LALA’S Boudoir Experience with Karen French Photography
Welcome back to my haus!
Now I know some of you already know what a boudoir photoshoot is… but for me, I had no clue! I wish someone told me about it sooner! For those of you who may not know what ‘boudoir’ means, let’s take a look at this quick definition:
bou·doir | \ ˈbü-ˌdwär a woman’s dressing room, bedroom, or private sitting room
In other words: you will be having an intimate time with a photographer as they work to capture the deepest parts of your soul. It’s that vulnerable part of you that craves more nurturing and self love. What an honorable work it is to make women feel comfortable and provide a safe space for them to explore their authentic self and heal their perceptions of how they see their body. It’s #fashiontherapy at its finest! You need a certain level of skill and flare in order to make women feel this loving, sexy, and empowered.
I’m excited to share that I found the best photographer and business owner in the LA/OC area for boudoir photoshoots, and her name is Karen French. Keep on reading as I take you through my experience at her one-of-a-kind 2,000 square foot studio!
Karen’s 18 years of experience and vast array of clients is stirring up a buzz. From CEOs to soccer moms, Karen brings a personal touch to her work. A lot of her clients bring props that symbolize who they are and what they love the most. A female client that is into rock and roll may bring a guitar, or a client that loves sailing may bring in a sailor hat with a matching lingerie outfit. Many of Karen’s clients come to her for important life milestones. They come to do a boudoir photoshoot to give it as a gift for their wedding day, wedding anniversary, or for the holidays. Some take photos to celebrate their weight loss journeys, or they create other monumental moments in time.
Boudoir is for all walks of life. It is timeless and ageless. No experience in modeling is necessary.
She says her photography style is between ‘Victoria’s Secret and Fine Art.‘ Karen’s goal is to bring out the best in her clients so they can leave feeling free and empowered .She makes sure her clients feel comfortable with their poses and body type. Women tend to come a bit nervous, but it all goes away as she coaches and encourages them throughout the photoshoot. Her top-notch hair and makeup artists do an amazing job as they focus on accentuating the best parts of you.
MY BOUDOIR EXPERIENCE
Before getting to my boudoir photoshoot with Karen French:
I was given tips on what to do before my shoot, such as get enough rest, drink plenty of water, nurture your skin, hair and nails. She also recommends lingerie stores (she has recommendations on her website). I made sure to pamper myself thanks to Karen’s tips. I purchased 3-4 outfits. Karen recommends 4 outfits and props if you have something in mind.
So you may be wondering what went through my mind before I got there? I’ll share some thoughts: ⠀ “Does this look okay? Am I okay? Will it look okay? Am I too fat? Dang, I picked the wrong outfits. Am I too short? I’m sure it’s going to work out fine, but will it?…” ⠀ Hey that’s just real talk in my head, but these thoughts of fear flew out the window when I met Karen French in her studio.
I was greeted by Denise, Karen’s assistant, and she offered me water or champagne. I’m a sucker for the bubbly, so I took a seat and enjoyed both. Located in the main area of Karen’s studio, there are look books you can view to get inspiration for your shoot. This helped me visualize what I wanted to do on set. I got to meet Karen in person, and she made me feel very welcomed. I’m glad she liked my jokes, lol! I can tell she is really passionate with her artistry. It was helpful that she wanted to build rapport with me before shooting. After her introduction, I began my first part of the boudoir journey.
First was hair and makeup.
Rocio @rj_makeup_artist did an amazing job! I was very amused with the foundation spray machine she used. My makeup felt light and my skin was pure perfection. I find it hard to find makeup artists that can match my skin tone, and she totally aced the test! Rocio got my hair to look full and luscious. I had a great time with her, and she helped me feel more excited to shoot. I believe the saying is true: If you look good you feel good.
Next was dressing room time!
Her dressing room is a beautiful little space with tons of high heels for you to try. There is also a body-sized mirror and hangers for your lingerie. I loved the feminine touches she adds with a chandelier and shades of pink. After suiting up in my first outfit, I had a moment of determination. I looked into the mirror and gave myself a pep talk of how this will be an amazing experience, and the critical LaLa is not allowed to come out to play today.
After my inner pep talk, I went out to meet Karen. Her photography studio is large and spacious. The first thing that caught my eye was the angel wings, but then I turn my head to the right and there is this velvety goodness of a couch set! I loved everything she provided on set. Karen explained her style of shooting with me. Her goal is to make women look sexy and classy at the same time. I appreciated the time she took with me, and it made my nerves go away. I dare to say I had a #boudoirtherapy session!
I was nervous in the beginning of the shoot, and I felt robotic. I was so glad Karen picked up on my emotions and helped me use my body to reveal my curves. With each flash of her camera, I felt more strong and confident. It was exhilarating to model and capture these beautiful shots. I think as women we sometimes forget how beautiful we are. My body type is amazing, my skin tone is wonderful. I found a new appreciation for my own body. Karen was a great coach with each outfit I wore and I listened to her suggestions for additional props and high heels. We did about four scenes at her studio, which mind you it looks like a set for the movies. Her photography studio is the only studio out there with an array of backdrop scenes and state-of-the-art equipment. I felt like prominent actress ready to perform. It made me want to say :
“All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.”
After my session:
Denise told me the next steps and booked me for a return appointment to view my photos. It was a one hour session, and I went within the next week. I wanted to cry as I could not believe it was me. I was relieved and happy to have so many choices. Karen did a phenomenal job! Expect your photos within the next week or so as she has professional editors that will work on your photos. Know that there is an option to not get them retouch if you find it unnecessary. There are options for creating a look book album.
As I reflect, it was a true test to see how I really felt about my body in a society that bombards us with images of needing to be “more”. Karen was so fun and supportive! She schooled me! I relearned that my curves has always been enough. My body is my temple and it’s one of a kind. Just knowing how to use my body to work the camera rather than the camera working me helped tremendously. I felt so blissful throughout the entire process, and I love how Karen reawakens the beauty within women. She provides a safe space to freely express themselves without judgment. ⠀ Karen, it was an honor to work with you. Thank you for making look and feel sensational! I truly feel like a covergirl! You do a fine work helping women to see who they truly are: fearfully and wonderfully made. Karen reminded me that it’s important to nurture and appreciate our bodies.