Assertiveness in your customers’ image is a key element for boudoir photography. We said it to women already: confidence is all you need to wear. How can you help your customers with their assertiveness? How can you make sure to create the best environment for her confidence to shine?
Every woman is different, and she reacts in different ways to a photo shoot. Assertiveness is a trait that can be enhanced, and it is your role, as the photographer, to make sure to make it surface and capture it.
We do not have a script to help women gain confidence and show their assertiveness in photos. We make sure to be honest, understanding who we have in front of us and we follow some simple rules.
A relaxed environment helps assertiveness
We shoot in a residential studio because it is a relaxed environment. We prefer it over a proper photo studio because it is less intimidating. A relaxed environment is key to help assertiveness in women. Treat them with respect and make sure they understand that they are going to feel and look great.
As a man, I show boudoir poses. “If I can do it, you can strike the same pose a thousand times better” I say, primarily because it is true, but also to make sure to create a fun, relaxed environment.
Photographer’s confidence breeds customers’ assertiveness
When a customer is ready, we make her wear the first set of underwear, and we start chatting. We lay the ground rules, and we explain her what is going to happen. We do it while she is in her underwear, but our behaviour is no different from what it would be if she was completely dressed. You are telling her “It’s ok to be in lingerie while standing in front of us“. And she will be.
As a photographer, you need to know your stuff; exposure, focus, posing and everything else that goes behind the camera must be second nature to you. The key element is the psychological relation with the woman in front of you, and the confident you are, the assertive she will become.
If your style include nudity, don’t beat around the bushes: ask her to remove her clothes the same way you would ask her if she wants a glass of water. Show your confidence as a photographer, and her assertiveness will be the answer.
“There is nothing wrong you can do”
At the beginning of every session, when she is ready to be photographed, we tell the most important thing for her: “There is nothing wrong you can do today“.
Lift the pressure from her, make her understand that it is absolutely ok to be herself. We generally repeat it a couple of times, and when we feel her a little tense we smile and ask: “I forgot.. what can you do wrong today?”. This will create a smile or a laugh “Nothing“.
Remember, in a room there is space for one silly person, and that’s better be you! Let the assertiveness come out from her!
When facing their bodies, women tend to be critical. That’s fine, and to be expected if you are a boudoir photographer. To avoid any issue, you need to validate her concerns. Do not, let me repeat clearly, do not dismiss her concerns. Validating doesn’t necessarily mean agreeing, but make sure she understands that you are on the same page.
If she tells you “I have a huge belly today!“, a good answer can be “if that is your concern, we will make sure we will pose you in the most flattering way“.
Assertiveness can be shown only if the person in front of your camera is relaxed and at ease.
Comparison is an assertiveness killer
Everybody wants to compare themselves. Photographers love to compare to other photographers, but there is no joy or positive outcomes from it. Comparison does not help confidence, and it is generally used to identify weaknesses. Comparison is an assertiveness killer.
Focus on her, only on her, for the entire duration of the session. Don’t imply a comparison between her and someone else’s body: this will create a space where she can be confident and where her assertiveness can shine.
Assertiveness is achieved through personal relation
The more you know your customers, the more you can understand how to treat them and make their confidence shine.
What’s your customer name? Why is she doing a boudoir photography session? What are her fears? What does she dream? What does she like about herself?
If you want to photograph assertiveness in a woman, gifting her confidence, make sure she understand she is one in a million. She can do no wrong and confidence is all she really needs to wear.