How to do your own boudoir shoot with a phone – update

ARTICLE originally published in 2010- updated 2017 and then clean up 2020, video coming soon!
Inspired by my popular post “how to shoot your own boudoir photos” and this picture which title is:
“NUMBER ONE USE OF CAMERA PHONES THESE DAYS” (Get naked and take pictures)

Yes, we have all done it. Good thing we are not famous- yet.
Now, this post is about how to take your naked selfies to the next level.

Here is my attempt to eradicate those pictures taken in the washroom mirror – the horror.
Fine. I can’t eradicate them for good since we still have to take a picture of the outfit #OOTD we are wearing that day and post it.

But for sexy pictures in your underwear- Please use this.


Photos from when the original article was published in 2010 (DANG!) on an iPhone 4 and about 15 pounds (pre-Lily) less and different hair. This only reinforces my thought on “you look awesome right now”. Do not wait for when I do x. Time flies.



1: Get your room ready. 
My room does not look like this every day. Everything goes into the closet and the catch-all drawers.
Pay special close attention to clutter on surfaces, I know usually nobody is going to look behind you if your cleavage is right there, but don’t be that chick of the selfie mouse on the floor 

2: GET READY
Thank goodness for push up bras. Aren’t they awesome? And my Batman undies. I nerded out for this shoot. Tips on what to wear are here.
Makeup. Pile it on.  Youtube has amazeballs makeup tutorials, don’t get lost in the rabbit hole so make sure you actually do this first.  Youtube glam makeup with the type of makeup you own.

3: PHONE

After you prop it on a chair like I did or get one of those gadgets to stick your phone on surfaces, set it up to Time Lapse Option so you have some time to move around. Make sure you have enough memory so back up all your photos before attempting this. You will need the space.

4: TAKE THE PICTURES:
All right here you go, it is way easier when no one is looking :). And you are actually looking at yourself in the phone so it helps. If you are shooting video set your iPhone horizontally – but for photos vertically it’s ok.
So start the goofiness. Use props. More tips on what to do click here Just remember, you are on your knees here so move around. Go on all fours. You can think of something 😛 Avoid using the digital zoom, it ain’t pretty.

5: EDITING: There are tons of apps out there, for simplicity I use Snapseed others even change your body shape. But if you already feel sexy in your underwear and makeup, this looks better than what an app can do.

camera

What not to do:
besides losing your phone with all those pictures- or sending them to a  jerk

All I see is the toilet.
Almost… good try, the darn toilet paper got in the way. Push that tush.
So if you must… this is a good example. Almost no crap and all you see are boobs. It’s purpose is to tease. If you ever break up – there is no face! just awesome boobs.

And also points for clean mirrors! Anyway- hope you just set the self-timer and start having fun without holding your phone.

And lastly, do not forget to back up the photos from your phone, back them up on your computer- I was going to say google drive but not sure if I trust it, ZIP it, put a password in it then save it.

Have fun! I do have a thing for Batman

Holiday Family Portrait Tips

For non-cheesy family photos!
Well, who am I kidding, if there is a time for cheese it should be the holidays! Here are some tips and recommendations based on my “viral” Family Portraits tips on the beach. And by viral I mean, it gets pinned on Pinterest. I wish I could get bookings from that thing but I guess reputation is great. 

First, I just want to say, take this chance to take a nice photo, even if it’s Walmart, as long as someone else is taking the photo. Dress up, print it, and hang it on the wall, not just post it on facebook.
So take advantage of the holiday pressure and kill two birds. Get an awesome family photo and send your relatives a printed photo.

So my first tip is going to be:
1. Do a formal portrait. Maybe add a touch of red, but don’t make it too Christmasy with the red and green together. Yes, a pop of red is great. But think home decoration. You do not want to print a big photo with your reindeer sweater. It doesn’t look that great the rest of the year.

2. Wear neutral colours. For the same reason above, BUT, add a Rudolph scarf? Your ugly Xmas sweater? Your Santa hat? Yes take a couple of really holiday photos but only keep it to a couple.
Wearing neutral colours will let you use those accessories quickly without stopping a shoot for a change. Remember, kids have the attention span of a, well, kid.

3. Keep it short. Kids give you a solid 10 minutes attention if that.  So be ready, have the arguments in the morning while getting ready, and drag them all dressed up all ready. Yes, promise ice cream and treats if they behave,  but use it as a last resort. Explain how this is a gift for grandma, for someone they like, and that it is very fun and short! A good photographer will capture honest laughs or action shots. I always ask them to show me how high they can jump. The joy of playing is priceless. Or instead of a kiss, to blow a raspberry  🙂

4. Tickle and play. It will be great if all of you are looking at the camera at the same time, but really, it rarely happens. So tickle away, I will make sure those 4 takes look like one awesome one. Or maybe just get a moment like this: 

And here is the fancy holiday guide 🙂 

3 reasons why not to have a boudoir session…

 

 
Video updated here, same info just less reading 🙂 
 

I am gonna get a little serious here, (this photo is me trying to do a smart face?) but the dorkiness will show up – don’t cha worry.

This one I have been cooking for a while. But first, let me say that I think everybody should do it once in their life for themselves.

And this is the important part. I’ve had clients which have told me “My husband/boyfriend/other really wants these type of photos” and great! as long as that is giving you motivation  and excuse to do it.
BUT, and this is a big BUTT

 
1. Do not do it because you have been told to do it.
Especially if you are saying to yourself: This is not me… I feel so hoochie… I can’t. Then maybe don’t. Do a glamour photo session instead.
 
A little black dress that shows some cleavage. Or your jeans and a cool shirt with high heels. You do not have to show me anything. Or anyone for that matter. 
 
2.  You do not have photos of yourself.
 
There are people that hate their photos with a passion, (my mother for example) runs away from the camera or when coerced looks at some other random spot, anywhere but the camera. PET PEEVE of mine. I have one of her with my son, and where the fudge is she looking at, I have no idea. 
If you are like my mother, try a glamour session first. You will love at least one. 
 
 
3. You have really high expectations of my photoshopping skills.
Oh, I can do it, I will give you Kim Kardashian butt, but, do you really want to? I can also make you the shade of number 6 line of the toaster. But you are super pale. It does look a little bit fake. Go to get a spray tan at schulzbeauty.ca first.
 
I will fix the tank top tan from that weekend you forgot sunscreen. Or match the belly to the arms, that I can do, and do it well. It is when you are expecting abs when there is none, or worse, because another photographer did it for another session in the past. Nope. You do not have barbie skin. Or a barbie butt. It is plastic.
 
 
And I am pro-photoshop. Enhancing what is already there and fixing little things like skin tone matching and the chin pimple, and the darn mysterious super bruise. 
 
There! I let it out of my chest, feel better now!
But again! let me emphasise! Do it for you!
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Tip: Shoes for Boudoir session

I might have a small shoe fetish. I can’t wear them, but if no one is looking, I will caress them. I have like 6 pairs that I just like saying hi every now and then. I am an awkward high heel walker too. Like my grandma used to say: You walk like a chicken with thorns on your feet. A thorny chicken. It sounds as ridiculous in spanish.

Anyway. Since then I kinda know how to walk if I practice for a bit before I have to actually go anywhere, but in reality the occasions to wear them are very few and far apart. And I feel like a giant if I go out with hubby. So flats are my thing.

As a general tip, when you come to a boudoir shoot, it is nice to have a newish pair of shoes for the shoot. Your heels go all over the place in weird positions that I make you do, but you can see the heels in some shots.

HERE IS THE TOP SECRET TIP: 

“Buy a new pair and return the pair the next week.” You really are not walking anywhere except from one corner to the bed.

A suggested this to a client that wears flats and has the one pair of very used high heels, you know, thinking she is getting a $60 dollar pair at winners or something. She came in with a freaking pair of $1,200 Louboutins. OH NO, SHE DIDN’T, YES she did!

She is my hero now. I am making room on my credit card so I can do that. To at least feel what a nice pair of shoes feels like. Apparently this is done a lot for styling photo shoots and movies. The trick is to use the non-stick painters tape if you are going to practice your walking. If you are just lying down for photos then you do not have to worry about it.

There is something sexy about that darn red sole…

It might be the proximity to the butt as well. 🙂 
It’s funny I started looking in the archives and apparently I have shot a lot of Louboutins. Even those pink ones. Pink and red look good together without looking like roger rabbit. Who knew!
Oh and if your credit card doesn’t have the room for a pair like this like me, just paint a newish pair.
Old jar of red nail polish here I come.
UPDATE: Awesome client painted her shoes, she used acrilic paint from the art store, and did give it a coat of shellac to make it last. But she actually uses those shoes so she wanted it to last. If you do not care for the lasting effect – just paint works!

Boudoir as a Gift to Myself

A small intro here: this was written by an actual client! she explains better the reasons to do a boudoir session better than me 🙂
I needed to re-read this. So I am giving it the 2019 update. This post from 2011 is one of the reasons I love boudoir and what makes women feel. Feeling sexy instead of trying to be sexy by society standards.  Leigh was awesome to write this for me, and it was awesome to see her again in 2018 still a strong woman embracing her super feminine side.

 
Guest Post: A Gift to Myself at 75
by Leigh
The idea of doing a Boudoir photo session started off as a gift to my boyfriend for his birthday.  While it still is a sexy little gift for him, it turned into a bigger gift to myself.    I’ve even showed the pictures to a few girlfriends, and they’ve been inspired to do something similar.
At first, it felt a bit indulgent to want to do this. 
Then I thought – why? If I can’t feel good about my body and feel sexy when I’m happy, healthy and in a good place in my life – when will that ever happen?

I decided to get over the self-doubt, the judgment, forget about what anyone else would think, and just go for it.  So I booked my session with Marlen. 
I trusted Marlen, and because of her, I felt really comfortable doing something I don’t ordinarily do every Saturday.  
I wanted to see what it was like to FEEL genuinely sexy and sexual through my own eyes, instead of trying to BE sexy by someone else’s standards. 
 I wanted to get in touch with my incredibly feminine side.
I wanted to remember that being a girl is FUN
I wanted to know that feeling sexy doesn’t mean you have to compromise your dignity, your pro-womanhood, and it doesn’t have to be degrading to other women. 
And, I wanted some kick ass pictures to prove it!
Well, I got what I wanted.
I can’t tell you what an amazing experience it was.  Plus, I feel a little bad ass, I gotta say.  And it feels really, really, good.
I realized that not only was I doing this for my boyfriend who appreciates me no matter what I am or am not wearing, but that I was doing it for myself and that, even though I wore red lipstick for the first time, I don’t need lipstick to feel good about myself.   
When I’m 75, I’m going to look back on these photos and appreciate them.  This gift to myself at 75 is that I had the good sense to feel good about my body and get in touch with a whole new side of myself on my own terms, with Marlen’s help.
So I say life’s short.  Go for the red lipstick and just see what a different side of you can be like.

Boudoir photography for couples- updated gallery and tips

It takes a really committed and confident couple to go for this type of photography.  You have to trust the other half that these images are not going to end up on Tumblr. A great source for ideas and inspiration, I save some stuff there that I see around Tumblr. It’s fun. Check mj-couples.tumblr.com

So! where was I?

Oh yeah, you have to trust your other half that in the case you ever broke up; pinkie-promise that these images do not end on the internets for the world to see your abilities.

I updated the Couples page and a handy dandy BROCHURE
I condensed all the tips there, it comes in handy when someone purchases a gift certificate and info of what to expect is needed.

It is really a lot of making out, cute making out, not eating faces because we do not want to ruin the makeup, a lot of boob grabbing, and a lot of pretending I am not there.

Tips on what to wear:
For her- they are all here on what to wear for your session
For him:
  • Suit with tie and everything (not to worry about the shoes really) or just bring shirt and tie.
  • Jeans and simple t-shirt
  • Boxers/ briefs/thongs I do not judge. Maybe a little but I won’t tell you. Simple colours, preferably no prints.
  • Shave super early in the day on even the night before if you have sensitive skin.
  • Tweeze the unibrow and brush off your lips with your toothbrush for kissable lips.
  • Moisturize after your shower, you want to look dewy
Book yours! If you need help convincing your other half, get the brochure 🙂
(originally published in 2011, now giving it the revamp)

Why boudoir is a great gift for the woman in your life…

Besides the benefit of your partner getting sexy images that you get to enjoy after, I think it sends a message of:

And this is good for our self-steem, bonus points if you can make that Ryan Gosling smouldering look.

So not only you get sexy art, she gets:

  • The surprise: “oh my lordy, what the hell have you gotten me into.”
  • The getting ready and pampering part of removing the extra fuzz, and she will be extra-nice  if you add a gift certificate for a mani-pedi, or a spa treatment.
  • The chance to dust off the lingerie, even an excuse to buy a few new items. Everybody needs a new nice bra set. The latex is optional.
  • The photoshoot part, is about a nice girly time, getting the makeup done and general goofiness.  Alcohol is allowed. I am telling your partner to get on all fours and lick her finger. 
  • The result: Most clients are like:” wow, I didn’t think I could pose sexy!” Which, let’s face it, we do not feel sexy that often, especially after kids or being in a relationship for a while.

Not that I am claiming to be like Dr. Phil or anything but from experience and as a witness to several women enjoying the whole experience and feeling great about themselves after… what are you waiting for?

SO! get a gift certificate from your local boudoir photographer, or me, even better, wrap it up in a pair of stockings or new undies, and write a lovely note.
Email me or purchase directly here: http://marlenjames.com/gift-certificates/ and you will be sent a personalized gift certificate. 
In the event, that she is like “no way”, she can still use the certificate for a glamour photo session (no lingerie) and have a really nice photo. Or put it towards some family photos. I do those too.

FAQ: What to wear – the Sport item edition

So you see this all over Pinterest. More when the teams are actually winning.
The man in your life loves the darn game. So take a photo with the shirt. Even better the scarf. I am digging the scarf more as you can be pretty much naked under it.
Why are these so popular? I am guessing is two things, the contrast between something masculine on your femenine acting (well, because we don’t always act very ladylike- like currently slouching on a desk with my legs open) There is a little bit of ownership as well. Like: “that sexy woman is mine!” She is wearing my thing! me like! And of course, the sport itself. 

Here are some tips to rock the sporty stuff:

When the shirt is giant, you actually do not have to wear it. Just hold it in front of you like so: Way more flattering and again, points if you wear nothing under it. Maybe even do it for a game too, just maybe not an important one.
Note: see how we are grabbing the shirt and cupping boobs up at the same time? SCIENCE
Scarf:
Really liking this! There are more soccer things but hey, if you find one with the leafs or raptors go for it. BONUS: buy one and then wrap the photo in it and give it as a present. win-win. Extra points for socks!
Hats:
This one is more easy to achieve since it can be snuck out with no problem. Small, fits anywhere.
And topless and a hat just works.
So do not stress about trying to sneak in your boyfriend’s apartment on game day to steal a shirt (true story) grab something simple! Winners has stuff in the boys department. Go crazy there and do not spend too much.
And the ULTIMATE sample of a sport boudoir idea was from a couple, that booked the hotel that faces the Rogers Centre. So they could watch the game after. 
And always, if you have any questions, email me 🙂 I check my email too much. (according to my husband)

My Boudoir -updated January 2017

Where the magic happens… yes photographic magic.
Anywho I needed to post an updated picture of my place and I took this picture before clients came in on the weekend and preserve the pristine appearance that usually lasts 5.2 minutes.
🙂

SO! I moved it to another apartment I share with a neighbour. It’s like having a super tidy roommate that disappears when I have to shoot. Not like the 3 other roommates I have at my place. Lily is not the neatest.
And I discovered that the huge window made a difference in the sessions! Love the natural light now. I hardly need extra lights anymore.

It is a little bit small, but mighty, I have shot up to 5 people in here, but ideally I shoot individuals or couples. When you bring a friend I just move them around.

And some recent samples. I am loving all the natural light. 

Types of boudoir photography

Did you know that there are differences in boudoir photography? This is my simplified version of what you can get when you show your boobs. I kid.

Pinup
This one it is a bit more costume-y, for the fans of retro and really dig it. Anyone can pull it off with the right makeup, hair, outfit, and attitude. You have to be more outgoing and flirty and “out there”.
A nice article of the history of pinups by Boudoir Louisville – here

The background is plain and any colour. The outfits require more planning. Click here for info and to book!

Artistic or Implied Nude
Well, yes, you do have to take all your clothes for this one. It’s more a play of light and shape, more like a piece of artwork to put up on your wall. Barely any eye contact needed really.
Here also there is a comfort level needed, it also helps if you have an idea in mind that we can interpret. For this one, I would go for a simple white or black background.

“Fashion Magazine” boudoir
A little more brazen and plenty of eye contact. This is the Maxim style cover. TheVictoria Secret catalogue. Fan in the hair. Touching body.

“Getting ready” boudoir
My specialty. A little peek into the sensuality of you getting ready, or getting undressed. Some tossing around the bed included.
The idea is capturing you in a natural setting and the result is a little more voyeuristic.
Bridal Boudoir falls into this category. Using the elements of your wedding attire 🙂

The fun part? We usually do a combination of all! Because why not? Since most people do this usually once, except for a very special few (hi, gals!) Book your regular session and we can go from there 🙂 Click here

So there, class dismissed. Children be good. Do your homework. 

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