Up close and personal 

Seema Rajan (name changed) has been on a low ever since the passing of her husband last year. Not in the frame of mind to connect with the outside world, Rajan found herself isolated.

Published: 10th November 2021 06:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th November 2021 06:36 AM   |  A+A-

Soham Shoney’s photography

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Seema Rajan (name changed) has been on a low ever since the passing of her husband last year. Not in the frame of mind to connect with the outside world, Rajan found herself isolated. During one such lonely day, she came across the now trending concept of boudoir photography. Delving deeper, she realised that it could be something that would help her regain her self-confidence and move on.  

Boudoir photography is catching up among Bengalureans, who are hiring photographers to capture intimate pictures of themselves in a black and white format. The pandemic and subsequent events have left many feeling vulnerable. And instead of turning to people to rid their loneliness, they are approaching professionals for boudoir photos to help them “shed inhibitions and feel like themselves again”.

While professional shoots for boudoir photography are on the rise, many prefer to take these pictures themselves. Priced between Rs 15,000 and Rs 25,000 per day, the shoot takes a day to complete. As a social media experiment, Instagram user ‘Photobot’ (@ethnic.boudoir) started a series called ‘Ashleel and Proud’ for women to share their boudoir shots. “As a professional photographer, I do several boudoir shoots. When the lockdown happened and meetings were limited, I thought this series would be a great way to get more people to participate,” Photobot says. 

Every 15 day or so, he uploads the different boudoir shoots he receives from his large following on Instagram. “Honestly, many men in particular assume it’s pornography which it’s not. Boudoir still has some sort of stigma attached to it,” he explains. Food and interiors photographer Soham Shoney, who has also ventured into boudoir photography, focuses on a body scaping style, where instead of focusing on the whole body, he uses the person as a landscape and highlights certain parts.

“Close-up shots are usually my style. As much as I’d like to experiment with it outdoors, our country is too closed-minded for that. So I set up the studio indoors which works well — the client is also comfortable with the same,” says Shoney. 

While these pictures are for private use, depending on how comfortable they feel, some women tend to share them on social media platforms as well. But from a photographer’s point of view, how secure does one feel taking pictures like these? 

Ojas Thekkekara of Ginger Films says, “I haven’t had to sign a non-disclosure agreement with anyone yet, but that’s always a good idea. Those who have approached me have been the people know personally and trust me enough to shoot.” 

The key to this style of photography is making someone feel comfortable in their skin. Which is why Thekkekara meets his clients a couple of times before the shoot day. “No matter how well you know the person, it’s important to not cross a certain line when here. You have to make her feel absolutely comfortable — cracking a joke or two would help — and keep her relaxed, so that the results show what she wants.”

Shooting the shot 

Natural light works best. Light from windows works much better than tube lights

It’s important to note that boudoir photography has nothing to do with porn. It’s about embracing one’s body and feeling positive about it 

Look for references online and choose what suits you best 

Build a rapport with your photographer to be comfortable in your own skin 

What is boudoir photography?
It is a style of photography that features intimate or romantic images that promote body positivity. It is shot in the rawest format and in black and white. The idea of boudoir is for the person in front of the camera to feel empowered.


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