When people think of Dawn Derbyshire Photography, their mind immediately goes to the radiant, light-filled wedding photos I’ve built my brand on.
I’m famous for confetti tossing, champagne popping animated GIFs of my couples, emotional and authentic stories of my photography adventures in my Instagram captions, and my signature move: Lightening-fast turnaround time. Seriously…I’m quick.
But I also offer boudoir photography!
And I really, really love it.
It all started years ago with my first ‘legit’ wedding client, who asked if it was something I did. I had heard of the concept of boudoir photos, and taken a few pictures of brides on the morning of their wedding at my other job, but never dabbled in it myself. I figured I’d give it a shot.
This client was the perfect person for my first boudoir shoot. She trusted me every step of the way, and without her giving me a chance, I don’t think I ever would have been brave enough to photograph a boudoir shoot…heck, to start my own business!
I’m currently creating a new boudoir offering for 2021, and thought this would be the perfect time to share more about what boudoir actually is (much more than a sexy, male-gaze bedroom session…) and how my Dawn Derbyshire Photography flair (booze, Lizzo blasting from the speakers, and the *dopest* robes you’ll ever see) will have you in awe of yourself.
When you book a boudoir session with me,
here is what you won’t feel:
Like you’re shooting porn.
This is such a popular misconception about boudoir! My photoshoots with boudoir clients are not x rated or explicit. Outside of cursing like a sailor, my shit is pretty PG-13, so this doesn’t mean stripping down and baring all, it’s about feeling good in the skin you’re in. I actually joke that my boudoir photos are ones you can show mom!
But hey…You want to get naked? GET NAKED! It’s your photoshoot!
Like your age, gender, skin, or body isn’t worthy.
Boudoir isn’t a specific age, weight, outfit, or gender. Boudoir is for anyone at any stage in life; not just soon-to-be brides. Sure, if you have a partner they also get a little joy from it, but you should be in love with them too!
Here’s a fun fact: About half of my boudoir clients are already married or single.
I think it’s hard for people, especially women, to see themselves as truly sexy. To see yourself through the eyes of someone else (me!) who thinks you’re freaking awesome (ME!) and is there to hype you up (…ALSO ME!) and help you finally see that you’re a total fox!
Heck, I just had a mother of one of my brides reach out, and it was super exciting! I love making people feel good about themselves, not just so they can show it off to their spouse/partner, but so they can show themselves.
I recently got to photograph Pittsburgh Wedding Planner and friend, Melissa Crawford of Devoted to You Events. Her caption is everything.
…And yes, boudoir photos are also a killer ‘morning of the wedding’ or anniversary gift. I totally have a photo of a groom reacting to a boudoir book that is absolutely hilarious! I even had a bride text her groom a photo before they walked down the aisle. Legend!
Like your wardrobe isn’t ‘hot’ enough.
The biggest thing that sets me apart from most boudoir photographers is my Client Wardrobe:
It’s extra…like me!
I really worked to have a range of sizes, from small to 2x/3x (and I’m working on sourcing some more plus sized pieces!) because I want to make sure that every client who digs into my closet–which is washed and sanitized after each shoot!–can find something they love.
I’m very proud of the very over the top pieces in my collection, like big ruffle robes, pearl studded robes and tops, and handmade lace items. Every client, regardless of which boudoir package they book, will feel like they’ve walked into Cher Horowitz’s infamous closet in Clueless.
There’s a million combos at your fingertips, and they can have the most amazing time playing dress up!
If the drama of a bright pink frilly robe isn’t your thing, that’s fine too! Many clients opt for overalls with no shirt, or long johns, or yoga pants and a sports bra! I’m a firm believer that the sexiest thing you can wear is what you feel comfortable and like yourself in.
Clients often come to me feeling weird about outfits they bring that make them feel sexy and confident. Leave those feelings at home! If it makes you feel fantastic, I’m here for it and we’re going to photograph it. End of story.
Like you need a specific reason to book a boudoir shoot.
Boudoir is a true ‘treat yourself’ experience. It builds confidence, it’s an eye opener, and honestly? It’s self care! 2020 was not very kind to anyone, and if you need a pick me up to kickoff 2021 on the right note, call me.
Here’s what you will feel.
When you arrive for your shoot, you’re whisked away from any insecurities and into my private hair and makeup room where Bri Matisse will glam you up. I hand you a White Claw, and then help piece together your wardrobe.
When it’s time to shoot, I crank up the volume to Missy Elliot, or Lizzo, or whatever songs get you in the zone. Then…I’m literally yelling about how amazing you look, rolling around on the floor with you to get ‘the shot,’ and really focusing on not just getting great photos, but making it fun as hell to be photographed strutting in your underwear!
There are a lot of amazing boudoir photographers out there, and a really big difference between us is the vibe we bring to a shoot, and the experience we give our clients. While sexy photos are the outcome, my overall goal for my sessions is that they are a fun, empowering escape.
Leave your hang ups at the bottom of my studio stairs and get ready to try on some fun outfits, get pampered a little, and laugh a lot. That signature Dawn Derbyshire experience will always be there, even if you’re wearing less clothing!
That’s a direct quote folks. I’m always shocked at how my clients gush over how great they feel they look in the photos, because to me, the photos look exactly like they do to me when they walk in.
The loudest example of this–and it totally blows me away–is that my clients feel so awesome after seeing their photos…that they post them on Instagram! Go girl.
My favorite moment of a boudoir session is when my client walks out. It sounds crazy, but that is the moment where 95% of my clients go ‘I actually feel really amazing/excited/confident right now!’ and it totally radiates from them.
Before clients even see a single photo, and after they’ve changed back into their regular clothing, a different person is walking out of my studio door, and I’ve noticed this is really apparent with clients who are mothers. The session is a few hours of their life that is 100% about them, and making them feel beautiful. They always leave the studio feeling like the true bombshell that they!
And it’s not just empowering for you. It’s empowering for me as well. Having a job that is able to give a woman that sense of confidence in a world full of relentless, unrealistic, expectations is something I will never tire of.
Dawn Derbyshire Photography loves love.
I strive to create an inclusive, welcoming space for my employees, vendors I work with, AND my clients of all races, religions, sexual orientations and identities. All of my clients (and their love stories) deserve respect, are cherished, and are valued by me and my business. You are welcome in my business, my life, and my heart.