Tips + Techniques

Boudoir Photoshoots to Beat the Winter Blues 

February 6, 2024

By Cate Scaglione

When people tell me winter months are too dreary for boudoir photoshoots, I counter such a thought with the many stories of ‘euphoric success’ we enjoy in my studio. I’m pretty open about “this SAD thing” I get (Seasonal Affect Depression Disorder), and many clients and friends have told me that they suffer through the same. But many have not considered the benefits of scheduling a boudoir photo session to help combat the effects. 

[Read: The Boudoir Photography Empowerment Movement]

SAD, which is aptly named, is caused by a lack of exposure to bright sunlight in the winter months. Our Vitamin D levels drop significantly as a result, causing mood shifts and physiological symptoms like exhaustion and depression. I go the full court press to be the victor over this thing: 

  • THE HAPPY LIGHT — It is a daylight lamp to trick the eyes and brain into thinking about real sunshine (without massive tanning bed cancer risks). 
  • YOGA and AERIAL YOGA – What better way to feel euphoria than to stretch and enjoy the sensation of flying? It releases endorphins. Hell, yes.  
  • VITAMIN D – I up the ante on my Vitamin D intake to around 20,000 IU. 
  • MEDITATATION and REIKI — I am a certified NJ Reiki healer, so I can clear my chakras of the negative blocks that winter infringes upon me.  
  • BOOK SUNNY TRAVEL – Business trip to Las Vegas WPPI? Yes, please. 

And so, for the past three years or so, I’ve gone to battle with this thing. I do everything in my power to fight it. And believe me, I go to all lengths because sleeping 14-hour days just isn’t productive! 

© Cate Scaglione

But there’s a whole other piece of SAD that may require some outside help. Maybe you’re not severe enough for medication (if you are, get a doctor’s help immediately). Instead, what I am referring to is the simple joy of feeling good about yourself, prioritizing self-care and pride in you

This is where boudoir photoshoots can come in. No, this is not me trying to sell you on a boudoir shoot (although I’d love to photograph you!). This is me fully understanding the impact of our craft on our clients – both female and male. A photoshoot is a day for someone to be groomed to their best self, doted on, posed and stretched in the most beautiful ways, told how truly spectacular they are and look, and admired for an entire day simply for no other reason than they exist. And these are just the facts. 

© Cate Scaglione

Clients literally walk out on a high – with dopamine levels through the roof. It completely ‘turns on’ those dusty, latent brain receptors paralyzed by winter. And it gives them that much needed energy boost, which keeps going on for days and sometimes weeks.  

They remember how terrific it is to see their own best self, and it sustains them long after their session. The visuals, whether viewed on their phone or in an album, serve as a happy reinforcement. It affects their self-image, their sensual life at home, and even their daily moods. This is proven – time and again – by each client, every year.  

© Cate Scaglione

So, don’t forget to include the mood-boosting effects of boudoir photoshoots in your marketing. Tell those stories about how your studio is saturated with bright light, chocolate, champagne, makeup, laughter, sexiness, confidence, style, and art. Tell how it is an absolute recipe for joy that will beat SAD and the winter blues. As a bonus, I can tell you that dreary winter light is the most gorgeous and flattering light ever! 

As someone who battles SAD, I invite you to extend an invitation to your clients who also get the winter blues. A wintertime boudoir photoshoot could be one of the most eye opening and uplifting experiments they do all year! 

Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared on Cate Scaglione’s blog.

Cate Scaglione has more than 15 years specializing in boudoir. She was the International Boudoir Photographers’ Boudoir Photographer of the Year in 2022. Her fine art and fashion-conscious approach has garnered the attention of major media including Bravo TV Network and MTV. Learn from her at WPPI in her Photo Walk, The Art and Intimacy of Couples Boudoir and her seminar, Boudoir Magic for Beginners: Lighting, Posing, Direction and Basic Editing. 

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