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

Where on this page does it say opinion piece?  I'm not really concerned if the article is or isn't tasteful or small minded or tongue in cheek, but because it is out of character with what I rely on from FStoppers it comes across as an unprofessional misstep.  The NYTimes presents an opinion piece this way:  

'Op-Ed columnist David Brooks provides you with "the definitive biography and a unique look into the...etc etc etc...'  When I found it on Facebook it certainly was presented as breaking news from FStoppers.  It's all in the presentation...  Still hangin with you guys, hope this is a small turning point though.

Tilen Markelj's picture

Their life, their choice. I do not see how this is in anyway harmful to photographers. People have different prospects of privacy. If you don't like the concept of the images, don't look them up, don't offer to shoot them, easy as that.    

This article has taught me that when I have sex with my bride the day after, there's a 95% chance all I'm gonna see is black and white.

I believe it's been said already but it bears repeating.
A) We as photographers should never criticize anothers work based on our personal opinion. As artists, we should be above this.
B) Fstoppers has become more opinionated as of lately and less informative...which I believe gave you the popularity that you CURRENTLY enjoy. Please go back to what made you one of the best photography forums out there.

Lauren, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt here and assume that this rant was more off the cuff than intended, because I usually enjoy your posts.

Are you serious? Clearly not, you said "haterade". The whole beauty and power of sex - lovemaking, raunchy sex, make up sex, fetish, what-have-you -  is that it's an intimate, real experience and connection between two people, whatever the nature of the connection. When you introduce a third party with a camera, lens, strobes, assistant, and artistic direction, you completely and totally alter the reality of the situation. To have real life people posing and faking their intimate relationship, acting "in it" while making sure to tuck their cellulite and stay at the right angle with the light and photographer, it makes a mockery of that experience. And when you start "selling" that sort of real and personal experience to the world as a projection of your personal life via Facebook... it's the ultimate, pathetic cry for attention and self-validation. 

Again, I totally disagree. I don't like seeing my friend's wives/girlfriends in "boudoir" shots but I don't criticize the couple or their photographer.

Well, common decency has gone the way of common sense--it's just not very common.  But no surprises there.  I love the way photographers use their trade to justify certain subjects in the name of "art."  

The question was:  Do I really need images of this?  The answer is no.  So stop posting them.  Sex between two people can be amazing--for the two people.  But nobody else needs to be brought into the equation.  

Everyone here has an opinion on this subject.  The author has her's and she was merely stating it.  It never hurts to hear somebody else's opinion, so try to stay more open-minded.  

Personally, I don't need to see another couple making love on FStoppers any more than I need to see three topless women with their pants unzipped.  It cheapens the whole thing and I don't find much beauty in it.                 

 Very well said. A part of the beauty of sex comes from the profound intimacy of the act. Having another person around making photos, or other persons viewing it, alter the experience.

Rayanna Tremblay's picture

As much as I would like to leave this issue and this piece as what it is an OPINION piece (opinions are neither right nor wrong as long as you can support them) and it is clearly stated at the beginning of the article that it is things like this and the "abused model" piece that was listed above are important. I am both a photographer and a teacher. As a teacher I am expected to have some knowledge about not only the process of teaching but also the issues and movements within the profession. As photographers we are expected to know the process of taking pictures, so should we also not have some social awareness of what is happening around in the photography world? I thank F-stoppers for showing both sides of this. While I only half agree with the article, that is MY OPINION, I value reading what others in the photography world think about it. Thank you for writing this article and for the valuable non-demeaning comments people shared on their opinions.  

Leah Duck's picture

After reading the article, it sounds as if your real problem is with sharing them on facebook rather than having the photos taken. Your headline leads people to think otherwise. With that said, I agree that people shouldn't be posting such intimate photos of themselves anywhere that takes away from that intimacy. I, however, applaud couples that are confident enough in their bodies and their love life to get those type of photos done. I'm willing to bet that those couples have a pretty great sex life because they are willing to be open and comfortable with who they are.

I love it when people accuse someone of being judgmental and then judge the person harshly.  Almost as good as calling someone a hater and then spewing hatred.  Always makes me laugh at how unaware we are (myself included).  Everybody lighten up

Just the point I signed up to make.  Everyone's jumping down her throat to call her judgmental.

Lighten up indeed.  Unless you are the subject or the photographer of those boudoir photos accompanying the article, then it's not a personal attack on you.  Relax and move on.  Cripes.

The article itself wasn't particularly noteworthy either way; my only comment on it would be to question the NSFW tag.  Unless your workplace is in Salt Lake City, it's hard to see how it's NSFW.

Rebecca Britt's picture

The Kate Moss pic, hun. It has (shhh) boobies! Hide yo screen boys!

I'm ambivalent about this.  I do think it's an extension of societal narcissism but isn't all photography (for our paying clients, at least)?  

On the other hand, while I'm no prude and far from it, it does seem 'too much' and not ...... genuine.  Taking pictures of the ceremony itself in a documentary style is awesome.  Best pictures I've ever taken are that way.  You NEVER know what you are going to end up with.

Morning after boudoir just smacks of something desperate to me.  Kudos to the photographer for getting the commission and the gig but when I think of the morning after of my wedding as I lay there with my wife next to me as I drank coffee and nursed a slight hangover the last thing I would have wanted was to shave/shower/etc for a shoot.... 

It seems vain.  It seems hollow.  It seems ..... cheap?

Jason McDonald's picture

It's an opinion piece, everyone has a right to their opinion. I disagree with the opinion. Points have already been made as to why this isn't a 'bad' or 'absurd' idea. For some photography is the memory of the day, but it's become more than that for others, they want to look like models in their albums...and that is vanity but we all except it. This service is taking that vanity to another level, but done with the right photographer and the right couple, can be done in a very tasteful way.

As for the grammar errors, I also think if you are a writer you've got to proof read your work. You haven't lost a reader (As in me) because of this, but it's good to get it done properly.

and some  i diot s here said  i tend to critizise.... the pot calling the cattle black.

kettle? cattle = cow.

 Who can tell what you tend to do?  You're illiterate.

I'm glad I'm not the only one thinking she's being very judgmental and prudish. I personally have taken erotic sessions of couples and enjoyed it WAY more than any boring portrait session I've ever done, so to each his own. If there's a market for it, serve it if its something you like shooting. I pretty much hate shooting weddings. And kids, and babies, and groups of kids, babies and wedding parties. If I can make a living photographing people having sex, by ALL MEANS I'm going to do it! 

BenT's picture

all of this article is smeared with arrogance and self importance. and when wolfgang tillmans is shooting he's anal beads, i dont hear you complaining. at art you cant make a statement what is wrong, only an opinion, so please whoever wrote it, clear your act.

The comment section should be called "Fstoppers' battlefield" :D
I totally agree with the autor, however in the end, consumer is the one in charge ;)

Rebecca Britt's picture

You're like an Fstoppers comment angel, Roman... Flit those wings!! :)

Which is worse- this photographic trend or the number of typos and grammatical errors in the post?

Opinions are opinions (although I do hold a fairly conservative view of this sort of thing myself)

BUT the invitations to Thanks Giving dinner will definately get a background check before an RSVP from now on! ROFL!

Mike Lerner's picture

If you don't like it, shut up about it. I'm so tired hearing other photographers bitch and moan about what everyone else is doing. You don't like 'morning after' shoots, don't fucking do them. You don't like weddings, don't fucking shoot them. You don't like nature, landscape, sport, babies, porn, ect. DON'T FUCKING SHOOT THEM.

You speak about it being narcissistic? After reading this article, you clearly are the type of person who loves the sound of her voice and has to have an opinion about everything. 

FStopper's is clearly lagging behind on the standards of their posts lately, especially that stupid tirade that girl wrote about craigslist photographers. I used to love coming to this sight to see cool, insightful videos, and now I look at pointless drivel like this?

C'mon FStoppers, get back on fucking track.

 Why don't you follow your own logic? If you don't like the article, "shut up about it."

Umm. If they Pay me, I'll shoot it. Im there to make money not judge on morale issues.If you have too many moral issues, you shouldn't be in photography. Cause it's all about interpretation. Besides, they are PAYING CLIENTS!

sex is a part of life. it is beautiful, not distasteful. get over it.

Distasteful things are also "part of life". So... get over this silly argument.

I hope this is the last time we are presented with articles from this author.....

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