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BOUDOIR DIARY

Holiday Boudoir Round up

Apparently there is such thing as too busy to blog! Other times it has been out of sheer lazyness or, lack of something snazzy to say but this month... holly busiest month ever batman! Between the holiday orders, shoots, and day job I need better time management. Or multiple assistants. And a cleaner.

It's over thank goodness. Just to be ready to start again for Valentines! But before that I want to reflect on what happened this year.

  •  Nakedness has flourished. More brave women are joining the "hey! I got naked in front of the camera and it was awesome!" club, ha- not really I get a more : "it was not as scary as I thought" and my favourite: "thanks! it was fun!" It sure is. 
  • I have the worst memory. I am like Dori. I have bumped into former clients with no name recollection what so ever- but then an image pops in my head. My visual memory is not too shabby. I would go like "oh so yes now I remember you- with the school girl outfit" or "the awesome Manolo's" or "yes! studded pasties!". The sexiest shoes and the naughtiest outfits seem to stick from each shoot. Not to worry! I am always careful not to be loud. 
  • I really love what I do. I meet the most interesting women. I get to get a glimpse into their lives, their fears, their shyness, their vulnerability. But also the quirks, their sense of humour, their achievements. Oh the stories. If I could remember more details of the stories I would write books, but see previous point. Your secret is safe with me. I forget it. 
Special thanks to the fab Laura Furtado from Diva Girl Fitness and getting people comfortable with sexy. My minions Melissa, Amanda, Dana and Linda and their help in expanding our style with family shots at Moda Style Photography














And all the brave women who google boudoir photography toronto and choose me !
Feliz Año Nuevo! 

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Frequently asked questions about your Boudoir Session

Dang it I should have done this a loooooong time ago. oops. There are some FAQ's lying around here somewhere but this is the condensed and updated version.

1. What should I bring to the session?
 I answered that one perfectly right here http://marlenjames.blogspot.com/2009/02/what-to-wear-to-your-session-tips.html How many outfits you may ask? minimum 3 but bring a variety - lingerie is not that heavy to lug around.

2. How long does the shoot last?
About two hours. The part that takes the longest is the make up application. Those fake eyelashes sometimes require effort :) . It takes about 40 minutes to get ready- and the shooting part goes way faster.


3. Do you help with the posing? why yes I do. I show you all you need to do. It helps also you read my tips on how to pose standing up http://marlenjames.blogspot.com/2010/06/how-to-do-pose-sexy-standing-up.html I think is funny. And for the close ups and what to do with your hands: http://marlenjames.blogspot.com/2011/01/posing-tips-how-to-pose-for-your.html.
The best thing you can do is practice your facial expression in front of a mirror. It feels silly, but you will feel silly here anyways.
And I give you the general idea at the beginning anyway.
see? lie down twisty and hold boobs.

4. Can I bring a friend/sister/hubby?
Yes you can! whoever is going to help out and watch is fine. If they make you laugh even better. Takes some of my performance pressure off :)  A couple of people have even decided to share the appointment time and when one is changing one is shooting, so as long as everybody is comfortable, I am good to go!

5. How many files do I get?
Digital... I kind of miss the good old glamour shot days that you had 16 shots and you had to choose your 5 best one from there. You blinked- you lost a frame. Nowadays for each session I have about 300 files. Dang it. A lot of the images are similar so that just helps me decide on which one has a better focus.  You have two options: One I send you about 50 (depending on your package) so you can choose your top 20-30 that I can edit or you let me choose the best ones for you and you only see the final selections. Up to you.

6. What do you do with the other 250 files?
If they did not make the cut for the best  I delete them- I need hardrive space. If you want them all - the private affair package includes all digital files for you to do as you wish. Otherwise they are just deleted or sold to playboy... I WISH. :)

7. How long till I see the proofs?
Low season- meaning not this close to xmas and valenties day - usually you get a link of your proofs within 24 hrs. High season when I have more than 3 bookings per day is about 36 hrs. I will let you know an estimate at the end of the session.

8. I am getting married next week, how soon can I get the pictures and album?
hmm, yes I had these before. Yes I do my darnest to get them done in a week. But album takes about 3 weeks so only prints can be done within the week. I usually send files to print on Wednesday and pick up Thursday and meet up with people on Friday or mail them.
Wednesday is print day.
Normally it will be two weeks from your session to get prints and 3 to get the album. So plan accordingly and dont give me any more stress related white hairs.

9. I don't know which package to get
To help you choose a package http://marlenjames.blogspot.com/2011/02/faq-just-dont-know-whether-to-get-model.html you can always just pay the deposit and decide after you see your proofs. No biggie.

10. What is the extent of the retouching? 
Depending on the package you get- you get 5-10-20-30 high res retouched digital files. Retouching includes:

  • background - any cable - carpet piece 
  • skin smoothing- stretch marks, lumps, bumps, bruises, blemishes
  • face- under eye area- skin and teeth brightening 
  • figure- tuck in the waist a bit and if you are sitting or bending funny smoothing extra skin aka the "roll" 
  • and my toes

I tend to have a light touch. It is still you but a bit enhanced. You can request more retouching after you see them.

11. I am plus size, and most samples the women look to be on the thin side. Any tips for plus size posing?
I shoot any bra size and any shoe size, what you see are flattering images around my blog and sometimes at request of the client I do not post any - so I may lack a bit in the plus - sized samples. But not too worry! you are in good hands. I really look for your best angles, I want you to love your pictures.
A good tip is to make sure the lingerie you get fits you properly, and skip the thigh highs if you can't find the ones with out the elastic. Some great choices are corsets, bra sets, camisoles and sexy lacy robes. Anything lacy and see trough.
An article I wrote about this http://marlenjames.blogspot.ca/2012/08/celebrating-boudoir-in-all-shapes-and.html


and lastly my privacy policy... I will not post a faces- lips yeah, some boobs, some butt, but any marks or tattoos are deleted to prevent recognition. I sometimes distort the faces a bit too. Only you know they are your boobs.


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Me and non naked pictures

Well hello there. Like the tittle? It just came to me. Not really, it's just that lately I have been doing more "non-naked" shots than before, and they deserved a post.
I have tried to focus my efforts in Boudoir photography and it has been great. That is still my main specialty that is for sure. What has happened is that former naked clients have asked me: can you shoot me and the new baby? Do you do familes? So you think you can dance?
yes to all of the above.

Right after my glamour shots days, I was actually a baby photographer for a bit. It lasted a whole year and a half until the squeaky toys started to give me eye twitches. True story. It was a perfect match since I was a new mom and around all these babies so it made sense at the time. I learned a lot. Specially what I like and don't like. I hate photos that you just sit there in front of a grey back drop- I really do. Well, I hate the stiffness of them. It takes a while for people to feel comfortable in front of a camera and those sessions are in and out in under 15 minutes. I love interaction, true smiles, tickles and hugs.
So anyway... I tried to keep the family shots and the boudoir shots separate but they keep overlapping - so I am giving up.
You can see some family and friends shoot here: http://pptout.com/x5yq




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Tips on what to wear to your Maternity shoot - Boudoir style

Maternity shoots... like boudoir shoots from a while back, before they got all maxim and cool, there is a fine line between cheesy and cool. VERY fine.  I think it all started with the Demi Moore image in the 90's. And then Christina Aguilera's came along...
 I like the poses and the heels actually suit her. I like the fact that she is smiling, not looking at the camera with the come and do me face- she is just having fun. The belly here is kinda small like a 7 months so keep that in mind. And the ones with her son are super cute and clean. Nobody is naked, but she just has great make up on.

I bought the domain MaternityBoudoir.com a while back, thinking hmm, it will eventually be ok to rock the belly with some push up bras and some sexy poses, but it turns out, it hasn't happened that way. It seemed a bit contrived. And who am I kidding, the last thing you feel at 8 months is sexy. You just want to capture your body, in the nicest way possible, while you have an alien like creature in there, or like I was supposed to say it: "while it is creating the miracle of life..."

Anyway, what I am blabbing about is that my whole intention of the maternity boudoir has shifted from capturing sexy belly, to capturing a shot where you feel great. And that you can show your parents. We still do some tasteful nudes anyway, that if you want to show them go ahead, I do not judge.

So here are the tips on what to wear to your Maternity shoot:

  • "Bandeaus" bras (I had to google that) those tube bras that cover your boobs with no straps. White, black or simple colour.
  • Skirt - flowy, comfortable. Even kinda of those peasant ones. Or even denim 
  • Black simple dress- or any colour as long as it doesn't have prints (I am anti-print)
  • Big dress shirt. This one for some reason works without being too cheesy. Your hubby's works. 
  • Coordinate a bit your other half's outfit. Try not to be matchy - matchy but at least do not clash. Showcase what you would normally wear.
  • Baby items: toy, shoes or a special blanket.
  • Wraps or fabric. Not really needed but if you have one you really like.
  • Comfy sweater - nice if its cold out, it is a bit body hugging or if its open with buttons, or shows your shoulder.
The goal is to showcase the belly so wear stuff that makes you feel confortable and not too tight.
taken at my place
for some of the latest samples click here

The comments are super funny. I like her. Even read the "10 things they do not tell you" about pregnancy- I had flashbacks and flinching moments while laughing.
 
And for more info about my packages you can go here

I did include a combo package, where you can have a shoot after baby and you are sick of feeling tired and like a milk machine, and you just want a bit of your femininity pre-baby back. Because you are going to have TONS of pics of the baby anyway, take some of the you with the baby too if you want where you look great. Like Christina up there... just saying. 

I will scout for my pregnant picture I have from my glamour shot days... let me find it. It wasn't that awkward but the backdrop is a horrible drappey-gray. 





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Boudoir photographer in front of the camera

so, there comes a time every now and then, that my self-timer is not enough, and the stars align perfectly for me to be the photographed instead of the photographer. Usually once a year. And usually because of networking. Fancy that. Twitter and Model Mayhem do work.

I pretend that I actually listen to my own advice. Keeps me grounded too. Staring into a lens and bringing the sexy out is kinda hard, and sometimes the results are pretty lame.
But once in a while, oh la-la, the angle just works, the light hits the right spot and the editing gets rid of the two zits on my forehead and the multiple sun spots and ta-da!
I almost look famous 

Thanks to Doug Shimizu for making me look like that.  He has a super sexy portfolio.
I like that one of my eyebrows is kinda messy ( like normal).  And I am debating the possibility of me going around with my mouth like that, not closing it e-v-e-r.

Interesting effect about having a great picture- makes you feel good... and a lot of my facebook friends liked it, keeping it for a while, want to send it to a couple of ex-boyfriends... ha
in colour! 
I do have the liquid eyeliner down to a science I think.
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Tips for your Pin Up Photography Session and update

So hi, about time I updated my website with more pin up stuff! So ta-da! : New packages for pin up shoots. 

The main difference between boudoir and pinup is the amount of retouching. While the boudoir is more natural, sexy look, pinup is glossy and everything from skin to the hair is touched up. This package does include hair styling just to get the hair right :)

TIPS:
+ Prepare your outfits carefully. From fully dressed to underwear. Make sure everything goes. For example bring a fifties looking dress, with the lingerie stockings and shoes. We will take pictures of the whole outfit and go from there.

+ Choose a theme.

  • Fifties pin-up or sixties for that matter
  • sailor, military (police or anything uniform) cowgirl
  • sexy secretary (or sexy librarian)
  • playboy bunny
  • singer (like jessica rabbit?) Sexy long dress
  • housewife (sexy dress, apron) - or nightie 
  • beach (bathing suit, sunglasses, hat)

or anything really. Get inspired by researching pin up photos and my absolute hero: Alberto Vargas. Dust of those slutty Halloween costumes.

+ Practice your posing. This is the time to let it all out. Go as out there as you can. Always point your toes and keep your hands busy. More posing tips here.
+ Plan what you want. In this kind of shoot, it's better to plan ahead as much as possible. Depending on your package you can choose between having two outfits or unlimited to plan a calendar. Wouldn't that be nifty? have your own pinup calendar? Plan your outfits per month in this case.
+ Bring props! Backgrounds available are pink, red, striped red (kinda circus-like), black and white. Will add more as we go.

Retouching:
 Below is a sample of the retouching. Who else but me is brave enough to show a before and after picture. The things I do for you people. What also works here is the pose.  No need to tuck the waist since the arm does the job of covering it AND pushing boobs together. Dang it, I forgot to do my nails.


mini
the before- leaving it little, but you get the idea.
Skin, makeup, and background gets the photoshopping.

err, my boobs look huge! They no not look like that on real life. The combination of the top and the arm.  On that note, check the gallery here.

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Inspiration : Jane Fonda

I am digging the sixties hair and make up
I will blog more, and on that note I am (hoping!) to write a weekly inspiration article.

I should have started with Dita. Or Betty Page. But I met Jane Fonda at a Globe and Mail event so I am starting with her.  Me and the sister went to her book signing this last week (thanks to ex-boyfriend who hook us up- pays to be friends). And here I have her new book "Prime Time" about love, health, fitness and sex into your nineties (!). She is 73. She looks great! And she made jokes about having her knee replaced so she can still go on her knees. BJ jokes! I want to be like her when I am 73. But I have a nagging suspicion I am going to be way dirtier and a bit poorer.
we got there too late to get good seats

What image of Jane Fonda comes to you when you think of her. For me- it was barbarella - yeah old for me but I saw it because of the pin up inspiration- and who am I kidding- the corny way they had an excuse to rip her outfits (by Paco Rabane by the way- did you know that? I didn't). My sisters? the JLo movie Monster inlaw. Another  friend? The eighties aerobics. Regardless of your image of her- from her rather controversial political views, to the lycra clad aerobics that your mom use to try to do (depending how old you are- you might have tried them too). I enjoyed her presentation, will read the book and liked the images I found on the internets. I think a sixties inspired shoot is in order.


nice pose- love the thigh high boots
you don't know where that gun has been
interesting how a sweater can be sexy
she still does side boob!
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Couples boudoir... a recent one

This shoot was so sexy that it deserves it's on post. I love to hear when clients tell me: we bookmarked your site a while ago and we were excited to do this.  me: yay! They liked the photo I have somewhere around here of the couple I shot through the blinds. So I went to ikea to get me some for my place. Hadn't thought of that one! It works great- now I can do my "perv looking through the blinds" shot anytime.

 so yay! couples! people should do this as an anniversary present. Or "I really like you and I want you to stick around" present.

And I like to thing that a couples boudoir shoot is the gift that keeps on giving. First is the day of the shoot - you leave and do your thing whatever it is. Then the anticipation of seeing your pictures and choosing together. And then when you get the final prints - or book, so you can look at these pictures anytime you want.

blurred on purpose to hide him. kinda lazily but you get the idea. 






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Boudoir Lingo - and (some) summer boudoir round up

Or an alternative tittle for this post could be:  "Things I can say without sounding like a perv". Or "things that are so funny when they happen and they are just alright when I remember to write them."

Here is my Top ten list of what only a boudoir photographer is allowed to say:


  • 10. Bring your shoulders back (same as stand up straight)
  • 9. Push the boobs and the butt out.
  • 8. Don't breathe!
  • 7. Open your mouth - like you are inhaling 
  • 6. now stick a finger in (the mouth of course)
  • 5. Make kissy lips
  • 4. hold your boobs higher
  • 3. And make a face like you are enjoying holding your boobs 
  • 2. Pull the underwear like you are taking it off...


And the number one phrase  of what only a boudoir photographer is allowed to say with out sounding like a perv is:


  • 1. take it off !

Oh and these are the ones I can remember, there have been some you had to be there and others that I would never thought I would say to another woman like "you have really cute nipples" or "no wonder I missed photoshoping that pimple, I wasn't looking at the crevice area". All true stories.

Some samples bellow! I wish I could post more dang it! I have some great shots, that sadly would showcase my ladies' faces (yeah, that sounds weird) but at the same time these are real women, getting married, celebrating aniversaries or celebrating themselves, their face do not needs to be in the internet.

This sample, I loved the vest. And she was wearing sexy librarian glasses. Animal print underwear and librarian glasses, fierce!


I love getting the images of people cracking up. Makes me think I am hilarious instead of accidentally funny.


 and then lipstick and curves








And sometimes all the accessories you need are red lips and shoes. There was no lingerie needed for some of these shots.


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The art of the tease - Chic a Boom Burlesque

Recently my minions interns, Linda and Melissa and I,  attended the Chic a Boom Burlesque show, June edition. These shoot are like me doing a groupon or something like that where you just come there and do a pin up shoot at a discounted rate. Nothing naked but also there are more people involved than just you and me. There is my awesome minions, who actually shoot, fabulous Laura that tells you EXACTLY how to pose, and me doing your make up, retouching and supervising the minions.  I like saying minions, it's ok they are use to it. :) Next one is July 27th!

And the whole point of my bloggy article today is that if you stay for the show, you learn a couple of things. And it's never the same! In this edition there was a traditional burlesque strip tease.




I love his "giddy" face :)

And the ladies in Action:

 Do you remember this pose? makes the waist skinny. 


Love the attitude, the show and the general fabulousness of all the dancers

or add me as your new face book friend :) https://www.facebook.com/marlen.james so you can see my shenanigans

Here are some of the samples of the shoots that go on at the Roosevelt Room:




Thanks minions! I am a proud pimp! 

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