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!
Shane, founder of Boudoir a la Mode.