Now, I'm not normally someone who would do this, but when I was offered the opportunity to participate in a "boudoir photography" session, I couldn't pass it up. It's the old Playboy excuse - now I'll be able to show my grandkids that I wasn't always a wrinkled curmudgeon.
Tambi Lane, a local portrait and event photographer, started doing boudoir photography sessions two years ago after reading an article on the trend. She sets up her women-only sessions at various locations around town, including the Oxford Hotel, and outdoors during the summer.
This particular session took place at the Weekend Trunk Show, a spacious converted industrial loft off Colorado Avenue where sisters Kayla Joritz and Shala Morgan sell locally made bags, belts and jewelry and wholesale goods for designers. Classic cars are used as displays at the Trunk Show and, conveniently, are the perfect props for Lane's photo sessions.
"Tambi walked into the Weekend Trunk Show, saw the space and immediately asked to use it for her photo sessions," said Morgan.
Joritz and Morgan serve mimosas during operating hours at the Weekend Trunk Show and these sparkly beverages were on hand for the boudoir photography session, as were vodka drinks for those who needed a bit more liquid courage.
I was immediately handed a drink and sat in a makeshift makeup studio, manned by local hair and makeup artist Bambi Thompson. For boudoir photography, Thompson applies the makeup thick and bold. For wardrobe, Lane suggests that models bring some clothes and sexy underthings they would like to be photographed in. Lane does have, however, backup robes, bloomers, teddies and the like, and since my wardrobe consists of T-shirts, jeans and what some may refer to as "granny panties," I decided to use a negligee Lane happened to have on hand.
During the shoot, friends and previous boudoir photography participants buzz about, gossiping and laughing. Many of the participants met through Lane and often attend boudoir photography sessions. Models can request privacy, but most enjoy the camaraderie.
Drinks flow freely, and with no men allowed on the premises, the talk turns to men and sex, and bawdy laughter fills the room. I find myself confiding my own personal experiences to a room of veritable strangers. Lane, a single mother, enjoys the sessions as much as her clients do.
"While it's work for me, I have so much fun that it's kind of my social time, too," she said. "It's nice to get out. Most of the women that come are mothers and wives, and it gives them a chance to get out and just be girls."
However, Lane's boudoir photography sessions are more than just a night of fun. For many, it's a reminder that they're more than just a mother or a wife - that they're women, too.
Amy Hill, who modeled for Lane after giving birth to her fifth child, stopped by the shoot with her eight-month-old son. Hill loved so many of her photographs that she decided to create a calendar for her husband.
"It's so empowering," said Hill. "I walked in a mom of five and I walked out a woman."
Lane has photographed a variety of women, from single girls to older mothers and divorcées. "Some women come in that are at a bad time in their life," said Lane. "One girl in particular said the whole experience gave her a new outlook on her divorce. [Each woman] is there for a different reason. They leave feeling really good and they know they have support."
For more information about Tambi Lane's Boudoir Photography, visit her website at www.tambilane.com.