Valentine’s Day is coming up. Perhaps you’re considering having some intimate photographs taken for that special someone in your life. It’s called boudoir photography. Are you a feeling little trepidation, not knowing what to expect? Kelsey Malicotes is ready to allay your anxiety and help you create a unique photo album.
“My boudoir photography is a little different from a lot of other people’s,” she said. “I approach it more from a light, sweet, loving type of boudoir photography. I leave things to the imagination a little bit. That’s even more sexy.”
Kelsey’s main priority is making her clients feel comfortable and confident during their shoots. She wants the photos to emphasize the women’s inner beauty.
“My work lends itself to women who want to look beautiful in a soft kind of way,” she said. “I think it’s something women should be proud of. The thing about boudoir photography is you can show how soft and confident you can be. It’s a chance to be super proud that you’re a woman and you’re beautiful and you can still be a total bad ass. It’s so fun.”
Kelsey is aware her clients have different emotions about doing a shoot. She knows how to calm the nervous ones.
“Some are super excited and some of them are absolutely terrified and have been from the moment they booked,” Kelsey said. “I tell them to take a deep breath because you don’t have to do anything here except listen to what I’m telling you to do. I direct literally everything.”
She wants to make the shoot a fun experience for her clients.
“I have them do lots of jumping around and rolling on the bed, flipping their hair around,” she said. “I really try hard to get them into more of that playful mood.”
Kelsey got into the photography business in a roundabout way. She and her husband, Matt, enjoyed taking pictures of their friends and their friends’ children, and one day someone offered Kelsey $25 to take photos of her daughter.
“It just snowballed from there,” Kelsey said.
She is beginning her sixth year of boudoir photography. She mainly does shoots in a special setting in a studio in her own home.
“I call it the boom-boom room,” she said.
Kelsey has her clients bring several different outfits of their own to the shoot, such as a lingerie set, and something that belongs to their man, such as a jersey or button-up shirt, or anything else that is significant to their relationship.
“It allows me to shoot them in what they feel comfortable in,” she said.
Hair and makeup take about an hour and a half to complete. The shoot usually takes another hour or so.
“You have to have the whole package,” Kelsey said. “With my glam squad, we make them look and feel the best version of their normal selves.”
Kelsey believes boudoir photography can be a great confidence booster.
“I have so many girls contact me and say, ‘I would love to do this but I just know I don’t have the body for it,’” she said. “That blows my mind. You don’t have be a size 2 to look gorgeous in photos like these; you have to be confident. You have to come in and trust me; you have to commit to me so I can give 100 percent.”
A majority of her clients are planning to give the photos to their fiancés as a wedding gift. Others are married women who want to keep the “spark” going. But Kelsey’s boudoir photography isn’t limited to women who are engaged or married.
“I’ve even had girls booking me who are single because they want to find their confidence,” Kelsey said.
Women of all sizes and ages (but no one under age 18) have been in Kelsey’s lenses.
“I shoot girls who are a size 2 and I shoot girls who are a size 22,” she said. “I shoot young women and I’ve shot women in their late 50s. The girls love the photos because of the way they make them feel.”
Kelsey says boudoir photography helps women see themselves from another perspective.
“I tell them if you’re doing this for someone you love, they love you for you and this is just you trying to show them yourself in a different light,” Kelsey said. “You need to feel comfortable in your own skin, and this is a way to step outside of your normal comfort zone and find yourself. It’s OK to do something for yourself.”
If you’re leaning toward having some boudoir photographs made, Kelsey invites you to her studio with the promise of an enjoyable time.
“You’re just coming to my house to hang out, and by the way, I’m going to make you look gorgeous,” she said.