Photographer finds ways to capture subjects’ best side

The first time Jodie Palmer posed for a boudoir photography session, it was for a special gift for her husband. Their anniversary was coming up and he is a Roughriders fan. Palmer dressed in a Roughriders jersey and a pair of panties for the photo shoot.

Though hardly dressed for the weather

Though hardly dressed for the weather

The first time Jodie Palmer posed for a boudoir photography session, it was for a special gift for her husband. Their anniversary was coming up and he is a Roughriders fan. Palmer dressed in a Roughriders jersey and a pair of panties for the photo shoot.

“I wanted to do something different and unique and something my husband didn’t expect,” Palmer said. “I was so nervous. I was the shyest girl before I met” photographer Jan Stolee.

She had picked Stolee to do the intimate shots of her. When her husband opened up the gift, he was blown away. “It’s so tastefully done. He loves it,” she said.

Since then, she has done other shoots with Stolee, most recently for her husband for Christmas. Palmer was one of around 15 women who jumped at the chance recently to do boudoir photography shots in the outdoors around Red Deer. She wore a pink bikini for one and a white bikini with splatters of paint, as well as other styles for her most recent shoot.

Stolee, who owns Jan Stolee Photography, said she was surprised at how many women were interested when she offered them the chance to do boudoir photography outside.

She said they are careful to do it generally in remote locations, in far corners of parks or after hours downtown.

“I try to be really respectful of the community because I know there are people who don’t want to see that or that don’t necessarily understand it,” Stolee said. However, her models are always clothed and her pictures are more playful and suggestive than blatantly sexual.

Stolee, who has taken photographs most of her life, said she was once approached by a police officer while photographing. But once he saw what was going on, he said carry on.

There was only one other near miss while she has been taking boudoir photography.

One of her clients had her bra and panties on with a coat over top. The woman wanted to change the coat she was wearing but as she tried, the coat dropped.

“She bent over to get it and her derriere was facing the road and a little old man and lady were driving in a car and he literally veered off and nearly hit my car,” Stolee said.

Boudoir photography has become a popular part of her business. She has a sneak peaks section on her Facebook page and said once women see that others have had the confidence to do it, they are willing to try it.

Stolee said many of the women find getting photographed very liberating.

She said many women are nervous at first about what to wear and how she will position them. “You can see the moment when they just let go,” Stolee said.

Marlene Palamarek, who owns Painted Light Photography in Lacombe, said it is critical that people are comfortable with the photographer they choose. She has tried to put a lot of information on her website about herself and her business so they know a lot before they even meet her. She said then she will do a consultation with them before the session to find out what they are looking for.

“If you’re not comfortable with your photographer, then it’s not going to go well,” she said.

She said some women want a book of photos while many others will do a calendar of photographs and will want to do certain themes for certain months or focus on something that is special for themselves and their partners.

She’ll encourage women to take their iPods with them with their favourite music to make themselves feel more comfortable or even take a friend to help them feel relaxed.

Palamarek said many women do the photos as a gift for their significant other, but she said around half of her clients will do it after something substantial has happened in their lives — such as after a dramatic weight loss or after surviving cancer.

Palamarek said when she has seen the positive reaction of women who have done the photos for themselves, she has often been brought to tears herself.

“I love to be able to make people happy,” she said.

She said she always encourages people to consider getting photos done, boudoir or otherwise.

“Instead of saving your money for that Coach bag, put it towards a timeless work of art that is you. You’re supposed to be able to look back on these images and say, ‘Wow look how beautiful I am.’ ”

sobrien@bprda.wpengine.com