Femininity is defined as “the quality of being female.” That’s incredibly vague! As a women’s portrait photographer and a woman myself, I am fascinated by this elusive quality.

So to bring more depth to the photo stories on the blog, and in the hope to shed some light on what “quality of being female” is, I have started a series of interviews with inspiring women, special clients, and thoughtful entrepreneurs catering to women, on the topic of femininity.

Here is a short exchange I had with Joyce before I started the project.

Did you have any concerns about having intimate pictures taken? If so, how did it work out?

In my culture an intimate picture of the body is not something natural. My country of origin is a paternalist one. Women used to serve men and used to hide their body for very long. I always felt different from what the society was trying to impose on me. But exposing my body was always an issue. I felt curious about it but insecure doing so. In fact, I was simply not proud of my body.

What changed the game was finding eyes that admired me for what I am and who I am. The love that I received and I’m still receiving created confidence. And it helped revealing the women that I was and am now.

What do you think it means to be feminine?

Being feminine is the freedom of being who I am regardless of conventions and preconceptions. I’m happy to be a woman and I’m happy the world appreciates me as a woman.

Can you give an example of when you felt very feminine?

When I was wearing that gorgeous and sensual dress close to the Seine in the street of Paris. I was feeling proud in such a romantic place. I was feeling very good.

See Joyce in her portrait photos along the Seine and her Parisian Apartment boudoir photos.

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  1. […] See the lingerie, indoor portion of Joyce’s boudoir shoot and her thoughts on femininity and the experience. […]

A riverbank along the Seine. Green, rust, gold, and bronze. A gust of September wind, still warm. Confident, purposeful eyes gazing ahead with purpose and intent.

For Joyce’s feminine portrait I wanted to create something that is effortlessly elegant, daring, and sensuous–all qualities Joyce has. In addition it needed to reflect her confidence and adventurous but warm personality.

The main inspiration for the styling came from the exquisite beading and olive and rust coloring of the beautiful Paolo Corona gown. Paolo is an incredibly talented Parisian made-to-measure designer who works privately with clients on one-of-a-kind designs. His motto is “luxury is hidden in the details,” and it shows. His every creation is a work of art!

With that in mind I selected an outdoor and indoor location, twigs and branches inspired by the tree-lined cobblestone Seine promenade for her hair and as a loose cover for the lingerie portion of the shoot. The outdoor spot we chose was quite private and safe from most onlookers and prying eyes, but posing in a semi-sheer couture dress on a cobblestone riverbank in Paris takes courage and confidence. Joyce had that courage and comfort with her body.

She later said that, “My favorite moment was when I was wearing that gorgeous and sensual dress close to the Seine in the street of Paris. I was feeling proud in such a romantic place. I was feeling very good.”

See the lingerie, indoor portion of Joyce’s boudoir shoot and her thoughts on femininity and the experience.

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  1. […] View the first part of Joyce’s portrait in Paris and read about Joyce’s experience and her thoughts on femininity. […]