Boudoir photography isn’t what you think – or maybe it is

Cindy Johnson takes a self-portrait wearing gray CoolRevolution bamboo pajamas

If you had asked Cindy Johnson what boudoir photography was  15 years ago, she’d answer like most of us.

“I thought it was basically people in their underwear,” she said.

You wouldn’t get that same answer today. She’s learned boudoir photography is so much more than what someone is or is not wearing. It’s empowering and can be life changing. Read why women choose boudoir photos. 

All it took was a single session behind her camera for Cindy to understand. More than a decade ago, Cindy was a stay-at-home mom, wrangling four kids from toddler to pre-teen. Like lots of moms, she took photos every chance she got. Cindy’s photos were better than most, and her friends started taking notice. They asked her to take their kids’ photos, and then one day, a friend asked if Cindy would do a boudoir session.

 “She just wanted to feel better about her body,” Cindy said.

Cindy is not modest and doesn’t blush at nudity. “It’s just skin,” she says. While she had no experience with boudoir photography, she was game to give it a try, thinking she was doing her friend a favor. It turned out to be a life-changing experience for both of them.

Cindy snapped a few photos, and her friend wanted to take a peek, she was stunned when she looked into the camera view.

 “She said she had never felt so beautiful,” Cindy remembers.

The picture Cindy saw through the camera was exactly how her friend looked. Cindy hadn’t used filters or edited the images; it was just a natural shot of the woman. What she saw in the camera screen was not what the woman saw when she looked in the mirror.

 That’s all-to-common, Cindy said, especially for women.

“We all put this negative filter on ourselves,” Cindy said. “My goal isn’t to put a positive filter on you, I just need to take off the negative filter. I think photography’s power is to see yourself through my eyes.”

The experience was so powerful, Cindy decided boudoir photography, where she could help people see and experience their true beauty, was her true calling. About 11 years ago, she founded Cindy Johnson Boudoir Photography. Her only formal training was a boudoir boot camp in Seattle. The best training, she said has been taking self-portraits.

Linda Paul models blush T-shirt and capris in cooling bamboo for CoolRevolution photoshoot taken by Cindy Johnson Boudoir Photographer“She has this way of making you feel comfortable,” said Linda Paul, who recently had a session with Cindy to model CoolRevolution pajamas.  A retired executive, Linda has had her photo taken many times, but never like the experience she had with Cindy. The two chatted, while Cindy snapped photos. It  was all very natural. Linda’s only stipulation was that she was not going to model in the nude. That’s the thing about boudoir photography, you don’t have to take off your clothes. Cindy’s goal is to capture people the way they are, when they aren’t worried about whether they are posed the correct way, or whether they need to move two inches to the right, chin up, arms down, shoulders up. That’s not real.

 “Raw emotion is the sexiest thing in the world,” she says.

Cindy captures images around a 1900’s brick house on four acres her husband and business manager Tyler bought several years ago. Yes, there’s a bed, but there’s also a hammock, old bear-claw bathtub, exposed brick walls, a floor length mirror, sheer curtains, thick blankets, wild flowers and a mural, all which provide great backgrounds for photo shoots.

While she still does family photos and weddings occasionally, most of her photography is of women or couples. Some clients bring lingerie, others have a special outfit, and many are there to wear nothing at all. Those are Cindy’s favorite shots to do, to help women feel beautiful in their own skin. The photo shoot is as much about the experience as it is the final product.

 “It’s my goal for my people to walk out of the room knowing I made them feel amazing and feel a lot more comfortable in their skin,” Cindy said. “Pretty photos are a bonus.”


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