Diving In: Female Empowerment Through Boudoir Photography with Tami Pettigrew

We met Tami Pettigrew through a network of women. That fact is beautiful in itself because it means she has made a difference in their lives. She has made them feel beautiful and powerful and worthy.

Tami is an emotive photographer. While she excels at capturing all forms of love, she has developed a unique niche in self love through female empowerment boudoir. As you can tell from our logo, we can get behind showing a little skin! And, of course, we are all about perpetuating self love and confidence.

We interviewed Tami recently to share her story and purpose. We'd love to tell you all about this genuine, caring woman, but we think she explains her work the best.


What types of photography do you do?

I am an emotive photographer. I capture love in all it’s beautiful forms, from romantic love with couples and wedding photography, to family love and self love in the form of empowerment sessions. It is important to me to capture authentic emotion by helping my clients relax and using prompts to help clients truly connect with each other, themselves and nature to create photographs that give you goosebumps because the photograph is so full of feeling.


What is your favorite part about your job?

To be honest I just really love everything about my job and feel really blessed and thankful to be making a living creating art with my camera. Though my absolute favorite part is creating a unique experience for every client. By getting to know my clients through chatting and questionnaires, I can plan the perfect session for them that expresses their individuality and special love.


How did you get into boudoir photography?

I got into boudoir photography because I had friends who were wanting boudoir sessions done and asked if I would do a session for them. It was a lot of fun, but I felt just posing clients to make them look their best lacked something. It took me a while to create the empowerment sessions that I offer today. Because I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives.

I am glad I live in a world that women can be and have any career that they desire. Despite that, women are bombarded by the media telling them that they are not enough. Not pretty enough, or young enough, or skinny enough, or the list can go on and on. I wanted a way to lift women up to feel confident and beautiful in their own skin. So I created empowerment sessions for women who are in search of a transformation of the view of who they are.

Through the power of pampering, styling, a little relaxation, and my empowerment experience I am able to help them see what their loved ones see: the strong, fearless, beautiful woman inside...right now. Not 10lbs lighter, or when life settles down or the kids have grown up. In my experience, it may never feel like the perfect time until you've experienced it for yourself. This lasts for more than just the day of the session. It has been scientifically proven that photographs can uplift your mood by taking you back to a time when you were happy. I want my clients' albums and wall art to be there as a reminder of a time when they felt confident and how badass, amazing and beautiful they are!


There's often a stigma with boudoir that it's sexist or not truly embracing yourself to get all dressed up for photos, but your sessions are called Empowerment sessions. Can you tell us what makes them empowering and what you do to turn the stimga on its head and help achieve results the client is thrilled with?

Some might say that Boudoir is sexist. Or say that it objectifies women when you help them look and feel sexy. This couldn’t be further from the truth!!

What’s worse, society has idealized a very narrow standard of beauty. Designed so most women feel left out and ashamed of their bodies. Some say if you’re not like them, then you need to be like them, you need to spend money to be like them, get a nose job or inject your lips with botox. That you can’t feel sexy or powerful without reaching this ideal.

I want to change that! And I’m not alone! I’m a body image activist.

A growing movement expanding society’s definition of beauty to include women of all shapes, sizes, ages and colors. Because all of you beautiful women are beautiful humans who deserve to feel sexy and powerful! Because you are all worthy!

Female empowerment photography is not for someone else. It’s not about that special someone having some spicy photos if you’re not around… IT IS FOR YOU!!!

It is for you to express yourself with your own body!  It is for you to feel free in your own skin! It is a time to let go of the emotional baggage from your own criticism and insecurities. You’re not defined by your outward appearance. So, feel good and proud of your body, because your body is amazing. Your body deserves love and respect.

You can be confident in your own skin. I know you can, because I’ve seen it happen over and over and over…. And a major bonus, it is a lot of fun to feel sexy and play dress up! To escape from all the noise pointing out your flaws…. Like that 15lbs of baby weight you are still carrying around. That ice cream was well deserved, damnit!

The point of Female empowerment photography is to help you feel like a Badass­­­* Babe in your skin.

*Definition of Badass: A person who is strong, believes in themselves and their value, so that they can stand up for the oppressed, speak the truth and call out those who lie, cheat and steal.


What do you say to those who come in very nervous and uncomfortable with their bodies?

Most women have an area of their body that they don’t like, whether it’s stretch marks or cellulite. I ask this question in my questionnaire so that I am aware of clients' sensitivities. Then I can highlight areas of their body that they are proud of and take pictures to help them see this disliked body part in a new light. To see that it too can be beautiful. We as women can focus so much negative attention.


In your years of photography, have you noticed any trends when it comes to body image and self confidence?

One trend that I have noticed in the last 10 years is body positivity. The idea of loving and embracing the body you have no matter it’s shape or size. 

Who do you recommend gets a boudoir shoot?

I would recommend that all women do a boudoir session at least once!


How can people see your work and book you?

They can check out my website www.tamirenae.com or on Instagram @tamirenaephotography.


Bonus info! Skinny Dip Candle is partnering with Tami Renae Photography for a boudoir shoot featuring couples and candles! We are so excited to work with her on this project and can't wait to show you the results in the next couple months.


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