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Dear Body – Alena, January 2019

Dear Body – Alena, January 2019

Alena laughing
Alena on a couch
Alena, from USA/Russia

Stretching skin, pulling, expanding, growing. Creating and nourishing life, my body knew exactly what to do. There is so much strength and power in our bodies, the experience is transformative. Thank you, body, for this amazing gift.

Alena top view
Andrea red shirt
^

Alena, from USA/Russia

I took photos of Alena in January 2019. She sent me the text in 2020.

Alena heart on the belly
Alena lying down on her belly

Selected Among 50 Brave of 2021 by Wysokie Obcasy Magazine

Dream come true thanks to Wysokie Obcasy and Katarzyna Seiler – to be among 50 Brave of 2021 makes me proud, honored and humbled. So many wonderful women and people, changing the world for better! I’m happy I can add my piece with Berlin Boudoir...
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5 myths about boudoir photography

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Adi, January 2019

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Eva, February 2019

There’s no better feeling than when you read something like that:“Shout our to my friend Monika @berlinboudoir for making women like me feel BEAUTIFUL!⠀I never thought there was something wrong with my body. It’s a body, it’s the body that made me...

Dear Body – Andrea, April 2019

Dear Body – Andrea, April 2019

Andrea couch

I can think of so many stories in regards to my relationship with my body. Some sad, some happy, but I believe the most important thing has been that we are companions. It took me a while to not think of my body as an enemy: too skinny, too easy to get sick… therefore very used to use different types of medication, etc.

When I arrived in Germany, me and my body, we have begun our journey and I discovered, that I have a sensitive friend.

Sometimes we get mad at each other, but usually we communicate. I know for sure that my outside is the reflection of my inside. I can feel it in every posture and the energy that comes from my body, sometimes strength, sometimes fragility. If I listen carefully, I sense we are really connected and that connection established signals that now I use to know myself better.

Andrea laughing
Andrea, from Chile

Sometimes we get mad at each other, but usually we communicate.

Andrea arm above her head
Andrea red shirt
^

Andrea, from Chile

I took photos of Andrea in April 2019. She sent me the text in 2020.

Andrea pointing at herself
The Bold and Beautiful

Berlin Boudoir Xmas Gifts Guide

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50 ways to celebrate all types of love on Valentine’s Day

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Aphrodite in boudoir

An interview with me from Wysokie Obcasy Nr 12(1128)Above the cover of the printed magazine, below the interview written by Katarzyna Seiler, translated by me into English. If you read Polish you can scroll down to the scans of original interview...
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Thais, February 2019

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Why I started photographing menstrual blood

Why I started photographing menstrual blood

It was a long and cold lockdown winter in Berlin.

Above photo I uploaded to Unsplash and you can use it for free for your project (please credit me if you do!) – you can see it here

I was very very hungry for photo shoots, but it was simply not possible due to COVID restrictions.

I photograph with natural light – big windows and high ceilings are my favorite. And you can get that in Berlin, but my cozy yet dark apartment on the ground floor is not one of them. I presumed I would never be able to take any photos at home, and I made peace with it. But then the lockdown came and I simply couldn’t wait any longer.

At the same time I tried switching from pads to menstrual cup for the first time, and I fell in love with this method of collecting menstrual blood. What I was mostly amazed by was the wonderful red color of blood I collected – so fresh and pure, just like paint.

As I was reading and researching on the topic of menstruation, it made me curious to see what stock photos are available regarding periods. I went on Unsplash – platform where anyone can upload their photos to be used as stock photos for free. I typed in “menstruation” and I saw images of a melting red popsickle, a tampon with red glitter on it. As you can imagine – nothing actually representing menstrual blood was available.

So I decided to create a series of photos with my menstrual blood and upload them to Unsplash. That way anyone, even without money to pay for stock photos, will be able to use images that depict menstruation as it is, without glitter on top.

menstrual blood on bathroom floor

The one you see as a cover photo – my hand with fingers covered in menstrual blood (yes! I don’t use fake blood) in victory sign, became very popular when Scotland announced that menstrual hygiene products will be available for free.

It made me very proud and happy that I could have provided a visual representation of the feeling so many of us had – that menstruation has to stop beeing a taboo and there’s no place for period poverty.

Alena featured

Dear Body – Alena, January 2019

Alena, from USA/Russia Stretching skin, pulling, expanding, growing. Creating and nourishing life, my body knew exactly what to do. There is so much strength and power in our bodies, the experience is transformative. Thank you, body, for this...
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Dear Body – Andrea, April 2019

I can think of so many stories in regards to my relationship with my body. Some sad, some happy, but I believe the most important thing has been that we are companions. It took me a while to not think of my body as an enemy: too skinny, too easy to...
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Hana sitting and drinking coffee

Dear Body – Hana, Feb 2019

From a young age, women are taught to mistrust their self-esteem. There are countless ways that society accomplishes this goal but the main offender is the beauty industry. The message from these images is clear: "You should not love yourself...

Dear Body – Hana, Feb 2019

Dear Body – Hana, Feb 2019

Hana in blue bra

From a young age, women are taught to mistrust their self-esteem. There are countless ways that society accomplishes this goal but the main offender is the beauty industry. The message from these images is clear: “You should not love yourself unless you look like ____.” It is an incredibly toxic relationship to have with one’s body but it’s unfortunately how I have felt for years. As a teenager, I was mature-looking beyond my years and had a body that everyone wanted to monetize. Strangers, family, friends, all anyone could ever say to compliment me was, “You are so beautiful, you should be a model”.

Although it was exactly what teenage me wanted to hear, it was a slow-moving poison- beauty became the only thing I measured my self-worth by and the only thing that mattered as a result. Forget all of my other qualities as a human being, this was the most important. As I aged, my body developed health problems. I began hating myself because I no longer received as much attention for my looks.

Hana in blue bra laughing
Hana, from US/Finland

It takes serious reflection and work to undo this kind of negative body image.

And find a healthy balance between taking pride in my appearance and basing all my self worth on my appearance.

I have been on this planet almost three decades and the most valuable lesson I have learned is that beauty has nothing to do with my worth. It’s something I still struggle with to this day but I am more confident and at-peace with my body now than I ever was when society saw my body as “at its best”. 

^

Hana, from US/Finland

I took photos of Hana on February 2nd 2019. She sent me the text in 2020.
Alena featured

Dear Body – Alena, January 2019

Alena, from USA/Russia Stretching skin, pulling, expanding, growing. Creating and nourishing life, my body knew exactly what to do. There is so much strength and power in our bodies, the experience is transformative. Thank you, body, for this...
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Dear Body – Andrea, April 2019

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Why I started photographing menstrual blood

It was a long and cold lockdown winter in Berlin.Above photo I uploaded to Unsplash and you can use it for free for your project (please credit me if you do!) - you can see it hereI was very very hungry for photo shoots, but it was simply not...
anekdot boutique underwear Larissa

20 Best Niche Lingerie & Loungewear Brands – Updated 2022

I’m a big lingerie fan and I believe it can do magic to your self-esteem.Why? 1) it’s hidden under your clothes, so you wear it just for yourself, not to prove anything to anyone else 2) even though it’s hidden, you remember about it and it’s a...
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50 ways to celebrate all types of love on Valentine’s Day

Originally sent out as a newsletter - if you would like to get such posts ahead of everyone else, please subscribe to my newsletter on the bottom of the page.I know that Valentine’s Day can be cringy as f*ck!But let me introduce you to the way I...
Hana sitting and drinking coffee

Dear Body – Hana, Feb 2019

From a young age, women are taught to mistrust their self-esteem. There are countless ways that society accomplishes this goal but the main offender is the beauty industry. The message from these images is clear: "You should not love yourself...

Aphrodite in boudoir

Aphrodite in boudoir

An interview with me from Wysokie Obcasy Nr 12(1128)

Above the cover of the printed magazine, below the interview written by Katarzyna Seiler, translated by me into English. If you read Polish you can scroll down to the scans of original interview in Polish or read it here online

Katarzyna Seiler: How did you come up with the idea for a body-positive boudoir photography of women?

Monika Kozub: I traveled a lot before coming to Berlin. In Amsterdam, I started working as a photographer offering Airbnb Experiences. I decided that I would use my photography skills I gained from the education at Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow to take pictures of people who came on vacation to Amsterdam. After our walk, they received a set of portraits, a souvenir from the trip. When I started doing Airbnb Experiences after I moved to Berlin, most of my clients were women – very excited to be photographed. You could see that they had spiffed up, pardon my language, and looked fantastic. But some of them felt abashed. To encourage them, I started talking to them.

I asked why they decided to have a session. They often said that on one hand they felt that they would like to have some nice photos, but on the other they feared it was a stupid idea, as they weren’t models. They kept repeating: “Maybe if I lost five kilos” or “I have a bad hair day” During these conversations, some of them mentioned that they were considering a boudoir session because they thought it would help them break through.

Unfortunately, if you search for “boudoir session” online, you will see photos in a soft porn style: a lady in a very scanty bikini or underwear,  presenting her breasts or buttcheeks into the camera.

KS: Rather “Playboy” than body positivity.

MK: I always think that if you expressed your consent, the photographer agreed as well and you feel good about the style of the photos, then do whatever makes you happy. From my conversations with women and from my own experience, I knew that women have the need to derive strength and joy from their sexuality, yet not on someone else’s, but on their own terms. I found that boudoir photography is a perfect way to challenge the insecurities I knew from my own life. As long as I was wearing clothes that covered my pale skin, imperfections and cellulite, because I generally fit in with the tall, thin, white girl pattern, I felt comfortable with myself. But when I had to take the clothes off, whether in a changing room at school before PE or at a pool, I immediately tensed up. I was scared that everyone would see me taking my push-up bra and it would be obvious that my tits are fake.

I found that in the boudoir setting you can still fake the way your body looks, but it is very limited. You just show your body as it is.

The most important, however, was the issue of opening up and reconciling with one’s sexuality, which so far in culture has been appropriated by male gaze, also dominant in boudoir photography.

I knew from the very beginning that I wanted the women to decide on anything that happens throughout the shoot.

KS: And how does it look like?

MK: You only undress up to the moment you still feel comfortable and I don’t push on anything. I do not interfere with how women come to me, the outfits, make-up and hairstyle is up to them.

Often times, typical boudoir sessions are accompanied by a paid makeup artist, hairdresser, and clothing sets that you can use. I understand the desire to transform into Beyoncé for two hours, but that is not in line with the effect I wanted to achieve.

Women come to me looking exactly as they are everyday – naturally, but they define what this natural look means to them. They bring clothes that matter to them.

KS: In one of the first photos on Instagram, you write that you first wanted to test different poses yourself, so as not to offer women anything that would be uncomfortable. You took these photos yourself or asked your boyfriend for help.

MK: Poses that look good in photos are often terribly uncomfortable. First, I made a board on Pinterest, where I saved various photos. I decided to check them out and see how I actually feel in these positions. I looked at a photo and it seemed to me that a model was sitting comfortably, but actually it turned out that to hold the pose from the photo I had to remember to pull in my stomach and straighten another part of my body at the same time, and that was just too much. My boyfriend guided me: “Here you still have to raise your foot a little, move slightly, straighten there”. I realized that if I started talking to any other woman like that, she would completely lose her head.

Someone once said that people can forget what you told them, but they will never forget how you made them feel. This is the most important thing for me in the photo sessions.

I assumed that if a woman felt great, the photos would also be fantastic. The time of the photo shoot is the moment when you can be with your body, stroke it, hug it, look at it and thank it for everything it endures every day.

This is supposed to be a moment when a woman is not for anyone else but herself. She has to feel connected with her erotic body, because her eroticism is in the background on a daily basis.

KS: Did you feel that the project will have a social body-positive aspect and will be inspiring also for others, not only for the woman being photographed?

MK: Initially, I planned the project as a business, because don’t believe in the theory that an artist must be poor. However, I quickly realized that it wasn’t the right way to go forward. Unfortunately, when someone paid me for a session, it often turned out that the model found the photos too intimate and forbade me from sharing them in my portfolio and on social media. I realized how important the story of that one woman I helped with the photo shoot was to me, and that the story doesn’t just end there. That is why I have been building an Instagram account from the very beginning, I want to be where people are with this project.

I have always been deeply rooted in contemporary art, but I did not like the fact that many art initiatives completely ignore the so-called Kowalski and Kowalska [considered to be most common names in Poland – footnote for English speaking reader]. It’s a very hermetic environment, mostly for those who are already interested in modern art. I felt that it did not suit me at all. As a student of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, I taught modern art classes for high school students who were going to apply for the Academy themselves. Very often they asked accurate questions that made me reconsider the canon of art that was instilled in me when, for example, something is overloaded with theory but doesn’t carry emotions understandable for an average person. Hence my need to implement a socially engaged project where people are already present. For example on Instagram. I didn’t want to take a series of photos that would then be shown in a small gallery to people who are not suprised when they see folds of fat. In modern art, it’s normal to shock, so it doesn’t really shock anyone.

I want to show my photos to people who still think a woman has to look like the ones in a Victoria’s Secret or Playboy ad.

Maybe thanks to that I will help them see that woman’s body can look very differently and there is no single canon of what is beautiful, and on the other hand, that maybe someone who until now believed that feminism equals “women with armpit hair”, they will see my photos and notice that feminists are beautiful women.

KS: I observe a trend, for example on TikTok, that girls have boudoir sessions that are probably more like the sessions you talked about at the beginning, which are then given to the husband or partner as a gift in the form of framed photos or an album. This entire session, underwear and styling are a gift for a man, not a woman. Of course, she also probably enjoys it, but she does it with him in mind and at the end records his reaction when he sees her photos for the first time.

MK: I can only sigh. On one hand, I understand these women because they were brought up just like you and me. We all grew up in a culture where one of the greatest virtues of a woman is how she looks and how others see her. So eventually there will be someone who tells her: You are beautiful to me. Of course assuming that any woman is in a relationship with a person who finds her beautiful, although I also have heard of a situation when a boyfriend admitted he loved her, only to add that he would rate her looks at a maximum of three out of ten points. But even if there is a person in your life who completely accepts what you look like, or even more, is in love and fascinated by your body, we are still convinced that we are beautiful, because someone else who is looking at us, finds us a beautiful person.

Recently I started listening to Caitlin Moran’s More Than a Woman book, which I am a huge fan of. Moran says that for her the subversive moment was realizing that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Anyone can say that something is beautiful.

Moran suggests that we have to go a step further – not only to be the “beauty” someone else decides on, but to be the “beholder”, the one who decides what is beautiful. This reminded me of one of my therapy sessions during the first hard lockdown. I’m dealing every day with the topic of body positivity, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have moments when I would like to get the exact same advice from someone else that I often give to others. There was a point when I was starting to feel bad about myself.

I looked in the mirror and didn’t like what I saw. I shared that with my therapist and admitted that I didn’t know if it was caused by sweatpants I wore every day or that I wasn’t wearing any makeup for quite a while, but I was convinced that such things shouldn’t have an impact on me. The therapist made me think about the myth of Aphrodite. We have the story depicted in numerous artworks: Aphrodite born out of the sea foam, everyone else looking at her and seeing the most beautiful woman in the world.

My therapist told me that in the original myth when Aphrodite was born, there weren’t any audiences clapping and telling her how beautiful she was. Aphrodite was born in solitary and began to look around and point on the beauty she saw around her. This made her the goddess of beauty.

Her appearance didn’t matter at all. I combined it immediately with what Caitlin Moran wrote: in the moment you stop focusing on begin an object of beauty for someone else’s gaze and judgement, and put yourself in the position of a judge, you flip the perspective. You no longer have to show these photos to your husband to prove to him you are beautiful. You can have these photos taken for your own sake and tell him: “I think I’m beautiful.”

KS: Which stories from your photo shoots you remember the most?

MK: A photo shoot of the woman, who at that point in time, was the oldest woman I have photographed. I was so happy that a woman over 50 is willing to get such photos taken, and more over – she thinks it’s going to be an amazing experience for her.

I knew that I have in front of me a woman ready for a breakthrough in her life, yet she was still a bit shy and closed off. I have my own way to lead the session. The model is not undressing immediately. First we talk. If I see that the woman is closed off and insecure, I try to ask what she loves about her body, what she likes, which body parts she was always happy about – just to go beyond the too well-known scheme of women reciting what they hate about their bodies. Then I ask what kind of music they would like to hear in the background. This way we can evoke specific emotions without talking about them too much. That woman said: “You know what, Madonna released an album recently. If she can be so sexy, open and happy about her body, and I’m almost her age, then why I can’t be like that as well?.” We put on the latino sounding track from Madonna’s last album and suddenly I saw a transformation of a person who focused on others her whole life, giving them priority before her own needs. She told me that even the experience of going to a lingerie store to buy a bra for our photo shoot was a breakthrough for her, and a first step towards change, as she was wearing mainly bras that were comfortable, not sexy. Throught this sensual dance to Madonna’s music I saw how a strong, confident woman emerges. I later talked to her daughter and she admitted she noticed that change as well.

KS: Do you see photos similar to yours in German media? In Poland, unfortunately, even if the media uses the slogan “body positivity”, realistic images of the female body do not follow it.

MK: In Germany, or at least in Berlin, such a thing wouldn’t fly. There is a need to change even among the brands I work with. Unfortunately, it still often comes down to having one plus size person or, as I call it, a curvy model. I don’t like the term plus size, because it means that there is some “size” and the rest of it is “plus”.

I once read an article on authenticity in the world of marketing and fashion. It explained that this industry will never choose to show authenticity. That the revolution must start elsewhere – among people who will not accept that such a limited selection of body types is portrayed in advertising. Advertisers will always aspire to the unattainable. They are selling dreams. It’s not in their best interest to show you something you don’t have to aspire to. Perhaps this is an element that we can only break down by changing our minds and showing in spaces like Instagram or other social media or even a movie industry the whole spectrum of what a body can look like.

KS: Apart from the photo shoots you also have a podcast “Boudoir Talk.”

MK: I’m often labelled as a photographer, and on one hand I’m fine with it, but on the other it’s a simplification. I consider myself an artist, who uses photography to talk about certain issues. But sometimes I user other media as well. Recently I created my own Instagram filter. These filters usually change your appearance, but I made one that doesn’t change the way you look, only adds a flower crown on your head hand drawn by me.

One of the most important aspects of feminism is for me captured in the phrase “pass the mic”. When I’m taking photos, it’s me pressing the shutter and I can’t escape the fact that it’s world seen through my eyes. I decided that to enter a deeper level of telling other people’s stories I need to quite literally pass the mic and give them space to share their story.

When I started doing my podcasts, there were not that many similar ways of talking about body positivity. And the conversations at the beginning of my photo shoots were simply phenomenal. Women frm Brazil, Venezuela, USA, Helsinki or anywhere else in the world – each f them had her own story. Unfortunately what was common for us all is the experience of a very opressive culture, that claims you’re never beautiful enough, and in which your boyfriend feels it’s OK to ask when you’re going to get a boob job as your breasts are too small. I wanted these stories to be heard.

Not all my podcasts are interviews, some of them I recorded on my own. Among them the first one in which I explain the term “boudoir.” It has a very symbolic story. It became popular in the enlightenment period as a term for a special room for the lady of the house. But unfortunately it wasn’t a woman’s equivalent of a gentleman’s office. It was a room where a woman would go and sulk undisturbed, as it’s even part of the word: “bouder” means to sulk or pout in French. Basically men have given women a room where they were supposed to sit in silence when they have their moods. That’s when I decided I’m going to turn it inside out. This boudoir that was meant to silence a woman and become a closed space to pout far from a man, I want to turn into a loudspeaker with which women can talk freely about their issues. Every woman has a place where she can simply shout out what is important for her, what she has learned. That’s the new boudoir and boudoir talk.

^

Written by Katarzyna Seiler, translated to English by Monika Kozub

Alena featured

Dear Body – Alena, January 2019

Alena, from USA/Russia Stretching skin, pulling, expanding, growing. Creating and nourishing life, my body knew exactly what to do. There is so much strength and power in our bodies, the experience is transformative. Thank you, body, for this...
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Dear Body – Andrea, April 2019

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50 ways to celebrate all types of love on Valentine’s Day

Originally sent out as a newsletter - if you would like to get such posts ahead of everyone else, please subscribe to my newsletter on the bottom of the page.I know that Valentine’s Day can be cringy as f*ck!But let me introduce you to the way I...
Hana sitting and drinking coffee

Dear Body – Hana, Feb 2019

From a young age, women are taught to mistrust their self-esteem. There are countless ways that society accomplishes this goal but the main offender is the beauty industry. The message from these images is clear: "You should not love yourself...

Eva, February 2019

Eva, February 2019

There’s no better feeling than when you read something like that:

“Shout our to my friend Monika @berlinboudoir for making women like me feel BEAUTIFUL!⠀I never thought there was something wrong with my body. It’s a body, it’s the body that made me graduate, find a job, find people that love me and whom I love. However especially for a short and plumpy (thick but chic, clunky yet funky, you call it) person like me, it’s easy to fall in the trap and believe the people who think you don’t have the physique du rôle, that everything good you got in life, you got it despite those comic buttcheeks and those disastrous thighs.⠀
I often numb out and convince myself that my body and the perception I have of it are things that I shouldn’t take too seriously.⠀
But now I look at this picture and I feel empowered and fierce – I dare you prove me wrong and tell me I’m not beautiful 😉 I root for all the girls who have the hunger, and take seriously both the beauty and the brains. Don’t let anybody tell you that you can have only one, or else “you will intimidate them”.⠀
Be proud and let ’em eat it :D“

Thank you Eva! You make me believe in what I do and give me strength to continue against difficulties. BIG LOVE!

Eva hammock
Eva goddess
Eva fur
Eva disco
Eva misty
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Alena featured

Dear Body – Alena, January 2019

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anekdot boutique underwear Larissa

20 Best Niche Lingerie & Loungewear Brands – Updated 2022

I’m a big lingerie fan and I believe it can do magic to your self-esteem.Why? 1) it’s hidden under your clothes, so you wear it just for yourself, not to prove anything to anyone else 2) even though it’s hidden, you remember about it and it’s a...
Adi Featured

Adi, January 2019

It all started with this photo shoot.I met Adi while working as a graphic designer in a Berlin startup. She's a natural beautiful redhead, talented artist, illustrator and graphic designer. Owner of an adorable ginger cat named Scotch, who doesn't...

Love yourself on Valentine’s Day

Love yourself on Valentine’s Day

FALL IN LOVE WITH YOURSELF this Valentine’s Day, because there’s no better gift for you and anyone you love than being happy and accepting with who and how you are.

MY STORY: It took me a long time to accept the way I look. I remember waking up and wishing I could see someone else in the mirror – I didn’t have a specific image I wanted, just something else, different. And of course, as probably any woman in the world, I used to dissect my body in my mind dividing between the ones I accept and would like to change immediately.

MY BREASTS was the hardest part for me to accept. I felt like I was only half-woman since my breasts are so small. I also didn’t fit in the skinny girl figure type, as my hips have grown quite a lot during puberty. For quite some time as a teenager I was hoping my breasts would catch up – never happened. Years and years I felt awkward when I had to switch clothes in changing room at a gym, avoided going to the beach, wearing spaghetti strap tops and anything that would bring attention to this part of my body. I felt comfortable wearing push-ups only, but then I was always afraid of the moment it will be obvious that my breasts are smaller than my cup size.

And then I met a person that showed me how to love them. To not expect perfection from them and appreciate them for what they are. Suddenly I discovered that there are actually some advantages of having small breasts, like being able to not wear a bra at all and still feeling comfortable. I started laughing that they are just concentrated type – take less space but have everything they need to make me happy.

I’m so grateful for the body-positive movement, I hope the next generations of girls (boys, transgender people) will never have to doubt their bodies. They give us so much pleasure, LOVE THEM TODAY, TOMORROW AND ALWAYS.

Andrea April featured

Dear Body – Andrea, April 2019

I can think of so many stories in regards to my relationship with my body. Some sad, some happy, but I believe the most important thing has been that we are companions. It took me a while to not think of my body as an enemy: too skinny, too easy to...
6 steps of breast self-exam

Breast Self-Exam – How to do it in 5 Easy Steps

October is the Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I decided to prepare a blog post with infographics to help women understand how to do a breast self-exam. I was never taught how to do it, I only knew you’re supposed to check yourself. But no one...
Berlin Boudoir empowering boudoir photo shoots

Easy DIY Home SPA – With Recipes for Home-Made Cosmetics

I decided to create a series of blog posts about simple pleasures we can enjoy during the coronavirus lockdown. The all need to be: A) cheap (or free), B) easy to make at home, C) give you a chance to unwind and relax. Today my first episode about...
Hana sitting and drinking coffee

Dear Body – Hana, Feb 2019

From a young age, women are taught to mistrust their self-esteem. There are countless ways that society accomplishes this goal but the main offender is the beauty industry. The message from these images is clear: "You should not love yourself...
revolution is a woman

Revolution is a woman

To all my sisters in Poland protesting against the ban on abortion, to all the sisters worldwide that see their rights being violated every day. To all women and non-binary people who feel discriminated - revolution has many faces, but I believe...
Alena featured

Dear Body – Alena, January 2019

Alena, from USA/Russia Stretching skin, pulling, expanding, growing. Creating and nourishing life, my body knew exactly what to do. There is so much strength and power in our bodies, the experience is transformative. Thank you, body, for this...

Thais, February 2019

Thais, February 2019

Amazing Thais, Brazilian Berlinerin, mother of two, architect.

Thais brought this swimsuit (photo below) to the boudoir shoot and wasn’t sure if it’s going to work. She said that since she became a mother she no longer feels appropriate wearing it as it has a bit of side boob and very high cut on the hips. But she still felt she likes herself wearing that. My response: that’s exactly what we’re looking for! It doesn’t need to be lacy lingerie all the time. The only rule: YOU NEED TO FEEL FABULOUS.

Thais swimsuit

These boots are made for walking. And that’s just what they’ll do. One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you.

I think of the famous Nancy Sinatra song looking at Thais’ shoes (photo below). There’s a tendency to pick high heels as the right shoes for boudoir. Wrong! Any shoes, if they make a statement, are good for a boudoir photo shoot.

I encourage women during the photo shoot to strike something I call a power pose.

The moment you do that, you can think about how well you’re dealing with all the difficulties in life, how a bad-ass female you are and ain’t no mountain high enough. You will then have this photo to refer to in moments when you a reminder that there is this Wonder Woman inside you all the time. At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can said Frida Kahlo.

 

Thais heels
Thais reclining
Hana sitting and drinking coffee

Dear Body – Hana, Feb 2019

From a young age, women are taught to mistrust their self-esteem. There are countless ways that society accomplishes this goal but the main offender is the beauty industry. The message from these images is clear: "You should not love yourself...
victory mensturation

Why I started photographing menstrual blood

It was a long and cold lockdown winter in Berlin.Above photo I uploaded to Unsplash and you can use it for free for your project (please credit me if you do!) - you can see it hereI was very very hungry for photo shoots, but it was simply not...
The Bold and Beautiful

Berlin Boudoir Xmas Gifts Guide

Originally sent out as a newsletter - if you would like to get such posts ahead of everyone else, please subscribe to my newsletter on the bottom of the page.I’m happy to present you (pun intended) a curated list of gift ideas.I spent time...
Thais featured

Thais, February 2019

Amazing Thais, Brazilian Berlinerin, mother of two, architect.Thais brought this swimsuit (photo below) to the boudoir shoot and wasn't sure if it's going to work. She said that since she became a mother she no longer feels appropriate wearing it...

Styling for boudoir and portrait photography – what to wear and what to avoid

I will talk here mostly about boudoir photography, but majority of these tips you can also apply to any other type of portraits. Hope it help you get the best out of your photos!1. Be natural = be yourself   The first thing that might come...
revolution is a woman

Revolution is a woman

To all my sisters in Poland protesting against the ban on abortion, to all the sisters worldwide that see their rights being violated every day. To all women and non-binary people who feel discriminated - revolution has many faces, but I believe...

5 myths about boudoir photography

5 myths about boudoir photography

1. Boudoir photography is all about showing sexy women in lingerie or naked.

Wrong! Boudoir is a French term, which refers to a woman’s private room where she can have all the time for herself. This type of photography is all about being intimate, cozy and sensual, but you don’t need to pose in sexy lingerie to feel that. Everything that can waken up your senses is very welcome – your favorite soft sweater with a pair of woolen high socks can be a perfect solution. It’s not all about showing your skin, but of course it can be a part of it – you decide.

Above a photo of myself I took long before I knew I would ever live in Berlin and start boudoir photography. Yet I craved this atmosphere of calmness, intimacy and femininity. Photos on which women are powerful and strong yet delicate. This fake fur I bought on discount became a perfect excuse to try it out.

2. You get boudoir photos as a gift for your partner.

Boudoir in my opinion is all about feeling comfortable in your own body, owning your body image and your sexuality. It’s not about being sexy for someone else, it’s about showing yourself that you care about the one and only body you have. I know that you can find boudoir photos focused on pleasuring the viewer on the internet: women perking up their breasts or sticking out their butts towards the camera. But it shouldn’t be a “who’s the sexiest” contest.

There’s a saying beauty is in the eye of the beholder and as much as I agree with it, we tend to put ourselves in the place of the beauty not the beholder. True magic happens when you position yourself as the beholder – you’re the judge of who and what is beautiful. You don’t need to expose yourself and wait for the judgement of others to know if you pass the beauty test or not, you can simply put yourself out there claiming “I’m beautiful.” Of course there might be people who disagree, but isn’t it the wonderful part of this diverse world? You may think roses are the most beautiful flowers, but someone will find them too cliche – and we don’t get upset about that. You are beautiful and you can decide to share your beauty with the world through boudoir photos if you wish so.

3. You need a total visual makeover before a boudoir shoot.

Marilyn Monroe once said “A smile is the best make-up any girl can wear” – I can’t agree more with that. In my opinion boudoir photos should make you feel at ease, happy and cheerful. I know that there are some photographers who offer hair styling and make-up services, and it’s completely fine if that’s what you’re looking for. But I want to show an alternative and remind women it’s an option not a necessity. Of course you can look amazing after a whole staff took care of your looks, but I want to show you that you don’t need all of that to feel and actually be pretty. Just come the way you are every day. You can wear make-up and style your hair, if you feel like it. But you can also stay as natural as you want. Just wear a smile and it will be fabulous.

4. Boudoir photos are only for young and slim women.

Biggest mistake you can make! There are no limits to what is beautiful, but unfortunately we were raised in a culture that decided there are certain boundaries. You need a firm, flawless skin, perky breasts, round butt, big eyes, small nose, long legs – you know, the Barbie type. But let me tell you – of all the wonderful women I photographed not a single one felt she has passed the “beauty test” from the start. And they came from all different countries, ethnicities, shapes and ages! When you’re white you want to get tanned, when you’re brown you want to avoid sun and not get any darker. All these laws of beauty are so contradictory simply because they’re straight up bullshit installed in us to make us feel smaller and less powerful.

We’re beautiful at every size, every stage of our life. And I’m on a mission with Berlin Boudoir to show that to all the people around. Stretchmarks, wrinkles, saggy skin, round belly – they deserve our love, they show the way our bodies went with us through life. Why would we be ashamed of them – they’re the witnesses of our resilience and strength. Show them with pride.

boudoir photography myths

5. You need to know how to pose/have experience in front of camera.

Absolutely not! In my photo shoot I will never ask you to strike a pose that feels uncomfortable, so you don’t need to have special posing skills.

When I first started Berlin Boudoir I asked my boyfriend to come and help me try out poses I found online. Oh my, how surprised I was to discover that some of them, which seemed easy, turned out to be really hard! I knew I never want to turn my models into a robot when I’m instructing them to move every body part separately. You should feel comfortable at all times during the photo shoot – that’s my main goal. If you feel good, you’ll look good as well.

Selected Among 50 Brave of 2021 by Wysokie Obcasy Magazine

Dream come true thanks to Wysokie Obcasy and Katarzyna Seiler – to be among 50 Brave of 2021 makes me proud, honored and humbled. So many wonderful women and people, changing the world for better! I’m happy I can add my piece with Berlin Boudoir...
The Bold and Beautiful

Berlin Boudoir Xmas Gifts Guide

Originally sent out as a newsletter - if you would like to get such posts ahead of everyone else, please subscribe to my newsletter on the bottom of the page.I’m happy to present you (pun intended) a curated list of gift ideas.I spent time...
Adi Featured

Adi, January 2019

It all started with this photo shoot.I met Adi while working as a graphic designer in a Berlin startup. She's a natural beautiful redhead, talented artist, illustrator and graphic designer. Owner of an adorable ginger cat named Scotch, who doesn't...

5 myths about boudoir photography

1. Boudoir photography is all about showing sexy women in lingerie or naked.Wrong! Boudoir is a French term, which refers to a woman's private room where she can have all the time for herself. This type of photography is all about being intimate,...
Andrea April featured

Dear Body – Andrea, April 2019

I can think of so many stories in regards to my relationship with my body. Some sad, some happy, but I believe the most important thing has been that we are companions. It took me a while to not think of my body as an enemy: too skinny, too easy to...

Aphrodite in boudoir

An interview with me from Wysokie Obcasy Nr 12(1128)Above the cover of the printed magazine, below the interview written by Katarzyna Seiler, translated by me into English. If you read Polish you can scroll down to the scans of original interview...