If there’s one thing I’ve learned after 39 years of marriage it’s that marriage is a two-way street, a complex game of give and take where the prize is a long and happy marriage and both parties feel loved and appreciated. At certain times of year, such as Valentine’s Day, this becomes especially important. Valentine’s Day has been celebrated in America since the 1600s, but it’s history goes back much further. It was established as a celebration by Pope Gelsius in 496 AD in an effort to replace the Roman fertility festival called the Feast of Lupercalia which was celebrated on February 14th. The oldest surviving Valentine was written by Charles, Duke of Orleans, in 1415 AD to his French wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London after his defeat at the Battle of Agincourt. In America Valentines took a commercial turn in the 1870s when a woman named Esther Howland began making elaborate lace cards and selling them to wealthy men. They cost a minimum of $5 and ranged as high as $35, unheard of sums for the time period. Since then Valentine’s Day has become an indelible part of the American psyche.
In today’s society it’s relatively easy for a man to find a suitable way of expressing his love on Valentine’s Day. A box of chocolates, a dozen roses, a piece of jewelry or a bottle of expensive perfume. Combine that with dinner at an upscale restaurant. Most women have been conditioned to recognize these as expressions of a man’s sentiment. But for a woman it can be a little harder. What can she give her man that will adequately express those same sentiments? Women often want to reciprocate but the rules are not as clear for them. How does a woman express her love and respect for the man in her life?
There’s a growing trend that seems to fit the bill for many women.
Boudoir photography. Once associated only with Playboy and Penthouse, women have begun to recognize the potential beauty and sensuality in these photographs. When done with taste and discretion by a professional photographer they make a personal and expressive gift for that special man which caters perfectly to the male mentality and makes the woman herself feel beautiful and desirable. Because every session is tailored to the needs and personality of each client they are an ideal way for a woman to give as much or as little of herself as she chooses. Sensuality doesn’t require nudity and a woman doesn’t need to look like a Playboy bunny. Every woman has an innate beauty that is unique to her and the goal of Boudoir Photography is to express that beauty in whatever way and to whatever extent she feels most comfortable.
Once a woman has decided to take the plunge, her first step should be to select a photographer with whom she feels comfortable. If she’s stiff and uncomfortable around the person she’s working with that will translate into her photographs and overshadow their sensual nature. When she has chosen a photographer she needs to clearly communicate what it is she’s looking for in and from the photographs. Does she have a specific theme she wants? Is she interested in a Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition feel or does she prefer something more reminiscent of a WWII era pinup poster? Has she already determined what wardrobe changes she wants to incorporate? And how does she plan to present the photographs to their intended recipient? Will they be framed or perhaps incorporated into a gift album? If she’s uncertain she can ask her photographer for suggestions, but she should never feel uncomfortable with what she’s doing. The final decisions are up to her and she should not be afraid to say no to outside suggestions.
Boudior Photography is a growing trend that can satisfy a woman’s need to feel beautiful and sensual while making a wonderful gift for that special man in her life. They’re not for everyone, but when properly done they’re the perfect gift for those occasions, like Valentine’s Day, where romance and beauty are the primary focus. In many cases they can serve as a spark to rekindle that special something lost in the hustle and bustle of jobs, kids and everyday life. They’re definitely a way to show that a woman is willing to navigate her half of the two-way street.
All Copyrights Belong to Southern Moon Photography, LLC - February 2014