I was trying to remember recently how I got into shooting boudoir portraits. Then I started to laugh remembering a close friend of mine telling me that on her next visit to Boston she wanted me to take "sexy pictures" of her. Of course I had no clue what she meant but I said "Let's do it!" So I started to try to find out what she was talking about. This was before Pinterest made it super easy! I started looking around on the internet and was shocked to find this was really a thing! There were photographers shooting half naked woman all over the place! I just had no idea. I was excited to try it out!
Fast forward a few weeks and my tiny little friend gets off a train with a ginormous suitcase full of stuff for her "sexy pictures". I think I remember that she had completely forgotten to pack actual clothes! There just wasn't room, this was happening and it was happening BIG!
Back then I didn't have a studio and the only time we were going to see each other was at our friends (girls only) Christmas party. The friend that was hosting the party had two small children that were going to be home at any time but it was going down! A funny twist is that my amazing makeup artist that I use today was in charge of doing her hair and makeup for the pictures. This was before she was doing this professionally and also after quite a few drinks, we were at a party after all!
So in the middle of the living room the suitcase opens, lingerie and accessories everywhere and full beauty salon is happening in the dining room. Our friends filled in around us laughing and having girl talk. Hours later she was READY! We moved on into the toy room. Yes, I said toy room. After moving toys and sprawling her across the floor we moved back to the dining room, hoping the husband and kids weren't going to walk in. Then we took it to the stairs. Never once did it occur to me to pose her on a chair or the couch, then again her suitcase explosion would have been hard to hide. We really did have a ball, I had absolutely no clue what I was doing but I know I wanted to do it again! And so did she!
Our take two was a few months later, only this time my same makeup artist, Izabelle Ohannessian, and I road tripped it to her home in New Jersey. She got 8 other ladies to take part and we shot them over a 2 day period. It was amazing!! I was finding a grove and really loving the entire vibe of the house. Just back to back woman getting their hair and makeup done and moving from room to room of this beautiful home sprawling across furniture like they owned the place! The confidence was contagious! It was one of the best times I have ever had with my photography. We did this trip twice. Then next time was even more amazing! A house full of beautiful woman who came in all scared and left oozing with confidence!
We then started to do sessions at my home. I would get rid of the husband and kids and move furniture around, but this time actually posing the ladies on my couches, in my bathroom. We had a blast! We would laugh because I had a home daycare at the time so we would shoot on a Sunday then I would have a house full of kids the next day eating cheerios in the same spot I had a woman in her lace thong with her legs up on my dining room wall!
A month or so later Christine McSheehy contacted me because she had seen my work. She was a salon owner in Somerville, Hair by Christine & Co, and wondered if we wanted to shoot boudoir portraits at her salon. She didn't have to ask me twice! We set up marathons and shot there for years! It was beyond amazing! I really loved everything about it! You would have never known the images were shot at a hair salon either! We made it work, complete with my fake headboard backdrop and bed set up! So glad I don't have to use that anymore, but it was great back then!
I think when I opened my home studio I just could't envision making my space work for kids and boudoir so I took break from it to focus on kids and families. But recently it has just been calling me. So much that one night at 11pm I started ripping everything out of my studio, a week later it was repainted and totally redesigned. I am so proud of my space. I see it growing into a full time boudoir portrait studio and I am excited for this next chapter in my photography journey.
Please contact me today to find out about the Model Call event here on Feb 11th and one to be announced for Feb 24th! Oh and check out these images from the toy room/dining room/hallway Christmas party session!
My beautiful friend, thank you for asking me to take "sexy pictures" of you! You are still gorgeous and I've come a long way since that Toy Room in 2011!
Tara Starr Photography specializes in Boudoir/Beauty Portraiture for woman. The Swan Boudoir Studio is in Reading, Ma.
Please contact us today to find out about the amazing Model Call Promotion going on at the Swan in February 2018!
Reveal your Swan today!