by Natalie Sinisgali
We believe every woman deserves to feel beautiful. The best way we’ve found to achieve this is through boudoir portraits.
Meet photographer Natalie Sinisgali. The busy owner/operator of 12-year-old NSP Studio in Rochester shoots weddings, headshots, special events, family photographs and glamorous boudoir portraits.
Boudoir (French for “bedroom”) photos are portraits of women that are sensual in nature. We focus on creating portraits that are designed to make women feel feminine and beautiful – whatever that means to them. Sometimes it involves showing skin, other times it does not.
While many women book a boudoir shoot as a gift for a significant other, as their photographer I am taking these images only for the woman in front of my lens. It’s up to her how she chooses to enjoy her images – including whether her images show up in my portfolio or not.
My all-female staff and I believe that every woman deserves to feel important, cared for and beautiful in the body she’s in today. Women receive constant messaging surrounding their bodies – the vast majority of it negative. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on advertisements that make women feel like they are not “enough” – thin enough, pretty enough, etc. It fuels the sale of weight-loss programs, high heels, shapewear, makeup, skincare lotions, hair removal systems, and countless other products. In a sea of businesses making a living on convincing women that their bodies are flawed, we are saying just the opposite. We have created a safe, judgment-free, all-female space where women can come and feel accepted, and be celebrated in exactly the body they are in today.
Our clients are everyday women. They are not supermodels, or even particularly fancy people. We provide a glamorous experience for women who infrequently indulge in glamour. We find that our largest client base is composed of women who are caretakers – caring for others in their professional and personal lives. They book a shoot as an opportunity to take time and money to do something for themselves. They are nurses and teachers, mothers or soon-to-be-brides, married or divorced – usually between the ages of 30 and 55.
The biggest common denominator? They have NO idea what to do in front of the camera. Most, in fact, describe themselves to me as “un-photogenic” or having “never liked a photo of themselves” before.
I don’t believe in “un-photogenic.” Everyone can be photographed in a way they find beautiful – they simply need a professional photographer to create an environment where they feel comfortable, and one who is able to provide direction throughout the shoot to showcase their best angles, lighting and poses.
(hint, it’s bü-dwär)
Prospective clients call our studio a) unsure of how to say the word “boudoir” b) not knowing if they’ll have the courage to actually go through with doing a shoot and c) no idea where to start with wardrobe. We invite prospective clients over to our studio for a pre-shoot consultation to address all these concerns and more to help them prepare for their shoot.
Come the big day, they are greeted with a smile and a glass of champagne. Our hair and makeup artist Chrissy, from Special Occasion Hair Design, begins the transformation in our dressing room. The hair and makeup styling is kept as natural as possible, an elevated version of an everyday look. Meanwhile, I plan the flow of the shoot and decide which outfits will be best.
While everyone starts out nervous, it never lasts long. The turning point is when I show our clients the first image on the back of the camera in real time (about 2 minutes into the shoot.) Everyone has a version of the exact same reaction – “Oh my god, is that me?” they ask with a huge smile.
For many women, it’s the first time they’ve liked an image of themselves.
After the shoot, our clients come back to the studio, usually within a week, to see the photos and pick out their favorite images with the guidance of our studio manager. We specialize in printed albums – as we believe it’s the best way to privately showcase and protect these personal images for our clients. All of our books contain our clients’ favorite images, perfected and artfully laid out by our in-house re-toucher and designer. The album is the culmination of the entire experience and is an indelible lasting reminder of the way she felt during and after her shoot – in a word, beautiful.
I started offering camera classes at my studio a few years ago, based on several conversations with my clients. Many of them had excitedly purchased DSLR cameras, only to have them collecting dust on the shelf after one or two ventures out of the boxes they came in. “Why are there so many buttons?” “Why don’t my pictures look good?”
The owner’s manual is NOT a tutorial in photography, and with thousands of videos online geared towards professionals, my clients were left frustrated and unsure of where to start. I designed my DSLR class to teach the fundamentals – which buttons they need, and which they can ignore. The goal of the class is not to make them into professionals, but to instill in them the confidence and skills they need to take pictures of their families, kids’ sporting events, and vacations. My passion for photography stems from the desire to preserve the legacy of my clients, and while I am hired for their “big” events in life, I want them to be able to capture all the special little moments in between.
For more information contact:
11 Arnold Park, Rochester NY 14607