But an emerging trend in photography has guys stripping down to reveal all.
Meet the dudes of “Dudeoir.”
“Boudoir” means “bedroom,” or “private room,” in French, and in the photography world, the phrase “boudoir photography,” which has been around for ages, highlights women in various stages of undress—often in sultry poses. Seductive, artistic, but never pornographic, these images have long given women a confidence boost, and have given their partners a little something hot to remember them by.
After all, who doesn’t like seeing herself in literally her best lighting and lingerie, shot by a pro?
Well, now it looks like guys want to start preserving some of their hot days for posterity, too. And that’s where “dudeoir” comes in. A combination of the words “dude” and “boudoir,” it describes a trend in photography that’s seeing guys get a little more, well, personal with their pictures.
And let’s face it: Seeing oneself through the eyes—or rather, lens—of a professional photographer can give a guy just the kind of confidence boost he needs to take on the brave new world of app dating… or just to surprise his honey with.
Sarah Chillson, a professional photographer from Pittsburgh, was kind enough to answer for me a few questions about Dudeoir—what it is, how it started, and how she gets all those guys to be so comfortable in their skivvies.
Sarah: “Dude-doir” is a clever moniker bestowed for boudoir photography of which a man is the subject (I can’t take credit for it but I wish I could). Boudoir is French for ‘bedroom’ or ‘private room’ to be technical. It translates into a style of intimate or romantic photography. I think most people know this but I’ve had to awkwardly explain this to my grandmother when she asked what I do.
I personally don’t know any photographers doing male boudoir but I guarantee I’m not the first to try this out. I purposefully don’t seek other photographers’ images for this genre because I don’t want to become accidentally influenced or subconsciously copying, which is easy to do when you see a beautiful photo!
My style has worked so well for my women clients—naturally lit, guided but unposed (I do not pose my clients), and catching that shot when she doesn’t realize that she’s doing something beautiful—that I figured it could work with the guys too. And it really has!
The male boudoir side of my business just started to gain attention this year so I haven’t established a “typical” yet, but what surprised me is how varied my client base is so far—straight, gay, coupled, single men.
I think the stigma of men who want portrait or boudoir as being an expression of excess vanity is being lifted, and it absolutely should. They usually offer their motives before I can ask, but it’s universal: we all want our photos captured at the time we feel great about ourselves and are happy.
I’d spent all my time as a boudoir photographer for women, and had ignored the other half of the population. I’ll be honest, photographing men didn’t even hit my radar. It wasn’t until the first guy had contacted me requesting portrait/boudoir for himself that I thought… “Really? YES!”
Of my clientele, a little more than half aren’t single, but they aren’t doing it for their girlfriend or boyfriend. This aligns with the women I photograph. About half are single and are just feeling confident (or even sometimes not!) and it’s my goal to make them look the best they’ve ever looked in a photograph.
There is little difference so far with men and women’s comfort level shooting boudoir photography. It’s also part of my job to make it comfortable. So I joke around alot, have my clients bring a playlist, and I always have some whiskey or bubbles on hand, because a little sip can help some clients take the edge off.
I hope so!!! There are so many beautiful men walking around, I hope we photographers can capture it right, and men would be wanting to do this!! I also have been commissioned to shoot couple’s boudoir in the next month and I’m really excited that people are wanting to expand on this.
(Sarah adds: )
Common questions client questions answered:
Clients can keep clothes on to their comfort level and I can still make it look boudoir.
With men, one of my favorite places to shoot is The Allegheny Inn in Pittsburgh’s North Side, and shoots wrap up in under 2 hours.
I don’t share clients’ images unless they’ve signed a release or request that I share.
So what does it feel like to be the subject in one of these images? Will Walker (the right riiiiight above this paragraph), was so kind as to offer this about his experience:
Enjoy. And feel free to pass on the good word about Dudeoir. And if you have a dude that wants to book a session, reach out to Sarah right here.
In the words of Forrest Gump, that’s all I have to say about that. 😉