Monday, May 11, 2009

Boudoir Candy: The Last Forty Percent

Boudoir photos are all the rage right now amongst brides. Primarily done as wedding gifts for grooms, boudoir photos are also seen an opportunity for brides to strut their stuff, look even sexier than the Victoria's Secret models, and celebrate their beauty. The term 'boudoir' derives from the French word 'bouder' which means 'to pout,' and boudoir refers to a lady's dressing room or private sitting room (where women would 'pout'). While most of us don't have boudoirs (I'm SO getting one in my dream home...think the BF will mind?), for just few hours, we can pretend, by donning our prettiest lingerie (or appearing in the nude) and posing for the camera.

I have seen a lot of boudoir photos and I have to admit there are photos out there that just look downright cheesy (e.g bright lighting, unnatural or awkward poses, inappropriate outfits). My ideal boudoir session includes soft lighting, a romantic and natural feel with slightly provocative poses, a touch of elegance and above all, a sense of comfort. It's hard to find a photographer who captures all of these elements.

For those of you who live in Southern Ontario, search no more.... London, Ontario based Last Forty Percent Photography captures all of the above and more. Last Forty Percent Photography is a husband and wife team - Ewan Phelan is the genius behind the lens while his lovely wife Brianna 'takes care of business!' Brianna was kind enough to answer my many questions regarding LFP and their amazing boudoir photos.

1) How did you & Ewan get into photography?
After high school, Ewan assisted a photographer for a number of years. When I met Ewan he was still assisting, and I pushed him to go out on his own. After we got married, we started our company and within one year we were both doing this full time. We love what we do!

2) What's the 'story' behind The Last Forty Percent?
The story behind the name has to do with Ewan and I. It's the idea that you only show a certain amount of yourself to the outside world; but it's the small details that you share with the person you love that actually count - the little things that no one else would ever see or notice. You only show 60% of yourself to the world, but it's the last 40% that counts!

3) Boudoir pictures have grown in popularity in the last few years. Why do you think that is?
Every woman wants to feel sexy! Boudoir photography has evolved so much in the past few years, and there is a new generation of women who aren't afraid of being sexy, romantic and feeling beautiful in front of a camera. Most of our brides give a little album of boudoir photos as a special gift to their husband on their wedding night. Sometimes women do these photos as an anniversary gift or a birthday gift. We also have woman who come in to do the photos as a gift to herself - sort of a way to feel empowered and beautiful.

4) Describe a typical boudoir session.
We give women a prep list before the shoot that explains what to expect, what to bring, tips on makeup and hair, etc. A lot of women have their hair and makeup done professionally. We have someone we work with closely and can recommend to our clients.

We suggest that women start the session in their least favourite outfit because it usually takes a few minutes for them to become fully comfortable and relaxed. The shoot can take up to two hours, depending on how many outfit changes take place and if the woman wants to do shots in white sheets or full nudes as well. Most women do a combination of lingerie, semi-nudes, and full nudes (we don't post these on the blog) because they want to remember how they looked 40 years from now. It's completely up to the woman how clothed or un-clothed she wants to be - we want her to feel completely comfortable.

5) Where do the sessions take place?
The sessions are done at a downtown London,ON hotel that overlooks the city. We just recently moved to this new location (we used to use our studio space) and love the new look. The room has fantastic lighting, beautiful white bedding and huge windows that look out over the cityscape.

6) What can a client do to prepare for the session, especially if she's nervous?
There is a lot of communication between us and the client before the session to ensure a woman feels completely comfortable before working with Ewan. I make sure the woman knows what to expect, give her some tips about being in front of the camera and offer suggestions on what to bring beforehand. I also make sure that she looks through our boudoir portfolio to get a better idea of what she would like to wear or how she would like to do her hair or makeup.

Women are quite often nervous right before the shoot, but the minute the camera comes out, it's like they've been models their entire lives. There is something very empowering and beautiful about being in front of the camera and a whole new side of someone comes out. Women always say after the shoot how beautiful it made them feel, or how empowering it is to see themselves in such a beautiful way when they see the photos. I think the session is a real confidence booster!

7) Every one of your clients looks amazing in your boudoir sessions. How do you make every girl look so sexy?
Ewan really knows how to make a woman look beautiful. He understands lighting and how to pose a body properly in order to make it look the most flattering. He can help a woman hide certain body parts that she is insecure about by positioning her in a certain way. A lot of women are nervous that their legs will look big, so he can use the best angles to hide that. And not to worry, if a woman wakes up with a giant pimple on her forehead that day, we take care of it in post-production for her.

(PB: That would be so me.....I always break out at the wrong moments!)

8) What is included in your boudoir packages?
We offer two different session packages. The first includes the shoot itself and fully edited files (in black and white, colour and fine art finishing) on a CD. The images are high-resolution, and since the client owns the copyright, she is able to get prints done anywhere . The second package offers the shoot, the fully edited files (in black and white, colour and fine art finishing) and a Last Forty Percent coffee table book album. The album is a perfect size to give as a gift and is very popular among our clients. The woman gets to choose which photos she'd like to include and we design the layout for her.

To see more of LFP's portofolio (they also specialize in wedding, engagement, day after, and other portrait sessions), visit their website/blog. Thank you Brianna and Ewan for sharing your amazing photos with us!!


Mo said...

These photos are too sexy for this post. ;)
Great interview! I haven't read anything about boudoir photos (I've just seen the steamy pictures,) so this was very informative. It sounds like it's a ton of fun, and a great excuse to get dolled up.

New Wife said...

Wow!! These are truly fab. I adore the name of their company. Cleaver and quite romantic. A name customer will always remember. Although to be honest, I may be a tad nervous with a male photographer, but that's just me.

I had boudoir shots done for my hubby's wedding gift. Even I was shocked about how hot I looked.

One recommendation I would add: Bring an honest friend with you. I brought one of mine (actually, we used her house) and she was great. She had no problem saying "ya, you're not wearing that". She was a great help to the photographer and staged many of my poses. Helps that she's an artistic person. So yes, bring an honest friend. She'll tell you things your photographer may not want to.

You can check out my pics here:

AmyJean said...

Great photos!!! And great interview!


Brianna said...

You're awesome, Sylvana. Thanks so much for this post - you did a great write up! We're flattered to be a part of your site :)

imthiaz houseman said...

great interview. i loved the photos that were picked for the post!

The Professional Bridesmaid said...

FYI - If you're uncomfortable with a male photographer, you can bring along a friend(s). LFP also hosts boudoir bachelorette parties whereby you and your friends bring moral support to one another.

@New Wife - Thank you so much for sharing your boudoir pictures!!! You look stunning.

Nicole said...

I agree!! These shoots are often REALLY cheesy. The photos you shared here are great.

Bridechka said...

So sexy.

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