At Little Black Dress Photography, the person behind the camera is more than a floating head. Each female photographer continuously coaches their subjects, guiding them through different come-hither poses during seductive boudoir photo shoots. The unflagging support from the shutterbugs is just one element of the studio's mission to inspire confidence in their clients. Several other amenities, including wardrobes and professional styling services, combine to transform guests into self-assured models, whose portraits make enticing gifts for significant others.
Upon their arrival, ladies can peruse a fully stocked closet of lingerie and 1940s-style pin-up outfits in sizes 0–22. Though staffers furnish polka-dot dresses, thigh-high stockings, and garter belts, they also encourage clients to bring favorite items from home. Stylists can then complement new looks by imbuing hair with bounce and eyelashes with drama, prepping patrons to cast flirty glances from velvet couches or atop vintage suitcases.
These shoots yield high-resolution pictures that typically require little to no retouching—the staff is more committed to enhancing natural beauty than artificially beautifying people by reshaping body parts or airbrushing out extra eyelashes.
After a fruitful modeling career, Lori Brystan moved to the other side of the camera lens, where she began to capture artful portraits of families, kids, and women that would look at home in the pages of a fashion magazine. In 1989, she opened Brystan Studios, which eventually expanded to include a team of professional makeup artists, hairstylists, set designers, and photographers. Inside the professional studio, a large dressing room brims with props, fan mail, and glamorous costumes. Using in-studio sets, Lori captures images ranging from burlesque-themed boudoir shoots to pared-down images, such as women posing in front of a white sheet or siblings lying in a hammock. The studio also specializes in love-note videos, professionally produced short films that capture the subject's inner starlet without the use of a net. The busy shutterbug also works as beauty editor for the lifestyle pub Greer's OC and penned High Impact Portrait Photography, a book on framing eye-catching portraits.
By combining traditional snapshooting methods with digital image enhancement, Elizabeth Toller Productions captures engaging subjects in a laid-back, professional studio. Up to six subjects first meet the photographer to discuss session themes and clothing styles, ensuring apparel coordinates with both the background and any ghosts who may show up on film. A 30-minute in-studio shoot follows (a $150 value), during which the skilled shutterbug puts clients at ease to frame natural images free from tightly clenched bunny ears. After shutter-clicks have sounded their last, photographer and photographee together preview the proofs on a big screen to select the winning print. The 8"x10" photograph (a $75 value) is then printed onto thick linen paper before being mounted and wrapped, ready to grace mantels or car dashboards.
For photographers, the process of capturing meaningful portraits requires more than first-rate equipment and technical know-how. As the team at Jack Randall Photography knows, photographers must also establish a comfortable environment for their subjects. Armed with high-resolution digital cameras, Jack Randall's photographers capture casual poses and candid moments during shoots conducted at their indoor studio—where subjects can model with props and different backgrounds—or at a variety of scenic, Orange County–area beaches and parks. The photography troupe covers special events including weddings and engagements, as well important milestones, such as high-school graduations or a toddler's graduation from fruit purée to fruit roll-ups.
Stephanie Sundell calls upon 18 years of fashion-photography experience to capture every fetching feature and smoky glance in sharp digital images. After scheduling a boudoir session and consulting with exclusively female staff members, subjects don their sultriest teddy or skimpiest hazmat suit and step in front of the camera as the photographer offers knowledgeable guidance on poses and positions in a private and pressure-free setting. At the conclusion of the shoot, centerfolds saunter home to peruse and choose their favorite images on a password-protected website. Photo professionals retouch and enhance the chosen shots, then present clients with a CD of all 10 images to create as many professional prints, racy emails, or surprising mortgage applications as they desire. Subjects can also boost their bombshell status with professional hair and makeup services for an additional $75.
The professional photographers at Schneider Studios invite ladies to a repurposed vintage firehouse for artfully choregraphed private photoshoots in front of dozens of backdrops. During boudoir sessions, subjects don their favorite lingerie, vintage-inspired pin-up wear, or curve-embracing straightjackets and practice their best come-hither looks as a talented shutterbug flashes the camera. Great for birthdays and bachelorette parties, the girls’ night out package unites gals in Schneider’s spacious lobby outfitted with makeup stations and an area for serving bring-your-own cake and beverages. Photographers snap group pictures and individual shots amid backdrops of stained-glass windows, black walls, and retro pink couches, and pictures can share various themes such as “sexy,” “pin-up,” or “pin the tail on the donkey.” After the flashbulbs dim down, a photo-viewing session allows subjects to select their favorite snapshots for one digital image per person, or discounted bundles (not included in this Groupon).