Eni is a 29 year old Canadian who is just starting her career as a Doctor of Physical Therapy. She’s incredibly passionate about all things related to mind and body health, including physical fitness, positivity, personal development, mental health advocacy and female empowerment. Her mission is to help spread the message of owning and loving who you are as a woman, while optimising physical, mental and spiritual health. We asked Eni to share her thoughts and views on all things body-positive, and find out how she gained the confidence to try boudoir photoshoots,
How do you feel boudoir photography empowers you and helps you embrace your body?
A good boudoir photographer will use this type of photography to help you see the beauty, confidence and strength you already have inside you. Boudoir photography can be used as a tool to help you see the most flattering and aesthetically stunning angles of yourself, or to see your imperfections in a new and beautiful way. Of course, we all have cellulite, tummy rolls, blemishes and imperfections so I try and remain as realistic as possible with my followers - like, yes my curves are on point in this photo but I also know how to pose, had a hair and makeup team work on me, and these photos are professionally edited. No way I look like that in my day-to-day life! However, modelling in this style helped me recognize that, like every woman, I do have a powerful and confident side. It definitely has helped me bridge the gap between confidence in modelling and confidence in other aspects of my life.
I also love the creativity and natural flow of posing and body movement that comes along with this style of shoot. I think it has helped me accept parts of my body as beautiful based on different perspectives from the photos I get back from shoots and the feedback I’ve received from photographers and people who follow me on social media. For example, I’m short for a model (5’5) and although I’m healthy, I am curvy and real. I saw this as a negative at first, but being a little more curvy has actually helped me book more work with photographers! I’m not saying that seeking external validation is the answer to empowerment, but sometimes we definitely need a little help seeing and unlocking our own potential.
What do you love about boudoir photography in comparison to other types of photoshoots you typically take part in?
The style of boudoir that I enjoy the most strikes a balance between elegance, playfulness, sensuality and mystery. This requires the same amount of balance between my posing, facial expressions, hair, makeup and wardrobe – a slight change in expression or the way my legs are positioned and it can change the whole feel of a photo! I love finding that balance during these styles of photoshoots and delivering on the vision that the photographer and I set out to achieve.
I also love that I can promote my own style of boudoir that is unique and true to who I am as a person. Some women have this idea that boudoir photography has to be edgy and very overtly sexual. It can be for some people (which is cool too!), but that’s to do with their comfort level and the look they’re going for. I want my work to challenge these ideas and start conversations around the individuality of this boudoir photography. I want to show women that they can be empowered, ambitious, driven, and still embrace their bodies in an unapologetic and unashamed way.
Who or what influenced you to bare all and try boudoir photography?
I’ll be honest, it was sort of an act of rebellion at first. I became more and more curious about boudoir and exploring a more confident, sensual and feminine side of me. The people closest to me were extremely wary at first – they were concerned for my safety (rightfully so), my reputation, my future career in healthcare should any unwanted photos end up in the wrong hands.
I decided to take the leap and try boudoir but was, and have always been, very clear about my boundaries – I do not pose nude or implied nude, I say no to poses that I’m not comfortable with, and I make sure the photographer has a strong portfolio or references before I agree to meeting with them. I think having a clear idea of what I wanted in boudoir modeling definitely increased my comfort level and helped me take the leap into it.
What advice would you give to anyone hesitant or nervous about trying boudoir or ‘sensual’ photoshoots and revealing their body?
Most important is to stay within your comfort level, be true to yourself and have fun with it!
Start with wardrobe – be realistic about what makes you feel most confident and comfortable. It doesn’t have to be lacy and expensive lingerie. Although traditional boudoir has the model in underwear, modern boudoir can take on many forms - it can honestly be as simple as a T-shirt and shorts! Confidence and comfort definitely show in photos. The more confident you are, the more fun you’ll have and the more likely you’ll walk away with a positive experience. If you’re looking to explore a more edgy side of yourself then pick up a couple of pieces of lingerie that accentuates the parts of your body that you love. Experienced boudoir photographers will help you with posing and guide you through the whole photoshoot process (some even have hair and makeup included – bonus!) but it doesn’t hurt to practice in the mirror and get an idea of what you like and what you don’t like.
Find a reputable photographer with good reviews and a style that you like. Do some research on Instagram or Pinterest and find some inspiration photos to get a better idea of the look and feel you want to achieve. Find a photographer whose photos match the style you’re trying to achieve. Referrals from models or other women are a great way to find a photographer you vibe well with. There are amazing male AND female photographers so I try not to limit myself to one or the other. At the end of the day, they are professionals and you should never feel uncomfortable at any point in the process!
We believe that beauty starts within; however, we’re also all about championing a woman’s physical beauty too. What do you personally think makes a woman beautiful?
Confidence and owning who you are! (I want to shout this from the rooftops, but my neighbours will be annoyed).
There is nothing more beautiful than watching a woman step into her power without giving a f*** about what people may or may not think. It kills me to hear women tearing themselves and others down out of insecurity. I totally used to be like that and I know now that it comes from a place of deep hurt and lack of confidence. Not only does a confident woman exude light and joy, but the life that she is living becomes so much richer and more fulfilled. That kind of beauty shines through no matter what!