During boudoir shoots, Shari works to bring out the fun – and sexy – in you!
Walking into the Maven Jade Photography studio in Plainview is like walking in your best friend’s bedroom – complete with chairs, couches and a four-poster bed. Shari is warm and inviting, and within minutes she is your new best friend. In fact, all of Shari’s clients are her best friends after a boudoir photography shoot. Shari at Maven Jade has been a staple on the Brides of Long Island Facebook page – but how well do you actually know Shari and what actually goes on at Maven Jade?
Stumbling into Boudoir Photography
Believe it or not, Shari wasn’t always a boudoir photographer. In fact, she actually studied early childhood education in college before transferring to FIT on a full scholarship. While there, she studied photography and worked as a photo editor at Working Mother magazine in New York City. Ironically, in college, she had to do a shoot with naked models. “I was mortified! They were like, ‘you can shape them, mold them, touch them,’” Shari says. “And I was like, ‘Do I have to look at them?’”
After moving to Long Island, Shari did freelance photography, taking photos of kids and families. One day, a regular client asked if Shari would consider doing a boudoir shoot for her, as Shari was the only person she trusted to do it. Having a flashback to that nude shoot in college, Shari initially wasn’t sure. However, the photos came out great, and soon the client’s friends started reaching out, also wanting a boudoir shoot. “I thought it would be a trend for a minute,” says Shari. “I never thought it would become a whole thing.”
After shooting boudoir photography for a while, Shari says she felt some internal conflict. She was worried that the photos would demoralize women, despite the photos being classy. However, she started getting cards and emails from people saying they walked into her studio with the intention of doing the photos for their partners, but realized they were doing it for themselves. “My clients would tell me they’ve never felt more beautiful,” says Shari.
“They would tell me they felt empowered.”
And Shari will be the first person to tell you she is very much about women’s empowerment. “The empowerment is probably my number one reason that I do what I do,” Shari now says. She wants her clients to feel good about themselves.
Shari even named her business after her two daughters, using their middle names Maven and Jade, as she raises them to be strong, independent women.
Magic in the Studio
When a BOLI books an appointment with Shari at Maven Jade, “they can expect a very honest, down to Earth person who will make them feel safe,” says Shari. She adds that you don’t need to know anything about photography, posing, being sexy, etc. “Everybody has sexy in them, you just need to bring it out.” And Shari brings out that sexy in you! She will demonstrate all of the poses for you, and will direct you to get the perfect photo of you.
“Everyone says there’s magic in my studio. I’ve heard it a million times.”
All she wants to do is make her clients be themselves in their best light. She feels it’s important that all of her clients are not only viewed at their best, but that they feel their best.
Throughout the photo shoot, she will often turn the camera around to show people what is happening and how they look. During a shoot, you will laugh and have a fun experience. “It’s not a sexual experience with me. After looking at the photos, you would think it is, but it’s the complete opposite,” says Shari. “You get to a point where you actually forget you’re naked!”
Walk in Nervous, Walk Out Confident
Shari says a lot of her clients walk in nervous, so the first thing she does is tell them to take a breath and relax. She will have you lay out all of the clothes and props you brought to see your vision, and then figures out how to bring that vision to life. And don’t worry if you don’t have enough, Shari has a ton of stuff at her studio for you to use and play with – shoes and accessories.
After going through your vision, Shari takes some time to get to know a little more about you and explains what will happen during the shoot. And after 5 to 10 minutes, you and Shari will become best friends. “10 minutes is the cap where someone is still nervous and then I see it happen, I see it on their face,” she says. “They’re like, ‘I totally have this.’”
Throughout the shoot, you will make use of her 2,500-square-foot studio – filled with props, different walls, chairs, couches, stairs and a bed.
Shari does recommend you do your research on hair and makeup though. She feels that if you’re happy with your hair and makeup when you walk into her studio, you will instantly feel good and ready. She adds that you should try on your outfits ahead of time. And make sure you bring things that are important to you and your relationship. Nothing is off the table. And nothing will shock Shari. “I’ve done things from Taco Bell and avocados to Halloween shoots.” She wants to be able to tell a story in the photos – a story about you!
Do It For Yourself
If you’re still not convinced yet, Shari says that a boudoir shoot is something fun you should do for yourself. Not only do you get to feel good and feel beautiful, but you also get to give a gift to your significant other. Plus, it takes away from the stress of wedding planning.
Ultimately, you just need to trust her.
And just have fun!
“I’ll pull the fun out of you. Don’t worry, I’ll find the fun.”
Are you still nervous to book your boudoir shoot with Shari at Maven Jade? BOLI Alexandra Reynolds says she was also on the fence! However, after meeting Shari at the BOLI soiree two years ago, she knew she’d be in great hands. “I’m thankful I trusted my gut and used her!” Alexandra says. “She had so many setups in her warehouse and made the experience fun and comfortable! My pictures are everything and so much more!”
To get in contact with Shari and find out the special BOLI pricing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SHOP the BOLI Store for cute bridal gear for your boudoir shoot!