“It was all about bonding and having fun with my friends,” one bride-to-be, posing on a shoot with her close friends, told the Post. At a cost of around $400 to $500 a person per session, bachelorette parties get hair and makeup makeovers and the chance to play dress-up together in lingerie. The momentary models get solo shots in front of the camera as well as group shots, where the friends come together for an unlikely keepsake.
“I’ve been photographing parties for about four years,” Los Angeles-based photographer Christa Meola told Yahoo Shine. “The point isn’t sensationalism or getting naked with your girlfriends. It’s a way to connect with yourself. And the great thing about groups is how supportive women can be of each other. In a way, the photo is secondary to the experience of exploring your body and beauty that comes with being in front of the camera.”
“We structure our parties so the women don't have to feel their shoot is a spectator sport," explains Britt Pavelchak, owner and photographer for Pearls and Pumps, a boudoir studio in Winter Garden, Florida, on the process. "Hair and makeup are done with the other girls, but time with the photographer is done alone.”
Recently, boudoir photography has expanded to the wedding circuit. Although they’re not exclusive to bachelorette bashes—they’re also done for birthday parties, as well as no-occasion girls’ nights—photographers do report an uptick in bookings around wedding season. But not everyone likes the idea of dressing down for a bachelorette party.
“Would any man ever feel the need to pose for pictures like these and call it a party?” asked one woman in response to the story on Twitter.
"What an unpleasant and pointless thing to do," wrote a commenter on the Daily Mail, where some examples of bachelorette boudoir photos were posted. "Imagine how someone who was less body confident or ideally shaped would feel if they were forced to take their clothes off or be excluded by the body confident attention seeking ones."
At least one bride, who turned her bachelorette party into a photo shoot, walked away from the whole experience more empowered. “We all felt incredibly happy and beautiful," she told the Post. “It was great because the whole point was to feel good about ourselves."