Body Neutrality VS Body Positivity | Edmonton Boudoir Photography
Boudoir photography (or as we call it, Body Photography) can be a wonderful, uplifting, and confidence-boosting experience. However, many are understandably hesitant to commit to doing this type of photoshoot. In the day and age of video-focused social media full of “flawless faces and bodies”, it’s easy to fall into the mindset of “is my body worth photographing?”.
For us, the answer is a resounding YES!!
At our Edmonton boudoir photography studio, we believe that body neutrality and body positivity are essential to creating a truly beautiful and empowering experience. We recognize that every person’s journey with self-love and acceptance is different, which is why we work closely with our clients to create a safe space where they can explore their unique relationship with their bodies.
What is the body positivity movement?
Body positivity refers to the assertion that all people deserve to have a positive body image, regardless of how society and popular culture view ideal shape, size, and appearance.
Some of the goals of the body positivity movement include:
- Challenging how society perceives the body
- Promoting acceptance of all bodies
- Assisting individuals in gaining self-confidence and acceptance of their own bodies
- Addressing unrealistically high body standards
Body positivity is not only about combating how society sees people based on their physical dimensions and shape. It also acknowledges that judgments are frequently made on the basis of race, gender, sexuality, and disability. Body positivity strives to assist individuals to understand how popular media messages influence their relationship with their bodies, including how they feel about food, exercise, clothing
By better understanding the effect that such influences have, the hope is that people can develop a healthier and more realistic relationship with their bodies.
What Is Body Neutrality
Body Neutrality is a concept that rejects the idea of “perfect” bodies and instead focuses on celebrating all body types, gender identities, and appearances. To us, this involves seeing bodies in their natural state – free from airbrushing – and building our photography style on celebrating our shared diverse experiences as human beings.
Our approach to boudoir incorporates aspects of Body Neutrality and Positivity, which we have found helps us navigate the ever-changing landscape. At the end of the day, our primary focus is to ensure you feel good about your shoot, while striving to assist you in elevating your self-image as well.
Body Neutrality Vs Body Positive: What’s the Difference?
Body Positivity is most often noted as “every body is beautiful”. While this is fundamentally a great step away from more outdated mindsets, the movement has recently been under criticism, as it appeared to strongly associate one’s worth with beauty (regardless of what that beauty looks like). Naturally, cycling back to toxic mentalities around beauty and body image isn’t something we wish to do as we push towards improvements in both the industry and as a society.
As a response, Body Neutrality has, and is continuing to gain popularity, which is more closely rooted in the understanding that a body is simply allowed to exist, in whatever state it wants to, free of praise or criticism. It’s appreciating the body for what it does for us (regardless of ability or disability), and not how it looks.
How Does This Change a Boudoir Session?
Generally, it doesn’t change much on the technical side of the photoshoot but keeping these approaches in mind as photographers helps us to better navigate concerns you may have during a shoot. We regularly talk our clients up during a session (unless the client prefers us not to), and knowing how they feel about their body and how they choose to appreciate their body, ensures we’re using the proper language with each individual.
We want you to feel comfortable and confident in your own skin, and with us! Boudoir photography can be an empowering experience, and as boudoir photographers we’re honoured to have the opportunity to capture these moments for you.
Everybody is unique, which means each persons expression of self-love is different, and that’s what makes each session exciting and for us, as we get to learn so much with every shoot we do! Whether you’re looking to explore body positivity, neutrality, or a combination of both, we hope that when it comes time to booking a boudoir session of your own, your boudoir photographer can help you feel empowered and beautiful.
How Does All Of This Change Photo Editing?
Our approach to editing has always been about ensuring you look like the natural you, just a bit more polished. For example, we might brush out blemishes, or gently whiten teeth, or smooth out some smudged makeup, but we’ll keep character or defining physical traits, such as moles, small scars, or imperfections.
That said, each client absolutely has a say in what does or does not get changed about their appearance, and the ideals behind Body Neutrality and Body Positivity allows us to better understand what will or won’t work for each person, and take a much less biased approach to editing overall.
Will This Stance Change in the Future?
Absolutely. Ethics and ideals around beauty standards and photography in Edmonton (let alone as an industry as a whole) is a constantly evolving landscape, and we strive to stay as informed and inclusive as possible in the work we do.
What If I Hold Different Views Towards Body-Image?
We fully understand everyone’s views are different, and our above approach absolutely allows room for nuances. As previously mentioned, this approach is largely a navigational tool for us during photoshoots, and we encourage open communication throughout the entire photography process. It’s also worth noting that our consultations are key in getting everyone on the same page before moving forward.
What If I Struggle With My Body-Image during my boudoir session?
It’s 100% okay and natural if this feeling creeps up in the days leading up to the shoot, or even during the shoot itself – especially if it’s your first time doing boudoir. While we do our best to pick up on a client’s physical cues of discomfort, please don’t hesitate to speak up and tell your photographer you’re struggling. As always, we’ll do our best to ensure you’re as comfortable as possible, and we’ll never pressure you to pose in any manner you’re not comfortable with.
Body neutrality and body positivity are two important concepts in the world of boudoir photography. While body positivity encourages embracing beauty in all its forms, body neutrality instead recognizes that all bodies have inherent worth regardless of appearance or size.
Body Neutrality Tips For Other Boudoir Photographers
At the core of body neutrality is the belief that each person’s body is unique and should be viewed as such, without judgment or criticism. This can be especially helpful in the world of boudoir photography, where we are often focused on capturing a client’s most beautiful or alluring features. As boudoir photographers by shifting our focus away from appearance and toward acceptance, we can help our clients feel more comfortable and confident in front of the camera.
If you’re interested in exploring body neutrality with your boudoir photography clients, here are a few tips to get you started:
-Encourage your clients to focus on how they feel, rather than how they look. This can help them tap into their inner confidence, while tuning out any negative or critical thoughts that may be holding them back.
-Help your clients find beauty in every part of themselves, both inside and out. By highlighting different aspects of the body, you can help clients appreciate all their unique qualities and characteristics.
-Provide positive, supportive feedback and words of encouragement during your photoshoots. This can help your clients feel supported and loved, no matter what their body looks like.
As a photographer working within the boudoir space, it is essential to understand these concepts and how they can impact your work. By being aware of the difference between body neutrality and body positivity, you can more effectively cater to the client and human being that steps in front of your camera and create a safe and supportive environment for people to explore their own unique beauty.
As more and more photographers embrace the principles of body neutrality in their work, we are moving towards a world where all bodies are celebrated and accepted for who they truly are. And that is something we can all feel good about!
If you are interested in a Boudoir shoot in the Edmonton or Vancouver area, contact us here at Boundless Photo and Film. We specialize in portraits, weddings, boudoir, and family photography. We can’t wait to capture what makes you unique. You can check out our boudoir portfolio here.