Boudoir photography over 50 is a thoroughly weighed empowering statement. It’s also likely to have a telling personal story behind and a reason for such a session. Here’s a remarkable example.
Most people would question boudoir photography over 50. You’ll only see a few ladies over 50 in my extensive boudoir portfolio built over 15 years. I want to show that with the right mindset, tools, and a connection, it is very doable and impactful.
I met Christina through a very special local Facebook group, Pike County PA Everything, run by a real estate agent, Lisa McAteer. I’ve been admiring its engagement, community outreach, and positivity—quite an exemplary strategy for the socially active business owners. Having been involved in the group, I caught Christina’s attention.
My Valentine’s Day boudoir specials earlier this year inspired her. She’s been thinking about boudoir photos for about 20 years. Either no boyfriend to give to earlier, too shy, or not sure who to trust this very personal act. She now found a place for boudoir photography over 50, and her approaching 54th birthday was asking for a treat! I did her shoot on her birthday!!
Christina describes herself as outgoing, body conscious, serious and funny, critical, Cuban/Italian with fiery-tempered, no drama, driven in business hard worker. She’s looking to be better in all aspects of herself, up to trying something new, adventurous, childless, un-wantingly modest, but wanting to be slightly risky. With her “looks fading,” she felt less youthful, and it bothered her.
She feels sexy and pretty but only in her mind—she doesn’t show it outwardly, unfortunately, because she’s not “made to feel comfortable and free to express it, and wanted to change that“. As a woman, she wanted to stir up and hear how fabulous and gorgeous she is. Professional artistic boudoir photography over 50 would not differ from the boudoir photos for the younger ladies, and equally invoking those compliments.
In her past, Christina was part of a family business, worked hard at different jobs, lost some. Her father was absent for a period, adding financial strain and insecurity. No social life to speak of, either. She fell in love in her early 20s, but the breakup was so painful that she moved away and didn’t date for seven years. It was those experiences that to this day she can not shake off. Christina also found it difficult to work for other people, hoping to start her own business for the sake of sanity.
She had the nerve to start not one but two businesses in that attempt to be free from working for anyone again. The first business failed after trying for a very long time. She learned a lot and started over.
The current business, Dog Gone Happy Training (see what else “Behave” is about?), allows her to be independent and financially secure. It’s the best thing she did for her mind. She bought her first co-op in Queens at 32 not be asked to move out by a homeowner as in the past. Her other achievement was being able to build her current home—her dream home. She got married at 35.
I came to her dream house for this shoot. Her home, located in Milford, PA, is indeed impressive and so tastefully designed in and out! Certainly beats a studio! You can feel the love put into every detail. We only had two hours to work with, so I suggested we limited our themes to just three, one per room. It was still pushing it, honestly. I rushed through each and even went over time a bit. I could only touch the surface of each concept’s potential. Wardrobe changes and adjusting the light are the things that mercilessly eat away the precious time.
The first room is beach-themed, so I went for a softer feel with natural light only. Christina was wearing blue. By the way, my thorough What to Wear for Boudoir article helped her find the ideas and stores to shop.
Next theme was glam in her Parisian room. I should note that our model expressed more interest in dramatic shots, as opposed to cheerful, soft, and airy. I armored myself with my flash and went for very contrasty images. Red fit the black-and-white décor, perfectly evoking the classy feel all over. And see that kneeling on the bed shot? So cheesy and cliché when I see it over and over, but I tested it on her and loved the light so much that developed it a little more. Doesn’t Christina totally own boudoir photography over 50 with that??
Last stop was in her Havana room (Cuban heritage, remember?) You bet there are cigars… a whole wall shelf with boxes and art posters! At the end, I created a flying hair portrait that touched her soul when she saw it in my boudoir portfolio.
Ok, the last last stop… There is another cool room in this beautiful house. My jaw dropped. There was no time for it, but I used one of its many props for a quickie.
Let’s get this out. Boudoir photography over 50 may benefit from beauty retouching. My fashion photography background honed those skills and I offer several levels of retouching to match all personal philosophies. It would be naïve to claim that I didn’t enhance the images in this blog, and here’s my take on this.
I come from fine art. I used to draw and paint. As an artist, I was never shy of beautifying the world around me (expect for when I drew monsters…) I learned from the old masters, as seen in this portrait of my neighbor. You adore their paintings and sculptures, never questioning purity and adherence to reality. People in the past commissioned the artists to make them beautiful. Most people nowadays still want to bring their best out. They do makeup (think of the meaning of this word, “make up”, how realistic is it?), choose flattering wardrobe, and pose strategically. Retouching is part of that art. Body positivity works, but not all the time, and nor does it have to become a new uncompromised standard.
So I continue to bring beauty to our world by finding or creating it. I tell clients, “You have your phone to document your ‘true self’ already. Have fun and pride with it!” You can hire a professional photographer to still help with posing and lighting while creating all-natural zero-Photoshop images. Scores of photographers can take this easier approach, including yours truly. But then, for those who want to touch the fantasy and live a dream, hold on to their passing looks for longer, or make it up to something that was never done in a way that could have been done, there are those who can help. No shame in that.
I set the atmosphere so Christina could be comfortable to come out of her shell and portray what she quietly feels like on the inside, without being embarrassed about how she’s posing. She asked me to give her those seductive, desirable poses without making her feel silly. Christina, you were remarkable and shone like a star! My kudos and respect for you.
I did the shoot to remind me that I am strong in my mind and I need to matter to myself, and I can’t wait for someone else to make me feel that way because it might never come. I need to love myself and not feel embarrassed or ashamed to do so. It’s not selfish to admire yourself in the mirror. Yes, I do critique myself and say I want to be less heavy but it’s not enough to put the fork down. I fight that in my mind.
I fought to be heard practically my whole life, I make a good living at dog training and I strive to be more, and for betterment.
As I’m older now (54) I still worry about being able to support myself should my husband pass away before me. But I feel different. I feel like things will work out if it happens. I look in the mirror and see the lines across my forehead and the frown I now have because my jowls are starting to droop, and I say I still have “it”.