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.