Boudoir: From Camera to Paintbrush

 "Lovely Angela"

"Lovely Angela"

I've decided to no longer accept boudoir photo bookings but to instead take on boudoir-ish portrait commission paintings. I've been asked about what happened so I felt I owe an explanation.  I kind of dropped it suddenly and without warning.

IN THE EYE OF THE CAMERA'S BEHOLDER

Everyone is a photographer these days but I was one when it mattered differently, when it was film and manual camera, batteries not needed unless you wanted a flash. With Instagram filters, smartphones and a wide variety of photographic options it’s no longer the craft that fed my creativity or my soul back when I began my first boudoir shoots in the late 80s nor is it something that sustained me into the new millennium to the present. Photography has become a mainstream vision evolved from everyone's need to express themselves through the eyes of tiny cameras. And everyone does! Like, everyone. Countless imagery pours in daily on news-feeds from a variety of online sources.  It's too much. For me, it's overwhelming. Each coin has two sides but at this point in my life experience, photography doesn't reel me in. It's often that when something becomes mainstream, I'm out trailing again. I dislike crowded paths.  I don't do it on purpose but something in me refuses to feel the clusterfuck and forces me out, and so a new offshoot into the realm of eroticism develops.

IT'S THE STROKES, FOLKS

In painting, it’s up to you and your trained ability to see and to translate a vision onto something where you're not dependent upon technology: no camera issues and failures, no dead batteries, forgotten or corrupt SD cards, no mechanical malfunctions and truly, minimal unexpected external bullshit that can turn a challenge into a headache during the creative process. Of course, if you're an iPhone photographer, you're not quite getting me here but fact is, pro pics require a lot more than an iPhone. I feel that when a person begins to bitch about the little things that are simply part of the bigger picture and thus parts of the job that have no bitch rights, the passion is gone and it’s time to move on -- so I am. 

Boudoir figure and portrait painting is currently more enjoyable and empowering to create than a photo album. The movements are different. It's harder on my arm and shoulder, sure, with those consistent strokes and it's much harder on my eyes, that intent focus on a canvas that after a while, my eyes cross and I have to walk away to sooth the burn. It's mentally challenging in ways photography isn't and one is simply that I'm not a mechanical - logistical person. I don't much care for mechanical things or planning logistics or anything actually that has too many straight lines, angles, details and clear need for mathematics for that matter.

Painting allows a curvy, loopy, non-conformed kind of expression and the full dependency is on me: my time, my efforts, my education, my focus, my failure and success, 100% my fault in good or bad result.

... this would be a good time to mention a side note on this since it's on my mind after a few recent articles I've read about girls and self-image (and a future blog I hope to get to):

 I do not in any way feel or ever felt - unless someone told me that it could be so - that being a girl, a female, a woman hinders my ability in career achievements.  Ever.  In fact, it has always been and probably always will be that my actual ability and maybe personality have or may in the future hinder my success but never the fact that I have a sweet flower between my legs. This is a societal imposition of thought that I never subscribed to.  

So much has influenced this change from photography to painting that I can't even begin on the topic except one word: growth.  I still value boudoir photo albums and photographs and I absolutely feel every woman should have the experience at least once in her life. Totally. Here's my past boudoir page that discusses a little bit about why if you're interested (text just below the introduction).  However, a painting is a different level of expression I feel privileged to know how to do and not everyone can paint people and that's more special for me than taking photographs right now.  

I'm rather sad the photography didn't sustain my desires but it didn't.  I still love good photography and appreciate it, for its functional purpose and for its artistic purposes. However, for me photographically there was always so much to deal with that the weights of those stresses overtook the pleasure of the imagery and its productions.  When I began painting in acrylics, particularly the kind I do now where I mix my own paint, something strange happened and I couldn't break free.  It was love at first stroke. (that would be a good cheesy opener for an erotic story, wouldn't it?...)

I found that I wanted to paint not photograph, plus, I needed the "safe zone" of a studio to do it in, with silence or music but ultimately to create in peace which meant alone.  I've determined that 19 years in motherhood has terribly affected my ability to tolerate human bodies around me all day.  I mean nothing mean here to others but I am in human heaven when I'm alone in the studio painting - again, all me, not me trying to help another person get what they need often to the point of my own suffering but me giving me what I need. It sounds narcissistic.  It's not.  This is healthy and needed. I've given a lot of myself to a lot of people over the years and so now I'm giving something to myself and what I've chosen is art and the time and place to make it.  "Paint it and they will buy" is my knock off of "Build it and they will come".

WATCH OUT FOR THE OVERLOAD

For me personally, the overload of sensual and sexy (and pornographic) photography plastered everywhere on the Internet to see whether or not I want to while also keeping up with boudoir photography, along with a year of life figure drawing classes of naked people, painting the 2nd ART PORN collection due out in Las Vegas in omg a few months, plus much more that has happened personally have reshaped the way I view the human body, sexuality, women and men -- basically all that is life creating and sustaining. 

There's a huge change inside and I've only cracked the shell. I don't know what to expect and quite frankly, other than what we can all expect - which is ultimately death at our door - nothing is forever.  I've learned this, especially with heartbreaking news a few weeks ago that a 30-something friend passed away just 2 weeks after her birthday leaving behind 2 children under 10, after they lost their U.S. Army father to war a few years back.  Both parents gone. Life's unfairness we can't control but our time and actions we can.  I've emerged back into the light.  I'm blinded quite honestly but art is my guide through the yellow brick road of life and "now" is what all the signs read and point to.  

Less variety and more depth is perhaps the goal now and painting an image provides that, whereas with photography it was the opposite. It takes a lot of hours to make a painting and with it, you build a dialogue in your mind about the subject matter and so it makes you think and that usually then makes me research and so it becomes sort of an intellectual and artistic endeavor.  I speak only for myself here. It gives me life, a reason to reach further each day.

Artistically, I made a leap in appreciating the sensual, subtle and authentic appeal of a painting’s interpretation of eroticism and/or one’s personal self over that of a photograph. It was unexpected and there's place for both - art and photography's expression of eroticism - but I am no longer both painter and photographer. Painting is a rich experience - a difference of Hershey's chocolate versus Belgium chocolate truffles. It's hard to go back to what used to be good but now isn't satisfying anymore.  You can't fake satisfaction, or the materialization of change.

It's very awesome to sit in this seat of view and it's an exciting time in my creativity.  It's not an easier path but it's a lot more fun and I think the best part of all, it diminishes the pressure of trying to satisfy a perfection that doesn't exist.  In a painting you are an essence and expected to be imperfect.  It's a path to self-love I never realized existed before and I look forward to passing that on to other women as I shelve my camera and trade it in for some stylish, light-weight soft brushes.  :)

Contact me for information on boudoir portrait painting commissions.

Boudoir Photo Sessions, FAQ

"Fall in love with yourself and be faithful there." - TvT
 Photographing at Savannah's "Mansion on Forsyth Park" hotel

Photographing at Savannah's "Mansion on Forsyth Park" hotel

I'm officially back to boudoir photography.  

While I intended to "go Kodak" on the medium, requests for me to do boudoir shoots keep coming in.  Not only is this a loss of income, it's a loss of much more.  How do you continually turn down women who want the kind of style you create and specialize in because you're painting today?  I had to rethink my choice to no longer photograph after a recent client begged for me to reconsider "just this once".  I left the hotel after a very successful boudoir shoot - and lots of fun - and realized I was going to have to compromise these various artistic identities I possess. 

 I'm very honored, really, that past clients and current friends and strangers refer or inquire on my photographic services still, when I'm not even advertising... so I will do a select amount of boudoir shoots a year and this way it's a win/win compromise for clients and myself.

The reality is such that (most) woman want to be sexy and (all) men want women to look sexy, except I guess men who want men to look sexy and that's a different ballgame, pardon the pun.  The object-subject relationship where one desires the other - there is always one individual who plays the object of desire and the other who responds to that objectivity and desirability via subjectivity - is truly a central part of our sexuality and relationship building and plays out into all parts of our lives. This is where the many complexities of relationships begin but don't worry about the other.  Fall in love with yourself and be faithful there. Boudoir photography celebrates who you are, as should you.  

I'm booking in and around Savannah, GA and South Florida for private boudoir photo sessions for 2016.  All inclusive packages begin as low as $500 with upgrade options. 

 

 Valentine's Day - bookings after January 17th are not guaranteed delivery of products prior to Feb 14th.  

Valentine's Day - bookings after January 17th are not guaranteed delivery of products prior to Feb 14th.  

Frequently Asked Questions

I've created a FAQ page to answer most of the questions I get asked to help you learn more about the experience of having a private boudoir photo session with me.

 

Here are some links of interest if you are considering having or gifting a boudoir session:

  1. Boudoir general info page: www.vontauber.com/boudoirsavannah
  2. FAQ page
  3. All Inclusive Packages
  4. tatiana@vontauber.com for booking or further questions

Please share this post with others who are interested in boudoir photography sessions.

And, keep in touch by signing up for my mailing list to get information right into your mailbox! 

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Boudoir Photos? But I'm not a model!

8  Valid Reasons For Women to Document Their Not-so Perfect Body with a Boudoir Shoot

In my boudoir photography business*, "But I'm not a model" is the prime excuse that comes up when a woman is deciding if she's "good enough" to justify boudoir photographs for herself, after of course, "I've got to loose weight."

So, sit back and let's go over a few reasons why this view is holding women back in ways of confidence, self-respect, personal growth and a lot of fun.

I don't want to hear this "When I loose weight" thing if you fall in this category. Believe me, I get you. I fall into that trap too but let me put it to you straight: life is fast and do you really think you're going to look sexier a year or two or three or five from now? Great. Do it then. Do it now, loose that weight, make it happen because one or two or three or five years will be here before you ever commit for real. Been there, done that, know it well. Don't do it now and you've lost on your chance of documenting the best you that you could have been at a time that will never come back for you to redo. You might find accepting yourself as you are, weight and all is not as intimidating as you feel or think so focus on the best part of what you've got to offer if you're not willing to make the hard commitment choices to "get in shape" enough to gift yourself a boudoir shoot. I just really want to make the strong point that we, women specifically, put everyone else first and as time goes by, so does our life. Women just don't celebrate themselves enough and so this kind of a photo shoot takes care of that unfortunate reality.  Good thing I know a thing or two about the business to help you. :)

Here's your 8 Valid Reasons to Document the Not-so Perfect Body with a Boudoir Shoot

  1. Every year you get older and your body deteriorates a little bit more. Don't let it go, abuse it or ignore it. Unless you're athletic or live an active lifestyle, at some point "older" is "what the fuck happened?!"  Don't get caught in this mess.
  2. You look better than you think.  A good boudoir photographer and team can prove it if your mirror can't. Correct lighting, positioning, make up, hair, styling, basically hours behind the scenes can make a woman look radiant and glamorous, because, that's what it takes when you see the perfection in the magazines. Unless you live a Kardashian life, reality is not constant beauty. So, you look great. Document it. Prove it.
  3. You're not into the boudoir frill.  I get that too.  Try a more natural documentation approach sans the boa, lingerie or heels.  You don't have to be sexy to be "you" if "you" isn't naturally sexy.  So be natural and stick with that as your sexy. Don't let anyone's vision of sensuality or sexy define yours and keep you from expressing or experiencing a side to yourself you might otherwise feel isn't worthy of photographing or enjoying. 
  4. You're uncomfortable naked.  Yes, so get in line. What better way to deal with it than to document your body at its natural state?  If photos are taken well, you'll gain a new appreciation for the body you have and the woman who is probably hidden underneath the clothes. Plus, you never really have to get naked.  You're in control of what you want to show and document and how.
  5. "I just don't know if I can do that."  Okay.  Neither do I.  Try or don't try. You're worth a try, no?
  6. "It's not in my budget."  Okay.  What is your budget? What do you want out of this? Photos or a full experience? What are you worth? Figure these out and the whole process will be smoother for you.
  7. "I'm too shy".  Again, yes, so get in line. A good boudoir/figure photographer will do her/his best to make you comfortable. It's part of the job because it directly affects the outcome of the photos. If you don't feel yourself with a boudoir photographer, find another one. This is personal and it's okay. 
  8. Husbands/boyfriends come and go but your body will always be yours. Celebrate it! My view on this is very different than most, I understand.  However, I stick with suggesting having your photos taken for *yourself* and not necessarily for the man in your life. Remember, ultimately, he's just the audience you're "allowed" to share it with but is it really "for him"? Need it be? Don't you love choice? :)  In the ideal end, however, you keep the album. You create the images you want to see of yourself. What are you comfortable with? What envelopes do you want to push? Who do you want to be? You decide.  Love is grand until the babies come and the weights of real life come, and the body doesn't come quite so often.  If you do this for a man, great but why not do it for you? Think about the fact that if you'd not be able to look at the photo album positively years from now in a similar way as you wouldn't be able to look at a wedding album should a breakup come, then you're doing it for the guy first and not yourself.  Just something to think about.  Not everyone falls in this category but you know who you are if you do so it's important I bring this up.  I'm supportive of pleasing the husband/boyfriend but I'm also aware a few shoots I've done are now shelved by divorces, albums bringing negative memories rather than positive. This is why if a woman has sensual photos taken for herself with intent to share with others (or not), she's placing her own value above a man's value of her. Finding self-value takes time, guts and self-reflection and this is one prime reason I feel body documentation and/or boudoir photos bring a fabulous and fun experience to the process of self-value building and its sustainability.

If you would like to discuss more or learn about a private boudoir/sensual body documentation photo shoot, visit my boudoir page for some general info to get you started.  Subscribe here to be placed on my Boudoir mailing list for news or special offer announcements.  Email me for bookings.

 

*Yes, I've returned to photography part time.  I missed it.  I'm still painting though, no worries there. :)

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