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The Chivalrous Couple

The Chivalrous Couple

In early 2013, I was asked if I’d be interested in writing a column on lingerie from a man’s perspective. Apparently, they didn’t know who they were talking to! After accepting the assignment for one column, it quickly turned into a three part editorial titled, Lingerie: A Way of Life. After talking with women who had read the columns, I realized something. A lot of men aren’t familiar with traditional dating etiquette and chivalry, and the women are none the wiser. Due to the great response to my lingerie editorials, I decided to start The Chivalrous Life; offering a unique and refreshing perspective on romance, chivalry and lingerie through the eyes of a man.

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Boudoir Spotlight: Best Phoenix Boudoir – Phoenix, AZ

As we have descended into fall, many of us are thinking about gifts for out loved ones. If you follow The Chivalrous Life, you already know how I feel about boudoir photography as a gift, and in general, really; can’t get any better. This month’s Boudoir Spotlight brings us full circle to the lovely and talented photographer who first worked with my gorgeous wife a few years back, Diane Haggerson – owner and photographer of Best Phoenix Boudoir in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Lovely Diane Haggerson of Best Phoenix Boudoir

The Lovely Diane Haggerson of Best Phoenix Boudoir

Working out of an elaborate and professional studio in her home 8 months out of the year, Diane has cornered the boudoir market in the Phoenix area for 7 years now. “I was doing a lot of wedding photography and I noticed that brides were looking for a female photographer to do boudoir images, particularly albums, to give to their groom as a wedding present. That’s what initially got me started and now I no longer do weddings, but specialize strictly in boudoir photography.

Of course, if you’re going to specialize in boudoir photography with a reasonable degree of success, passion; knowledge and a certain je ne sais quoi for lingerie is a must. “I have loved lingerie for as long as I can remember. In my college years, I took a lingerie sewing class which was a lot of fun to work with the fabric and make nice, but inexpensive lingerie. I am also a big Victoria Secret customer! Being a boudoir photographer gives me a good excuse to buy lingerie, and it’s tax deductible! I own a closet full of personal lingerie, as well as a closet full for my clients to borrow from.

Of her clientele, Haggerson says it’s a wide array of women. “Boudoir photography seems like a bucket list thing for a lot of women. I have clients all ages and sizes, from age 18 to my oldest client, who was 75. I’d say the most common age group for me is from 25-50, and of average figure type.”

A lot of women may be reluctant to do a boudoir shoot. Personally, I’ve never met a woman who is happy with her body; but that shouldn’t stop her from treating herself – never mind her man – to the experience and photos of a sexy boudoir photo session. Everyone has imperfections, but all the images that leave the studio look beautiful. That’s my job; to use the right poses, lighting and angles to bring out the best in everyone,” Diane says.

“I go for flattering,” she continues. “Girls like to look good so that is my first consideration when I am doing pose.” Often times, the artist is inspired in the moment by her subject. “I come up with poses on the fly sometimes, depending on what the client is interested in and what we are feeling together. I’ll even get down and do a sample pose and while I am demonstrating, I sometimes come up with a new variation.  That way they see exactly what I want and I am able to get a good feel for the pose.”

In addition to the deft use of her trained naked eye when capturing the image, she employs her Photoshop skills sparingly and tastefully, to ‘polish’ the final product. Women are also encouraged to bring props; guitars, sports themed items and anything creative that has significant meaning to the lucky recipient of the photos.

Given the vulnerable nature of boudoir photography – disrobing and essentially surrendering your insecurities and inhibitions to a complete stranger, in most cases – a warm, welcoming and hospitable personality is required of the photographer. “The majority of my clients have never done anything like this, so naturally, they are nervous. I try to put them at ease by telling them that most clients feel the same way and often times, I will share a boudoir album of myself to show me in the same situation.” Diane adds, “Being in a home setting makes the session very private. I am the only person in the house and we are free of interruptions.”

 

I can tell you from personal experience* that from the moment you walk into Diane’s home studio, you feel like you are visiting with a friend and by the time you are walking out, that’s exactly what you’ve done. She’s a charming and outgoing woman that seamlessly frees you of any potential nervous feelings within moments of meeting her. “The sessions are a lot of fun! By the time it’s over, we’re usually hugging and they’re telling me what a great time they had.” That said, it’s no surprise that Diane sees the repeat client at Best Phoenix Boudoir from time-to-time.

*I will explain in a future column, I promise!

The photographer is no stranger to the other side of the camera, either. “I am sold on boudoir photography. I have done three sessions on my own and my husband and I did a couple’s session last spring.” She says, “The first session I did was several years ago when I was working with new lights and I didn’t have a subject handy. I set up my tripod and timer, then ran and jumped in front of the camera to check the lights. It was two weeks before Valentine’s Day and on the spur of moment, I decided to take a few boudoir images of myself for my husband. It was crazy! I combed my hair, put on a little make-up and started doing shots where I could focus on a light stand, then run out, move the light stand and pose, not knowing what I actually looked like. It was so funny. I was running around the studio, mostly naked, jumping in front of the camera!”

In early 2015, Best Phoenix Boudoir added Couples Boudoir to the repertoire, something that every couple should do, in my opinion. “This is a specialized area that most boudoir photographers don’t get into. I felt there was an unfulfilled market with couples and that it would be a lot of fun! I wanted to do it myself, too.”

As a boudoir photographer, Diane does get the occasional request to shoot classy nude photos, to which she obliges. “I like to do sexy and tasteful nudes, but only about 10% of my clients want nude images during their session.”

The art of boudoir is highly gratifying for Diane Haggerson. “I love this job. It’s a wonderful feeling making women feel good about themselves. I have even worked with breast cancer survivors. It’s very empowering for all women.”

Ladies, let’s make it happen for Christmas! If you are in the Phoenix area or plan to be soon, contact Diane with Best Phoenix Boudoir and get on her calendar! You’re man (and YOU) will be glad you did!

XO – Johnny

Best Phoenix Boudoir

Contact Diane Haggerson/Best Phoenix Boudoir

Phone: 480 200-0624 | Email: dy@dianesdesignphotography.com

 

 

 

 

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