. How would I do a couples shoot that was sexy, intimate, edgy, and classy but not make the man look like he was just a prop in his wife’s or girlfriend’s boudoir session… because that’s the impression I got from a lot of couples shoots.
Not all, but most.
Granted, I’m an opinionated person and I have strong ideas about my art and photography and boudoir in general. Anyone who’s read any of my articles on boudoir theory can attest to that, but it’s not about trying to offend anyone. It’s about being true to myself and what I find aesthetically pleasing and artful and expressing myself through my work, and finding authentic unique alternatives to offer boudoir clients who share my take on things.
The Masculine Edge
After thinking about it for some time, I finally discovered what it was that I brought to the table, and it’s a quality no female boudoir photographer can ever provide because what I bring is an approach that is purely male and masculine-orientated.
I approach an intimate couples shoot from the male perspective… or to be more specific, from an unapologetically strong masculine perspective… and that comes with an entirely different view through the lens than that of a boudoir photographer who is female.
Call it a masculine edge if you like. You can see it in my work, both with solo boudoir clients and in this couples shoot, but now I recognize exactly what it is… and it’s all because I was honest with myself and figured out what I wanted to express, and connected with clients who shared those same sensibilities.
When I was studying filmmaking in Los Angeles I came upon the realization that the personality of the director is reflected in their films. For example, look at any Ron Howard film and then look at Ron Howard as a person, or Oliver Stone’s work, and Oliver Stone the man.
As boudoir photographers, both male and female, we’re going to attract the type of client that most closely resembles our own attitudes and tastes. They are a reflection of us… but in order for that to happen one must be honest with themselves… and then have the courage to show that to the world.
For a deeper dive on how I approach an intimate couples shoot, you can read my article, “My Unique Approach To “Couples Boudoir”.
Thanks for your time!