My “Why” For Shooting Boudoir

Being a boudoir photographer and having a 13-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl gets tricky sometimes. I have to make sure I don’t have any social media pics of women in lingerie on my phone when they ask to borrow it. Shutting my computer screen while editing a sexy session when I have to get up to use the bathroom is a must. Wanting to quickly walk into the lingerie store to see if there are any new great finds, sometimes feels borderline inappropriate. But the trickiest is when they say, “Why do you even shoot boudoir? I don’t like that you do.”

I try my best to give them all of the truest reasons, with a PG twist. I try the, “You’ll understand when you’re older,” answer, but the question keeps coming. I tell my 11-year-old daughter, “Many women need help seeing how truly beautiful they are. Society tends to tell us that we are only beautiful if we are tall, skinny, have perfect skin and teeth, and long luscious hair…and how many of our friends and family fall into that category?” She will ponder and come back with, “None.” But still, the same question is asked a few months later. Another tactic I’ve tried is, “I get to show these women angles of themselves that they can’t see in the mirror. I get to show them IN my camera that they look like a magazine model!! Isn’t that amazing!?!?” She will smile and agree. But still, the same question is asked a few months later.

Recently, I had the opportunity to give her PG proof!!!!! A boudoir client, who happened to be a former bride from a few years back, sent me a thank you card. When I opened it and read it in the car, I literally weeped. I had all the goosebumps, chills, tears and dance moves in my seat. Her words were exactly what I tried explaining to my children, but not from me.

inspiring thank you note from a boudoir client to spokane photographer crystal madsen


I cannot begin to express how thankful I am for the boudoir photos. The whole experience changed me. I finally saw how beautiful and sexy my body is. I was able to stop all the negative thoughts I was constantly telling myself and began seeing beauty in my curves.
I gained confidence and self-love with your help! For that, I will forever be thankful.
The icing on the cake was my husband’s reaction. He was speechless! For a man that always has something to say, he couldn’t talk.
Thank you for the amazing experience and empowering women. I can’t beleive I waited 2.5 years to finally book my shoot!”

When I handed the thank you card to my daughter and asked her to read it, I didn’t give her any warning of what it was. I wish I would have recorded her reaction. As she read it out loud a smile spread on her face. She looked up at me with big eyes full of pride and understanding. “Mom, this is amazing! She’s right, we do pay attention to all of the negatives about ourselves and you helped her see something different. You helped her see how beautiful she is. That’s cool.”

“Thanks baby, that’s my why.”

It’s not that the note mentioned anything I hadn’t already, but that it came from someone other than me. It came from real emotion and real gratitude from a real woman.

Receiving notes like this reenergizes me each time. Not only do my own children’s questions and judgment make me question my photography path, but so do the public’s. From time to time I get emails and messages questioning my ethics and morals with shooting boudoir in Spokane. It can get tricky juggling a portfolio of women in lingerie alongside high school seniors. I fully understand that boudoir is not for every one, or every woman, and sometimes that can get discouraging. When a note, email or message is delivered with words such as these, it reminds me what a special role I play. I get to empower women. I get to show them from a different perspective just how beautiful and sexy they are. It’s not fluff. It’s not photoshop. It’s real women receiving a boost of deserved confidence. What a kickass job!!!

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My “Why” For Shooting Boudoir | / Posted on | Boudoir, Shoots

All Photography and Original Text © Crystal Madsen Photography