Have you ever thought about booking a boudoir shoot but felt a little overwhelmed? Or not known where to start?
We're delighted to introduce you to the wonderful Tigz Rice. We first connected with Tigz almost a year ago because we were so drawn to her empowering signature style which brings elements of vintage glamour and theatrical grandeur to the world of boudoir photography. Her images are equal parts gorgeous and empowering and we love everything about them!
Tigz has written an amazing guest blog for us today in which she answers all of your questions about what to expect when you book your boudoir shoot.
Without further ado, we'll let Tigz introduce herself!
"Hello, gorgeous! I'm Tigz Rice: Hertfordshire based boudoir photographer, lingerie addict and one of the biggest girl geeks you’ll ever meet. My career started in 2009 in the dazzling, extraordinary world of burlesque. A community where all bodies are celebrated for their strength and beauty, regardless of gender, shape, size and ethnicity. Becoming a member of the burlesque community showed me more than ever that beauty thrives in confidence, and since then I've been using my skills as a kick-ass photographer to help fearless women, femmes and non-binary badasses feel empowered, confident and unapologetically present in both their personal and professional adventures.
I'm so excited to be guest blogging on the Valiant Lingerie blog today, answering all of your burning boudoir questions and hopefully breaking down any barriers that are currently preventing you from booking your own shoot...
“I’ve never heard of boudoir photography! What is it?”
Boudoir photography is the art of celebrating your incredible body, creating sophisticated, timeless and beautiful images that honour your lived experience, preserving those memories for years to come. Everyone has a different reason for wanting to be photographed; whether you want to mark a life milestone, document a journey, reward a personal achievement or simply celebrate your fabulous self in all your glory, the goal is to make you feel empowered, confident, strong and sexy as hell.
“How can I find a photographer I feel comfortable with?”
The absolute best thing I can recommend here is to do a little online research...
- Do you see your body represented in their portfolio?
- Do you connect with their shooting style?
- How do you feel about their editing - do you love a highly airbrushed finish, or do you prefer the more natural look?
- Would you feel comfortable (emotionally) recreating the poses you see in their images?
- Do you resonate with their content and captions?
- How do they interact with comments left on their images?
- What are their clients saying about their boudoir experience?
If you respond positively to each of these points, reach out and connect with this photographer - you could always ask for a 1-2-1 call if you're still not 100% sure.
“Can I arrange to have a boudoir shoot at home or does it have to be in a studio?”
A boudoir shoot can take place in a location of your choosing - just check whether your boudoir photographer of choice offers a location service. Some clients opt to shoot in their home, others choose a fancy hotel and plan a full night out on the town afterwards with their hair and make up done looking super fancy. The choice is completely up to you!
“I normally feel really awkward in front of the camera.” / “I’m camera shy!” / “I’d be really nervous!! Is that normal?!”
That's COMPLETELY normal - and that's what I'm here for! You know that feeling you get when you’re all dressed up and polished to perfection for a night out? Well, add in an hour of me telling you how amazing and fabulous you are, and your self-confidence will skyrocket. Here's a little quote from Mona, who came to one of my shoot days in Gothenburg...
'I got very self conscious at first, being in front of [other] ladies in my underwear, but Tigz has wizard skills in making you relax and feel good about yourself. We did all kinds of [poses], in both lingerie and the dress and shot for about and hour. It was SO MUCH FUN!'
“What should I wear for a boudoir shoot?” / “How many lingerie sets should I bring?”
This is one of the most common questions I get asked – which isn’t too surprising as for many of us a boudoir shoot goes beyond the realms of our day to day wardrobe. The honest answer is you can dare to bare as much or as little as you feel comfortable with. Whether you’re rocking a floor-length vintage ballgown, your birthday suit, your favourite Valiant Lingerie set or anything in-between, you're going to look fabulous! I recommend bring two or three options with you on the day, just in case you're not feeling one of the looks in the moment.
“What else should I bring to my shoot?”
On top of the looks mentioned above, make sure to bring a pair of killer heels (or two), a comfy robe and some dazzling costume jewellery - which are all regular staples on a boudoir shoot - plus any sentimental props you might want to hold or place around you on the day. You can also find an entire packing checklist in my free Prepare for Your Boudoir Shoot PDF guide that you can find on the home page of my website.
“Should I get my hair and make-up done?”
There's nothing better than a full pamper session in my opinion, which is why all of my boudoir shoots (except the virtual ones) include professional hair and make up as standard. My resident stylists all have cruelty free (vegan where possible) styling kits and can work to your skin's individual care needs, as well as discussing any allergies you may have. That said, some clients prefer to visit their own tried and trusted stylists beforehand, or you might feel confident doing your own. Whichever option is right for you, make sure you give yourself a good pamper session before your moment in the spotlight. You deserve to feel amazing.
“I don’t think I’d know how to pose… should I practice before the shoot?”
A little body awareness does help, but is 100% non-essential for you to spend time perfecting your poses before a shoot. We’ll use a selection of my favourite boudoir poses as inspiration, though I’m always secretly working with your natural body movements and nuances in between poses to make the shoot unique to you. There’s something so powerful in body language that when you do something naturally that looks incredible, I’ll say ‘don't move!’ and we’ll shoot it! It will be the most fun mannequin challenge ever!
“I feel really self conscious about my scars”
I always like to think of scars as our body stories - they document our journey and how we ended up in this moment. Scars are perfect imperfections that make us unique individuals. If you need a little help connecting with your beautiful new reflection, I'm here to help guide that journey. Whether that involves proudly displaying your scars, or gently acknowledging their presence, we can work up to your comfort levels, wherever they may be.
“Could I bring someone for emotional support?”
Of course, you are very welcome to bring a personal cheerleader with you. For shoots with me, personal cheerleaders must be over 18 and we request that they are not someone you are romantically involved with to keep the energy in the room 100% focused on you. The only time we cannot accommodate chaperones is on makeover days, because there would be too many humans in the room!
“I’m worried I should lose weight before the shoot”
You absolutely do not need to lose/gain weight, tone up or drop a clothes size to take part in a boudoir shoot. You aren’t defined by any number; be that on the scales, in the labels of your clothes or how many years you’ve been in the world. You are perfect, right now, in this very moment. Life is too short to wait for perfection. You deserve good things right now.
“I don’t have a ‘model’ figure / I'm a curvy girl - is a boudoir shoot for me?”
Hell yes! Peachy butts, killer thighs, ample cleavage, soft tummies... I'm here for it all. I’ve photographed clients of all shapes and sizes and they all have felt fearless and incredibly beautiful, both in front of the camera as well as in their images after.
“I’ve just turned 60… am I too old for a boudoir shoot?”
You are NEVER too old for a boudoir shoot. I regularly photograph clients who are rocking their 50s and 60s - like Pupin De Vert, who said...
'It was an amazing experience which has allowed me to feel more and more comfortable in front of a camera. Seeing my 56 year old self portrayed like this reminds me that it’s important to see images of older women. Ageing is a privilege which not everyone gets to experience, but it can be a challenge…the ‘women police’ are out in force and like to tell you what is and isn’t ‘appropriate’, and you can feel disempowered, de-sexualised, invisible or judged – Burlesque, modelling and proudly wearing my grey hair have all help me to feel that there is no ‘right’ way to get older. I have learnt that for me, that this means you never stop learning, experiencing and pushing yourself to do new things.'
Currently, my oldest client (who has volunteered their age to me) is 67 and she was absolutely fabulous. Want to help me beat that?!
“Should I get a spray tan? It makes me feel more confident!”
Some photographers will allow spray tans, but I personally have a strict 'no spray tan' policy on all of my shoots because of the risk of staining soft furnishings. Even if you're the best exfoliator in the world and seek out the most experienced beautician, there's no guarantee you won't have streaks, creases, patches, darker areas of dry skin and/or orange/green (yes, green) tanning pigments picked up by the camera. Instead, I'd suggest treating yourself some shimmer body lotion to give your skin that dewy, sun-kissed glow and offer a touch of contouring.
“I suffer from fatigue so I’m worried about how long a session might take”
It is my mission to make boudoir shoots as inclusive and accessible an experience as possible. The shoot itself can be quite a physical process – pin up poses require some core strength – but I always aim to shoot within your comfort and energy levels and can offer suggestions for poses that require less spoons. Hair and make up is 90 minutes, followed by a 60-90 minute shoot depending on the session booked - which includes downtime to stretch or take a moment to yourself. Alternatively, if you know you want to recreate a specific set of poses, we can aim for those first and utilise any additional time after as your energy levels allow. If you have any condition/s that you think may impact your shoot experience, please mention at time of booking so I can do everything in my power to make your shoot a positive experience.
“Will the photos be edited? I’m very conscious of some stretch-marks" / “Will you edit out my scars?”
I want you to look like the very best version of you, so I aim to get as much right as possible in camera through epic lighting and then edit out temporary spots and blemishes, as well as any skin indentations from clothing. I will only retouch out scars and stretch marks if you specifically ask me to - and if you do want a little more retouching, my industry accreditations make me your go to woman for high end, realistic retouching. Just tell me your editing requirements before your shoot and we can work towards those.
“Who will see the photos? Will they be on social media?”
You can dare to bare as much or as little as you like in the knowledge that you are in complete control of your images. I always ask for written permission from you before any photos are published, however if you’d prefer to keep them for your eyes only, they can be our little secret!"
Thank you so much, Tigz, for answering all our questions.
Tigz is also offering Valiant Lingerie readers exclusive access to three Virtual Boudoir Shoot Days, where you can book a Virtual Boudoir Shoot with Tigz for £145 (usually £195). The dates are April 15 2021, May 13th 2021 and June 10th 2021, simply email Tigz and quote VALIANTLINGERIE to book.
It’s our absolute pleasure to introduce the next in our series of guest blogs. Please meet the wonderful Christen Williams who you may also know as BRCAchatter. Christen speaks very passionately about her experience of discovering she has a BRCA2 gene mutation on both Instagram and Youtube. She has produced some really fabulous videos explaining what BRCA gene mutations are and documenting her experience of a risk reducing mastectomy (and beyond!).
If you don’t already follow her, what are you waiting for?!
Christen has written a wonderful blog for us today in which she speaks about body image and feeling beautiful after surgery. Take it away, Christen!
“What makes you feel beautiful and sexy? Is it the skin you’re in, or the clothes you’re in? Can your clothes help if you’re unhappy with your body? The answer is yes – clothes and lingerie have a unique power to empower us.
In 2018, my surgeon said to me, “I’d be happy if you chose a double mastectomy, or I would be happy if you chose regular screening to catch breast cancer early… it’s your choice either way.”
I sat there thinking, “I’d be happy if you made the decision, Doc, save me the anguish!” But he could not, and I had a lot of thinking to do.
In 2015, after my mother died of ovarian cancer, I discovered I carried a rare genetic mutation of my BRCA2 gene. This meant that I had an up to 85% lifetime chance of developing breast cancer. Over the next few years, I would slowly learn to detach from the beautiful ticking time bombs on my chest and view all boobs in a whole new light… leading me to sit in front of the Doc and ponder my life choices.
A lot of us hate our boobs – some studies say up to 85%. Too small, too big, too saggy, too booby. I fell between love and hate. I loved their size (28FF), big and bouncy. I hated them without a bra. Big and droopy. As soon as I was told I could lose them, the love hate relationship amplified. I loved them SO much, don’t cut them off, and I hated everything they stood for – they had failed me. To lop or not to lop?
This decision comes down to body image, and how we view our bodies. It is not helped by the view of society, which sexualises women’s boobs. Boobs are used to sell cars, KFC, and squash. Yet women are battling across the world to breastfeed in public without being shamed and judged. Losing my boobs meant I would never be able to breastfeed. Was I thinking about that? Hell no. I was more concerned about having a boob reduction and losing my cleavage.
Many things swayed my decision to opt for the mastectomy. At one point, I casually said to my genetic counsellor, “Well, if my cancer is caught early, I can get rid of it.” And she just looked at me blankly and said, “Yeah, but you might die!” To the point. My second surgeon said, “You need to figure out whether your boobs are your biggest priority in life!” When you put it like that, it becomes boobs or death? It’s a no brainer, but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy decision.
I spent a lot of time living life, touching my boobs, staring at other women’s boobs. To be honest, I probably looked like a bit of a boob perve. When I put on a bra, I would mourn for its future loss in the bin. I made a big deal of going to Bravissimo and buying “my final bra” and “my final bikini”. Every time I went to yoga I would be doing the cow, cat or dog and admiring my boobs in my final sports bra. The mastectomy loomed over me, like a giant big-boobed elephant in every room I entered.
As I started to learn about potential complications of a mastectomy, I significantly lowered my expectations. When you hear about infections, tissue death and implant removal, suddenly size doesn’t matter, and a painless, quick recovery does. I prepared for the worst, so I could be pleasantly surprised when the worst didn’t happen. The worst never came for me; I was lucky (Doc says I wasn’t lucky, just young and healthy).
I would love to go back in time. Into all those rooms with the big-boobed elephant, and say to it, “You will love your faux boobs. ” (Foobs.) I would love to tell myself that I am the same size. Those final bras and bikinis I bought? I can still wear them. All those dresses? I can still wear them, even braless. I want to drift back to the past and reassure myself, and all other women waiting for a mastectomy, that you find a way through and you learn to love yourself again.
One of the worst things? Our choices of lingerie are somewhat limited. We are supposed to avoid underwire bras. Valiant saves the day here – I am so proud to support this company, which gives hope to all the foobilicious figures out there. In my old bras, I look the same. In my old clothes I look the same. But, new foobs require new lingerie – they needed to be celebrated for all they stand for. Life savers.”
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Christen.