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{Dainty Extra} Celebrating Your Beauty

We all deserve to feel sexy and beautiful, and what better way of doing so by having a Boudoir and Glamour session? Barbara Downen, owner of Mist and Moonlight Photography in Rapid City, SD, not only does a wonderful job capturing your beauty, but she also focuses on making your experience with her comfortable and enjoyable. Barbara chatted with us about celebrating your beauty, getting out of your comfort zone, and more…

What style of boudoir do you do?                                                                                   

I do boudoir photography with the woman in mind. I want their images to be sexy, romantic, fiercely feminine and beautiful. I want them to do it for themselves and not just for the man in their life. My goal is to have a woman leave feeling more confident and beautiful than she ever has felt before. I do offer other styles: Glam Maternity, Modern Glamour, Tween Glam, Senior Portraiture, families and – of course – weddings.


 What are some reasons people do a boudoir or glamour session?                

Usually women do them because they want to give it as a gift to their significant other. But I think they just want to feel amazing for a day, to be photographed by someone who really takes the time and cares about how the images look and feel. Who doesn’t want to get hair and make up done, feel like a model, and have a beautiful portrait taken in this day of Facebook selfies? I wish that more women were braver to do it for themselves, regardless of losing that last 10 pounds or whatever the excuse of the day is. You are beautiful right now, in this moment, in the body you are in.


What inspired you to do boudoir and glamour photography?                                    

I am also a fine art portrait artist, and I started convincing friends to play dress up for me and go out in the Hills and take what I call Elemental Portraits. I have always had a passion for artistic photography, and once I saw what I could do with my camera, it kind of took over everything. A friend asked me to do a boudoir shoot several years ago. We did it and it was a blast – I was hooked. I had always had a passion for this kind of photography, but it wasn’t until I discovered Creative Live and Sue Bryce that I realized that what I loved to do had a name and could actually be my job! I went out and rented a studio with natural light, have continued to study and learn, and hopefully will be a successful portrait photographer that women want to be photographed by!

How do brides get comfortable to put themselves out there during these sessions, and do you have any recommendations to prep before a shoot?            

I work hard to make them feel as comfortable as possible. It’s awkward enough without the photographer making you feel weird, so we chat about it beforehand and I send out a cheat sheet on how to prepare, etc. When they get to the studio they go straight into hair and makeup, which I think really gives them time to just relax and get to know me. I go through the outfits they brought and plan out the shoot with them. We laugh and joke a lot on set and I direct them from head to toe, which really helps. I don’t stop talking long enough for them to think about the fact they are being photographed in their delicates.

DaintyObsessions_MistandMoonlightPhotography DaintyObsessions_MistandMoonlightPhotography DaintyObsessions_MistandMoonlightPhotography DaintyObsessions_MistandMoonlightPhotographyHow do you and the model decide on their look for boudoir or glamour sessions? Do you provide outfits on set? Can the client bring their own?                                  

I really leave a lot of it up to the bride on what she wants to do. If they have purchased bridal lingerie I have them bring that – veils are awesome to pose with. Of course Pinterest is always a great resource for ideas. I do have a few things in my studio they can use if they want like robes, baby doll tops, lace, nightgowns, shoes, etc. I recommend they bring in his favorite shirt or sports theme. We go through it in pretty good detail before the shoot so they know exactly what to bring. Then we just have a ball playing dress up! I recommend they bring up to five outfits of their own. We can mix and match from there. We may not use all five, but it gives us a great variety of looks to work with.


What do you recommend to do before the shoot? Grooming? Practice poses in a mirror at home? Drink a glass of champagne to relax?

How to prepare. Yes, grooming is number-one! I hate chipped nail polish, so I ask that they make sure they do their nails – or better yet – no nail polish at all. They come in with no make up and clean, dry hair for styling if they opt for the in-house stylist. I recommend they eat a light breakfast and drink water, but they are allowed to bring whatever they want to drink. I haven’t had anyone bring wine or champaign to a session yet, but they can if they want to! As long as they have someone to drive them after the session. Im not a huge fan of spray tans either, but a good one does help even out skin tone and gets rid of tan lines.

DaintyObsessions_MistandMoonlightPhotographyOnce you start shooting, how much coaching on poses will you provide?

I warn my clients that it is like a Pilates work out and you will be sore the next day. My job is to make them look as amazing as possible, and most of the time it is all in how you pose the subject. Poses for slender girls may not work for someone with curves. Being aware of what looks good on every figure is key. It’s also about what is comfortable for them. I will never ask them to do something that is not in their own comfort zone, physically or mentally. I try to flow poses so that one pose goes into another and so on.

Do you provide hair and make up services? Do some women prefer to come in with their make up and hair already done?

Yes I offer hair and makeup as part of the session. I like to have a say in what their make up looks like for the camera. I use professional stylists so that they leave looking amazing!

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Do you do group sessions? Maybe for a client and their friend to do it together for fun?

I do offer group sessions. Sometimes it isn’t as scary if you have a friend with you.


Do you provide privacy polices?

I require a Model Release for all clients for use in promoting my business. However, I will never use photos from clients that say no. I always ask permission first.



How revealing are the portraits for boudoir sessions? Can they show partial skin, or do you do the illusion of nudity?

The sessions are designed for the client’s comfort. They can show as much or as little as they like. I do not have an issue with full nudity, however I think implied nudity is sexier. It’s like a little teaser!

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Is boudoir for women, or do you see it common in men, too? 

I have not had many inquiries from men. I think it would be awesome to offer Dudeoir portraits! Maybe that day will come. I will have to find something other than a frilly comforter to pose them on, unless they like that kind of thing!

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For more information on Mist and Moonlights Boudoir and Glamour Photography, visit their website or call (605) 390-6454.

{Dainty Extra} 9 Not-So-Obvious Tips for Great Wedding Photos

Your wedding is a day that is over flowing with a variety of emotions. But there is one emotion that the bride should not have to experience on her special day.  That emotion is stress. Carly Kolbo, owner of Carly Loves Amos Photography, gave us some helpful tips on how to make your crazy beautiful day, a stress free zone.

From Carly…

Weddings are fun. So fun! No matter what the day brings, you’re ending up with the love of your life, and that equals winning. That being said, I’ve noticed many things in my eight years of photographing weddings that contribute to the day’s flow, feel, and photos. I love – like love – helping my brides lay out their wedding day so they will have the time of their lives and get killer images. Here are some tips I’ve learned along the way…


Multiply your “getting ready” time.                                                                           

How long does it take you to beautify yourself on a normal day? Take that times two or three and you have a fair estimation of how long it will take you to get ready on your wedding day. And that’s totally acceptable! You want to look amazing! Give yourself plenty of time so you can enjoy the moments and not feel rushed.

DaintyObsessions_CarlyLovesAmosPhotgraphyFalsify one thing.
Your lashes, that is. They add a swoon-worthy pop to photos.
DaintyObsessions_CarlyLovesAmosPhotgraphyAssign a pinner.
 Wedding party photos often run late because of one small detail: pinning on boutonnières. It seems simple, but making a flower lay nicely against a man’s bosom practically takes an engineering degree. I’ll let you in on a little secret: 99 of 100 males do not know how to pin on boutonnières. Can you blame them? It’s hard! The assigned pinner should probably be a lady, like an aunt who can pin in her sleep.
First looks save the day.
A first look (i.e. seeing each other before the ceremony) lends itself to a laid-back day. There won’t be a mad rush to do all the portraits in between the ceremony and reception. You’ll get more bang for your photography buck, a better collection of portraits, and more time with your partner. I love how couples can react openly during their first look without hundreds of eyes watching them. Another perk? Your guests won’t have to twiddle their thumbs after the ceremony while you take photos.
Fun fact: Waiting to see the bride until the ceremony started with arranged marriages. Since the couple never met before their wedding day, this tradition was instated to keep the groom from running away if he didn’t fancy his bride-to-be’s looks upon seeing her for the first time.

 DaintyObsessions_CarlyLovesAmosPhotgraphyNotice the groom’s fit.                                                                                           

Baggy suits take away from the sophisticated look of a bride’s well-fitted dress. Keep it dapper and publication-worthy by opting for a slimmer-fitting suit.

Tip: Instead of renting, buy. The fit will be superior and you’ll spend about the same amount.

DaintyObsessions_CarlyLovesAmosPhotgraphyUnplug your wedding.                                                                                              

What does this mean? Besides your photographers’ cameras, no phones or cameras during the ceremony. Vibe killer: well-meaning, phone-wielding wedding guests in the background while you walk down the aisle with your tearful dad. We all have that aunt who takes photos with her iPad, which is fine (or is it…), but asking her to tuck it away during your ceremony is totally reasonable. I love how one of our brides presented this to her guests…

 Block off your reception area for 15 minutes after your ceremony.                  
You’ve spent months piecing together the perfect touches for your wedding. Great job! In the whirlwind of the day, you may not have a chance to fully take in how beautiful everything looks all set up. Photographers get giddy taking gorgeous detail photos for you to drool over later. Somehow, people wandering in the background kills the magazine vibe we hope to achieve, so blocking off that area for a short amount of time does wonders.
Resist sending a Pinterest board to your photographer. 
As photographers, we are pumped to create images that are unique to you as a couple. It’s difficult to create if we are focusing on re-creating. An experienced photographer will investigate your hopes for your photos, and do everything they can to create incredible images for you.
 DaintyObsessions_CarlyLovesAmosPhotgraphyBe (crazy) picky about your photographer. 
Your wedding photos will be passed down through generations after they hang on your wall for a lifetime. Hire a photographer whose portfolio you love, whose work makes you feel something. Is what you’re seeing cookie cutter, or one-of-a-kind? Do their couples look genuinely happy, in love and comfortable? Select a photographer whose personality you love. You’ll spend more time with them on your big day than your BFF – crazy, right?! Your photographer’s vibe will set the tone of the day as they interact with you and all your people. Look for high quality work, professional but fun interactions, and a photographer who genuinely cares about you and your big day.
 DaintyObsessions_CarlyLovesAmosPhotgraphyThat’s all for now! For more tips, visit here.