In conversation with Boudoir Photographer, Tennille Melcher
Tennessee-based Boudoir/Intimate photographer and blogger Tennille Melcher shares her passion for empowering women and couples ‘by showing them how naturally beautiful they are inside and out.’
What first drew you to Boudoir/Intimate photography?
I have always enjoyed the beauty of a woman’s body, and complimenting women has always come naturally to me. My passion is helping women see themselves as they were meant to be: as an absolute Goddess.
I have been photographing women for over a decade, but it wasn’t until two years ago that my girlfriends convinced me to include Boudoir. Within only the first few sessions, I was hooked and realised I discovered my true purpose in photography. I have recently expanded to include Couples Boudoir and it has become extremely popular in my studio.
How have people responded to your work (friends, family, and strangers)?
They say family can be your toughest critics, but I have been very fortunate to have very supportive family and friends who have not only cheered me on, but have also sent me many of my clients. I have been taking photos for over ten years and to this day, 90% of my clients have come from referrals.
Can you describe your most memorable/bizarre shoot?
Since I do protect the privacy of each client, many of the stories/experiences will follow me to the grave, however I have no problems sharing some of the memorable moments that happen to me on my blog ‘The T Spot’.
What’s the biggest compliment you have received from a client?
When a client is previewing her photos for the first time and the tears start to flow, I know I was able to connect at a deeper level than most other genres can. More often than not, my client comes to me full of uncertainty and self-doubt for a multitude of reasons. When they see their pictures for the first time, it reminds them how beautiful they really are and brings them back to another place in their life.
I had a client (and a fellow photographer) who (like most of us) was feeling insecure before her shoot and even thought of cancelling on our session a few times because she didn’t think she was ready for it. Eventually she decided to take a long weekend and drive 12 hours to shoot with me. A few days later she came to her photo reveal session expecting to hate every photo, but the moment the first photo popped up she started to cry, not because she looked different or better, but because she realised the very things she had been complaining about for so long are in fact the most beautiful things about her.
During her drive back home, she was so impacted by the experience that she decided to become a Boudoir photographer herself and share the same experiences with her clients. For me, that is one of the biggest compliments I can receive.
What do you find is the most rewarding part of your work?
We can be the most critical when it comes to judging ourselves. So when I have a client come into my studio and tell me their long list of insecurities, it excites me, because my job and passion is to empower them and show them how incredibly beautiful they are inside and out.
At times, we can feel like a therapist because we listen and help clients see that every stretch mark and scar is just a gorgeous roadmap showing where they have been, and no one has ever travelled their path before, nor will after. I love it when we cry together at their photo reveal session.
…and the least?
When a client has their photos taken hoping it might relight the spark in their marriage and their partner doesn’t react to them the way they had hoped. This has only happened once but it still haunts me when I recall how her feelings were hurt by the person she loves the most.
What difficulties have you encountered marketing and publishing ‘adult’ content online?
If I ever find myself with enough free time to actually start marketing myself, I will be able to give you a better answer. In short, many people I come across either have never heard of Boudoir or think it is related to porn. It wasn’t until I started shooting Boudoir that I witnessed how incredibly powerful and therapeutic it can be, that it can truly change the way a client views themselves. It can re-invent self-confidence that may have been lost, or show a partner a fun kinky side they haven’t seen in years.
I post very simple photos on my social media and the rest on my website. Luckily, my website has more visitors than my social media.
What are some of the reasons people cite for wanting a Boudoir shoot?
My clients come to me for many different reasons. Some want to relight the flame in their relationship that has temporarily burned out, while others want to empower themselves. Sometimes it may be a ‘girl next door type’ who wants to show her partner a ‘wild’ side that has been waiting to burst out for years.
Ultimately, we are all very simple: we just want to feel sexy and loved.
What else would you like people to know about you/your work?
I have been very fortunate to partner with two of my favourite companies, Hustler and Yandy.com. My clients enjoy looking through my studio closet. My clients receive discounts when shopping at our local Hustler store (by mentioning ‘Moments by T’). I also have a wide variety of props and lingerie to choose from. My studio closet is constantly adding brand new products and we have hand-made custom angel wings for the clients who want to fulfil their inner Victoria’s Secret desires.