Why You May Not Be A Boudoir Photographer Even Though You Think You Are

Recently, a fellow photographer (who shall remain nameless) posted a rather beautiful image on his social media, and added “Shot a little bit of boudoir this weekend…” as the caption.

This made me take pause and ponder about what boudoir is, or rather is supposed to be, and how it could very well be the most misunderstood labels in portraiture.

First off, let’s hit the etymology of the word boudoir. A Wikipedia entry on the word seems to indicate that boudoir “derives from the French verb bouder, meaning “to sulk” or boudeur, meaning “sulky”…”

Which is about as sexy-time as a traffic accident.

Why You May Not Be A Boudoir Photographer Even Though You Think You Are

The same entry then goes on to say that the word boudoir is “A cognate of the English “bower”, historically, the boudoir formed part of the private suite of rooms of a “lady” or upper-class woman, for bathing and dressing, adjacent to her bedchamber, being the female equivalent of the male cabinet. In later periods, the boudoir was used as a private drawing room, and was used for other activities, such as embroidery or spending time with one’s romantic partner.”

Ah yes, now it is starting to sound more familiar.

Still curious about the etymology and demanding further clarification, I hastily texted my friend, French born fashion model Ava Miura to ask her. Like a standard-issue naive American, I pressed her for said clarification. Interestingly, she informed me that the word is considered “old” in France, and seldom used. She then flat out added “Honestly I only know that word the same way [Americans] do. I only know the use that Americans have of it.” So, there’s that.

So what the heck is Boudoir then?

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Source: Fstoppers
Why You May Not Be A Boudoir Photographer Even Though You Think You Are