There is a reality behind the act of getting naked, especially in front of your boudoir photographers. This reality is not the obvious one of getting naked and loosing your clothes. It is something much more psychological.
I have always said that being a portrait photographer is much close to being a psychologist than a camera operator. This is because the camera is a barrier; to lower it is to making the person in front of it more comfortable and more herself.
The “being herself” part is exactly the reality no one truly understand about getting naked.
Does getting naked uncover our bodies or our souls?
When I talk about getting naked, everyone immediately think about a bare body. While this is obviously true, the reality behind getting naked is that people drop their masks, being totally themselves.
The reason behind this is that at a certain point, while we are getting naked, we do not have enough resources to keep pretending and focusing on the fact that we do not have any clothes on.
I believe that being nude implies a great deal of trust, and that trust relationship cannot be based on not being yourself. This is also the reason why photographers who are not open and honest won’t go far in photographing women in the nude.
I like to link to Mark Zuckerberg’s reply to the question “why do you always wear the same t-shirt”. He said that he wanted to clear his life to make it so that he has to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve his community.
“I feel like I’m not doing my job if I spend any of my energy on things that are silly or frivolous about my life”
Yes, it is about energy, and getting naked in front of someone requires trust and energy, and if you actually decide to get naked, then your energy cannot be used to wear a psychological mask.
The advantage of being yourself
There is a huge advantage in being yourself during a photo session, and it does not matter if you are getting naked or not. A photo session should not be about a generic woman that happens to have your face and your body; it is not a pose that makes a photo beautiful at the eyes of the subject; what makes a photo unique is the ability to capture who you really are.
From this perspective, getting naked helps, as it is much simpler to make our true self to come off; of course, getting naked is never a requirement, but if we can learn something from it, it should be the fact that the more we feel vulnerable, the less we make sure that our masks are safely on.
How can you drop your masks without getting naked?
This is probably one of the hardest question to answer to. Being a psychological game, letting the masks down without getting naked needs a bit of thinking. First of all, during the photo session you should try and live the moment as much as possible. Be present with your photographers, make sure to give them your total attention. Starting a personal relation, in which you see them as your psychologist more than your photographers, is a great way of approaching this.
The important thing to remember is that, given the right photographers of course, lowering the shields we normally wear can only help us with incredible results.
Boudoir and letting masks fall off
If for a portrait session letting your masks fall off is important, for a Boudoir one is critical. A big part of a boudoir session is rediscovering ourselves in a way we did not believe possible. If in the final images we are able to see our true self, then they will speak volume about you.
A lot of our clients end up getting naked. This is also because we believe we are fantastic at making people feel comfortable in their skin. The fact that there is no judgement in how we do things. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and we want to spend a great time. These are things that make the getting comfortable part very easy.
So, what do you think? Can you keep your masks on while getting naked? Even better, do you believe you can let your masks down without getting naked?
Either way remember that a boudoir photo session should always be about you, 100% you.