What happens when a boudoir photographer and his assistant/wife go to Gatlinburg for a few days in the mountains?
Well, more boudoir happens, of course! Dawn and I recently took a little R&R to a beautiful cabin in the mountains. Aside from the usual hot tub and beautiful surroundings, they also had a pool table in the loft. I'm an avid pool shooter, and this was part of my fun and relaxation. But wait, there's more.
When Dawn and I travel, we usually shoot a few boudoir photos at the hotel we stay at, or in this case, cabin. Sometimes we even connect with a local model, and have her come out to the hotel room so we can get some fresh new images at a new location. Doing so also helps establish us a bit more in those cities, where one day we may potentially move to, or franchise in. How about that, a Boudoir á la Mode franchise in Sarasota, Florida....or wherever. How about Tampa? These things go through our mind.
Back to the cabin in the woods now! So, we LOVED the new surroundings! The wooden walls, and modern but cozy decor. We chose this particular cabin because of the way the owners decorate. We did not want the typical "country granny" look, as I call it, which most Gatlinburg cabin rental owners opt for.
The main disappointment was not seeing any bears! I really had hoped to see some black bears foraging around. Black bears are far less dangerous than a grizzly. Sometimes people even manage to feed them by hand. But I just wanted to see one! And to shoot some photos would have been bonus.
And here's a little secret about our trip. Well, its not a secret now. I let Dawn shoot a few man boudoir photos of me. Yep, I did it. My first solo boudoir session...of me. (I've posed WITH Dawn in some couples sessions). So yeah, I got to feel a little bit of what it's like on the other side of the boudoir lens. It was what I thought it was. It was invigorating, emboldening, fun, and sexy. Will any of the images ever be seen by others? I don't know yet. It's up for debate.
So watch out when you go to the mountains. You may also get cabin fever...of sorts. Don't forget your camera.
Roseanne......the most photogenic face I know of...... But more on that later.
Dawn and I first met Roseanne in Orlando in early 2020, right before Covid. We were on vacation, and we connected with this quite lovely model named Roseanne. We like to shoot boudoir while on vacation sometimes, so we did. I almost always take my basic camera gear with me. We had just recently re-+launched Boudoir á la Mode, after I took several years off from it. (See an older blog story on that)
Recently, the heavily English accented model came to Nashville for some arranged photo sessions with other photographers, including us. Well, upon our offer, she ended up staying here with us for about 3 days, and we got to know her so much better. What a sweetheart she is, and she's fun to be around, and so endearing in her ways. So, while she was here shooting boudoir in our studio, why not create even more content? A small Boudoir á la Mode video ad would be nice (as seen below, modeling one of our coveted kitty logo nighty shirts). And oh, how about let's also make a posing instructional video, taught by yes, Roseanne! That video will be coming soon. It's designed to be slightly more advanced than basic boudoir, because we teach that to our clients by ourselves. But the video is more like basic modeling 101, and the tips she gives can ALL be applied to boudoir, for anyone who wants to up their boudoir game just a tad. (or, to possibly start modeling)
I've been saying since we first shot with Roseanne, that she has the most photogenic face I've ever seen. I still hold to that. She has very high cheek bones, deep set eyes that really work for her, milky skin tone, and a cute little dream-nose, and naturally pouty lips. I want to be clear though, that being majorly "photogenic" doesn't mean necessarily that someone is more beautiful than the next girl. Because frankly, every lady who comes into our studio, whether she is a model or a client from across town, they all look like models in some of their photos. I'm being real here. And this is where I differentiate between "photogenic" and "beautiful". To me, photogenic just means it's very EASY to capture that model-quality beauty in a high percentage of photos. But I wish you could all hear Dawn and I as we sort though our client's photos after each session. "Wow, she looks like a model here!". That's normal here.
I want to mention one more thing about the above photo. The outfit! The sweater is ours. We have several of them that we recently acquired, because I think one of the sexiest photos is when a woman wears something heavy and beautiful up top, and just panties below. (or nothing) It's photogenic.....it's sexy...and it's not done enough! So ladies, when you come in for your session, why not give this a shot?
Be sure to watch the 30-something second video below, if anything, just to hear her accent when she speaks. She tells us that WE have the funny accent though.
Let's get right to the point! We are so excited about what two things we are now offering.
1) A female photographer option for clients.
2) Maternity Boudoir Photography
First let me go over the female photographer option we now offer. Her name is Kenzee (in photo below), and she is already rocking this stuff! She is a photographer with an eye for beauty and sexiness that is VERY much like mine. Myself (Shane), being a male photographer, with obviously a male perspective, I have an eye for "what men like". Well I'm very impressed with Kenzee's eye for the same. We have trained her to use the same exact lighting and posing style we use, and she uses the exact same camera model we use here at Boudoir á la Mode. I cannot tell her work apart from my own now! Seriously. So, now we are offering a female photographer option (for an upgrade price, because we have to be sure to pay her!) As a man, I totally understand and respect the concern that some women have about posing for a male photographer. I understand potential husband objections and concerns. Well, this opens up the door for those of you who love our work, but need a female photographer. It's on!
As a brief background, I originally met Kenzee while I was doing a music artist shoot for her boyfriend, Breck. I occasionally go out of my studio for a session that appeals to me, for a change of pace. Anyway, I met Kenzee while shooting Breck, who is the son of my long time good friend, Chance James, who is no longer with us on earth. So, I've ended up spending a lot of time around Breck and Kenzee in the past year. She has even been one of our boudoir models, and she and Breck also did a couple's boudoir session with us, which is another thing we offer, but haven't made a lot of hoopla about yet. So here we are, expanding the business and products and crew again!
Dawn will always be working on set as usual, alongside Kenzee, just as she does with me. I love this team.
2) Maternity Boudoir photography! To us, it's the same process, and the same lighting, but slightly different posing. Maternity and boudoir are such a perfect pairing, they just go together automatically. We are thrilled to now offer maternity sessions for those amazing, expecting ladies! I will be writing further blogs on both today's big announcements I've just made. But I wanted to get both new announcements run up the flagpole NOW. So here we are. Be sure to check out our new Maternity Boudoir portfolio page HERE. By the way, almost all of the images of Melanie, our model in this first maternity boudoir gallery were shot by Kenzee!
(photo above is one of our models who has allowed us to use all her photos online)
So a recent lady came into our studio on her session day. What was about to happen a few hours later, she would not have previously thought could happen. Not that she didn't want it to. This story just shows how we help ladies to be relaxed and confident while they are here for their boudoir photo session.
So there we all were, preparing her for her session. Dawn was getting our client ready with makeup and all that girl stuff. I was going over some photo ideas with said client. We will call her Miss X, to keep her totally anonymous. So, Miss X is a wonderful person, and always in good spirits. She was planning to do some nudes while in the studio, but nothing quite as bold as the shower scene pictured above, which is one we shot in Las Vegas with a model while we were there. We do also have two beautiful showers here at our Nashville area boudoir studio.
Upon viewing several photo ideas before her session that day, Miss X looked at this shower scene and said she loves it, but is just "not bold enough" to do such a photo. She obviously wanted to, was she did not think herself bold enough to. Now, if this story were a movie, this would be where we immediately cut this scene and jump right to the next scene, and the words come up saying "2 hours later". And now, Miss X is posing with no problem in the shower, totally nude. (and tastefully so) The shower scene photo made it to her final photo collection and it's beautiful! I pre-steamed up the shower for effect, then turned off the water before she got it, so no actual getting wet and showering was needed. The steamy dripping water down the glass makes the effect look real, and sexy.
There was no coercion or persuasion to get her into the shower scene. She was just ready, and it was obvious. The nerves were gone. Now she has this sexy and beautiful photo for the rest of her life. She did it! Congrats Miss X. (and you know who you are!) I will always remember her words earlier in the day that she was not bold enough to do that shot.
This story should serve as a double reminder that 1)You are probably going to lose all your nervousness very quickly after we start shooting. and 2) We are good at what we do, making our ladies feel comfy and relaxed in their boudoir photo sessions! Dawn and I (her husband) LOVE what we do. It's such a blessing to be able to help so many ladies feel as beautiful as they really are, and to sometimes be instrumental in helping them SEE that beauty. It breeds confidence and esteem.
Hi it’s Dawn, the co-founder of Boudoir á la Mode. I have the pleasure of being the makeup artist for most of our boudoir photo sessions. (I am often times the hair stylist as well for each lady who comes to our studio.) One thing that makes my client look her best is to use mineral based makeup which is virtually chemical free.
The brand I use is Younique . I was sold not only by their product, but by the fact they are generous contributors to abused women and children. That cause is very important and dear to my heart as I have seen women and children suffer greatly. I joined unique for both of these reasons. Immediately I joined as a representative many years before I began doing makeup full time for our boudoir business. The makeup looks beautiful and silky smooth. The pictures always show each woman in their most beautiful light, both literally and figuratively! It’s a true joy to blessing, and enjoy the makeover portion of our studio here in the Nashville Tennessee area. We are located about 20 minutes away from Nashville in the Hendersonville district. I
If you wish to purchase some of this popular and amazing makeup product, here is a link where you can do so. Just click HERE
Nashville has become a great city of visiting groups of people. Many come from many different states. I have met several people who have come for this very celebratory occasion.
If you’re paying attention you will notice groups of ladies especially cheering on decorated trucks with colored lights and party tunes. This phenomenon that has grown to what Nashville has now been called Nashvegas! Have you guessed that I am speaking about bridal parties galore! We have been contacted by these ladies who are celebrating to meet us in the boudoir business. Those maids of honor who have planned in advance set up a group or individual session. The best luxury boudoir studios are set up with veils, white lingerie, rhinestone accessories and stunning stilettos. We are prepared and as excited as you are, here at Boudoir á la Mode. Bridal parties are welcome. We can offer group rates for a massive boudoir bridal party.
Happy celebrating in Nashville ladies. We are grateful to have you here in “Nashvegas!”
There are generally few times a woman is all "done up" quite like they are on the day of their boudoir session. Wedding day? For certain. Boudoir day is one of those days. That goes especially for the ones who rarely, or NEVER wear makeup, we see many of those types of ladies in our studio. So why not go ahead and do something after the session that would really even further show you off? Got a lover? Make it a date afterward. If the boudoir session is to be a surprise for him, then you may have to explain your super beautiful new appearance to him in some other way that may not be exact truth. No current lover? Arrange a date with someone anyway! It can be a first date. It can be a date with that guy you haven't been out with for years. Or, you can just go out with the girly friends and have a good time.
You can certainly already see the general idea here. If you are coming in for a boudoir photo session, then it's often a great idea to follow that up later with a date, or something where you can turn some heads. Because hey, after your hair is all done up sexy, your makeup is smokey eyed and gorgeous, you may as well not leave wearing sweat pants, unless you are heading home to get on that sexy black dress or tight jeans for a date. Interestingly, we do request our ladies to show up at the studio in loose fitting sweats and no bra, because it prevents tight clothing and bras from leaving lines imprints in your skin, which can ruin a boudoir session. BUT...after the session...you can walk out of here looking like the smoking' hot gal in the photos, but with more clothing on. (for a while at least! Wink Wink)
Dawn and I love to go out and hear live music on some of our dates. We love music. So, when we can have a date with great food, live music, and maybe a margarita for me, or a lemon drop martini for her, then we are good to go! Here are a few of our personal favorite spots to go for such things. (I will link the locations to the name that you can click on)
Sambuca is probably our favorite. It is classy and fun all combined, and they are right in the Gulch in Nashville. They have great live music, which is usually classic pop/rock bands that play lots of 80's hits and such. Sometimes they have something a little more jazzy. The food is really good, and we love the music. (it's generally from our era) Occasionally, there are a few songs being played there that make people want to get up and dance. So there's always that chance.
2) BB King's Blues Club
BB King's is a good sized place, right in the heart of Nashville, on 2nd Ave. The house band is AMAZING. I have to tell you though, I'm not sure if I have ever heard a blues song played at BB King's Blues Club. Maybe I have and don't recall. They play high energy R&B mostly. Well, I will just let them tell you in their own words I took from from their own website:
"As house band of B.B. King’s Blues Club, these guys know how to jam. This group is the most talented collection of musicians in the Mid-South. The band is found weekly on our stage playing rhythm and blues favorites with emphasis on Memphis music, as well as a variety of other styles including soul, pop and classic rock. Click here to check out their next set. "
They have a really big, full menu, and a nice sized dance floor. The house band...did I mention them? They are top shelf. Have you some fun in Nashville!
3) Rudy's Jazz Room
Rudy's is fun, if you like jazz, even occasionally. We are not actually big on jazz, but sometimes it's just the right flavor of the day! The food is really unique and tasty, and music is absolutely mind-blowing. I've been a musician myself for many years, and I can tell you that jazz musicians are among the best, most talented of the bunch. Rudy's is currently not operating because of Covid, but their website is still up, and they take donations to help their basic costs to survive. So, another classy place with great food and live music.
4) Joe's Crab Shack
No live music or dance floor here, but really great seafood, and a cool atmosphere. It's one of our go-to spots when we are just out and about Nashville. Check out if you haven't.
This concludes our list for now. Thanks for reading, and be sure to plan for some post-boudoir fun, if you come in for a session. May as well, right?
Nashville boudoir photography studio history, in a few paragraphs:
People frequently ask me how I became a boudoir photographer. Part of that answer will also double as a storyline for the history of this boudoir studio business I founded, called Boudoir á la Mode. This should be a tasty bite of information, whether you ever wondered or not...just where we came from! Here’s the story, as briefly as I can put it, how I went from upstart model photographer, to cruise ship musician, to full time photographer.
Back in 2008, I finally bought my first entry level DSLR camera to start my photography journey. I have always loved and been gifted in photography, but was never able to really dive in deep until 2008. So I bought a Canon Rebel Xti. I started out shooting just whatever I fancied of course, landscapes, animals, friends, and the like. It didn’t take long until some lady friends wanted photos done. Then after that, upstart models wanted me to shoot their photos. I actually opened a small photo studio in Hendersonville city square shopping center!
My new studio was just getting up and running, when I got a call with an offer to play music on a cruise ship band for 3 months, touring mainly Australia and New Zealand for two months, followed by the French Polynesian islands next (Moorea, Tahiti, Bora Bora), then the Hawaiian Islands. At that time, I had already been playing music for many years, and the prospect of free travel sounded too good to pass up. So...what did I do? Well I closed my newly opened photography studio to go and get paid to travel and play music! But while I was traveling, I was always shooting photos when I was not on the ship playing music. I walked around different cities and towns with my camera, and shot a whole album worth of landscape photos. I walked all over and around places like, Melbourne, Tasmania, Wellington, Auckland, Maui, and lots in between. Also, through a modeling website, I connected with some beautiful models in New Zealand, and Hawaii for photo sessions. I also found an island girl on the French Polynesian island of Moorea. She was just there on small portion of remote beach with her aunt. Neither of them spoke more than two words of English, but using gestures, and a ten dollar bill I had in hand, I was able to hire her to do an instant bikini photo session with me right there. One of those images is in my photo book, which you can find on Amazon here.
While on the cruise ship, I befriended Ilhan (il-han) , the top photographer on the cruise ship’s photo staff. He was Turkish, and we stay in touch even to this day. I learned a lot from him and we even shot together once, on a long walking trail in Hawaii.
Eventually my cruise ship gig was up, and I returned home to the states on May 8th, 2009. Very soon thereafter, I fell passionately in love with wedding photography. Modern wedding photography was so much more artistic than the standard traditional wedding photography of the past. It was so beautiful and emotive. I quickly gained steam in that genre, becoming well known in the Nashville area, and it got to the point where every one of my clients were from word of mouth advertising. Then, with my past of shooting beautiful models, I decided to add boudoir photography into my repertoire. I took great pleasure in helping the every day women look like a model. Who doesn’t need that confidence boost? Some clients looked like models, and some looked like the girl next door. In 2010, I founded and officially opened Boudoir á la Mode!
I had an idea for a kitten as my logo, and found a gal online through an artist connection website to design my logo. A year later, she actually drove out to Nashville with her husband for her own boudoir session with me. Her name is Melanie, and one of her photos is featured right on top of this blog post, as well as her actual kitten logo design. We shot her session at Hotel Indigo, which is where I used to shoot a lot of my early boudoir sessions.
Due to some life changes, and temporary reasons I won’t bore you with, I quit boudoir photography for several years. I was able to sell my entire business, logo, name, and all such things to another already successful photographer named Matt. I also quit weddings a couple years later. I met and married Dawn, and we moved to our current house by the lake in Gallatin, TN.
I will now jump to just over a year ago, when together, Dawn and I reestablished Boudoir á la Mode. Matt was no longer doing much with it, so I was able to buy it all back from him at around the same price I sold it to him for. Yessss! We’re back! You can pick up the story way below this post, on my first blog post. Dawn and I love what we do. We are Nashville’s dynamic husband and wife boudoir photography team. Women have always been relaxed and disarmed around me, and having Dawn by my side the whole time makes it even more comforting. She’s become a huge part of what I do. She’s amazing with hair and makeup, and her help as an assistant, posing each of our ladies has become invaluable.
So that’s the history of how I got started as a boudoir photographer in Nashville. I’ve quite enjoyed the journey here. And I’m looking forward to the next leg of the journey. Remember, it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey!
Well here we are, just over a year since we opened this current studio, and we have made it even better now. We have really stepped it up a few notches during our two weeks down time! (Lots of work done here, so I'm not sure that really qualifies as "down time")
First off, you may notice in the photo that we now have a beautiful old claw foot bath tub. I found one online that was being sold up in Kentucky, and I made the trip to go buy it and bring it home. Yes it's cast iron, and yes it's SUPER heavy. I spent a few days getting it all cleaned up, prepped and painted. It was a labor of love. One of our new clients, Mrs B, allowed us to use her photo above to model our new wonderful bath tub!
Also, we have a new teal colored sofa now in our studio. It's gorgeous! See photos above for that. It is fully tufted, and is soooo photogenic. Aside from the new decor, we have more efficiently laid out what we already have, and essentially have about 4 new sets within our studio. We are super stoked about it. As far as Nashville boudoir photography goes, we've got it goin on...and it's not only for the benefit of us, but of course, our clients whom we love to make into gorgeous á a Mode Kittens!
We will soon be making a new studio tour video, to showcase what we've got going on in here. Ladies have all gone googoo over our studio in the past year, but now it's even so much better now. Several are already making plans to return again for another session. Also, we can't wait to see some new faces in here! We are literally booking up fast, so if you are on the fence about doing a session, contact us asap. We want to get you off of the fence, and into the tub : ) Since I'm on that subject, I would like to point out we have a dry tub, and we are not doing the milk bath thing, but we use very fuzzy furry white rugs in the tub, which are super sexy without water! Yeah, its a thing.
Boudoir photography isn't just about boudoir anymore. Christmas, Valentine's Day, New Year's Day, and heck, why not your own personal holiday--your birthday! (or your significant other's B-day!). These could all be factors in why a woman wants to visit our Nashville boudoir photography studio. There are lots of reasons to shoot a boudoir session, and some have very little or nothing to do with a holiday. In most cases, a woman is not thinking about a holiday when she reserves her spot on our calendar for a boudoir session. It's usually about her personal desire to look amazing, feel great, enjoy the experience, or maybe to give a beautiful gift of visual love to someone else. She wants to give that special, private gift that boudoir imagery can be.
Sometimes, a major holiday is a great reason for her thoughtfulness in giving the gift of boudoir. Her husband or long time BF would really love this! (Hint: sometimes the BF pays for it. Sometimes it's even his idea. Well, duh!) Boudoir sessions and holidays go GREAT together. What man wouldn't want a gorgeous set of boudoir images in a professionally designed album that he can frequently open up and admire with passionate eyes? Maybe he wants that big beautiful and very impactful metal wall print hanging in the bedroom. And here's another noteworthy note: Shooting a holiday boudoir session doesn't mean it has to be "holiday themed", as seen in the photo above. Some ladies like to shoot a boudoir session for their lover for a Christmas gift, but none of the photos necessarily have to be Christmas themed, or Valentine themed...or birthday themed. Though we do recommend at least one or two photos be themed for the given holiday. He will always remember then, for what holiday the gift was given.
Of all the boudoir photographers in Nashville, we have carved out a style that is our own. It is a very sensual style. Our photos have shadows and depth, and a strong sense of mood. We have just finished shooting a video of us explaining our photo style, as opposed to many other boudoir photographers. See the 2 1/2 minute video HERE Likely, the next blog post will also go into that detail, touching on why our style is what it is. For now, enjoy the holidays, and we hope 2021 brings you and everyone else much more joy than 2020 did, if you know what I mean!