Frequently asked questions about your Boudoir Session

There are some FAQ’s lying around here somewhere but this is the condensed and updated version.

1. What should I bring to the session?
I answered that one perfectly WHAT TO WEAR.  Or fancy a YOUTUBE VIDEO? How many outfits you may ask? minimum 3 but bring a variety – lingerie is not that heavy to lug around.

2. How long does the shoot last?
About two hours. The part that takes the longest is the make up application. Those fake eyelashes sometimes require effort 🙂 . It takes about 40 minutes to get ready- and the shooting part goes way faster.

3. Do you help with the posing? why yes I do. I show you all you need to do. It helps also you read my tips on how to pose standing up HOW TO POSE SEXY I think is funny. And for the close ups and what to do with your hands: HOW TO POSE HANDS
The best thing you can do is practice your facial expression in front of a mirror. It feels silly, but you will feel silly here anyways.
And I give you the general idea at the beginning anyway.

see? lie down twisty and hold boobs.

4. Can I bring a friend/sister/hubby?
Yes you can! whoever is going to help out and watch is fine. If they make you laugh even better. Takes some of my performance pressure off 🙂

5. How many files do I get?
Digital… I kind of miss the good old glamour shot days that you had 16 shots and you had to choose your 5 best one from there. You blinked- you lost a frame. Nowadays for each session I have about 300 files. Dang it. A lot of the images are similar so that just helps me decide on which one has a better focus.  You have two options: One I send you about 50 (depending on your package) so you can choose your top 25 that I can edit or you let me choose the best ones for you and you only see the final selections. Up to you.

6. What do you do with the other 250 files?
If they did not make the cut for the best  I delete them- I need hardrive space. If you want them all – the private affair package includes all digital files for you to do as you wish. Otherwise they are just deleted or sold to playboy… I WISH. 🙂

7. How long till I see the proofs?
Low season- meaning not this close to xmas and valenties day – usually you get a link of your proofs within 24 hrs. High season when I have more than 3 bookings per day is about 36 hrs. I will let you know an estimate at the end of the session.

8. I am getting married next week, how soon can I get the pictures and album?
hmm, yes I had these before. Yes, I do my darnest to get them done in a week. But album takes about 3 weeks so only prints can be done within the week. I usually send files to print on Wednesday and pick up Thursday and meet up with people on Friday or mail them.
Wednesday is print day.
Normally it will be two weeks from your session to get prints and 3 to get the album. So plan accordingly and dont give me any more stress related white hairs.

9. What is the extent of the retouching? 
Retouching includes:

  • background – any cable – carpet piece
  • skin smoothing- stretch marks, lumps, bumps, bruises, blemishes
  • face- under eye area- skin and teeth brightening
  • figure- tuck in the waist a bit and if you are sitting or bending funny smoothing extra skin aka the “roll”
  • aaaaaand my toes

I tend to have a light touch. It is still you but a bit enhanced. You can request more retouching after you see them.

10. I am plus size, and most samples the women look to be on the thin side. Any tips for plus size posing?
I shoot any bra size and any shoe size, what you see are flattering images around my blog and sometimes at request of the client I do not post any – so I may lack a bit in the plus – sized samples. But not too worry! you are in good hands. I really look for your best angles, I want you to love your pictures.
A good tip is to make sure the lingerie you get fits you properly, and skip the thigh highs if you can’t find the ones with out the elastic. Some great choices are corsets, bra sets, camisoles and sexy lacy robes. Anything lacy and see trough.
An article I wrote about this CELEBRATING BOUDOIR

and lastly my privacy policy… I will not post a faces- lips yeah, some boobs, some butt, but any marks or tattoos are deleted to prevent recognition. I sometimes distort the faces a bit too. Only you know they are your boobs.

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!
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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)

Finding Your Perfectly Fitting Swimsuit – Guest Post

Note: This is a guest post, and looking for images to use I realized that I do have some in bathing suits for pinup poses, but not one on the actual beach. Available for hire to go somewhere warm- wink wink.

Finding Your Perfectly Fitting Swimsuit

Dreaming of warmer days, sandy beaches, and tropical getaways? You aren’t the only one. The best part about escaping to warmer weather is shopping for new clothes. However, most women don’t exactly get excited over the idea of swimsuit shopping. No matter what size, shape or age you are, it can be a little defeating trying to find a swimsuit you feel comfortable. Which is exactly why this little guide was created. Now you can find that perfectly fitting swimsuit that gives you the confidence you deserve. It really is possible to do so without having to try on 20 others before you finally just end up settling on the one you feel the least uncomfortable in.

1.    Figuring it Out 

You’re probably familiar with the body type guide: apple, pear, hourglass, and straight. Of course, it’s very unlikely you are one specific shape to a T. However, narrowing down your body type will help you figure out which swimsuit is going to be right for you. Women with smaller busts should look for ruffles, stripes, or padded style tops. If you’re a bit on the bustier side, look for supportive styles like halter tops or a top with a built-in underwire. You can even find d-cup swimsuits from designers and brands who create swimwear for women with larger busts. If you’re a little bottom heavy, go for a lower-rise cut. Don’t be afraid of revealing some skin. A lower-rise cut or rings on the side can give the illusion of smaller hips. Darker colored bottoms can also help to minimize your lower torso, too.

2.    Show off your Assets 

The best bikini body is your bikini body. So, don’t be afraid to show off and show out a little. Patterns, colors, and embellishments can make your best features shine. Things like jewels, tassels, fringe, and any other eye-catching addition can help draw the eyes away from any place you feel self-conscious about. Look for interchangeable pieces like a fun, embellished top and a darker bottom. Or a supportive top or  women’s tankini swimwear, and fun, flirty bottoms.

3.    Get Outside your Comfort Zone 

Swimsuits are like shoes; you can never have too many. Unlike shoes, you can mix and match the suits for endless options. Experimenting with new styles, colors, prints, and patterns can be fun. So don’t be afraid to get a little outside your comfort zone. Why not trade that tankini for a supportive halter style? Or switch up the two-piece for a fun and flirty one piece.

4.    Create an illusion 

Did you know that detailing like ruching or shirring can create a slimming effect? Shirring refers to the tightly woven gathers in the fabric. This tight weaving not only holds you in but it’s basically magic for all figures and body types. It can hide any bulging and is very forgiving on your waist and curves. Ruching can be characterized by draped and gathered fabric. Ruching along the midsection can hide your tummy and keep you looking cute. Surprisingly, all over prints can actually hide a full bust or conceal a bulging tummy. So, seriously, don’t be afraid to try a swimsuit in a color other than navy or black.

Finding Your Perfect Fit 

Whatever you’re looking for, finding the perfect swimsuit is all about highlighting your best assets, and identifying an effortless fit and cut. Be mindful and honest with yourself about which cuts and silhouettes work, colors that highlight the best of your summer complexion, and fabrics that work no matter where you are. No matter what, be true to yourself and be 100% confident!

Author Bio: Andrew Hoffman is a freelance writer and journalist from Los Angeles, CA, who has written on behalf of wide range of clients including the Demand Media and Livestrong Network. In addition to writing about a range of topics, he loves to travel and is a pet lover. He enjoys working out at gym in his spare time.

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. 
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