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The concept of boudoir photography has its roots in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The term "boudoir" is derived from the French word "boudoir," which refers to a woman's private sitting room or bedroom. Boudoir photography involves capturing intimate, sensual, and sometimes suggestive images of an individual, often in a bedroom or private setting.
The history of boudoir photography can be traced back to the early days of photography when the medium was becoming more accessible and affordable. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, as photographic technology advanced, portrait studios began to offer more personalized and intimate photography sessions.
During this time, the Art Nouveau movement influenced the art and fashion of the era, celebrating sensuality and the human form. This artistic movement, along with the rise of the "Gibson Girl" ideal in the United States, played a role in shaping the aesthetics of boudoir photography. The Gibson Girl, created by artist Charles Dana Gibson, was a representation of the independent and confident American woman at the turn of the century.
The Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements marked a departure from previous art styles by highlighting glamour and natural forms, creating a fitting space for boudoir that showcased feminine beauty. The increasing popularity of photography during this era contributed to the recognition of boudoir as an art form. Artistic pieces focused on romantic settings with captivating and intimate backdrops, carrying on these stylistic themes into the 20th and 21st centuries. Renowned photographers like Jacques-Henri Lartigue and Jean Agélou were notable for their emphasis on erotic subjects during this period.
Boudoir was influenced further by the Art Deco movement and feminist trends that led to the emergence of female artists exploring subjects beyond traditional male depictions. While the style continued to center around upper-class women and themes of elegance and glamour, notable photographers like Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, and Gertrude Käsebier played pivotal roles. Originating from the pictorialism movement, these photographers shifted from the scientific use of photography to a more artistic expression. Pictorialism influenced boudoir style by expanding the use of photography for pleasure, allowing subject matters to express sensuality. This period also witnessed women exploring roles beyond the confines of the home.
Boudoir's was also growing in early 20th century France with upper class women being captured in their private salons. This is yet another artistic movements during this time that contributed widely to the sensual depictions of women in both public and private spaces, especially when women had such mixed roles in society. Some where women were forbidden to show much skin and were not allowed to take major positions publicly in business.
As society's views on sexuality and modesty evolved over the years, so did the styles and acceptance of boudoir photography. The genre experienced a resurgence in popularity during the 1980s and 1990s as part of the broader cultural shift towards body positivity and self-expression.
Today, boudoir photography has become a form of empowerment for individuals seeking to celebrate their bodies and express their sensuality. Boudoir photography has continued to gain popularity, driven by various factors such as changing societal attitudes towards body positivity, self-expression, and empowerment.
In today's popular movement of becoming more empowered and seeing one's self-worth, women are choosing to embrace this style of photography to enhance their love for themselves and believe in who they truly are instead of what they have been believing up to this point. It is often chosen as a gift for a romantic partner or as a personal experience to boost self-confidence. But overall, the most popular use, and reason, is a gift to herself. The style and approach to boudoir photography can vary widely, ranging from classic and elegant to more contemporary and artistic interpretations so be sure to really do your homework when selecting your photographer!
To test out the waters, we have opened up 30 minute Petite sessions for those that are unsure what they are looking for, or are wanting to gain a bit of confidence before booking a full session.