BEFORE & AFTER
A few weeks ago, I was clearing out the PW Style email account when I came across an offer that was hard to refuse: a free boudoir photo shoot with local photographer, Colleen Gjefle.
I took one look at the set of beauty shots on her Web site and accepted.
Colleen has been taking photos for as long as she can remember. Yet, unable to find a job after college, she enlisted in the Air Force where she got additional training in computer graphics. After getting discharged, she spent some time in England before moving to Philly and starting GJFOTO Photography.
“I always loved the cinematography of film noir and the fashion photographs of the 1950s and 60s, so I experimented with different techniques to find my own style,” Colleen says of her early days.
This eventually led her to boudoir photography.
“I love all the portrait work that I’ve done, but boudoir is so very highly personal and private so it’s in a realm of its own,” she says. “It requires a degree of trust that isn’t present in other portrait photography.”
For that reason, Colleen doesn’t allow guys or children to be around during a shoot. In fact, she recommends that her clients take the entire day off to pamper themselves. She herself clears her schedule for each shoot so that women can take as long as they need to get comfortable and get their desired shots. Luckily, Colleen doesn’t charge by the hour. Her boudoir/beauty sessions start at $199.
She’s also just teamed up with another local female photographer to do boudoir and/or bachelorette parties.
So why might a gal be interested having professional, sexy, high-contrast, black and white photos taken of them? Well, as Colleen explains, most do it as a gift for their husband/boyfriend.
In reality however, she’s found that the experience is an even greater gift to the women—a much needed self-esteem boost and a rare opportunity to feel truly sexy.
“In high pressure jobs, be it a mother of four kids or a lawyer, it’s often women’s femininity and sense of womanhood that gets sacrificed in the process,” Colleen explains. “I definitely think it’s time for women to take back their power and their femininity.”
And so, that’s exactly what I did.
This is only a sneak peak. I shall reveal more tomorrow.