I specialize in boudoir and portrait photography. I believe that all women are beautiful. My focus is on body-positivity for every client. My goal is to show every client-whether female, male, transgender, young or old-their own unique beauty. I would love to create an album worthy of your images to cherish a life time. For Senior High School portraits, I specialize in on-location portraiture that captures your Teenager's unique personality, to be recorded for you and them for a lifetime. Contact me, Diana MacDougall, at bigdmacdiana@gmail.com or call me at my Hermosa Beach office location (310) 697-3855 or my cell (951) 452-8204 to book a life-changing experience with me.

BigDMac Photography

How to have a Successful at Boudoir Photo Session BEFORE the Session

Boudoir photography seems to be making a resurgence these days. Women of all shapes and sizes, from ages 18-50, are finding new ways to express their sexuality and sensuality in front of a photographer’s lens. (And these days, couples are getting into the act together, too!) The end results are stunning images that have a powerful impact on the client’s self image and confidence levels. But what does it take to make a successful boudoir photo session happen? In my practice, I have found that it takes approximately 2-3 weeks’ worth of preparation for each client to get to the point of actually photographing in the studio. Most clients express an instant apprehension regarding being photographed with very little-or no-clothing on.

At the heart of the matter is the fact that most people do not understand what is involved in boudoir photography in the first place. So, to prepare my clients for what will take place, I have a process that I follow that I have learned through experience over time and from sharing with other professional boudoir photographers and mentors (thank you,  #ChristaMeola! and #JenniferRosenbaum @jenerationsblog.com!  These steps have proven to create an experience for my clients that I believe is second-to-none, and leaves them with a photo session experience and end products that are literally life-changers. 

When a potential client contacts me expressing an interest in booking a boudoir session with me, one of the first questions I ask her is “Why do you want to do this?” Often she states that it is for her significant other. As I talk more with her, she soon comes to realize that she is mostly doing it for herself. Sometimes it is a wedding boudoir session she is looking for, or it may be a birthday or anniversary present she is seeking to make. Oftentimes, though, she is wanting to do it for herself, to boost her self-esteem or to celebrate a milestone in her life (turning 40, overcoming a breakup, etc.). Regardless of the reasons, we speak for approximately 30 minutes for our first conversation. I have a list of interview questions I ask her to 1) get a better understanding of who she is as an individual, and 2) to start visualizing a theme, colors, and setting for the kind of boudoir experience that matches her personality. It also helps her to loosen up and to begin to trust me as her photographer. I ask her if she prefers white wine, champagne, or a non-alcoholic beverage. I ask her what her favorite flower is (I always bring a bouquet of the client’s favorite flowers and incorporate it into her session to personalize her experience). We talk about outfits and venues. When applicable, I ask her if there is any object significant to her partner that she would like to include in the session. I stress to her that nudity is an option only, and not expected. That puts clients at ease immediately, and often leads to enough trust to attempt some nudity, after all! 

 After we go through the list of my interview questions and we have developed a comfortable bond together, we create a joint Pinterest page where she starts to pin photos of posing and clothing ideas that I also have access to, and I look for similar photos to pin and add. (She often includes photos from my own website page, as well!) We share this joint Pinterest page together up to one week before the photo session. I have a clear idea of what she has in mind, and she can see my ideas for poses and outfits, too. In the meantime, she begins to shop for outfits and props based on the theme we have narrowed down together. It is not uncommon for me to go shopping with her, especially if she is feeling awkward or uncomfortable about shopping for these items, or she genuinely has no idea where to begin. This is actually a fun event! We laugh and giggle and find great things that fit who she is based on what I have learned about her and what her theme is for her photo shoot. I also share with her some of my props that she may want to incorporate (pearls, stocking, amazing masks, a man’s tuxedo jacket, a man’s white button-down shirt, to name a few items). I believe that when a client participates in the creation of her photo shoot, she is emotionally (and financially) invested in the experience. 

Boudoir On location shots

Professional make-up and hair is included in every boudoir session of mine. On the day of the photo shoot, the client brings the agreed-upon outfits and props. She gets the star treatment! While make-up and hair is being applied, she can choose to partake in one glass of the drink of her choice determined during our first interview. She meets my all-female assistants. Everyone treats her like a queen. I take some test shots while she is getting ready, and also to get some candid shots while at the same time getting her comfortable being photographed before we begin. By the time we actually start the session, she is relaxed, feeling like a million bucks, and we have established a professional friendship such that she trusts me to guide her through each pose and each outfit change. We are close enough friends that she allows me to try various angles and to be playful and daring in a safe environment. 

 The end results are not only stunning photos to show off to whomever she chooses, but she also an experience that she will never forget that leaves her feeling beautiful and confident for some time to come! The time invested in this pre-photo session process has been a tried-and-true approach for me. The impact is long-lasting for them, and I find them to be great referrals and return clients for me, as well as becoming life-long friends as an added bonus outcome! 

Testimonials

Janelle: "OMG!!!!!!! I love them so much! Ben loves all of them ALL."

Jeff: "Beautiful, beautiful pictures. Best thing I've ever done....THANK YOU D MAC! You do amazing work!"

Lisa: These are beautiful....I felt so beautiful that day and the following. I appreciate your talent."

Amanda: "I LOVE THEM! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU for your skill!"

Jasmine: "I cannot begin to describe how much I appreciated the "I declare my body" campaign! ...you made me feel like a force to be reckoned with, something I have never felt before.I have seen myself in a brand new light. I cannot wait to book my next session."

Jamie: "I love them!...I love the energy and vibe I get from them."

Leah: "Oh my goddess!!! They are all great!"

Kyla: "OMG! I'M HAWT!"

I Declare My Body...

...off limits!

That's right, I said it.

It always amazes me how in the 21st Century women's bodies (in particular) are under scrutiny by just about anyone. There is not a week that goes by that someone doesn't express an opinion about my weight, my hair length, what I put into (or don't put into) my body. I had long hair for about 26 years. I decided to cut it. Short. It's been over 5 years, and I still have colleagues at work commenting about my haircut decision. Some still "lament the loss" of my long hair. Some comment that I should consider growing it back. (Really? That's not offensive?) Every time I get it trimmed (as is necessary for short hair), some suggest that I "just keep cutting it shorter every time". Or this one: "You would look younger if you highlighted the grey out of your hair." Or: "You should consider letting your naturally grey hair grow out. Embrace it!"  Really?

There isn't a week that goes by that someone doesn't comment on my weight.  "You're looking really thin these days.  Are you losing weight"? Or: "So-and-So and I were commenting on how you're looking lately.  Are you eating enough?"  Really? And when I increase my calories: "You're starting to fill out again. It shows in our middles as we get older."  I can't win.

I prefer to eat very little meat.  My body just doesn't absorb or digest it very well anymore.  Dairy is CERTAINLY out.  Acquaintances and co-workers will approach me and say they "were talking with [interject a mutual friend's name here], and were wondering if you was vegan or vegetarian".  A bet was actually riding on one of them as to the answer!  (People actually have these conversations about me when I'm not around!? Does it even matter?) 

I've decided that my body is no longer allowed to be a topic of discussion with me.  It is mine; it functions well. I take good care of it.

I speak with SO many straight women (and some men), and MANY LGBT individuals wanting to do a boudoir or boudior-type photo session.  What holds many back is the issue of gender and body conformity.  Body sizes, body shapes, gender-bending bodies, inked/pierced bodies. People envision boudoir photography to be only for the model-type figures, or for married housewives wanting to "feel good about themselves".  I see SO many beautiful bodies out there on people who don't see it themselves, who SO deserve to have a photo session for that very reason!!

SO...this is a model call out to ALL people--different shapes, different sizes, different gender-identities, different colors...all you nonconformists who want to rally together and spend two full days shooting great images!  Hair and make-up for those who want it provided!  Let's put together a GREAT COLLAGE of BEAUTIFUL, VARIED bodies and celebrate our bodies OFF LIMITS to societal comments!!!

The second annual photo shoot is to take place in Long Beach at a friend's great living room space in August (date TBD).  Cost is $200.00 for a pre-shoot professional make up and hair, an hour of photographing, 2 outfit changes, and two professionally printed 8x10 prints of the best edited shot of each model (certainly photo packages will be available for purchase, as well.) (This is a $700.00 value, by the way!)

Contact me with your interest and availability.  Let's do this!!  951-452-8204  BigDMacDiana@gmail.com

Every Woman Deserves a Boudoir Shoot

I believe every woman can celebrate her unique femininity, on her own terms. This is what I strive to reveal with each woman I photograph. It’s why I am a photographer. It’s how I live my own life. When you come to me and shed your clothing or put on that fabulously sexy lingerie or costume and I photograph you, it’s part of the process of celebrating your body--without apology. I offer a safe and wonderful place that allows you to express your unique femininity without any judgements. In fact, just the opposite: you get to express yourself amidst many praises. It is an experience that I have seen to be life changing over and over again. It offers you self confidence, freedom, and a retraining of your brain that you can do something daring and good things come of it.

I hear from women over and over that they want to do this, they NEED this – but something is stopping them. Well, now I am taking away at least one large excuse: money. I am offering 10 spots for boudoir shoots that I am calling “Name Your Own Price Shoots.” That’s right!! Email me what you are looking for in a shoot and what you want to pay. It’s that simple. No reasonable offer will be refused. If I can’t photograph you for what you offer, I will come back with a package that will hopefully work for both of us. (note: I know that I will most certainly lose money on shoots less than $500. Therefore, all offers will begin at $500 or above). As a reference, my standard shoots start at $700 and include a 2-hour shoot, professional makeup and 10 digital images of your choice fully edited. (You can also book standard packages as well!) 

 There are a few guidelines to take into consideration: 

1. I am starting by offering 10 slots from now until Aug 18th. If it works out well, I will open more up in the fall – but I may not, so don’t hesitate. 

2. I HIGHLY recommend you have your makeup done by my make up artist. It’s a small added expense that lends itself to HUGE results. (Make up artist is included in all of my standard boudoir photo shoots, but if it is hindering you from booking with me AND you have a friend or yourself who is an expert in make up, then you can make that decision.)

 3. Sessions are shot Friday-Sunday and bookings start at 10am.

4. Yes, You can get a few girlfriends together and all come on the same day. 

5. What is a reasonable offer? Well, in my mind it is one in which you are happy to pay it and I am happy to receive it. Please keep in mind I need to cover my expenses at the minimum. 

6. I offer products such as albums and prints, as well as digital-only packages. I accept MasterCard/Visa and Cash. 

7. I promise you an awesome experience no matter what you pay. My email is BigDMacDiana@gmail.com. 

Want a shoot? Now’s the time!! 

Photographing Children

Infants and children are a unique--but very rewarding--subject to photograph. Recording newborn announcements for parents is an honor; I am, after all, a part of this family's history now!

Taylor's Disney BrideOne little girl likes to dress up in Disney gowns. I captured her in this Disney wedding dress, and thrilled her parents.
Taylor's Disney BrideOne little girl likes to dress up in Disney gowns. I captured her in this Disney wedding dress, and thrilled her parents.

And capturing children in their essence is priceless, as in the case with this little girl who wears a different Disney gown every day.

I especially love to capture children in candid, unposed shots. It takes a keen eye, steady hand, and a lot of patience waiting for that right shot!

More to come!

If you are interested in photographing your children, contact BigDMac Photography at bigdmacdiana@gmail.com or (951) 452-8204.

A Handfasting Ceremony

Senior Photos

It's interesting to me that even something like a senior photo shoot can leave an impact on a teenager's sense of self. I recently had such a session, and I started out with quite a self-concious teen but ended up with a young man who felt actually excited about the images we had created. He was able to create a persona that he wanted to portray in the photos. It was a very rewarding photo session, indeed.  For everyone involved.  

Senior Photos

Boudoir Photography

Boudoir photography is a special genre of photography. It requires trust in your photographer to be vulnerable and to explore a side of yourself that most of us don't venture into, let alone do it in front of a camera. I especially love this form of photography, as it allows me an opportunity to help women see the beauty they each possess in their own way. There really is no greater satisfaction in hearing from a non-model who has said her whole life that she is not photogenic, the words, "I never knew I could look like that". That's when I know I have accomplished my goal. It truly is rewarding.

If you like what you see here, feel free to give me a call and schedule a boudoir photo session with me! We can talk about different packages that meet your needs.

Boudoir

Instagram

Contact photographer Diana MacDougall for a consultation or to book your next photo session. bigdmacdiana@gmail.com. (951) 452-8204 voice or text.