Everyday women shine in sensual images
AS A self-professed "femi-nazi", it was never Melle Veronesi's intention to work with boudoir photographs.
The 42-year-old Alstonville wedding photographer deemed the genre, dating back to the glamour pin ups of the 60s, as objectifying.
But, a request from a bride, followed by a second, led to a personal epiphany and a new business idea for Ms Veronesi.
Studio Boudoir was launched in January and women are now lining up in droves for photo sessions where they get to pose like real lingerie models, with a photographer who understands them.
"I looked at boudoir photos as though they were sexist and degrading but one of my brides said 'would you do some boudoir photos, just for my husband?'," Ms Veronesi said.
"I went along, and it was amazing, I just fell totally in love with it.
"It was really astounding, watching her face when she saw her photos, and it was quite a buzz for me too, I guess, to watch people fall in love with themselves again.
"Them realising they have flaws and that is what makes them perfect and unique. It snowballed from there."
Photo sessions go for about two hours; photo viewings are later in the day, and the experience starts at about $290, with photos anywhere from $500 to $1500.
Ms Veronesi said social media was fuelling demand for photographs.
"Women used to compare themselves to a magazine, or the neighbourhood," she said.
"Now we have a Photoshopped little goddess from the Orange County who may or may not exist, and women feel like they need to be something like that."
At times, many clients share life experiences and insecurities with Ms Veronesi for the first time.
"The first couple of shots are really nerve wracking and then they just get into it, and I work with the light to see how it moulds them.
"I hear so many things, people just open up and tell you everything: in-law troubles, their weight loss journey, ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends, there's no one particular thing.
"It's really good for a woman's confidence, we just talk through things."
Ms Veronesi said addressing misconceptions of reality was part of the Boudoir experience.
There are five tips to taking your best, sensual selfie:
1. Lighting is important.
"You don't want nasty shadows. Like, shining a bright light on your skin does nothing but make your pores bigger.
"Make the lighting glamorous; go stand by a window.
"With a lot of my photos there's darkness and it creates mood."
2. Leave something to the imagination.
"My English teacher in Year 11 always said too much of a good thing cloys the appetite.
"Even though you're dressed in underwear, you don't want to see anything provocative.
"Just give a taste of sexuality and sensuality and the rest is left up to the imagination of the viewer, which is the greatest aphrodisiac of all."
3. Check your background.
"Nothing worse than a toilet selfie in the bathroom mirror.
"If you're going to do it, set your phone on a tripod, so you don't have your arm in the shot.
"Sit on your lounge chair - it just makes such a huge difference."
4. Pose naturally.
"You can tell the difference between a fake smile and a natural smile right away. You smile with you eyes.
"I do a lot of talking all the way through a photo shoot, just to get them involved and that brings out the natural smile rather than the fear of the lens.
"Don't try anything that isn't normal for you.
"If you wouldn't lay with your back arched in a window frame, then don't do it.
"It's much more nicer when you've got the true you rather than you trying to be Kardashian."
5. Get a professional.
"Our job is to guide you into your most natural, most beautiful poses, with optimum lighting and to make you comfortable.
"There's a method to our madness."
Find Studio Boudoir on Facebook.