Boudoir Portraiture by Regina Akhankina

Q: The women on your website all look like models. I am not "a model material"...can I do this??

I take that as a compliment, because these women are not models. These women, just like you, at one point looked at the photos on my website and thought "Hmm..I know mine would never look THAT good because I am not a model, but I'm wondering how good she can make me look?" The answer is: Like a cover model.

I know how beautiful look like. I know exactly how to pose women of all ages, shapes, and sizes to look their very very best. I know exactly how to use my tools to create beautiful and ultra flattering images of ANY WOMAN. You don't have to know what you are doing or spend hours on YouTube learning to pose, because I will direct you every step of the way, from helping to you prepare for your photo shoot with wardrobe tips, to posing you down to your fingers, to coaching your breathing through the session. You just need to SHOW UP

 

Q: How far in advance should I book my session?

I recommend that you book your session at least 6-8 weeks prior to date when you need to receive your album or wall art. Our studio tend to book up very quickly and relatively far in advance. Weekends usually get booked first, so if you prefer to have your session on a weekend, email me at least 6 weeks in advance. That said, DON'T WAIT to email me! It's never too early to get on my schedule. You will see your beautiful photos immediately after your shoot, and your finished product (depending on what you order) will arrive between 3 and 6 weeks after that.

 

Q: What do your packages include? How much should I expect to spend?

The boudoir experience starts at $2000 +tax. That includes the photo shoot with Regina, wardrobe consultation, professional makeup application, the retouching of your images, the in-person photo viewing for you to order photo products a la carte immediately after the shoot. It also includes an 8x12 20 image leather album handmade in Italy, and those 20 selected images as web resolution digital files for personal or social media use.

At your viewing appointment, you will receive 10% off of any additional items such as an upgraded album, additional album images, wall art, photo prints, and/or digital files. My clients are almost always SHOCKED by how many photos they cannot live without from their session. They think they are going to be the one client that just doesn't get good photos...and they're always proved wrong (but with a smile!). Yup, we're *THAT* good here!  

Our packages are thoughtfully built based on our clients most frequent purchases as well as the high demand and limited availability. Be sure to email regina@couture.photography to get a full list of our package and a la carte pricing to see what product offerings are available at your photo reveal appointment.

 

Q: When and how will I select my favourite images from my shoot?

A:  Portrait Couture is proud to offer in-person photo reveal and ordering appointments immediately after your photo session. We do this for several reasons: First, for your convenience.  We've gotten REALLY good at our system for helping clients decide between images, showing similar images side by side for easy selection, and assisting clients with getting great variety for albums and the perfect wall art pieces. Because we do show a LOT of amazing images, it can be overwhelming to navigate on your own and we don't want our customer service to stop at the photo shoot.  The in-person photo reveal is much appreciated by our clients and is our favourite part of the whole process! And you don’t have to wait for weeks to see your photos, this is so exciting!

Second, for security. While doing some sort of online proofing gallery is industry standard for lots of different types of photography, beauty and boudoir can be more sensitive in nature. We don't want to store your images anywhere online, leaving them vulnerable to being hacked and exploited by anyone but you. We take your privacy seriously, so the in-person photo reveal takes care of this!

Many of our clients travel in from out of province for their sessions, and it just wouldn't be practical for them to come back in for their photo reveal appointment a few weeks later, so same-day viewing works perfectly!

 

Q: I see that you offer both beauty *and* boudoir photography. What is the difference?

Portrait photography is our primary specialization at Portrait Couture (as you could guess from our name). It is a bit more polished...with a finished "fine art" look and feel. Contemporary or Beauty portraiture is a great option for a woman who wants a smaller collection of absolutely breathtaking portraits of herself that are wall-worthy.  This is a great option for women who may be a bit intimidated by the idea of baring all for a boudoir session. Wardrobe for a beauty session can be a ball gown, little black dress, a lace bodysuit, fabric draping, or even nudity.  Our beauty portraits always contain the full face and at least the shoulders up. There are more special effects such as fine art textures and extensive retouching done on these images, and the final outcome is roughly 15-20 fully enhanced wall-ready images. 

Black and White Portrait Photography in Victoria BC by Regina Ahankina

Boudoir portraiture involves a certain level of exposed skin (either lingerie, loungewear, other intimate apparel, or nothing at all. These images tend to be a little more raw, real, candid, and LOOKING unposed (although I do pose you throughout the whole shoot). These are meant to embrace a woman's sexuality, independence, femininity, and power. Because of the posing and wardrobe, these images tend to be more intimate in nature. We do retouch all boudoir images for our clients with standard retouching. The finished product is typically a variety of about 60-70 images with a natural retouch (no special effects other than black and white on some images) that include "detail" shots such as legs, tush, breasts, back and shoulders, lips, as well as full body scapes and imagery that includes the face. 

Example of Boudoir Photography by Regina Akhankina. Partially or fully anonymous if desired, showcases the female form, embraces the woman's sensuality and femininity.

Example of Boudoir Photography by Regina Akhankina. Partially or fully anonymous if desired, showcases the female form, embraces the woman's sensuality and femininity.

Q: Where will my boudoir session take place? Do you have a studio?

We are very excited to be moved into our new studio on Bear Mountain! After your shoot you can even enjoy a SPA or fine dining experience at the Weston at the top of the mountain. We have designed the space to have a loft feel to make it a comfortable place for your portrait or boudoir shoot. It has gorgeous windows with perfect Victoria light that will make you glow. Amazing hard wood floors, vintage and modern furniture, and neutral tones will give your portraits a sexy, but classy feel. To see some examples of the photos happening in this amazing studio head over to the portfolio gallery. I cannot wait to photograph you in it!

Q: I'm really not comfortable with being photographed nearly nude, but I really want you to photograph me. Is that a possibility?  

ABSOLUTELY! My specialty is photographing WOMEN - that's in ANY level of dress or undress.  Women who shy away from being photographed nude, in lingerie, etc, might be more comfortable doing a studio portrait session with an off-shoulder blouse and jeans...that's totally fine! This would fall under the beauty portraiture style that you can also see examples of in my portfolio.  


Q:  The images on your website are very tasteful and pretty, but what if I wanted to get a little more...um...risque?

Let’s do it! What you see on my website and on my social media feeds is a very accurate representation of what I offer in the "saucy" department. I will shoot an array of clothed, partially clothed, tasteful nudes, exposed breasts and bums but no pelvic area will be visible in any of my work and that is a firm policy. While I can certainly appreciate more erotic art, it just isn't what I offer. So if you love what you see on the website, I'm your photographer.

 

Q: What should I wear?

This is probably the most popular question I get….and the answer is simple…whatever you feel beautiful in. My signature style is the "effortless beauty" look, which, lucky for you, involves things you likely already have in your closet.  A bodysuit, an oversized sweater, cropped sweatshirt and high waist panties, a robe, sleep shirt...you get the idea.  Other clients opt for lingerie. And many clients choose to do a nude set during their session.  In a 2 hour photo session, you will typically have time for up to 5 “looks” or outfits (yes, "nude" counts as an outfit)! Don't stress too much about wardrobe. I could (and have!) spend an entire hour shooting a client with no other wardrobe than the bed sheets and completely rock it out. Once you've completed the booking process with me, you will also receive a detailed shoot guide that will help you with preparations and wardrobe considerations!

 

Q: Can I have someone with me at my session?

Sometimes your best friend is exactly what you need to calm your nerves and give you the reassurance you need to get started with your session! I don’t mind at all if there is one friend with you! I DO ask that the friend not interfere with the shoot (running in to “touch you up” in between every shot, directing your posing, etc) as I will handle anything along those lines that needs done.  I do not allow any more than one friend in the room with you. Also, it is a requirement of mine that boyfriends/husbands/spouses NOT be in the room while we are shooting. That’s a firm policy. They can, however, lounge in the waiting area, and join you after the shoot for couple’s photos.

Want to do one better than having a friend there for moral support??? Why don't you book your shoots back to back so you can both enjoy the experience together?!  Availability, pending, of course.

 

Q: On which days of the week can I have my photo session?

We accept shoots on Mondays, Wednesdays, some Saturdays and Sundays.

 

Q: What should I do to prepare?

The beauty of being a Portrait Couture client is, all of these questions are answered in COMPLETE detail for you in the Welcome Guide which is emailed to you shortly after booking your session. This will cover exactly how you should prepare your face, body, and mind for your photo shoot, as well as a complete list of resources for beauty appointments and wardrobe for your photo shoot! No question will remain unanswered.  I pride myself on offering a photo shoot EXPERIENCE to my clients...so expect a very informed process that involves a lot more instruction than just showing up to shoot and being done with it.

 

Q: How much can you “edit out”?

While we make the skin look it's best, we make sure you look natural.  I rely on my knowledge of posing and lighting to work around areas you are conscious about. We definitely edit out temporary imperfections that might occur, and some scars if you request it. We even removed some tattoos! My main rule of thumb is, if it’s permanent, it should probably stay.

Many women ask about the retouching of stretch marks. While we firmly believe that your stretch marks are a part of your story and therefore are beautiful, we do also understand many women’s aversion to their own. Our standard skin smoothing process will fade the appearance of stretch marks, but please be sure to request more or less at your photo shoot appointment if you have a different preference. My post-processing techniques are more focused on colour, contrast, skin perfecting, sharpening, etc, rather than changing the shape of your body or face.

 

Q: I am a school teacher/pastor's wife/high profile actress/POLITICIAN and if these photos were leaked it would destroy my reputation...is this secret safe with you???

First of all, I doubt that anyone seeing your Portrait Couture photos would result in anything other than "YOU LOOK AMAZING!". My shoot style, if you haven't noticed, is VERY elegant, classic, beautiful, and more about the empowerment of woman than oversexed edgy trend. HOWEVER, I can TOTALLY understand if you don't want your images shared with the public! You can rest absolutely assured that your images will never be shared without your permission. As soon as your session is complete, we retouch your images in-house. We do NOT send your images off to an outsourced editing company leaving them vulnerable to being stolen. THEN, you will see them directly during your in-person photo viewing!!

In the event that you are super awesome and proud of your images and do permit me to use them on my blog and website, your real name will NEVER be used and I will NEVER tag you on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram - unless you specifically allow me to do that. 

I am always happy to sign NDA's should you need one from me because of your profession or public visibility. 

 

Q: Do you photograph men?

I definitely photograph men for professional, personal, or family portraits, but not in the boudoir capacity. I'm always happy to offer referrals to other photographers, though!

 

Q: Will you use my images on your website/blog/portfolio?

I, of course, would LOVE to use images from our session together to show other women your amazing photos!  HOWEVER, I also completely understand if you or your significant other might be uncomfortable to share them. That said, I will not share unless you grant permission. The bottom line is: I will honour whatever level of privacy you would like. Many clients are so proud of their images that they give me full discretion to choose images for my portfolio, some clients prefer that only their faceless images be put in my gallery, some clients prefer to choose the images that are posted, and other clients are comfortable with anything being posted, as long as it’s after a certain date (after they gift the images).  Just let me know where you stand on the topic and I will honour your wishes!

If you have ANY other questions that I did not address here, please e-mail regina@couture.photography