The person that walks out of one my sessions is never the same one that walked in.
Recently Breanna was talking to a friend about doing a boudoir session for her husband who was on his way back from deployment. This friend had her own session with me a little while ago and suggested she should get ahold of me. After we exchanged a few messages and a Skype session, she decided to go for it.
Breanna had never done a session like this before and was understandably a little nervous. She was, like 95% of the women here, not a model. She had no experience in front of a professional photographer’s camera. She had no idea how to pose, what to do with her hands, where to look, what outfit showed her off, what expression was expected, et cetera.
We had a little chat before I pulled out the camera where we discussed how I worked, what mindset I was looking for, what we were going to achieve, and what she should expect. Then I set a slow, more conservative, pace to get her warmed up to the idea of being in front of the camera. We shot a few images and then I showed her what I had just captured on the back of the camera to ease any remaining concerns she had. Then we resumed the session.
Within a very short time she was relaxed, giving off natural smiles, and genuinely enjoying the experience. As we worked she got a little more daring as she got more relaxed which is exactly why I do the things I do. I want the client to set the pace and mood. I want them to feel in control – which they absolutely are.
My number one rule at all times is “The client is in control at all times.” I want them to relax and be themselves so that I can capture that. There’s no acting in these images. What you see is exactly what they are feeling at the moment. If they are feeling flirty, there it is. Playful? Sensual? Daring? Reflective? Coy? 100 percent natural and real.
That’s the majority of my work – to get the person in front of the camera to open up, relax and let their sensuality flow. After that it’s a simple matter of pushing a button.
Well, getting the lighting and composition right, counts to be sure. But, and this is the key thing, technical issues can be fixed in post production. Emotion cannot be fixed. There is no tool or button to push in Photoshop to fix fear or uncertainty in her eyes. I most certainly don’t want to portray them as shy, uncertain, or submissive. They need to feel bold to show bold so I can capture bold.
So that’s not acting you see in these images. No one is that good of an actor, to be honest. What you see is them being them. Them feeling a like a million bucks and radiating confidence. They ooze sensuality. I just push the button and capture what’s in front of me.
The best part is that they had visible proof that they are stunningly beautiful and confident. They carry themselves a little higher and they have a smile on their face. Something deep inside has changed. That is the best part about what I do and the main reason why I do it.
I’ll end this with words from Breanna herself:
I have always wanted to get boudoir photos done, but have always been too scared and insecure to do it. When I first contacted Mark he made me comfortable right away! The shoot was fun right from the start and I felt comfortable in my own skin for the first time in a long time. I will be going back to him for more shoots in the future.
Mark Knopp is a Virginia Beach-based boudoir and portrait photographer covering the Hampton Roads community. Contact him today at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a confidence boosting session today.