First Person Singular: Boudoir photographer Allison Britton

Name: Allison Britton<br>Occupation: Boudoir photographer <br>Home: Dale City, Va.  |  Age: 35
Name: Allison Britton
Occupation: Boudoir photographer
Home: Dale City, Va. | Age: 35
Sunday, March 7, 2010

Boudoir photography has become bigger than engagement photos. Since my generation, really, people have just become so much more comfortable putting it all out there. Look at all the pole-dancing classes at gyms and moms throwing lingerie parties -- there's just a comfort level that wasn't there before.

A lot of women come to capture a moment in time before they lose it: They've just got married, haven't had kids yet, and their body is where they want it to be. Or they've just got a boob job and a tummy tuck. But it's not like they walk in, just ready to take it all off. They start with hair and makeup in the back while I get the blow-up bed ready out here in the studio. They're back there, sometimes with a friend, just being girly-giggly and nervously chatting. That's where the transformation begins.

People don't really know what their "sexy look" is. I'll try to help by telling them to look at the camera like they look at their man, but it's not like you look in the mirror when you do that. So that's what I have them do: Go stand in the mirror and practice what looks best. If you're a smiler, then smile. That sexy Victoria's Secret pout thing doesn't work for everyone. It's more sexy to just be you. My friends laugh because I'm the one telling people how to be sexual. I can't think of one single sexy pose I've done. The lingerie I bought for Valentine's Day last year is still sitting in the bag upstairs.

These women let me see them in ways no one else does. They trust me, and I think that being a woman helps, because I can commiserate and make fun of my own flaws. That's what women do, right? We bond over our flaws. But here's the difference: I can tell them about my C-section stomach or lopsided whatever to make them feel comfortable about whatever jiggles, but then I assure them that I have all the tricks to hide their flaws. I know the angle and the lens to make those stretch marks disappear. And I have eight hours of Photoshop ahead of me if that doesn't work.

Interview by Amanda Long

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