It’s the ultimate empowerment for a woman — celebrating her curves, loving her body exactly as it was made — and committing that empowerment by capturing it forever in images.
Local photographer Antoinette Ryun, a fifth generation Oakdale native, is out to show women how beautiful they can be with her newest photographic venture, boudoir photography.
Ryun, a woman whose father placed her first camera in her hand at 10 years old, has always seen the world through the lens of a camera. A natural extension of her body, a camera was never far from her fingertips as she moved through life, first as a wife, then a mother to four children. Her walls are filled with artful captures of life’s most precious moments — both her own and that of others — that represent Ryun’s unique style. To know Ryun is to admit she’s fun-loving, quick to laugh, and a bit quirky. Her laid-back style belies a fierce talent that takes your breath away when you flip through her portfolio so when Ryun decided to start an offshoot to her already flourishing photography business, it’s no surprise she’d tackle a difficult but ultimately empowering type of photo.
Boudoir photography is as the name suggests — bedroom photography, but it’s not pornographic. It’s an artful capture of women’s most classically beautiful form showing raw sensuality and vulnerability through the lens of a camera, immortalizing that moment for all time.
The photos make great gifts to husbands, or simply gifts to themselves. In short, a boudoir photography session is all about the pride of simply being a woman.
“It’s very empowering,” Ryun said. “The first shot is always so powerful. My clients are always amazed at what they see because they don’t see themselves the way I do. I can see clients from so many different angles. The client only sees themselves from three angles. Everybody is critical about something on their body, but if you put yourself into my hands, I will only use the right angles that flatter you.”
As a woman, Ryun knows all the little hang-ups and insecurities that plague the fairer sex. She’s sensitive to the right lighting, the right side, the right everything that can create magic for her client. And her advice? Don’t wait. If you’ve always wanted boudoir photos of yourself, do it now.
“I look at myself five years ago and I wonder why I thought I needed to lose a few pounds. The point is, there’s always going to be something that holds you back if you let it and then five years from now you’ll look back and wonder why you didn’t go for it,” Ryun said. “Everyone has weight concerns, but it’s all about the angles. We have to embrace who we are eventually. This experience is about opening yourself up to appreciating who you are. You can’t see it until someone else sees it first and shows you how beautiful you are.”
A typical session lasts about two hours and it’s usually done in the client’s home unless otherwise arranged. The client also arranges for their own costuming and props, whatever that may be.
Ryun said sometimes it’s fun to bring along a few trusted girlfriends to share a glass of wine with before the session, to loosen up. Plus, laughter is the best way to dispel the jitters that sometimes follow the decision to put yourself in a vulnerable position in front of a stranger.
“I’ve never looked at a session and thought, ‘how ugly.’ All women are beautiful,” Ryun said.
And it doesn’t have to be an elaborate set-up. Some people think there has to be multiple outfit changes and locations.
“Even if it’s just your husband’s dress shirt and nothing else, that’s okay. Anything can be sexy as long as you’re comfortable and (it) represents you,” Ryun said.
Ryun said one of her clients shared that his favorite picture of his wife’s shoot was the one where she’s laughing because that was an accurate representation of who she was. And he thought it was the sexiest picture, too, because he fell in love with her as a person, not only her body.
Ryun is running a special, just in time for the holidays, for that special gift to that certain someone.
“I’m going to hold a boudoir marathon,” she said. “For $175 hair and make up will be included along with the photo shoot. It’s a reduced price for the holidays and a great deal.”
Ryun said, no matter the woman, every client told her afterward that they were happy they did it.
“When clients tell me, ‘I didn’t know I could be that beautiful,’ it’s very rewarding,” Ryun shared. “If a woman can look at a picture of herself and it was a good experience, that’s the biggest reward for me. You’re appreciating your body in a different way. Instead of wishing your body was 25 again, embrace the body you have now.”
Ryun is accepting clients until she’s booked for this particular sale. The photo shoots are scheduled for Thanksgiving weekend and Dec. 10-11. There’s also another discount for booking with a friend.
For more information on how to book for the boudoir marathon or to discuss a consultation, call Antoinette Ryun at 209-247-9457.