FEMME MODERN MAGAZINE TOP MODEL CONTEST WINNERS

We have been busy at Femme Modern Magazine with our recent Top Model contest, that ended yesterday at midnight. With over 54 entries, the judges had a difficult time narrowing them down to three winners. Each contestant brought their own unique style and beauty to the competition and it was a pleasure to have such talent enter our contest.

I was never really a supporter of conventional beauty pageants in past years, as I found them to be more exploitive than empowering to women, and only the most beautiful deserved to be recognized. This has changed over the years as I see more ambassadorships and humanitarian projects being taken up by the pageant contestants. Of course, beauty is still a major component to being in a pageant, but is no longer the main focus.

That said, the winner of our Top Model Contest is  23 year old, Jade Bambrough, who is no stranger to beauty pageants. Jade is Miss Top Model Sunderland (UK) 2016, and a Miss Universe GB 2017 Finalist. 

Jade will receive a full feature and the cover of our September issue. Congratulations Jade! 

IMG_3233.PNG

There're also two runner up winners of our top model contest, and these two lovely ladies should not be overlooked. Taylor Hodgetts, a model from London Ontario, and Kitchener Waterloo native, Vikki Lenola, a model that has been published in international editions of Playboy, among many others. 

 

IMG_3235.PNG

Taylor and Vikki will both be featured in our September issue. I would like to congratulate all our winners, contestants and judges for making the Top Model contest such a success. Huge thanks to Robert MacNeil Photography in North York, and Jonathan Grills of Twelve Pence Photography in Toronto for being my co-judges. It was a blast! 

IMG_2704.JPG

8 Reasons why you should book a boudoir session

IMG_2648.JPEG

Have you ever wanted to do a Boudoir session but talked yourself out of it for numerous reasons? As women, we will always find reasons not to pamper ourselves because we are nurturers. We take care of everyone else in our lives, but fail to give ourselves the same love and attention.  Boudoir is not about seducing men, its about empowering women. At Studio519 Photography, we pride ourselves on making sure every woman leaves the studio feeling empowered and fabulous after their session.

IMG_2537.JPEG

My former career as a clinical therapist and senior manager with several social service agencies, has given me an insight into women and how we are our own worst critics. The beauty industry has ensured that we never feel adequate by setting unrealistic body standards that keep us spending millions of dollars a year on products and services that provide temporary boosts to our self-esteem.

IMG_3001.JPG

So why treat yourself to a Boudoir session with Studio519? 

  1. Capture being in a great place – Have you recently bought a new home? Achieved a new goal you set for yourself? Got a promotion at work? Why not give yourself a special gift that you will cherish for the rest of your life. Even if no one else sees it, it will make you remember that you were in a very happy place when you had your photos done.
  2. Celebrate being single – As women, we often feel the pressure to be in a relationship but being single is an empowering role. You are the ruler of your destiny, you call the shots and being single is being powerful. Women often think that boudoir is only for those with partners, but I believe that you should always do it for yourself first. If you have a partner, great, but this is your moment.
  3. Honor your weight loss – Have you recently lost weight? Even just 10 pounds can feel like a huge difference. But if you’ve lost 20-30+ pounds you know how great it feels. Reward yourself for all those long hours at the gym. I hear women say over and over gain that they need to lose weight before they do a Boudoir session. I can do more with lighting and posing than you can do in 6 months in a gym. Get that lingerie ready!
  4. Feel empowered – One of my clients told me about how empowered she felt during her shoot with me. What an amazing feeling! How confident she must have felt. While I wasn’t able to share her photos, I can tell you that they were absolutely beautiful and her sense of empowerment really came across in each of her photos.
  5. Heal from domestic violence – Sometimes it’s extremely difficult for a woman to leave an abusive situation and I commend anyone who does. Having experienced domestic violence myself, and running shelters for abused women, I know the  havoc it wreaks on your self-esteem. Stand tall and know that you are worthy. The abuse was not about you, but more about the abusers need for power and control. YOU are special. YOU are beautiful. 
  6. Celebrate a transitional period – Have you just gotten engaged, or recently had a baby? Maybe your children have left the nest and you’re feeling an emptiness. How will you document this transition in your life? 
  7. Celebrate being a woman – “All the women, who are independent, throw your hands up at meeeeee.” Being a woman rocks! And being a strong and independent woman rocks even more! I can’t tell you how awesome I feel knowing that I am a woman making a name for herself in the photography industry, who owns her own home, owns her own business, and is loving every minute of photographing beautiful women who have something they want to celebrate. Well, bring out your own inner Sasha Fierce and rock your boudoir shoot!
  8. See yourself in a different light – Have you ever thought about being someone else for the day? Even trying something different that you would normally never do? Step out of your comfort zone and let your guard down. I promise you’ll love your results.
  9. Celebrate your 30’s – 40's, or even 50's. When I was in my 20’s I thought that was the best place in my life. I knew everything and wanted to live in that moment forever. Then I hit 30 and all those things that I thought I knew, I looked back at and laughed. I was so naive. In your 30’s maybe you’ve started to settle down a bit, have a career, family, and healthy lifestyle. If you haven’t had sexy photos of yourself taken by a professional, what are you waiting for?
  10. Feel sexy – If you don’t come out of your boudoir session feeling sexy then I haven’t done my job. This is when you should feel your sexiest and with direction and coaching, you’re going to have some of the sexiest photos of yourself you’ve ever seen.
IMG_2596.JPEG

Studio519 Photography also provides free Boudoir sessions for women who are sadly battling breast cancer. We’ve photographed women who would like a pre-mascectomy photo to remember their pre-cancer body before their big surgery. Please contact us if this is something you would like.

For more information, visit our website at www.studio519.ca. STAY FABULOUS!

Ten Steps to Body Confidence

IMG_2282.JPG
  1. Throw away your conventional, media-defined ideals of beauty. You’re not going to change society’s definition of beauty, but you can change your own. Don’t focus on the beauty you see in ads but, instead, to the beauty you see in the real-life people you admire.
  2. Define yourself in ways other than how you look. Make your self-esteem contingent on your inner, not outer qualities. Focus on what you like about your abilities, personality, relationships, and perspective on the world. These almost invariably show improvement over time and are often more changeable than facial or bodily features.
  3. Don’t freak out when you feel you “look bad.” The anxiety and stress you feel about how you look can take an actual toll on your face, and you’ll be more likely to display the outer signs that truly detract from a pleasant appearance.
  4. Smile. On a related note, assembling your features into a pleasant expression when you see people goes a long way toward giving yourself a more pleasing appearance. As corny as it sounds, people like other people who smile. Plus, according to the facial feedback hypothesis, smiling can actually improve your mood.
  5. Go cold turkey on the makeup. Try a day or two of being makeup-free. You may find out that you actually look better when your skin has a chance to breathe and your eyelashes aren’t weighted down by mascara.
  6. Wear clothing that’s actually comfortable. Along with the makeup, you can also go cold turkey on the clothes you feel you need to wear to look fashionable. You might find that, even for a couple of days, if you “let it go,” you’ll feel less fixated on keeping up with fashion and truer to yourself.
  7. Take a break from the mirror. Don’t break your mirrors, but take a brief respite from constantly checking them. Avoid peering surreptitiously at yourself in the rearview mirror or the store window as you pass by, as well. Instead, focus on how you feel inside.
  8. Focus on keeping healthy. Being concerned about your body’s shape because of how you look isn’t beneficial to your overall well-being; being concerned about how your body functions is. Engage in enough exercise and sensible eating to get in shape, but not to the point of trying to force yourself to mold to the image of a fashion model.
  9. Use others as a sounding board. You may think your nose is huge and your freckles are a disaster, but those who care about you may find the very features that bother you the most to be endearing. If you’re feeling that you “look funny” or “fat” today, ask your nearest and dearest. They may, surprisingly, support the idea that you don’t need all that makeup or shapewear to look like the person they love.
  10. Take your aging in stride. Constantly comparing yourself unfavorably to people who are years, if not decades, younger will inevitably detract from your self-esteem. Even comparing yourself to Hollywood figures who are the same age as you can lead to frustration. Most of us can’t afford the luxuries of frequent facials and spa treatments, much less plastic surgery, and no one has ever won the battle with the calendar. You will look older as you get older — it's just a fact of life.

 

 

INTRODUCING OUR SUPERMODEL EXPERIENCE PACKAGE

THE SUPERMODEL EXPERIENCE PACKAGE

supermodel experience

What woman hasn't wanted to grace the cover of a fashion magazine, or be featured in a magazine spread? Now is your chance to be featured in FEMME MODERN Magazine, plus a chance to be our next cover girl. Book our SUPERMODEL EXPERIENCE PACKAGE and win the chance of your very own magazine spread. FEMME MODERN Magazine is a monthly publication that highlights the work of professional Fine Art, Glamour & Boudoir Photographers and models around the globe.

LAUNCH ISSUE OF FEMME MODERN MAGAZINE ALMOST COMPLETE.

The excitement is building as we near the release date of our first issue. The submission response has been very good for the first issue and people are starting to notice us. The second issue is our Black & White issue and should be full of amazing fine art and boudoir images. Visit our FB page for more details on the monthly themes for the coming year. 

16002793_1202771999777702_409711023105468572_n.jpg

Femme Modern Magazine Launch

Femme Modern Magazine Launch

Studio519 Photography is excited to announce the launch of our new magazine, Femme Modern. The magazine will focus on Fine Art, Boudoir & Glamour photography and will provide high end print and digital versions of the magazine. 

Femme Modern Magazine will offer monthly features on photographers, models and makeup artists from around the world, as well as insightful and inspiring articles. Each issue will be focused on chosen themes and artists are invited to submit their work for consideration in the magazine at: femmemagazine17@gmail.com.

Read More

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall........Is makeup good or bad for our self-esteem?

I'm ready for my close up, Mr DeMille. 

I'm ready for my close up, Mr DeMille. 

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Or, is it, ladies? Is makeup progressively becoming more of a necessity than an accessory for women? I've done a little digging and found a survey that produced results that said a woman’s likability and competence in the workplace is increased by the usage of makeup. The question is: Ultimately, does makeup damage a woman’s self-esteem or elevate it?

So what did the survey reveal?

Natasha - blogger and writer: “I don’t think I’m ugly without it [makeup]. It just makes me feel like I’m presenting a slightly better version of my natural self; even if the difference is only noticeable to the discerning eye. The point is that a harmless touch of makeup makes me feel better. I wear it for myself, not for anybody else… With red lips, I often feel like I can rule the world.”

Phoebe -  author of “The Beauty Experiment”: “Makeup should be good for self-esteem, and yet somehow, instinctively, we doubt… In my own life I’ve seen both strategies succeed and fail. All I can say with conviction is that my own self-esteem is not pegged to the lipstick (organic or not), or to a tantrum-y refusal to wear it. Self-esteem for me now is about dismantling that tank, one piece at a time.”

Deborah - author of “The Beauty Bias”: “As a law professor of a certain age, I should confess at the outset that I rarely use makeup. I doubt that my students much notice, let alone care, whether I’m wearing mascara. And as a matter of principle, I’d prefer that they didn’t… If makeup enhances women’s self- confidence, they should by all means wear it. But it should be a choice, not a requirement imposed on employees where it is not essential to job performance. The world would be a better place if women were judged more on competence and less on appearance.”

Nancy - psychologist & author of “Survival of the Prettiest”: “Makeup is a powerful but understudied tool. Research suggests that women can feel objectified by makeup, and for such women, any potential advantage may be offset by the emotional labor of wearing it. In other words, makeup is what you make it of it. It is a choice. Market trends suggest that males are now surging in self-adornment, and using not only skin products but some color cosmetics. If so, we’ll need a new set of studies."

Mirror, Mirror on the wall......... 

Mirror, Mirror on the wall......... 

So, what’s my position on whether makeup has a positive or negative effect on women’s self-esteem? It really depends on the individual. The environment one lives in and the people that surround her plays a major role in how a female may view herself. As a little girl, I loved playing dress-up and house. Makeup, to me, was seen as something older girls or adult women wore in public. My own mum wasn’t one who wore makeup often, and if she did, it was a minimal amount. I didn’t think much of makeup as it was something that all girls just wore and the process of applying (no matter how silly I ended up looking afterward) was fun. I still think of applying makeup as an enjoyable process, most of the time anyway. Do I think I look ugly without makeup? Yes.... No....Kinda. Would I be able to roll out of bed and say hello to the world without tidying myself up first? Absolutely not. I don’t want to present a disheveled me, that would be bad form. Instead, I feel makeup enhances my features and I definitely feel better when I'm dressed and my makeup is just right.

I was raised that appearances are everything and that I could never be overdressed, everyone else was underdressed. My mother always dressed when leaving the house and it is something that has become part of me. That and the fact that I went to private schools, Convents actually, and taught by nasty nuns with long canes in cabinets. I wore straw boaters and long cream gloves in the summer as part of our school uniform. Can you tell I'm British? 

As for watching beauty commercials flash across the TV screen, runway models doing the catwalk, or ads displayed on the sidebar of a website completely unrelated to makeup, I don’t pay too much attention to them anymore. I know that using makeup products won’t make me look like the photoshopped images. However, this is where a woman’s self-esteem can take great punches. I get so pissed off at the wrinkle cream ads that use models just out of nappies with not a wrinkle in sight. I find it insulting as an intelligent woman that they can' t be honest and transparent in their advertising and use real women in their commercials to sell a product. Sadly, many of us have those "Omg, I’m not pretty enough and I must buy this,” moments and BAM! they've snagged us hook, line and bloody sinker. I'm not about to go into all the psychology behind this as it won't change the outcome. Women have fallen victim to a full frontal assault by the beauty business. We are junkies spending money to get our beauty fix and buying up all the cosmetics, hair products and wrinkle creams they can throw at us. And it appears that men are also jumping onto the beauty bandwagon purchasing hair products and skin creams. And why not, they have skin too. 😉

Now there are some of us that might not be affected negatively. As I’ve said, it really depends on the individual. There are those who feel more confident wearing makeup, those who feel great with or without makeup and those who feel unhappy with themselves either way. As women age, wrinkles and such bite at their self-esteem, but that’s where maintaining healthy lifestyle and eating habits come in. Something I am currently battling as I age.....and not so gracefully, I might add. When I think of all the money I have spent on cosmetics and creams in my life time, I could kick myself as that money could have financed a world tour, bought a fancy car in cash, paid down my mortgage...........Sigh!

Who is the fairest one of all? 
Who is the fairest one of all? 

What do you think? Is makeup good or bad for your self-esteem? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below. 

MODEL CALL! Looking for a few fabulous women of different shapes and sizes for boudoir sessions.

Have you always wanted to have a boudoir session but, for whatever reason, you never did anything about it? 

Well ladies, here is your chance to have your own boudoir session at a great reduced price of 75% off the session fee. This means you only pay $100 for your session fee, but you also get a $50 print credit that you can put toward product purchase. Most women purchase an album to showcase their images, so this credit would be a great way to make that little book for that special someone, even if that someone is just you. 

You are probably wondering what the catch is? There is no "catch", but  the purpose of this model call is to use the images for advertising on my website and other marketing materials. As you can imagine, many women do not want their intimate images being plastered all over the Internet and on printed materials which is why I am seeking a few good women. So, are you brave enough? If this appeals to you, and you would like to one of the 4 women selected, please forward me a current photo of yourself expressing your interest in the model call. The sessions will take place on Saturday, May 05, 2016 at my studio in Cambridge. It is going to be a blast!

Enjoy the weekend! 

Corrine  

 

 

image.jpg

The Kardashian Syndrome

 The Power Of Narcissism

As a clinical therapist (and professional photographer), I have observed this Kardashian clan of selfie bookmakers and pouty fish-lipped divas and realized that their reality television show is actually a documentary about Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Who knew?

What is Narcissistic Personality? 

"Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. Those with narcissistic personality disorder believe that they're superior to others and have little regard for other people's feelings."

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the vainest of them all.  

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the vainest of them all.  

Here's how the litany of NPD symptoms have played out on their reality show:

Has a grandiose sense of self-importance, e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements

We all remember how Kim and company first became famous as a result of the alleged leaking of her sex tape. This family has virtually zero inherent talent to speak of (aside from, perhaps, posing for the cams), yet clearly feels entitled to monstrous success.

Lacks empathy, e.g., is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others

There are many examples of this throughout each episode of KWTK, such as Kim focusing on her own dating life rather than her sister's happy engagement; Scott and Kourtney not caring about crudely stuffing a server's mouth with $20 bills.

Is exploitative of others, e.g., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends

In order to boost ratings, the family once clearly staged a moment wherein Bruce finds his preteen daughter working a stripper pole. Why? Because a father confronting an underage daughter being risqué made for good money-grabbing TV and higher ratings.This also reeks of Kris Jenner and how, in my opinion, she pimps out her family for her own self-serving greed.

Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her

The sisters' jealousy toward each other is well documented and often played up on the show. Kim always wants to be the centre of attention, Kourtney downplays her issues with Scott to the point of avoidance in addressing their troubled and extremely co-dependent relationship. Khloe always seemed to be the one suffering with the lowest self esteem of them all. Her on-going battle with weight over the seasons allowed her to be the clown and constantly judged. However, Khloe's weight issues are behind her since undergoing a complete makeover rife with plastic surgery procedures, fitness trainer, and hard-core exercise program. Well done Khloe, but you have now placed yourself right up there with Kim and her need to be seen. You were the unique Kardashian, carving out her own path and remaining true to yourself, but 2015 was the year that you conformed to the KK way of relentless selfies and narcissism at its finest.

Requires excessive admiration

Need we elaborate?

How This Affliction Afflicts Us

Here's the thing about narcissism disorder: it consumes others, often powerfully so, which leads to a weird and often confusing love/hate relationship with the narcissists.

According to Psychology Today:

"Narcissists get under your skin. Unlike the run-of-the-mill garden variety personality clash you might have with another individual, narcissists have a way of getting to you, they live in your mind taking over your thoughts: you will dream of them at night, they will creep into your conversations regardless of the topics and you'll be unable to stop talking about them or thinking about them."

Put another way:

People may be drawn to a narcissistic partner, especially at the beginning, as they tend to have a 'big' personality. They can be the life of the party, attention-seeking, fun, and aggrandizing to associate with, making you feel that you too must be great for them to be with you.

This desire to feel bigger helps explain why, in spite of our mocking of the Kardashians, so many of us also can't get enough of them. As consumers, we try to diet like them, dress like them, shop like them, consume them, in the hopes that it will make us more like them. We may not always enjoy or condone how they behave, but their narcissism, on some level, attracts us, a dynamic that manifests in the "real world" too. We have become a society of naughty voyeurs pining and obsessing over the ridiculousness of the Kardashians, but this is concerning on so many levels. What is this doing to the self-esteem of pre-teen and adolescent girls?. Are they going to become a generation of plastic surgery and injectables junkies in the search for ultimate beauty? And where does it become the ethical responsibility of the Kardashians to take some ownership for contributing to the unrealistic body image ideals. Nowhere have I witnessed the Kardashians addressing this issue on their show. The mere fact that 17 year old Kylie Jenner, the youngest of the Kardashian crew, has had plastic surgery to alter her face and lips tells us that Kris Jenner is all about money and fame and not being a parent. I refer to my earlier comment that Kris Jenner  pimps out her family, just as I'm sure Kimye will do with their children. Speaking of Kanye, we can't leave him out in the cold. He's simply the male narcissist that the married the ultimate female narcissist and that's another blog article all together.

The projection of greatness can be nearly as powerful as the real thing. I really must start taking selfies and purchase the phone flash thingie that Kim swears make your photos magazine ready. The lips, however, ain't happening ....but on a serious note, let's make a point of teaching our youth that these people are not real, they are highly paid actors with a mental illness called Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or as I fondly call it.....THE KARDASHIAN SYNDROME. 

 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lq0FxwAlP_c 

SELFIES TO SELF-ESTEEM WORKSHOP

SELFIES TO SELF-ESTEEM WORKSHOP

We believe that every young person deserves to grow up liking who they are and feel confident about the way they look which is why we have developed the SELFIES TO SELF ESTEEM workshop for adolescent girls. The workshop is facilitated by Corrine Ament, Owner of Studio519 , a professional photographer and accredited clinical therapist for the past 27 years. Corrine has worked with women and children in many capacities, as well facilitating groups and lecturing at Universities and Colleges. In addition to the group portion of the workshop, each girl will receive a private 30 minute photo shoot and two 8x10 fully edited 8x10 digital images to celebrate their uniqueness. The photo session will be scheduled at the time of workshop registration. Workshop duration 3 hours.Parental consent required.

$149 Per Person /HST
(save $10 pp when 2 or more register together)

Three dates to choose from:

Saturday, April 16, 2016
Saturday, May 14, 2016
Sunday, June 19, 2016

LIMITED SPOTS AVAILABLE

Read More

HOW IMPORTANT IS A WOMAN'S SELF-ESTEEM?

How important is a woman's body image to her self-esteem? A woman's body image can have great impact on her self-esteem. We've all seen this throughout our lives with our female friends at college or in the workplace, or perhaps even ourselves. As women we are constantly bombarded with images from fashion, TV, movies and media of ‘ideal' body types and what we should strive to look like. We often feel pressure to look a certain way. As well, a woman's body image will change after pregnancy & childbirth, which can leave some woman beginning to dislike their changed body, or finding it difficult to adjust to her new form. How does a boudoir session help improve a woman's opinion of her body image? After a boudoir session, many of my boudoir clients have told me they found it a very inspiring and liberating experience. It really boosted their confidence and self-esteem regarding their body image. The boudoir session is a chance for the woman to have fun, be spontaneous, to be pampered, to indulge and to celebrate themselves. It gives women the chance to be flirty, sexy, confident, glamorous, chic, and to truly express themselves. When I give sneak previews of some of the images that we are capturing during our shoot, my clients get so excited, and can't believe it's really them! They see themselves and their body in a whole new light. I think it's also partly because of the whole process of doing the shoot. Naturally my clients are nervous at first, but as soon as we get started and they relax a bit, they realize how much fun it is, and how liberating it is. It isn't long before they feel totally uninhibited and really start to feel sexy and confidant. Of course, I am always giving tips with posing, and I like to use my studio lighting to produce the most flattering images. My clients tell me that I have a relaxed and natural approach that helps to make them feel comfortable. It's important that they feel comfortable with who they are working with as much as what they are doing. 'The pictures aren’t meant to be titillating. They’re sensual rather than overtly sexy' This is emphatically women-only territory – boudoir shoots are not for partners – and the clientele are encouraged to dress in whatever makes them feel comfortable. Most bring their own lingerie, from satin slips and camis to suspenders, although there is usually a boxful of accessories, such as feather boas and garters, available for those wanting to vamp it up.  Some women just want very anonymous pictures – I have shot a pair of legs in stockings, or a bare back with a hint of profile. Others prefer pictures that are much more identifiably them. If they want to go fully nude then so be it, but most, I find, prefer a more subtle look. ‘The art of boudoir photography is in the hint rather than the full reveal.’ Part makeover salon, part therapy room, the aim of the boudoir studio, is to create a private space where women can indulge their sensual side without judgment or embarrassment. The ladies who walk through the door are all different – skinny, curvy, young and older. There are divorcées who’ve lost confidence, women who have had cancer, women who just want to reclaim a little piece of themselves after years of raising their families. And for some reason this form of photography taps into something. It seems to produce that feeling of, “Wow, I can look fantastic.”’ I believe that in some ways the popularity of boudoir photography is down to a rebellion against the relentlessly uniform images women are fed by advertisers. ‘We live in a very image-conscious society but a lot of what we are told is attractive is a bit of a cliché,. I think for these women it is their way of saying, “We’re not 22 and stick thin with hair extensions, but we can still be beautiful and sensual.”’ They can look at these pictures and think, “OK, so maybe I don’t look like that first thing in the morning, but that is who I can be, so that is who I am.” And it’s not sexual, but sensual and beautiful.’ 

How important is a woman's body image to her self-esteem?

A woman's body image can have great impact on her self-esteem. We've all seen this throughout our lives with our female friends at college or in the workplace, or perhaps even ourselves. As women we are constantly bombarded with images from fashion, TV, movies and media of ‘ideal' body types and what we should strive to look like. We often feel pressure to look a certain way. As well, a woman's body image will change after pregnancy & childbirth, which can leave some woman beginning to dislike their changed body, or finding it difficult to adjust to her new form.

How does a boudoir session help improve a woman's opinion of her body image?

After a boudoir session, many of my boudoir clients have told me they found it a very inspiring and liberating experience. It really boosted their confidence and self-esteem regarding their body image. The boudoir session is a chance for the woman to have fun, be spontaneous, to be pampered, to indulge and to celebrate themselves. It gives women the chance to be flirty, sexy, confident, glamorous, chic, and to truly express themselves. When I give sneak previews of some of the images that we are capturing during our shoot, my clients get so excited, and can't believe it's really them! They see themselves and their body in a whole new light. I think it's also partly because of the whole process of doing the shoot. Naturally my clients are nervous at first, but as soon as we get started and they relax a bit, they realize how much fun it is, and how liberating it is. It isn't long before they feel totally uninhibited and really start to feel sexy and confidant. Of course, I am always giving tips with posing, and I like to use my studio lighting to produce the most flattering images. My clients tell me that I have a relaxed and natural approach that helps to make them feel comfortable. It's important that they feel comfortable with who they are working with as much as what they are doing.

'The pictures aren’t meant to be titillating. They’re sensual rather than overtly sexy'

This is emphatically women-only territory – boudoir shoots are not for partners – and the clientele are encouraged to dress in whatever makes them feel comfortable. Most bring their own lingerie, from satin slips and camis to suspenders, although there is usually a boxful of accessories, such as feather boas and garters, available for those wanting to vamp it up.

 Some women just want very anonymous pictures – I have shot a pair of legs in stockings, or a bare back with a hint of profile. Others prefer pictures that are much more identifiably them.

If they want to go fully nude then so be it, but most, I find, prefer a more subtle look.

‘The art of boudoir photography is in the hint rather than the full reveal.’

Part makeover salon, part therapy room, the aim of the boudoir studio, is to create a private space where women can indulge their sensual side without judgment or embarrassment. The ladies who walk through the door are all different – skinny, curvy, young and older.

There are divorcées who’ve lost confidence, women who have had cancer, women who just want to reclaim a little piece of themselves after years of raising their families. And for some reason this form of photography taps into something. It seems to produce that feeling of, “Wow, I can look fantastic.”’

I believe that in some ways the popularity of boudoir photography is down to a rebellion against the relentlessly uniform images women are fed by advertisers. ‘We live in a very image-conscious society but a lot of what we are told is attractive is a bit of a cliché,. I think for these women it is their way of saying, “We’re not 22 and stick thin with hair extensions, but we can still be beautiful and sensual.”’ They can look at these pictures and think, “OK, so maybe I don’t look like that first thing in the morning, but that is who I can be, so that is who I am.” And it’s not sexual, but sensual and beautiful.’