Tell us a bit about your approach to the work you do, your time in the business and a few personal facts about you.
Whether I’m photographing newborn, children, family, or intimate sessions, my approach is generally the same. I think what is the best way I can capture their essence and authentically tell their story. I love shooting details and the emotion that comes from connection.
My journey as an artist started at a young age. You could usually find me coloring or painting. I got a 110 camera in grade school and enjoyed snapping away. Although I did take film photography in college, my path led me to get a degree in Graphic Design. I bought my first DSLR for the trips my husband and I would take and once I started taking photos of my babies, I was in love. I have learned an immense amount by documenting their childhood, and I never want to stop. It brings me so much joy looking back on the memories we’ve created together.
What makes you the most nervous during a session? For my intimate sessions, the shoot often takes place in the client’s bedroom, so I’ve never seen the space in person before until the day of. It’s good to know what kind of light you’re working with ahead of time, but I find not knowing until I get there a nerve-wracking yet exciting challenge. It makes each space I photograph is unique, and each room has its own mood. Sometimes an idea that I have in my head beforehand won’t work as I planned once I get to space and see the layout and light. So I have to think of my feet and visualize what will work.
Also, boudoir is often tricky in that the person I’m photographing isn’t used to or necessarily comfortable doing certain poses. I need to tune in to them and find out how vulnerable they’re willing to be with me.
What about this session was most memorable?
Honestly, it was my client’s personality. She was up for pretty much anything and so relaxed about it. She was comfortable in front of the camera which showed through her body language. Her wardrobe choice was not what you’d typically see in an intimate session, and I loved it. She chose pieces that she felt feminine and confident in. Boudoir doesn’t have to be stockings and thongs. There’s something to be said about leaving things to the imagination.
Were there any hurdles? Luckily, not really. The apartment was on the small side, but the bedroom wasn’t cluttered. There was one side of the bed that had some shelving and clothing next to it so I couldn’t shoot from certain angles, but it wasn’t much of an issue.
Your best photographer/session advice?
As with any type of session, but with intimate sessions especially, it’s important to ask a lot of questions and gain trust with the person you’re photographing. They are probably feeling a little (or a lot) self-conscious to begin with, and they’re looking to you to calm their nerves and feel comfortable. By talking with them prior to their session date, you can get to know each other and find out what parts of themselves they feel good about and what parts they may not like. You can then make suggestions on what to wear and how to pose based on this. Find out their WHY. Are they doing it to celebrate themselves, as a gift for their partner, to help overcome an emotional issue? Finding out they’re why will give you a foundation on how best to build them up and put them at ease.
What is one goal for your business?
My goal is to help change the negative connotations that boudoir can have associated with it and to help others feel good about themselves. And maybe, just maybe, change the way we think about the body. I like to refer to them as intimate or soul sessions. These sessions are not just for those that society labels “beautiful” or “skinny”. Everyone deserves to feel beautiful and empowered. Everybody deserves to be photographed.
What gear was used to achieve these?
Canon 5D Mark III, Sigma Art 35mm
Any presets used or hand editing?
KLN with my own tweaks.
ABOUT THE ARTIST :
Jill Koskelin is a family lifestyle, documentary, and boudoir photographer in Middleton / Madison, Wisconsin. She strives to find balance in the chaos with her three children and husband (who’s also her high school sweetheart). She lives in a small, historic home where coffee fuels her at least twice a day. Jill enjoys hiking with her family, designing, thrifting, and boxing. She cannot pass up wood-fired pizza; it’s her favorite.