I have been hesitant to post this session with the epic Taylor Oakes, not because of the nudity, but rather because it is something outside of my comfort zone…but not so much that I didn’t shoot it. For this project, I had been wanting to use a projector to project something onto my model, but when Taylor and I got together, we decided to play erotic videos while she moved fluidly, experiencing her body. It confused me that I was so hesitant to post these images because I am usually quite unapologetic, but I had the ol’ thoughts of “What if it offends people?” “What if it is too much?” “What will people think?” etc. but then I realized that THAT is what art is!! It’s meant to illicit FEELINGS, good or bad, positive or negative, questioning and uncomfortable. It’s meant to move people to think and talk, so at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what people think or if it is “too much” for them, what matters is that we created something that I think is awesome and makes me proud as an artist (and happy to know Taylor because she is awesome!) and something that pushed me out of the comfort zone of traditional boudoir.
The videos are extremely tasteful and beautiful, but still get the bad rap of “porn” because it involves sex and sexuality which people tend to think is meant to stay behind closed doors. So, that brings me here: IF YOU DO NOT LIKE NUDITY OR BODIES OR ANY OF THE LIKE, PLEASE REMOVE YOURSELF IMMEDIATELY FROM MY WEBSITE BECAUSE YOU ARE ABOUT TO GET AN EYE-FUL! IF YOU LIKE THE ABOVE, THEN PLEASE CONTINUE AND ENJOY THE ART THAT WE CREATED!
I mean, I guess if I am going to Hell, I may as well be first in line….
Every now and then I like to challenge myself in an effort to push out of my comfort zone, so after watching an episode of Star on Netflix where the girls do a saucy dance routine involving a chair, I thought that would be a good challenge, using nothing but Jill and an $8 folding chair from Ikea to create some magic. The one thing about growth is that it’s uncomfortable and at times, frustrating…but it is necessary.
2 weekends ago, I held the first ever BoudyCamp: a workshop for boudoir photographers, at my studio here in Winnipeg and I fell in LOOOOOVE. I always knew I loved to teach (after all, I went to uni to become one!) but this workshop revived me and gave me even more mission to go forth and help photographers find their voices in an extremely saturated market! We had 2 lovely models, Taylor & Nikita, who got did up by my powerhouse hmua, Nicole Velasquez, and this gang KILLED it. Perhaps this will be a one off, where the attendees bonded so quickly, but I loved it. Everyone went for lunch together and now they know they have a support network of bad ass bosses ready to help them out!
(image on the right by the talented Alicia Marie Photography)
We had a handful of peeps from Winnipeg, but we also had a few travel in to share their talent and stories and take home an arsenal of tools to help them up their boudy game. We talked about the WHY of the business, branding & marketing, the importance of being authentic for themselves as well as their clients, and of course we got down to the nitty gritty of posing and lighting.
It was a day full of smushy brains by the end, and I was creatively satisfied (and exhausted), but it was so awesome to see people get pumped up to try new things, willing to put themselves on the line, and make themselves vulnerable and be completely honest with me. It makes it soooo much easier for me to help people when they are 100% honest and willing to listen to constructive feedback and take a plan and set it in motion.
(image on the right, by the awesome Mark Phinney)
We can never grow by staying in the same spot and if we don’t try new things, then we won’t get anywhere. A huge thing I teach is that I want them to be bad at photography….because we have to be bad, before we can be good. It takes continual practice, pushing through the frustration, and knocking over obstacles. We tend to forget that everyone who is “successful” in the business (which is a whole other topic), was bad at one point and if they are smart, they will continue to be horrible at things. When they master the thing they were terrible at, then it’s time to be terrible again. You don’t grow from being 100% on point, but rather from figuring out what didn’t work and why and this may cause tears, sweat, and “wasted time” but it’s not at all. At least you tried, then you know and you don’t repeat it again. You go about it from a different angle and you start again. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it shouldn’t be. Anything worth doing, will not be easy.
So, yah, that was essentially BoudyCamp in a nutshell and now, the only question is…how long do I have to wait until I can host another one??
But don’t take it from me, here’s what the stellar attendees had to say:
“BEST WORKSHOP EVER!! And I am 100% serious. Having attended a few workshops in the past 2 years I always left feeling unsatisfied with either the way the information was delivered, or not enough shooting time, or not great communication ect. I have to say this was the best workshop I have ever done. Teri goes above and beyond by constantly giving you feedback, showing and demonstrating. Touching base with YOU and YOUR business. She is real. She is honest about her business which is so refreshing (No sugar coating!) She gives her honest opinion on everything and will answer literally any question. The Workshop wasn’t just about photographing a pretty model but also about who we are and WHY we are interested in Boudoir Photography. She digs deep- really makes you think! It’s not just surface stuff. (No fluff!) Learning from her (I call her the Master Boudoir Photographer) was everything I could have hoped for. Her humor, her outlook on boudoir, on empowerment, everything. I also loved that she brought 2 different models (with 2 very different shapes) in to shoot! Everything she taught was practical (You could actual do it, even on a budget!) & I could take what I wanted from her mentorship and apply it to my own skills & knowledge. So Invest in yourself and your business. Book a Workshop with Teri! You will NOT regret it!!” ~Alicia Marie
“Teri is very knowledgeable when it comes to the boudoir bizz and women in general. You can feel the passion when she talks about it. Which is what, for me, makes the experience so memorable and beneficial. I loved every minute of the workshop! I was just given a lot to think about with my business which is very helpful. Made me think about why I need to figure my “why” and why it’s so important to follow it. I also took away how important it is to practice practice practice. It was super helpful to have had those stunning models willing to be pretzels for us to work on posing which for me is a weak spot. It was all just amazing!” ~ Sam Stregger
“I really enjoyed the workshop. Teri has a contagious passion for what she does and I left feeling inspired. It was a very informal and non-threatening learning environment and it was evident that Teri, despite all of her talent and success is just a down-to-earth person with a huge heart and desire to help people reach their full potential. Sometimes working as a photographer can burn a person out a bit, this was a good way to fall back in love with the process and journey of creating images!” ~ Mark Phinney
“I expected my mentorship to be a show up, dump my photos, receive some critique, and that would be it. The fact that Teri dives right in to the nitty gritty, the bottom, to find out what makes you tick FIRST blew me away and left me in tears literally. We didn’t even look at my photos! It was an amazing experience. The fact that she is going to help me revamp my portrait business over the next few months to create happy clients leaves me feeling very optimistic as I was ready to pretty much shut it completely down. Teri will change your fucking life. My favorite part was when I admitted I was worried over the non-instructional part of the day with the models. Teri immediately addressed the fear, we discussed it, and sent me on my way. I was still worried and did freeze with the posing but the fact that there was a moment of problem solving not just a “you’ll figure it out” was amazing.” ~ Chantelle Enns, Chantelle Dione Photography
One of the best parts of my profession is meeting other boudoir photographers and connecting with them. Miss S of I Am Boudoir came to our Confident Curves workshop in Las Vegas and also did a mini session with me! After her session, she filled me in on why doing a session and why boudoir was so important to her and I knew it was a story that I had to share…
My body was a means to an end.
Growing up I experienced several instances of sexual assault, both as a child and as a teen. I had grown men fondle me and attempt to assault me. My high school years were ruined when a classmate tried to rape me, yet he was never disciplined. Those instances turned me into an object. As such, I have never really trusted anyone with my body. I always felt like my body was the means to the end. Men just wanted my body to get what THEY wanted in the end.
I grew to hate my body. The more I gained weight, the safer I felt. No one wants the “fat” girl right? I would go to a car lot to look at cars and no one would approach me. No one held doors for me, no one said hello or acknowledged me walking down the street. I was invisible and society told me I was undesirable at my size.
I met my husband at 19 years old. He loved me for me and tolerated all my craziness. When we would fight and argue he would fight dirty. Even in the dirtiest of fights and the nastiest of words, he never once mentioned my weight or called me fat. I respected that. It made me feel like he loved me the way I was. We were together for twenty years.
In 2011 I had weight loss surgery. I was never comfortable with my body and wanted to make a change. We were having issues in our marriage and sex wasn’t ever on the menu, so hey, if he’s more attracted to me, bonus! I lost approximately 80 pounds and was feeling AMAZING physically! I was thinner than I was in high school and yet, I was more self-conscious than ever. Suddenly I wasn’t invisible anymore and I was getting attention, which made me uncomfortable. I started nit-picking every single pudge here, or crease there.
It was at this time I discovered by husband of twenty years was cheating on me. And not just cheating on me, but cheating on me with PROSTITUTES. I was embarrassed and disgusted. Was I that gross to make him pay for sex instead of pursuing me? Were that pudge and that crease the reason? I was devastated and turned to my best friend for support, food! Eight months later, I packed up my things while he was at work and I left. I had also gained about 40 pounds back at that point. I realize now that I slowly packed on pounds again as a protection mechanism to keep myself from getting hurt again.
So where am I today? Today I have gained all 80 pounds back and weigh exactly the same as I did the day I had surgery. I am in a different space now. Yes, I still mindlessly snack, but I don’t feel like I medicate with food anymore. I also embrace my body the way it is. I no longer have this innate desire to chase thinness. I don’t care about my cellulite, or my rolls. My body is mine. It wakes me up every day, it hugs and squeezes my kids, and its my means to MY own end.
Having my own boudoir photos done was a way for me to embrace my body again. It was a way to MAKE me see myself as a sexual being. It was a way for me to feel proud of who I am today and how much I have grown emotionally. My body is not perfect, it never will be, but its MINE and I’m so proud I can look at it today and embrace it just the way it is – all 216 pounds of it.
It has been quite difficult keeping this a secret, but finally I can release it!! YAY! I am super excited to introduce a new type of limited session with Teri Hofford Photography! We are talking about the Imperial Goddess Sessions. These sessions are designed to get you connected more deeply and almost spiritually to your inner Goddess and femininity. I have partnered with the stellar Lady Lorelei to provide you an amazing, soul quenching session. These sessions start with you getting your henna done in the studio or at your home, then 3 days later coming in for your Imperial Goddess Session, where you will be getting in touch with your gorgeous self. Your session includes one outfit & nudes as well as 1 beautiful 8×10 fine art print, matted to 11X14. These sessions are limited to 1 per month, so if you are interested, get in touch to book yours! Check out the images below to see the experience and to learn more about the pricing and all that good stuff, head over here!
Ready to book your Imperial Goddess Session? Hit me up with an email!!
Miss J came to the studio with a wee bit of nerves, like so many before her but as soon as we started shooting I could see them disappear right before my eyes. We dressed her in items from the Boudy N Beauty Closet (so if you see anything you like, just ask at your consult/shoot!) and it wasn’t long before I asked her to trust me for some new and interesting poses/looks. Take a look below at this babe’s session:
A few times a month I offer up casting calls as a way to practice shooting, lighting, and posing. Miss A came to the studio as part of a boudoir casting call and this babe did not disappoint. With her firey hair and an attitude to match she slayed her session. Take a look at her gorgeous session below:
- Fine Art Nudes
- guest post
- Imperial Goddess Session
- Inspiration Session
- International boudoir photography
- male boudoir
- Not Yo Mama's Headshots
- Picture Me Perfect
- RAW session
- Vendors We Love