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As the sole proprietor of Way Out West Creative, I’ve been a boudoir photographer on and off since 2010. Cutting my teeth on photography back in the 1980s, first as an Alaska commercial fisherman taking snapshots, I turned pro as a fish writer/photographer covering the fleet for the fish newspapers. Having taken a few years off in the past dozen years to write three Alaska-fishing books with several photo exhibits in the Pacific Northwest, I now exclusively train my lens on women to show them their natural beauty.
“Oh my god I’m beautiful; I never knew I was beautiful!” exclaimed one young woman upon seeing her boudoir photos—and I was hooked. Although boudoir photography is typically thought of as studio glam wearing lingerie in a bedroom, Way Out West Creative takes it to a broader interpretation. I shoot on location usually in the client’s home—her natural habitat—to capture her beauty in the most flattering ways where she is more relaxed and comfortable.
Seeing herself as the beauty in classy, artistic photographs can change a woman’s self-image to enhance confidence, and I love seeing that. She can discover a side of herself she didn’t know or may have lost along the way as life unfolded with her career and family. It’s about a woman feeling good about herself—feeling fabulous because she looks fabulous. It’s an experience. Transformative. Priceless.
“If women can capture that, the femininity—a woman at any age, any size, needs to feel that,” said Tiffany. “It’s amazing. It’s empowering. It made me stop and appreciate my body and where it’s at this time in my life.”
A client receives her custom-designed photo book with a minimum of 25 photos, but it’s best to go with the 50-photo option since it’s hard to pick just 25.
“How can I choose; you make me look so pretty—I can’t believe that that’s me!” breast-cancer survivor Martha said recently amidst my special project this year: Tucson Plastic Surgery’s Pink-Ribbon Boudoir for breast cancer survivors. “It’s definitely something everybody should try,” she said. “Talk about a confidence boost.”
I just knew survivors/warriors needed to see their enduring beauty after the rigors of a brutal treatment just to stay alive, creating a daylong pilot project with nine survivors in 2012 while still living in Montana. A Tucsonan for the past 8 years, while networking to market my business I’d tell people I was a boudoir photographer and get some nods or quizzical “what is that?” but adding that I’d also done a Pink-Ribbon Boudoir pilot, the surprise and approval was audible.
With encouragement and help from chamber member Scott Taylor, I brought the project to Arizona in 2022, partnering with the nonprofit Nadia Strong Foundation to fundraise. Most of our sponsors are OV Chamber members, as are our title sponsors, Drs. Kurtovic and Mahabir of Tucson Plastic Surgery—and I am grateful for all of them.
In August 2022, we held a photo retreat for seven survivors who won the free half-weekend event with hair, makeup, nails, wardrobe, and a boudoir photo shoot all provided by 10 volunteers. On Dec. 4th we will feature 50 large canvas photos in a public photo exhibit hosted by chamber member The Post Workspaces, including food trucks and a silent auction to promise a fun event rated PG-13.
“When I was diagnosed, I thought I’m never going to feel pretty again,” survivor Kaiona said after seeing her photos. “I love them all.”
“When you’re going through it you feel ugly, not feminine,” she said, “and it’s hard to remember what you looked like. I think plastic surgeons should display the photos for other patients to see. If I was newly diagnosed, it would make me feel inspired to see the books.”
Although shooting seven hour-long photo sessions in a day for the breast-cancer retreat, a regular photo session lasts several hours where a client has plenty of time to change into different outfits in a variety of settings. All review in person a curated collection of their best photos to choose favorites for the photobook, with all final selections photo-finished to make the images sing. I have a wardrobe, and 70 pairs of stilettos (70!) sized 5 to 12 to help make it even more fun.
If you are interested to learn more or know someone who is, you will find photos and information at wayoutwestcreative.com and pinkribbonboudoir.com. Email email@example.com or call 406.431.1596 to schedule a complimentary consult; we’ll meet and look at photobooks to see if you like my boudoir style and if it’s a good fit.
Should you book a shoot and choose to share your photos with a special someone, they’ll be reminded how lucky they are. Best. Gift. Ever. But do it for you!