I know, the mind goes crazy in the wrong direction. These are girlfriends who are looking for an adventure together, full of emotional support and thoughtful encouragement. A chance to build on the friendship while having an unconventional blast doing it.
In all the years of doing nude and boudoir portraits of women, this thread of girlfriends coming in together has been getting stronger and more popular. Of course, back when I started do this, no one was as specialized in photographing women as we were.
Even before the photo session starts, they are having a good time finding props, ideas, and clothes, or just planning their session over drinks.
It’s exciting for them. Usually these are very tight girlfriends wanting to share an experience. As one steps in front of my camera, the other is fussing with her hair or just giving encouragement about how great she looks in that pose. They both ooh and aah over the images as they appear on the camera’s back display. They give each other courage to try out bolder more experimental posing.
It becomes quite the bonding experience. Which is most of the point.
More often than not, they do artful poses nude together, in the spirit of the moment. One pair, university rooming students both with boyfriends, enlarged one for the entrance of their shared unit, to make a statement on how unconventional they were and for some shock value. They had more fun with the large image than they expected.
I think it’s bit like a teenage sleepover, of secrets and dreams shared. It’s also a bit of fantasy dress up, so the whole session has a slightly surreal feel to it.
In the flow of the studio session, they share sets, one posing while the other changes. It’s interesting in that we can put them both in the same pose, yet with each attitude and body shape being different, the image takes on a whole different look.
The viewing is always full of laughter. We show their images on an 8-foot screen projected to the size of a door. No end of opinions are shared. Great shots are pointed to with wows, and over the top compliments. The ones that did not turn out as good are laughed at in great fun. I sometimes think the outtakes are enjoyed as much as the amazing shots.
Girlfriend images become an anchor to their shared adventures. It also reminds them that they can do daring things together. Years after a session, I have had returning clients talk about the experience together, and how it remains the touchstone of their relationship. Other friends and family still telling stories of their escapade.
What do you think, do you have a friend you could do something like this with?