Choosing An Intimate Portraiture Style You Can Display in the Home

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Choosing An Intimate Portraiture Style You Can Display in the Home

By Cate Scaglione

When I was in college, I studied black and white photography, shooting everything from my boyfriend to bicycles to campus life to fine art nudes on film.  I spent hours in the darkroom, alone or with a classmate or two, developing the images and discussing them. I would matte and frame my best images to hang on my wall or I’d sometimes give as gifts to the special people in my life. I was happy and so proud to display them. Then came the self-portrait…

At the time, I had been shooting a series of fine art nudes and wanted to experiment with a concept I had. Unfortunately, few of my friends were willing to pose. There was no danger of on-/off-campus social media to worry about those days… but all those I asked did worry about who might see the print.

So, I did a fine art nude self-portrait for my portfolio, thinking the concept would serve me well at some point. My face was concealed, but my body was exposed. I was partially covered; it was elegant; it was emotive; it was simplistic yet provocative…all at the same time. I made a vow to never tell anyone it was me (except for my dear friend D. who helped me shoot it) and I’d keep them all guessing.  I don’t think I told anyone until right now, almost 2 decades later.

The image was beautiful and interesting enough to make my classmates take notice. The back in the darkroom badgered me for what seemed like most of my senior year, because they were so intrigued by the photo. “Who Is She?”  “Does she live on campus?” “Is she in our class?” “Is this your roommate?” “Can you introduce me?” “Is she single?”  I just always shook my head “No”…and plead the fifth.

I’ll admit it, part of me that loved the reaction the image received. The intrigue and about the story behind the woman in the photo flattered me. I loved to see how people responded to it and the questions they asked. They were not just asking about a naked girl, they were asking about the story, the beauty, the vulnerability, the precociousness of this young woman. Me.

At that point, I had discovered what it felt like to BE fine art. It was amazing. I matted it and hung it on the wall.

Earlier this year, I photographed an incredibly beautiful thirty-something woman from Manhattan, in one of our Intimate Portrait sessions. When we reviewed her images, she said to me: “I love this image, but would I be a total idiot to hang a picture on the wall of myself? Yeah, I think I’ll just get myself an album I can tuck away on the shelf.” She got me thinking about my own experience.

Albums are absolutely fabulous, yes. I adore every one we make. But beauty is not something just to be tucked away. It’s something to be shared, celebrated, discussed and admired. I wish I could have made her understand that in that moment. Sure, you don’t want your Mom and Dad coming over for Thanksgiving dinner and seeing you …um, En Boudoir.  But then, you don’t have to do an all-boudoir session.

Je Revele is about revealing one’s beauty. Not her undergarments, per se!
I don’t know when the trend of being a women’s photographer meant a woman had to be in her underwear, looking in-camera with her finger in her mouth, or hanging from the chandeliers! Yes, we may shoot those images sometimes too for our clients requests, but it is only one expression of a woman’s multi-faceted beauty.

Being a woman’s photographer means you know how to capture all her dimensions – smart, timeless, accomplished, sexy, dramatic, vulnerable, empowered. It’s this notion that we feel has differentiated our business and our role within the genre of women’s photography. It’s our version of Intimate Portraiture.

Natalie and I absolutely love history, and we try to draw inspiration from it. One of our most popular sessions in our studio is the era-inspired high fashion session. We have photographed 1920s and 1930s high-glam vintage, 1960s rock and roll, and even Victorian-inspired sessions. We first discuss with clients in a planning consultation, then do research to create a 50-60 image gallery within an inspiration board that reflect ideas for wardrobe, posing, color palettes, styling and scenes. When we do so, we ensure to shoot that epic portrait that we know is bound to magnificently grace a wall and hang for all to (appropriately!) enjoy for generations.

I would truly love everyone to experience a fraction of the amazing feeling I had years ago. When people pondered and discussed my fine art nude image, I felt like a mysterious, classic muse in fine art. It was amazing. I’d like to challenge every woman to experience the liberating magic a photo session like this brings. Then, HANG IT ON THE WALL to enjoy the everlasting effects.

When choosing your Intimate Portrait for Display, here are some tips to consider…

·      Is there an era or style that truly inspires you? Is there a time that reflects the elements of your personality, your home décor, and your sense of style?  Perhaps weave that into your shoot through wardrobe and styling choices.

·      What do you love about yourself, or your body? Choose something that gives you confidence and reminds you about your magnificent qualities every day you pass it on the wall.

·      In your gallery, choose an anonymous pose, one that conveys your beauty and reflects YOU but perhaps that others won’t necessarily know is you. It’s quite fun to see what comments get generated on anonymity.

·      Think about the Fine Art Execution. Our fine art images are distinctly hand-painted images, printed and mounted as museum-quality portraits. You might have no problem hanging a famous nude painting by Picasso or Degas in your home…no one needs to know this famous nude muse… is you!

·      How comfortable are you with your posing, exposure, etc. in the image? If you’re a free spirit, you may not mind people seeing (your) nude portraits hanging in the bathroom. But for many, it comes down to what Mom or Dad would be comfortable seeing on a wall if they came over for Sunday dinner.

Think about what makes you incredible. Then, let your walls talk and hear what they have to say.

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