Don’t Miss This Exclusive Giveaway From Boudoir by Amy

A red-haired woman with red lips in black lingerie poses in Boudoir by Amy's photography studio.
Photo: Boudoir by Amy

Curious about boudoir photography, but still trying to figure out where to start? Meet Boudoir by Amy. The experienced all-female photography team ensures that sessions aren’t just professional but also playful, allowing you to fall head over heels in love with yourself. After all, what better time to indulge in such a celebration than when you’re about to say “I do”?

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Get Your I Do! @ ZaZa Tix and You Could Win a $500 Steve Lee Weddings Bridal Boudoir Shoot to Boot

You KNOW you want to attend the sure-to-be-mind-blowing I Do! Bridal Soiree at Hotel ZaZa (for which tix, darlin’, are going like hotcakes). But perhaps you’re a wee bit on the fence about baring a little bridal skin for a boudoir photography shoot. Here’s the deal: When you snag your I Do! @ ZaZa tickets by midnight Sunday, Sept. 1, you will be automatically entered to win a $500 editorial boudoir shoot with one of the best in the business: the outrageously talented and exceptionally professional Steve Lee. Lee’s reputation for making brides of all shapes, sizes and comfort levels feel secure, sexy and confident at their boudoir shoots is well earned. And his photos? Ahhh-mazing.

So what are you waiting for, honey? Purchase your tickets to the Oct. 6 I Do! Bridal Soiree at Hotel ZaZa, our most sophisticated and stylish show of the year—and you could win what will ultimately amount to the best freakin’ gift your groom will ever get: you, at your most bridal beautiful, for his eyes only. Forever.

All brides who buy their tickets to Houston’s hottest bridal event by midnight Sunday are entered to win; winner announced Tuesday, Sept. 3 on Facebook. And remember, the I Do! Bridal Soiree at Hotel ZaZa WILL SELL OUT. It always does.

Good luck…hot stuff.

Photos: Steve Lee Weddings

Buy I Do! Tickets & WIN a $600 J. Cogliandro Photography BOUDOIR SHOOT!

J. Cogliandro Photography - Boudoir J. Cogliandro Photography - Boudoir

You don’t need to be a model (or have the body of one) to photograph like one. Not when Joe Cogliandro is behind the camera. The multi-award-winning Houston-based wedding and portrait photographer is creating something of a stir with his sultry, artful boudoir photography, which rivals the finest editorial layouts in the world’s top fashion magazines. The subjects of his gorgeous boudoir shoots? Regular gals—many of them brides-to-be—just like, well…YOU.

Find out just what it feels like to live out your photographic fantasy by WINNING a $600 J. Cogliandro Photography Boudoir Shoot, just by purchasing your I Do! @ The Corinthian tickets by 11:59 p.m. Sunday, April 7! One lucky bride who snaps up her pre-sale tickets to our most exclusive event of the year will find herself the focus of this very special giveaway prize, which includes styling (with help from J. Cogliandro’s warm and friendly female crew), one full hour of photography, and high-resolution files—which you can transform into the most treasured gift your groom-to-be is ever gonna get. For real.

TO ENTER: 1.) Purchase pre-sale tickets by 11:59 p.m. SUN., APRIL 7, to the I Do! Bridal Soiree at The Corinthian, where J. Cogliandro Photography will be among the exclusive handful of hand-picked Houston vendors showcased at this stunning evening of cocktails, cuisine and couture event design 2.) *Like* us on Facebook

That’s it! We’ll notify our randomly selected winner next week!!

In the meanwhile, check out these gorgeous J. Cogliandro Photography boudoir images, featuring real, in-the-flesh, regular Houston gals…like you!

J. Cogliandro Photography - Boudoir J. Cogliandro Photography - Boudoir J. Cogliandro Photography - Boudoir

Photos: J. Cogliandro Photography

Q&A: Tamara Menges on Photo Shoot Styling Like the Pros

Tamara Menges Stylized Photoshoot ~ Photo: Archetype Studios
Photo: Archetype Studio

Such a treat to have brilliant photo stylist and event designer Tamara Menges on the blog today! Menges, by her own account, sees “beauty in everything, whether it be a piece of fabric or a particular chair, or a rusty old can.” And we can’t help but see beauty in her. We asked her to reveal the methods behind her magic—and explain why professional styling is a MUST if you’re aiming for an unforgettable bridal, engagement or boudoir shoot!

Houston Wedding Blog: What, exactly, does professional photo styling entail?

Tamara Menges: Professional styling is a unique approach to a photography session. It’s basically the use of props to tell a story that is then captured by the photographer. To me, it’s imperative that I convey an actual “story,” and I use that word A LOT when I’m designing and conceptualizing a project. It has to make sense, obviously, but it also has to speak to the client.

HWB: How do you figure out a couple’s “story”—what do you need to know about them?

TM: I ask a lot of questions: what they do for fun, how they met, where he popped the question, etc. Their styling should reflect who they are as a couple, and it should be yet another part of the story that is being told through the photography. I work one-on-one with them, then, after the consultation, I brainstorm with my team, put an inspiration board together and submit those ideas to the couple or bride. Of course, some like to be surprised!

Tamara Menges Stylized Photoshoot ~ Photos: Callie & Co. Photography
Tamara Menges Stylized Photoshoot ~ Photos: Callie & Co. Photography
Photos: Callie & Co. Photography

HWB: Tell us about a couple of your favorite recent shoots.

TM:  My absolute favorite engagement session was with a couple who are both very strong Christians and wanted to use their Bibles in some of their images. For them, I designed an entire setting based around their faith. I found an old church pew from the 1800s, I made multiple burlap pillows with their favorite lines of scripture, a large cross out of re-claimed fence posts, and a pitcher and bowl to symbolize washing of the feet, along with many other elements that tied into their beliefs. I named this shoot “A Faithful Engagement.” It turned out perfectly!

Another favorite was really outside the box. It was a gothic shoot that we titled “’Til Death Do Us Part.” My inspiration was crows. I knew I wanted it to be unexpected. I kept the color palette clean, with black, white and gold—red and dark purple were too expected! Perfectly enough, Natalie Harris Bridal and Evening had a design of a white gown with images of trees on the fabric! I went for an elegant gothic approach, not a scary one.

Tamara Menges Stylized Photoshoot ~ Photos: Sarah e. Evans Photography
Photo: Sarah e. Evans Photography

HWB: Sounds gorgeous! OK, so how much can we expect to pay for your services—and why are they worth the investment?

TM: Given the amount of research, thought, and hands-on work that I put into each shoot, my pricing starts $300. [HWB ed note: bargain alert!] This includes the above, along with props needed to complete the concept. Photo styling is a good investment simply because it expresses and captures their personality and story in a unique way. Most people don’t realize how much thought is put into a styled shoot, but that is why they turn out so interesting. I have a bit of an outside-the-box approach to styling shoots, so I often push my clients a little further than what may seem typical, and the end results are images that they are excited about for years to come!

For more pix from Tamara Menges Designs’ “A Faithful Engagement” shoot, click here! To get in touch with Tamara herself, find her here!

Houston Boudoir Photography On the Sexy Side of Bridal

With the acres of white organza, and all the frilly finery and pretty flowers and ceremonial gravitas, we sometimes forget that being a bride is just, well, sexy. Under all that white wedding stuff, after all, lies a woman passionately in love. Houston Boudoir Photography’s Norma Schutt makes it her mission to capture that passion in pictures. Pictures that just may be the best gift your groom could possibly get…besides the real thing, in the flesh, of course.

We tapped into Norma’s know-how for an inside look at what to expect, what to wear and how to pose for your bridal boudoir photographs (hint: that come-hither pout takes PRACTICE!), plus lots more great input on the sexy side of bridal.

Houston Boudoir Photography

Houston Wedding Blog: What’s the idea behind bridal boudoir photographs?

Norma Schutt: It’s fun! It’s also a very cool way for a bride to surprise her groom with a peek at her passionate side…and bring out the passion in him. Every woman wants to feel like a supermodel. Brides have usually been dieting and exercising to look their best on their wedding day. Doing a boudoir photo session a few weeks before the big day is a way to always remember how fantastic they looked. And surprising your groom with a boudoir album is a lot more fun and personal than cufflinks! It’s the perfect gift for the man who already has everything.

HWB: What’s your best boudoir-session beauty and lingerie advice?

NS: Get your hair and makeup professionally done. Make sure you tell your makeup artist that it’s for a photo session. I recommend you wear false eyelashes because they photograph beautifully.

Do not get a spray tan before your session. It can come out splotchy, slightly orange, or with pale feet and hands. I’d much rather use my retouching skills and time to enhance your natural beauty than to fix a bad spray tan.

Bring anything you want to make your photos special. I always encourage my clients to bring something belonging to their fiancé that he will recognize as his such as a dress shirt or sports jersey. Wedding day undergarments or wedding night lingerie is very popular, and, of course, you can bring your wedding dress along for a few shots of it, unlaced, maybe showing some bare skin down the back.

Practice your expressions in the mirror. For several days before the session, try out that pout when nobody is around. Getting that sexy pout to look sexy is not as easy as it looks. I can always tell who has practiced and who hasn’t!

The most important thing is to choose outfits that make you feel sexy. A good rule is to bring at least one thing white, at least one thing black, a pair of booty shorts, a thong, and something in a favorite or bright color or two so you can mix and match. A corset will create sexy curves. In addition to lingerie, don’t forget your shoes, jewelry, and your engagement ring. I also supply props like pearls, gloves, silk wraps and shoes.

Houston Boudoir Photography

HWB: What about the bride who may not be sure boudoir is the right thing for her? And once she’s decided to take the plunge, how do you make a bride feel comfortable during her session?

NS: First off, I encourage anyone who is undecided to give me a call or arrange for a tour.  We can talk about it and you can see where I photograph and check out all my props.  There’s no obligation. Sometimes just having all your questions answered and knowing how it works is all it takes to know if this is something you want to do. Even if you decide to wait for now, there’s always that first anniversary gift, same time next year.

Most of my clients have never done anything like this before so part of my job in the beginning is to help get rid of the jitters so they can relax and have fun. Before I take any pictures, I talk with the client about her clothing, the style of photos she wants, her best assets and her “problem” areas. I answer her questions, and use it as an opportunity for her to get to know me, and feel comfortable with me, and to trust that my goal is to make her feel beautiful and sexy.

During the photo shoot, I frequently show her images on the back of the camera so she can see that she really is looking good. And I think the biggest thing is not to over-think it. Just have fun and don’t take yourself too seriously during the process. Some girls will laugh in the beginning because they feel so silly until they start seeing what the camera is capturing between the giggles. Before long, the girls get over their self-consciousness and get into the “being sexy in front of a camera” state of mind. At the end of the sessions, my clients tell me they can’t believe how much FUN they just had!

HWB: When should a bride present her groom with her boudoir album?

NS: Some brides like to be there when he opens his gift, so they opt to give it to him on the night before the wedding, maybe after the rehearsal dinner, when the two of them can steal away for a moment and exchange their gifts. Other brides want give it to him on their wedding day before the ceremony. Either way, I recommend secretly telling the wedding photographer what is planned so he or she can be ready to capture the expressions on the groom’s face when he opens it.

Houston Boudoir Photography