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Boudoir Photography – Investment or Indulgence?



Tigz Rice is an internationally published photographer specializing in burlesque and boudoir photography. Opening the doors to her photography studio Tigz Rice Studios in December 2009, Tigz has had the privilege of working with some of the top industry names, including the official photography at a number of the European Burlesque Festivals. When she’s not taking photographs, Tigz also performs burlesque throughout the UK under the pseudonym of Raven Six and has just been nominated as a finalist in the newcomer section of the World Burlesque Games.


© Tigz Rice Studios


As a burlesque and boudoir photographer, it would be too easy to spout off a list of reasons why I think boudoir photography is a fantastic investment. I could recite my favourite client testimonials that make my studio and work sound incredible, or post before and after pictures showing only the most dramatic makeovers from the studio. I COULD do all of that, but it would achieve nothing except to self promote like every other post on the subject I’ve found online. So instead, I thought I’d tell you all about my first experience in the boudoir studio, and what effect it had on me…


Whilst gathering ideas for the article this morning, I found myself distracted by drawn to Facebook, in particular to the first promotional image of my burlesque persona Raven Six taken last November. I was coming to the end of my classes at The Cheek Of It and the World Burlesque Games application deadline was rapidly approaching. I’d always taken pride in my appearance but for the last 12 months I’d been so involved with the studio that I’d started to slip a little, putting on quite a lot of weight and allowing my roots to grow out so far it was starting to resemble a dip dye rather than full head and highlights! Having hidden away for as long as possible behind black clothes and a ponytail, there was just no way I could continue to promote myself as a burlesque performer without a series of seriously hot Raven Six images. It was time to sort myself out so I picked up the phone and arranged a full boudoir session for my alter ego, complete with professionally done hair, make up and some fancy new clothes.


Despite having my own studio, I’d never felt the desire to step in front of the camera and so it was a whole new experience for me preparing for the shoot. There were butterflies in my stomach as Miss Honey Bare coiffed me to perfection, but as soon as my hair and make up was done and I’d slipped into my leopard print dress and heels, I couldn’t wait to get started. I had so much more body confidence in front of the camera and found a natural high, which stayed with me for the rest of the night, leaving my hair and make up done for an impromptu night of cocktails with the girls – something else I hadn’t found time to do for a while. The amount of compliments I got both on that night and when the photos went public was phenomenal and was a real ego boost, tempting me to do it all over again a couple of weeks later!


Since doing the photoshoot, I’ve been inspired to try harder on my diet and have finally lost some weight as well as investing more time and effort into making myself happy and healthy. Although this image is a record of my body at my biggest, I love everything about it as it marks the beginning of change, re-taking control of a hectic work and life schedule and finally doing something about my eating habits. Plus I will never be that young ever again so its something I can look at when I’m older and recall how good it felt to have killer curves!


To answer the debate of indulgence vs investment, I think its fair to say that boudoir photography really falls into both categories. Although it is a rather indulgent activity, for many clients - including myself - it is a way of acknowledging and celebrating a particular milestone in life, whether it is a change in appearance, circumstance or even attitude. Whilst a memory can last a lifetime, a photograph can capture that moment and tell a story to future generations. Indulge in the present and invest for the future, you only live once after all.