In a new trend sweeping the bridal industry, bachelorettes are banding together to pose nude or semi-nude for ‘boudoir photography parties’ – celebrating both friendship and the female form.
Empowering women of all shapes and sizes, the risque group photo shoots have become increasingly popular with brides-to-be, who would traditionally pose solo for a sultry image for their new husband.
‘A lot of girls would bring along a friend for moral support, so then we thought, “Hey, wouldn’t it be fun if it was a whole group of people?”‘ photographer Catherine Leonard told the New York Post’s Jane Ridley. ‘They bring wine and food and turn it into a real celebration.’
Ms Leonard charges between $400 and $500 per person for a boudoir party, which includes hair and make-up, and can be shot at her New York studio or on location.
‘I am still in shock about how powerful my experience was,’ said one woman, Sarah, about her boudoir party. ‘I don’t think I’ve ever felt so empowered!’
Jennie Richards, 32, and her friend Amy Blair, held a joint bachelorette party in Manhattan last month, which included a group boudoir photography session with Ms Leonard.
‘[Our session] was all about bonding and having fun with my friends,’ explained Ms Richards. ‘We all felt incredibly happy and beautiful. It was great because the whole point was to feel good about ourselves.’
She added, laughing: ‘I’m not exactly sure what we’ll do with the print. Maybe put it in a drawer and dig it out in 15 years and say, “Wow, look how young and skinny we all were!”‘
While most boudoir parties are booked by brides-to-be and their bridesmaids, other women who are celebrating milestones, like a 30th birthday or the birth of a new baby, will pose for the modern day glamor shots.
‘It’s a great way to bond because there’s the obvious element of strength and safety in numbers,’ explained photographer Christa Meola, who hosts boudoir parties in luxury hotel suites in New York and Los Angeles.
‘Everyone has a blast and encourages each other to loosen up. It definitely makes for great photos when there are a lot of women doing this together.’
A beautician from New Jersey, Jen Zank, recently hired photographer Chris Lo Bue for a half-day session with pregnant friends.
‘It was really fun,’ recalled the 37-year-old. ‘Chris is super-talented and made us feel like professional models.’
When it comes to choosing what to wear, most photographers will have clothing and lingerie choices to choose from. However some woman bring their own special pieces.
A 31-year-old mother-of-one, Kathleen Donohue, booked a boudoir photography party to celebrate her engagement to fiancé, Nicholas Policano, and was impressed by the items that Ms Leonard had on offer.
Even though she shopped for her own lingerie, she ended up wearing a red Victoria’s Secret teddy with black Christian Louboutin heels supplied by Ms Leornard.
She said: ‘Like a lot of new moms I feel insecure about my body, but I recently lost ninelbs, which was very hard work. Catherine has a great way of coaxing the best out of each person.
‘Goofing around, having fun with your friends makes the experience very special,’ she added
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