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  • Writer's pictureKatie

The History and Evolution of Boudoir Photography

I don't think anyone can truly point out when boudoir photography as we know it first became a thing. There is an obvious evolution of the genre from nude arts of early 20th century to pin up to glamour to boudoir but where it actually began is a little more complicated.

Nude art has been around since the dawn of time, across most cultures. Just show up at literally any museum for evidence of that statement. It's acceptance, however, varies with factors like location, climate, and religious beliefs.

It is no surprise that when photography became a medium, nudes became a subject. There was Eugene Durieu in the late 1800s, Albert Arthur Allen in the 1920s, Helmut Neuton in the 1950s... artists that have gone down in history as some of the most acclaimed in nude photography.

In the 1940s and 1950s, this genre transformed into what we now recognize as "pin-up" photography, initially serving as a morale booster for troops. Icons like Jean Harlow, Mae West, Marilyn Monroe, and Bettie Page epitomized this era.

The evolution of nude art continued with the introduction of Playboy in the 1950s. Despite differing opinions on Playboy, it undeniably played a role in normalizing female sexuality and bringing it into the mainstream.

What's fascinating is how the history of nude art, particularly in the last century, parallels the feminist movement. Today, the essence of boudoir photography is undergoing a profound transformation.

From it's origins as a morale booster for troops to a popular gift for spouses, boudoir photography is increasingly about empowerment and self-celebration.

The concept of doing it "for yourself" gained momentum in the early 2000s.

An episode of "Sex and the City" in 2001, featuring Samantha's nude photography session, challenged societal perceptions of self-expression and beauty. Similarly, in "Schitt’s Creek" (2016), Moira Rose's advice on self-affirmation through nude photography resonated with many.

In 2024, boudoir photography stands at its zenith, driven by a powerful WHY: to make everyone feel beautiful, loved, valued, and empowered. It transcends mere aesthetics, becoming a celebration of self-worth and authenticity.

The evolution of boudoir photography reflects not only changes in artistic taste but also societal shifts towards self-acceptance and empowerment. As we embrace the present and look to the future, boudoir photography continues to serve as a powerful tool for self-expression and celebration.

Personally, I think 2024 is the best boudoir has every been and I look forward to seeing it continuing to evolve.

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