Yolandi is a special artist and so eloquently tells the story of women through her photography. I was surprised to be approached by her online to be a guest blogger. I immediately was intrigued by her unique vision and artistry. Her views on Boudoir are awesome. This is well worth the read. All women are valuable, needed and should be celebrated. Enjoy this beautiful post all the way from South Africa!
Head Photographer, Designer, Negotiator, Plastic Surgeon.
Tell us something about yourself that has nothing to do with being a photographer?
I was serenaded in Porto, Portugal once, where a group of guys finishing the Santiago walk from Spain to Portugal were coming by, they stopped, and started singing to me.
What or who inspired you to be a photographer?
Annie Leibovitz, and knowing I would be able to create an ever-lasting still memory, where your audience needed to feel captivated and drawn-in, and make a connection with a longer shelf-life, through a machine, made me push for results, and I still do.
How long have you been a professional photographer? And when did you know you wanted to do photography?
I’ve been pro about 8 years now, after having studied 10 years ago, and I knew it after I had failed my first portfolio submission, that somehow, breaking the rules, would make me pass the second portfolio submission, and I did.
What would we find in your camera bag?
Lots and lots of spare batteries, different lenses, business cards, some money, and the flash triggers for my studio set-up. I shoot canon and love my 24-105mm.
Describe your style in 3 words.
Impactful, modern, soulful.
What type of photography do you focus in?
I love boudoir photography, because it is a literal journey with every brave woman, entrusting a stranger to photograph the very best sides of her. The rendition of herself, must be of ultimate beauty, and you have that responsibility, and that is what drives me to make ever shoot a special, extraordinary, and loved experience for the women who want to do this for various reasons. It’s never about the underwear, it’s about a shape that has inspired artists for millennia, and the magical lines that only a woman has, and that soft, gentle way she can bring to the image.
What is the difference between Beauty and Boudoir Photography?
Beauty is more vast as it more focused on the facial features and used for many make-up, hair and facial cleansing products in marketing and advertising, or for a photographer’s portfolio it can showcase the technical skill of highlighting facial lines. Boudoir, has to do with an effect created, to make for sensual, deep images that can be taken in studio or on location. Light can be smartly used to get a body lit in an amazing way, and posing is critical, as that takes the image to a next level, and makes something unusual, interesting, and almost emotional, having the viewer be part of the scene, and it’s a sexy moment for both the woman having the shoot done, as well as the viewer, who-ever both may be.
How do you feel about the way women are objectified?
It’s gone way south, and it’s severely sad. No society can exist without women, and they are downgraded in many areas, and they matter more to the emotional- stability, maturity, and healing or any race than what they are given credit for. The way boudoir photography should be approached, is to celebrate the special shape you had been issued as woman, and make art out of it. You show a woman’s bravery, and the choice to be strong, as well as sensual and lovely, not the other way around – as an object, made for abuse, misuse or objectification.
Is beauty/boudoir photography for any size woman?
Yes, it definitely is. Because in the hands of a skilled photographer, it must be understood how sensitive we are about our self-image as women, and when that is handled strategically, you can make literally any woman know, how her innate gentleness and the goddess within, are never lost, its always there, and we can bring her to the surface, in the ultimate feminine of way. I have photographed much older women, different size women, all having the goal of wanting great photos, and when you accept that responsibility, you challenger yourself, to have the woman in front of you, experience her own special moment, showing her, she is fantastic, and that is not dependant on anything society have indoctrinated us to think what is, or not. I have had small and petite women feel they are large because of past experiences, and I have had larger women feel they are fantastic and fabulous, because they choose to believe in their own worth. So it’s never just about size, it’s because of deeper reason each woman does this for herself, and she now trusts you to understand that as professional, and that goes unsaid. It’s something you know, when you correspond via email with them before the shoot is even booked, and you go into the shoot ready to only show something gorgeous.
Some women might question WHY they would want to take photos of themselves?
The journey, is a liberating, captivating ignition of your sense of self. You literally walk away from the shoot wanting to skip and hop and jump. It opens your own eyes to your beauty, even if hidden under layers of doubt or self-image. Int he hands of a professional, this becomes an experience you won’t forget, ever. It’s the raw you, and that is such an emotional realisation that few things compare to how it changes you, and have you get to see your beauty, as we are mostly blind for that ourselves. It’s never a bad thing to make a decision for yourself that would have a positive, life-changing effect on you, that will have you gasp at the results. And the few tears my ladies cry when they receive their products, are what makes me want to take the world by storm, and travel with this skill to show every brave women their stunning, gorgeous shape.
Are these sessions meant to be shot alone or can you include someone else on session?
Boudoir photography is unlike any other genre, where the goal is to capture the emotion, or special moments between two people’s bond – this is done with a woman standing face to face with her own beauty. Her magic and her. Her muchness and her soul. And it’s usually done alone, with her and the photographer, with the photographer almost intruding with her, and the shoot’s stride. We direct well, and press the shutter at the right moment, using all of her elements, and the light and environment to the best of the picture’s addition. The shoot’s loveliness, and what makes the shoot something beyond extraordinary, is that feeling within each woman – something gets lit, and keeps on fire during our whole shoot. They bring it from within themselves, and I am there every single time it happens, I wait for it, and feed it, – and then I make artistic magic with it. And my clients then get to amaze and surprise themselves.
What can a session like this do for a woman’s life?
It can have a profound change in how your self, sees your worth. Your eyes see differently suddenly, into a you, much more beautiful you ever thought possible. This might never have been revealed to many women up until that moment. When they see it, they are blown away. And because I feel so passionately about women and their important, unmissable roles, I can show them their innate fire, this way. It’s always appreciated and even if they are tentative in the beginning, they get more empowered after it, and I can cause it, help it, and help create it, and I love my role in that. It can change you, for the absolute better.
What are your goals for the future?
To have this skill take wings. I would love to travel with it, and show more women, from all over the globe, how they are not to be hidden, or not be spoken of, and thought of as objects – but that without them, no world for all would be able to exist anymore. And they heal, shape, love, and add to everything and everyone. THIS way, I can bravely help them grow emotionally.
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