The Everyday Woman
Beauty and Strength in Boudoir Portraits
Photography and Story by Amanda Hartfield
“The art of boudoir is a way for women to remind themselves of their
beauty and strength.”
My philosophy is that the human form is an intrinsically beautiful work of art. It is a hard philosophy to live by when every aspect of our society makes it hard for a woman to view herself in that way.
As a woman and a photographer exploring the world of boudoir, I struggled to see myself in the boudoir work I came across. It leads me to question, how are we encouraging women to love their natural selves if all we show them is an unrealistic version of themselves? Women are so conditioned to find flaws in the way we look and our society encourages insecurity. My hope for women looking to have a boudoir experience is to see that the things they do, how they move, how they navigate this world and the way they look naturally is inherently artistic and beautiful.
For instance, they don’t have to have the full face of makeup, the garter set and lash extensions to be a beautiful woman, to look like a bombshell. Those things are accessories to her beauty. If a woman wants to utilize those things, she should; she shouldn’t feel like she HAS to.
The idea of this shoot came from a conversation I had with a fellow photographer about how we couldn’t relate to the work we were seeing. It was a case of the extremes. On one hand, you have really risqué and sexually charged imagery and on the other, the overly styled and feminine imagery that is marketed as “fine art.” We were desperate for something in-between the two. Natural, casual and simple. We both said that if we ever were to do a boudoir shoot ourselves, it would be in the iconic Calvin Klein sports bra and underwear set, a natural make-up look and a simple background. I love this shoot because I feel like any woman can see themselves in it.