Why 'Morning After' Boudoir Photography is Absurd (NSFW)

This article contains images and/or video that the editors have flagged as NSFW (Not Safe for Work).
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A new “trend” seems to have rolled into the photography world. What is this trend? It’s called the “morning after” wedding photography session, and to me it's a little absurd.

So you already know my opinion on this subject, yet the rational part of my mind is still able to diverge the topic in two somewhat logical paths (even the path that I think is absurd):

1) If I were the bride and groom getting the images done, I wouldn’t care what anyone else thought because clearly I am are already vain in the first place. I obviously see the need to have photo documentation right after I’ve consummated my marriage. This is important - my ruffled and unkempt hair, smeared makeup, disheveled sheets, clothes strewn everywhere. My ass is hanging out of my scantily clad "bride" underwear. Now that is a work of art.

2) But let’s get real: Do I really need images of this? What is the point of having them? Nowadays the only reason us of this present generation take pictures of ourselves is to share online - more importantly, Facebook. Facebook is heavily, and somewhat unhealthily, ingrained in our lives- don’t deny it. It IS the ultimate scrapbook. Scrapbooking places we’ve eaten, friends we met, places we’ve gone, and epic parties that we’ve been too. We even use Facebook to validate marriage. Now all of a sudden the new trend is to document where and how many times we've had sex? I bet Mark Zuckerberg never saw that coming.

An article in Jezebel that originally discussed this topic references an image of Kate moss and her husband Jamie Hince. Despite my previous tirade, I have no problem with Kate moss doing this. I feel like the standard is completely different for celebrities, as they are in front of the lens 95% of their lives. It was probably impossible for them to keep the images to themselves in the first place because 1) they are narcissists at their finest and 2) they make money and remain in the spotlight by releasing the photos to the press.

In this video from Good Morning America, the bride states she plans to have the images framed and put up all over their room. I honestly don’t see anything wrong with doing that – your bedroom should be your sacred place for just the two of you. The room and all its decorations are just for you and your significant other. What I can’t grasp is why you would want something so sacred to be strewn all over the internet for your coworkers, perhaps boss, friends, and relatives to see. One of the couples stated they were so delighted with the results of the shoot, they posted the photos on Facebook and said they were going to show their children when they were old enough. You don’t want to see mommy and daddy gettin’ it on, why the hell do you think they want to see YOU doing that? They got the images taken because they want to show everyone how in love they were? Isn't that the reason for wedding photography in the first place?

I think some of these images can prove to be tasteful and sweet, but an image of you and your significant other lying naked all over the dining room table is way over the top. Just imagine your relatives getting a hold of this image knowing they’re about to come over for Thanksgiving dinner. I’m pretty sure they just want to eat their meal and not have to think about the two of you having sex all over the house. Sure, maybe in the image weren’t actually having sex but who is to say you haven’t before or will later down the road. I’m no prude but this should all be kept private!

 
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146 Comments

Vic's picture

I'm kind of disappointed by this article. To lambast a couple for wanting to have photos done together, regardless of when it takes place (ie, after the wedding, after a hurricane, after shopping, WHENEVER), is just silly. Fstoppers ran an article recently about a model shoot featuring "abused" models. Another article about "reproductions of serial killer's last meals". You don't question the need for those, yet you question an extension of couples boudoir? 

Isn't a LARGE PART of photography about vanity, when we're hiring a photographer to photograph ourselves? This article just comes across as written by a prude, rather than a critic of art. If you're afraid of a little boobs'n'butts, you're in the wrong industry. 

Patrick Downs's picture

Use a self-timer. Otherwise, gross.

I was totally with you until I noticed that you don't know the difference between "there" "their" and "they're".... you definitely just lost a reader. I can't stand that. If you are passing yourself off as  a writer to be taken seriously, you should get that in CHECK

Jesus, what a bunch of crap. I have to wholeheartedly disagree with this "opinion piece"... The thinking is very conservative, close-minded, and ignorant. I'm totally going to look into adding this type of service to my a la carte menu. What an awesome idea. I believe the author really needs to stop drinking the haterade and possibly get some action or romance in their life to compensate for this bitter and haughty victorian attitude towards sex. Especially when it's not like casual, irresponsible sex.. but the sex b/w two people in the most amount of love they will probably ever be. 

I agree with you completely. The couple is the one who wants this shoot, who pays for this shoot, and if a photographer out there can capture exactly what they're looking for and add their own creativity in, then why the hell not? I'd look to do something like this for a picture above my bed, but probably would not post them online...but if you want to, why the hell not? These images weren't even distasteful. They're not porn. Everyone was covered (except for Kate's boob). The couple seems to be in love and having fun...great work of the photographer for capturing this.

 I really thought it was a good idea as well. I love it!

"If you are too open minded you brain might fall out".

Did your Pastor tell you that? Or your mommy? 

“A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open.”  

Your "parachute" is obviously too small to be useful, even opened.

I have 3 words for people who think this is a good idea:  Tripod and remote.

yeah, that should yield an authentic and professional result. 

Wow, I don't regularly chime in here but you sound completely biased and personally hateful on this topic.  Just from a writers standpoint this sounds like you have some kind of personal agenda, experience, or story behind your fuming article.  This doesn't add any value to any photographer or viewer on Fstoppers.  Who are you to pass judgement on a new photo trend?  There is nothing wrong with an opionion as long as you state it as that- not make a sweeping judgement that this entire style of photography is wrong or needs to go away.  I can't stand traditional/standard/boring wedding photos or family photos but it keeps many photographers working.  I'm glad these photographers are creating a new monetization point in their business instead of acting emotionally like you have done.  If you don't like it, don't shoot it.  

Lets start bitching next about food photos on instagram...

Jason Kustra's picture

You are most definitely a prude. You are also being very judgemental of something that clearly doesn't affect your target market.
Whatever the client wants, there will most certainly be someone willing to take pictures of it and get paid for doing so. For you to say that a bride is "vain and self-loving" for wanting steamy photos of herself and the one she loves is honestly horrible and downright nasty.As for some critique of your portfolio, I find out-of-focus, grainy, shots with crooked horizons to be more offensive since your clients probably paid you for your time.

Lee Morris's picture

How does someone saying they think putting "morning after" pictures on Facebook is gross (not the pictures themselves) warrant you to attack their non-related professional work? I'm fine with people disagreeing with an opinion but these personal attacks are absurd. We don't want to start moderating comments but if stuff like this continues we will have to. 

Jason Kustra's picture

I think if you had read the article you would find that it is based on (9) pictures from possibly (2) couples? To put up their faces and call them out for being trashy or whatever other words were used seems like quite a personal attack to me. She posted the couples and the video of the couples and the photographer. That seemed attack-ish to me.

I don't care about the writer's opinion of posting this stuff on facebook. People put onto the internet as much as they want people to see in their lives. They may not always look down the road at the potential consequences but that is their choice.

My thoughts on the bad photography/grammar are just opinions so please don't get offended.

Lee Morris's picture

Yes, Lauren did comment on a national story about people who have decided to go public about their decision to share intimate pictures of themselves. When Lauren goes on TV to talk about her pictures THEN you have the right to attack her work. 

If I decided to track you down on the internet and make a comment about a tweet that you made or a post on your Facebook wall that would be out of context and inappropriate for this argument. I'm not "offended with your opinion" I'm offended you took it too that low of a level. 

This is what she said:

"A new “trend” seems to have rolled into the photography world, and it needs to die. It needs to die now. It’s not good for photographers, for viewers, or for those in the image."

The responses to Lauren's uninsightful comments are hardly attacks. Her comments sounded more like proclamations than opinions, and the responses to them were reasonable. Your threatening to censor such responses is insulting to your readers. If you can't handle strong responses to outlandish articles, then stick to writing informative articles on the craft and art of photography.

Sorry Lee, but everone who feels offended by Laurens article is abolutely right. You can not say "your work has to die. now." What would you feel if someone would write "writing articles on blogs has to die immediatly because imposing your thoughts to others is vain and self-loving " Would you feel offended? of course you would.

I remember when Joel Grimes first starting sharing his edgy, three light composite work and photographers everywhere shouted from the treetops that it wasn't really photography. If people want this "day after" stuff then so be it - who the hell are we (and by "we" I mean Lauren) to judge?             

Lee Morris's picture

I think this OPINION piece is just that, a funny, amusing opinion. I didn't know Lauren was writing this but I enjoyed it and I agree with some of it and disagree with other parts of it. It's fine if you disagree completely but to claim that she doesn't have the right to write it or that "this isn't why I come to Fstoppers" is going a bit far. If you don't like articles like this we have so much other content to choose from. We are trying to produce content for a massive audience with different opinions and views of "what FS should be" and that means that nobody will like everything we post. Even I don't.  

Lee, with all due respect (of which I have a great deal) many forms of wedding photography is all about people being narcissistic. It stopped being just a means of recording a special day a long time ago.

Lauren's piece is radically different than 99% of FS's stuff. Criticize a technique or equipment if you like... but I highly doubt that dissing someone else's work/taste is something any FS reader want to see.

I am sure Lauren has a personal blog where she can share her personal opinions.

Lee Morris's picture

I agree 100% that "many forms of wedding photography is all about people being narcissistic" and if you wrote an entertaining article about that I would publish that to. My biggest complaint about this article was that Lauren seemed a bit harsh towards the people who do want these pictures BUT I don't think it had to do with the pictures themselves but rather with sharing these personal pictures with the world on Facebook, or with your friends, or in one case your children. 

Why don't you write a respectful counter argument article and I will post it tomorrow?

I appreciate that Lee. It was not my intention, in *any* way, to come across as disrespectful to either Lauren, you, or FS. If it was taken that way, I apologize.

No counter argument is required - I believe everything has been covered in this thread. What people choose to photograph is the concern of the couple and their photographer. I can't think of, off the top of my head anyway, another genre of photography that has been portrayed in such a negative light by an FS writer.

By the way, in a former life I was a software engineer on the iPhone team at Apple. Your shots Lee were one of the main reasons I went into photography.

Lee Morris's picture

Thanks Reed, I love a good debate. I just don't want things to get personal. We are actually planning an Iphone 5 (or 4g) fashion shoot right now. We hope to step it up a notch :)

John Barduhn's picture

Couldn't agree more. While many time FStoppers has brought up controversial topics, it's usually in the vein of "what do you think?", or "leave your thoughts in the comments" - This is vastly different from those articles.  

I'd be quite angry if I was the photographer whose work is featured along with this disparaging article and non constructive criticism. 

JB

Lee Morris's picture

I think I got a totally different opinion out of this than most of you. I thought Lauren was trying to say there is nothing wrong with the pictures but she just doesn't like SHARING them:
"the bride states she plans to have the images framed and put up all over their room. I honestly don’t see anything wrong with doing that – your bedroom should be your sacred place for just the two of you. The room and all its decorations are just for you and your significant other. What I can’t grasp is why you would want something so sacred to be strewn all over the internet for your coworkers, perhaps boss, friends, and relatives to see."

Read the title of the article. In fact read the article. She's quite clearly making it out that she thinks this whole idea is absurd. Opinion noted, but the client wants it, they're getting it.

maybe that was her intentions but she writes:
". It needs to die now. It’s not good for photographers, for viewers, or for those in the image. "
i think when you write such passages you have to take responsibility... because now we talk about everyone :)

Lee, being the one that wrote,
"this isn't why I come to Fstoppers". I have to stand by my statement. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE FStoppers. I read every article. But Op-Ed pieces that rip on what other people find appealing (just because it's different) is NOT the type of article I want to read on FStoppers. In fact, I put this in the category with other things that are "wrong with the world". People think that other peoples' taste or opinion is improper or incorrect or ... put any other word you'd like on it (including sinful)... and they want to put an end to it. There is nothing wrong with someone else's taste just because it doesn't fall inline with your own and there is no reason to "put a stop to it". 

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