What You NEED To Know About Boudoir Photo Retouching

You are a Masterpiece. 

Right now, right here, even with your everyday struggles & discomforts. You are worthy. 

And that includes your body. 

I’ve been exploring this reality for as long as I’ve been photographing humans. EVERY body is beautiful and everybody deserves peace with their body. 

Which is why I have such a big problem with the way boudoir photo retouching is handled in the photography world. 

Default Boudoir Photo Retouching Is not Empowering

There are a LOT of boudoir photographers who edit the hell out of every single photo they present their clients. And their clients love them for it – to see themselves retouched as if they were on the cover of Vogue. Impossibly smooth & 20-year younger skin, wrist-thin upper arms, tiny waists, and chiseled cheekbones. 

In the boudoir world you’ll hear a lot of talk about empowering women. But is it really empowering to show someone a heavily computer-modified picture and say “you’re so beautiful!”??

Is it really empowering to take the choice away from the client? To not even let them see how they look, untouched by Photoshop? To assume they will dislike their unedited images because of their body, and decide to “fix” them first?

I’ve been sitting on this topic for months and realize I haven’t been true to my values.

So, I need to come clean.

I have been showing clients their images for the first time with a light skin smoothing layer on it. 

All my clients know this before their session. We talk about viewing fully-edited images at the Viewing & Ordering Session during our consult call. And while my clients have loved seeing their images for the first time fully edited, I believe I’ve been doing a disservice but not sharing unedited images first. 

It’s not my place to pass judgment on your body. 

I’m not here to judge, shame, or change you. 

My job is to capture the beautiful expression of you. In all your messy and imperfect glory. 

And that’s what I’m committing to do moving forward. 

LET ME BE CLEAR – In no way am I saying I think boudoir photo retouching is ‘wrong’. What I’ve got a problem with is the PHOTOGRAPHER making the choice to change the client’s body. The client deserves to see their unretouched photos and decide what comes next.

Unedited Photos First – Then You Choose Your Edit

Moving forward, when you see your photos for the first time at your Viewing & Ordering Session, they will be unretouched. At most, they’ll have a basic light/color filter. No part of your skin or body will be changed. 

You’ll see you – beautiful & worthy – without any Photoshop. 

Together we’ll discuss the level of editing you prefer for your photos. 

There are three levels of photo editing to choose from:

  1. No editing or skin smoothing
  2. Skin smoothing & removal of temporary blemishes (pimples, bruises, scratches, etc)
  3. Skin smoothing, removal of temporary blemishes, and specific retouching requests like scar, stretch mark, or tattoo retouching. There is an extra charge for special retouching requests because I hire an expert retoucher for these.

Again, I’m not here to judge your choices or tell you what kind of editing you should get. Your relationship with your body is yours. Not mine. I’m just here to facilitate a deeper connection between you, your body, your breath, and your heart. 

If you’re curious what editing option I prefer, it’s Option 2. That’s what I personally prefer for MY own photos. I don’t want to look through my album and see every pore on my face or that pimple in the middle of my forehead! 😂 

Option was the retouch/edit I have been doing for my clients all along, as they love it too. But it might not be the right options for YOU, which is why I’m offering options moving forward.

The choice is yours and will depend on where you are in your self love & self acceptance journey. You decide, I support!

What kind of photo editing can you NOT expect at Embodied Art Boudoir? 

I will not edit or change the shape of your body – making waists or arms smaller, making butts bigger, making a jawline or neck slimmer, etc – in Photoshop. 

First of all, I pose with an eye for beautiful and curving silhouettes. We’re already emphasizing your assets in camera!

Second, I don’t love editing & retouching. I don’t have the desire to retouch someone to look like they were on the cover of a magazine. Its SO many hours sitting in front of a computer seeking out ‘imperfections’ and erasing them. My heart doesn’t want to seek imperfections – I’m better at seeking out beauty!

If that magazine-level photo retouch is what you want, I’m not the photographer for you. That’s not what Embodied Art Boudoir is all about. 

It’s about gaining true confidence through acceptance & stepping into your power, not pretending you’re someone you’re not!

It’s about connecting to your body, breath, and heart.

It’s about taking those steps forward on your self love journey. 

Because I’m gonna keep on reminding you – You are a Masterpiece. It’s just a matter of seeing it!


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