We are so excited to welcome the wonderfully talented Michelle Coppini of Remnant Boudoir to the Blog! Take a moment to learn more about her beautiful boudoir photography, and be sure to visit her website Remnant Boudoir. Thank you so much Michelle for taking the time to share your work with us today!
Where did your inspiration for photography begin?
My deep inspiration began when I read an article about the power of boudoir photography. This particular article spoke on how boudoir and beauty sessions were being prescribed to women with eating disorders. The distorted way these women saw themselves was challenged and often the women found inner healing from the images. This was remarkable to me. That an image, or a session, could have such a healing affect. I wanted to be a part of this, and boudoir was the perfect avenue.
Boudoir is my passion because bringing healing and wholeness to women is my passion. I long for all women to know a depth and wholeness. For women to know, and believe with every inch of their heart and mind that they are beautiful and full of worth. Enough- just as they are. I want women I don’t know as well as women I call sisters to walk in the freedom that comes from comfort in their own skin. And for my sisters who know this already I want to celebrate that freedom with them. I want to rejoice in who they are and capture their best. Capture that best so they will leave with a permanent reminder. I long to be a catalyst of change and an artist who delivers a little bit of freedom in every image she delivers.
How would you describe your photography style?
My style is me. Haha. I struggled with this for what seems like forever. I wanted my images to look as “pretty as…” as “emotional as..” (insert big name photographer). Then I realized that I was doing the very thing I was trying to heal with my art. Comparing. Comparing to find value and only finding if it it “added up”. Once I stopped trying to “be” someone I started shooting for me I found my images became more and more like my heart.
They are fresh, fun, full of laughter, depth, and passion. Sometimes they’re moody and other times playful. They are an extension of my heart and often times reflect the unique connections I have with each individual client.
Did you study photography in school or are you self taught?
I took classes in high school but for the most part am self taught. I do try to go to at least one workshop a year for inspiration that only workshops can provide. I found I learn best in person and I never want to stop growing as an artist.
What brand/model camera do you shoot, and what is your favorite lens?
I shoot with a Nikon D810. But started my business with a Nikon D70. The best advice I was given in these early years (the years where my excitement was in equal proportion to my insecurities) was to master the camera you have. My favorite lens is my “ol faithful”: my 50mm 1.4. This is the lens I started my business with and because I went through my growing pains with this lens it has become a favorite. I know every finicky detail about this lens and it is always on one of my cameras during a shoot.
Do you have any tips for photographers on how to find the light?
Look for it! No, but really. This is something I am still honing. I personally get so excited about my client that sometimes I forget to pay attention to, or better yet, make the most of the light. The more I shoot, the more natural this process becomes. What has been most helpful for me has been shooting in as many different light scenarios as possible. Practice. Always practice. Then when you come across a scenario that is less than ideal you won’t have to have an inner “freak out” session.
What is most challenging thing about photographing boudoir?
Every women brings with them an idea of beauty. What they think is sexy, pretty, appealing..etc. They also bring their own insecurities, fears, nervousness and anticipation. I would say the more challenging part is cracking my clients shell where they can truly be themselves, staying true to my vision of capturing that true self, and in the end showing them images that read only beautiful to their eyes.
What is a good lesson you have learned this year in photography or in your business?
Winston Churchill once said, “Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.” This year I have been learning to build this type of courage. When I have a bad shoot thats just what it was: a not so good shoot. It does not mean that I am a bad photographer. A few years ago it was hard for me to separate the two. This year I am finally shortening the time between my shoots that are not up to my standard or ability and my bounce back time. Have courage dear artists! Give of yourself and give it fully and when you have a bad session brush the dirt off and carry on.
If you could encourage a new photographer in one area, what would it be?
Shoot what you love and give only the images you love. A fellow photographer gave this advice to me when I started and I didn’t fully understand the wisdom of it until a few years into my business. When we start shooting there’s this joy at just being asked to shoot anything. “You want me to shoot your kids and you’ll pay me? GREAT!”. “You want photos of a dinner party? Sure!” As you grow you will find you love shooting certain things more than others. And then comes the day when you can fearfully, yet wonderfully, say “No, sorry I don’t shoot that.” It is a scary but oh-so-freeing moment. Don’t be afraid to say “No” and only say “Yes” to what you love.
What do you love most about being a photographer?
For me, it’s the relationships I make. Connecting with my clients is a complete joy. It’s the “getting to know them” before their Journey, the sessions itself, and the moment they see their images. This connection is what drives me. My art is my tool but my heartbeat is the relationship. Boudoir allows me to combine my desire to create and my heart for freedom and intimacy in a way I never knew possible. I love boudoir photography specifically because of the way it combines fun playful social interaction with incredible depth and healing.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I hope that my craft continues to grow and evolve through the years. In five years I hope I can say that my skill is better, that I am able to capture women more beautifully, and all my images are growing with me. I never want to stop growing the way I capture beauty, and how that beauty is different to every woman.
About the Artist: I am a boudoir and portrait photographer located in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. I love captureing authentic traces of people and strive to make each session deep, meaningful and unforgettable. I am a hunter of beauty and a champion of freedom. A big part of what drives me is to know and love people; deeply, authentically and honestly. Photographing you is just an added bonus. Beauty is present if you look. So I look. I see. I long to use my camera to show and I often have to pinch myself to remind me I’m not in a dream.