The Boudoir Cafe team always gets asked this question: what is the difference between pin-up and boudoir?
Understandably, it’s easy to get confused between pin-up and boudoir. They are both sexy, tasteful photographs done in a fun photoshoot environment, and they are both meant to help you find that sexy side of yourself.
Except there are a few key differences between pin-up and boudoir.
When we say pin-up, we are taken back to the early 1900’s, when these photos first became popular. As a result of the sexual repression of the previous eras — and the dawning of this first sexually-accepting one — pin-up photos became popular. “Pin-up” refers to photos of women that are meant to be pinned up on walls, to be admired. It was burlesque performers who first started this trend of posing for pin-up photos, in order to advertise themselves. The pin-up photos of course did not bare too much nudity, as this was still a taboo. The girls were mostly clothed (though the outfits are noticeably tight and formfitting) and were usually in a playful pose; and instead used a certain glance (usually one of surprise) to signify the true, underlying meaning of the pin-up photo: sex-appeal.
Today, though we are certainly in a more modern and sexually-accepting era, pin-up still maintains a mostly-clothed style; and still incorporates looks and poses that are seen more as playful than sultry. In pin-up photos, props are used in a more innocent capacity in order to juxtapose with the sex-appeal of the woman in the pin-up photo. In a word, pin-up photos are more “tease” photographs than anything else. But for a girl looking for something a little more vintage, pin-up portraits have remained a popular choice.
Boudoir photography, on the other hand, is a pretty contemporary idea. This is because boudoir is based on the modern, brave woman who is proud of her sexuality. And, after years of sexual repression of our gender, boudoir photography has become one symbol of the modern feminist movement. Boudoir has become a symbol of body acceptance, of gender equality (we have always known our sex drives are equal to men’s), and of the continuing power of our sexuality, as women, holds.
Boudoir is a powerful form of intimacy. Boudoir is literally meant to show the viewer a look into the private, bedroom life of the woman in the photo. Clothing is as revealing or leave-to-the-imagination as the woman desires. In boudoir, props enhance the innuendo. Also, with boudoir, you are given free reign to be as adventurous or as tame as you like, because it is based on you and how you feel personally comfortable (or more than comfortable) in the bedroom.
Essentially, boudoir photography is more baring, more sultry, more tease and kink, than pin-up. Because pin-up is a more vintage concept, even modern pin-up photos have remained stuck in this era. While boudoir, as a more modern concept, unabashedly (even proudly) shows the full range of every woman’s unique personality because boudoir is meant to cater to sexual fantasy (as well as sexual reality): to what that woman, taking that particular boudoir photo, enjoys in the bedroom.
Here at The Boudoir Cafe, we have done pin-up. Hedley and the team and I enjoy doing pin-up because it really is a fun time! And upon request we do hold pin-up photoshoots.
However, our specialty and our passion lies in the art of boudoir.
The Boudoir Cafe believes that boudoir photography is a powerful form of art. Its class, uniqueness, underlying feminist message, and (most of all) its sex-appeal, are unmatched. The Boudoir Cafe is proud to be considered a top boudoir photography studio in LA because we really do love everything that goes into a boudoir photoshoot. Boudoir photoshoots are so fun, and so empowering; and their results are always breathtaking. Boudoir photos hold so much power. The power of you.