Kristina Hart Photography
Have you ever been curious about boudoir? We’re chatting with boudoir photographer, Kristina Hart who is setting the record straight about getting comfortable in front of the camera. Whether it’s for that special someone or yourself, we want you to let your beauty shine and love this type of portraiture as much as we do!
How did you get started with your business?
I’ve always had a passion for photography, and when I had my son three years ago, I finally had the opportunity (and perfect excuse, really!) to focus on using my camera every day to refine my skills and techniques. I quickly realized that being behind the camera made my heart full, so I decided to branch out and try photographing other people and genres, and give my poor little guy a break! One of my very first session inquiries was for a boudoir shoot, and to be honest, I had zero clue what I was doing – I just knew in my gut that it was something I wanted to try, and it was for a friend of a friend, so I jumped at the opportunity. Before the session, I grabbed my sister to practice, I saved and studied Pinterest images, and I tried to learn as much as I could before I met with my first client. Then session day arrived, and I was incredibly nervous to fall flat on my face and fail, but I could tell she was pretty nervous too. So we put on some of our favorite music and laughed – we truly had the best time!! As soon as I left the session, I called my husband, and to this day, I still vividly remember telling him that this was it, that I had finally found my calling. I had fallen in LOVE with boudoir photography in that very moment, and since that session three years ago, my love and passion for it has continued to grow.
What exactly is boudoir?
To me, boudoir photography is defined as intimate portraiture of the female form. It can be sensual and romantic, but it doesn’t necessarily mean nudity is required. I think women can have a tendency to immediately assume that boudoir means “pictures of me naked.” Most of the time, boudoir photographers use posing and lighting to create implied nudity, and I only take my clients to the limit that they feel comfortable with. As long as my client is feeling good about herself in that moment, and she is gaining the confidence this experience provides, then the amount of clothing she is or isn’t wearing shouldn’t matter. I’ve had some women wear dresses, shirts, and yoga pants and prefer headshots only, and others wear nothing but their birthday suit, yet every single client has walked away from their boudoir session with the same newfound appreciation for their beautiful body. Boudoir photography is also typically considered to be just for brides who want to gift their future husbands with photos for their wedding day, but it is so much more. It is about making a woman feel confident in herself and in her appearance, as well as celebrating the true goddess that she is and deserves to be reminded of every day. I’ve photographed mothers, divorcees, and even grandmothers, and now it’s becoming even more popular to have a couples’ boudoir session!
Why do you love boudoir and feel other woman should give it a try?
I love boudoir because it is all about female empowerment and embracing yourself wholly. I didn’t have the greatest body image or self-confidence in my outward appearance growing up, and it was something that carried through to adulthood, even after I met the love of my life and got married. His compliments always went straight through one ear and out the other, and I could never accept them as truth. It wasn’t until I struggled to get pregnant that I started to change how I felt about my body. When the day finally came that I could celebrate a tiny baby bump, I LOVED my body! I appreciated my growing belly, and all of the physical changes that came after delivering our baby. A year after I had my son, I decided it was time for me to get in front of the camera and have my own boudoir shoot, to see what my clients had been experiencing with me. Let me tell you, the word incredible doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt after my session. It was as if a switch flipped, and I could finally see myself just as beautiful on the outside as I had been feeling on the inside. I for sure thought that I was a Victoria’s Secret model and I’d be called any second to walk in their next runway show!
I love boudoir because it is an eye-opening, soul-awakening, confidence-boosting, Beyonce-channeling experience, and I recommend it to every woman I meet. It doesn’t matter what size you are, what shape you are in, the number on the scale, if you have scars or stretchmarks, your age, or whether you have no chest or no booty – boudoir is for anyone who is ready and willing to recognize and love their outward beauty, and finally let that self-confidence pour through every inch of their gorgeous self.
What are some ways you work with woman to feel comfortable in front of the camera?
Posing for a boudoir shoot can be very nerve-wracking. I can’t tell you how many women have shared that they have zero clue on how to make themselves look sexy for their photos, and I think it can be scary to know you’re going into a situation where you have no idea where to even begin. Gosh, even reaching out to a boudoir photographer for information can cause anxiety! But my goal is to make every woman feel comfortable from the moment she says hello. I am my client’s #1 cheerleader from the beginning. I am constantly connecting with her through encouraging messages in the time leading up to her highly anticipated, and most definitely feared, boudoir experience. I’m helping her choose her outfits, offering my opinions and advice so she doesn’t feel like she’s navigating this process alone. Then the moment she steps in my studio, she’s greeted with a hug. I mean, we’re about to get VERY personal with each other, so I think a hug is comforting for the relationship and friendship we’re building. As she’s getting her hair and makeup done, we chat about anything and everything, and honestly, not all of the conversation is focused on boudoir – in fact, my last session we discussed my client’s upcoming trip to Walt Disney World! When it’s time to actually start taking photos, most of my clients are usually pretty quick to realize that their fear and preconceived notion of what this experience is supposed to be like is SO much bigger and worse in their head than how it truly is. The eye-opening moment is usually when she understands that I’m the one rolling around on the bed and floor first, or that I’m really just a silly, giddy, and goofy person. It also helps when I’m gasping and yelling from behind the camera that she is just slaaaaying it! Another way I can help a woman feel comfortable in front of the camera is to show her a few of the photos on the back of my camera. She won’t get to see every photo I take, but when my jaw drops behind the camera, it’s usually a good one to share. More often than not, the immediate response to seeing her image is, “Wow, I didn’t realize that was my body! Look at my butt! It’s actually not as bad as I thought!” Then she seems to loosen up, the fear barrier comes down, and by the end of her session, she is thanking me for helping to open the door for a new, long-awaited, positive, loving, and appreciative conversation with her body.
How can someone book a session?
If you feel connected to my style and me as a photographer, there are so many ways to reach out! You can inquire through my website, through a direct email, through any of my social media channels, or send a letter through the mail; heck, even a carrier pigeon will work. Booking a session really is super simple – just reach out and say hi! That’s usually the hardest and scariest step (the second scariest is showing up on session day), but I promise, I won’t bite! In the first 30 seconds you’ll probably realize I use more exclamation points than is necessary, and that this process isn’t as terrifying as you think.