The History of Boudoir
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Saturday, June 01, 2013
By Mahgon
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Since the beginning of time, many have been interested in

the art of capturing the female form. The soft curves, swells,

skin, and general beauty of a female in relaxed repose

captures the attention of not only men, but also other women.

The female form is a curiosity, and a beauty to withhold in and

of itself.

In the 1920′s, when nudity in photography was mostly

illegal and often times considered pornography, Albert Arthur

Allen emerged. A Frenchman, based in San Francisco who

despite being arrested for his art on numerous occasions,

continued to create. A closer view of Mr. Allen’s work reveals a

man who saw beauty in the more lush and “plus-sized” models

to today’s standards. His posing and model choices led to a

very soft and romantic appeal, which is not hard to imagine why

he became very popular with his small clientele base at the


Around the same time, Cecil Beaton, an Englishman came

on the scene and is famous for his photographs of Marilyn

Monroe.  In fact, one of Marilyn’s personal favorites of all time

come form Cecil’s collection of photographs. This detail says a

lot, considering the many photographers who covered Marilyn

in her day and the sheer number of incredibly beautiful


Yet another photographer, whose work I find immensely

enjoyable is Sam Shaw. A United States native, born in New

York, has coverage of Marilyn that I feel shows her natural

beauty and her everyday side. Sure, there is the glitz and

glamour but more importantly he captures an innocence that I

feel a great boudoir photographer should be able to capture.

Not just sex, not just beauty, but also an innocence that

reminds you there is a woman there. 

The history of boudoir & glamour photography is a vast

one, celebrating the beauty & femininity of women, but also if

done well: the innocence and romance. The reason behind this

blog post today is to show you that the objective for us is not to

just capture the modern day take of boudoir & glamour

photography, but also to take note from our photographic

ancestors and bring a little something more to the table. To

show the artistic side of it all and to provoke thought and

interest in what seems to be a forgotten art form.

There are many artists to learn from and from which to

seek inspiration. Another of my personal favorites is Steven

Meisel. Steven is an American photographer born in 1954, who

has made the majority of his living through publications in

Vogue, a magazine I use to this day simply for inspiration. I

subscribed to this magazine, not for it’s inspiring articles, but

also for it’s artistic and avante garde imagery. Steven Meisel

has not forgotten what the roots of boudoir photography are all

about. He has been known to photograph plus-size women,

women who do not exactly fit the proper societal mold in which

we place women for their size. Something I applaud, because

no matter the weight of the woman, there is beauty to behold

and to be captured. 

  Horst Paul Albert Bohrmann, A.K.A Horst P. Horst, was

also a phenomenal photographer and master of lighting,

something that is a huge part of our focus here at The Boudoir.

We spend a lot of time researching the latest in lighting

techniques, purchasing lighting equipment and arranging our

lighting and models in the best possible way, to create the most

dynamic image that we can. Horst is a huge influence for this.

Also a Vogue Alumni, he became famous for his work with

Madonna on her “Vogue” single in 1990. Horst went on to

inspire many photographers, including myself, in the years


The list of incredibly inspiring famous photographers and

artists could go on and on: Alberto Vargas: famous pin up artist,

Frank Powolney: photographer, Sam Menning: photographer,

Olivia De Berardinis: famous female pin up artist, Andre De

Dienes: photographer, Bert Stern: photographer, Bob

Willoughby: photographer, Charles Dana Gibson: pin up artist &

artist of the “Gibson Girl”, the list goes on and on.

The lesson to

take away, is that Boudoir & Glamour photography shouldn’t

just speak to the sexual side of an image. It should speak to the

soul, it should show personality, and innocence. Every woman

has an innocence to her that is just waiting to be captured.

Welcoming you to The Boudoir, is welcoming you to a new way

of doing things. We’re putting ourselves out there, we’re setting

a precedent for ourselves, and a reputation that we will be

working very hard to uphold. We encourage you to find

inspiration of your own before your session. Come to us with

your ideas, share your inspiration. We’re here to make them a reality.


curtisy of the boudoir brand

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