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Boudoir Photography Is For Men Too

For a long time, boudoir photography has been thought of as something for women only. I saw it in my own business at the beginning. One day, I started searching the web for male boudoir photography, and I found lots of celebrities and six pack abs. There were a few “dad bods” but no other real photographic representation for male boudoir. So unless you were famous or heavily muscled, the only other option was photography of men for comedic purposes.

To me, boudoir photography shows every BODY deserves to have beautiful, artful photos of themselves. Boudoir portraits that show their personality, style, and sensuality (if they choose). Basically, their je ne sais quoi (pronounced zhuhnuhse kwa), which means an indefinable, elusive quality, especially a pleasing one. I can’t fully describe in words everything that boudoir photography is or can be, so I’ll let my photography tell the story in the slideshow below.

Slideshow of male boudoir photos set to an upbeat instrumental song with a driving beat. Words appear on the screen describing each section of images. The sections are: Suit & Tie, Casual, Relaxed, Mysterious, Shirtless, Details, Daring, and Headshots. The video ends with the mellBella Photography website www.mellBella.com, photography by Mell Bell, and the mellBella logo.

My goal is to use boudoir photography to help each person of any gender to…
Feel more comfortable and confident in their body,
See themselves as extraordinary, beautiful, and worthy of love, AND
Have a unique, unforgettable experience with the photos to prove it!

A little backstory…

In the 2010s, I would get a few calls a year from men looking for male boudoir photography. But they were only looking for someone to take their photos as a joke. The main request was to do the “George Constanza.” Just look up “The Timeless Art of Seduction” which is in Season 8 Episode 5 “The Package” of the Seinfeld TV series. Basically, Kramer convinces George to create “enticing photos,” and they do a mock boudoir photo shoot. The final photo is printed large and is shown as an embarrassing joke.

Moving on to around 2016, when male boudoir photos or as some say “Dudoir” (dudeoir rhymes with boudoir) started to become more noticeable. But a large majority of these dudoir photos were done as a joke or simply to go viral on the web. There is nothing wrong with taking silly photos in boudoir photography, but I wanted to approach it differently.

A mutual friend referred my first official male boudoir client to me. From our first phone call, I told him that I had never done male boudoir photography before, but I was ready to try. I wanted my client to feel comfortable and confident at his photo shoot. Before the shoot. I did some research, spoke with photography peers, and made a plan ,which included a practice shoot with my husband. It went really well, and he even wanted to come back and do ANOTHER boudoir session. The rest is history. Yes, Boudoir Photography is for men too! Boudoir is for ALL gender identities.

What is Boudoir Photography?

woman in cream sweater sitting on egg chair with feet propped up

What is Boudoir Photography to me? For starters, I’ll tell you what it’s not.

Boudoir Photography is NOT:

  • just photos in underwear.
  • for women only.
  • lewd, obscene, vulgar, or gross.
  • demeaning or shameful.
  • perfection or what you think the perfect body should look like.
  • only for people who are a very specific size, shape, age, gender, ethnicity, height, weight, ability, etc.
  • just for the bedroom.

close up of woman with long black hair in a blue teddy and pearl necklace sitting in a rattan egg chair

To me, Boudoir Photography is so much more than just a photoshoot. I photographed my first boudoir clients in 2010. As I’ve photographed hundreds of people over the years, my definition of boudoir photography has grown as I’ve grown as a photographer, artist, and person.

blonde woman in batman tank and panties stretching on yellow couch in front of window

Boudoir Photography :

  • is an experience for ALL HUMANS who want to encounter and embrace their version of BEAUTIFUL.
  • is INCLUSIVE and RESPECTFUL.
  • is feminine, masculine, and/or androgynous.
  • is a GIFT for someone special… YOU ARE THE SOMEONE SPECIAL.
  • is for YOUR BODY exactly as it is right now.
  • is shame free and body positive.
  • is an investment.
  • is a way for you to SEE your SELF, your BEAUTY,  your ARTFUL BODY through another person’s eyes.
  • appreciates the human body in its many versions.
  • can be a LIFE-CHANGING experience.
  • can be clothed, in underwear/lingerie, implied nudity, or nude.
  • can be glammed up and blinged out.
  • can be cozy and subtle.
  • can be silly and smiley.
  • can be sultry, sensuous, or sexy.
  • can be a gift for your partner, but it can be just for you.
  • can reveal something you never considered before now.
  • is fun!!!