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Boudoir Photography – 7 Myths

Posted on July 4, 2017 by Anna under Boudoir
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Boudoir Photography – 7 Myths

Boudoir photography has been around now for a number of years, but a lot of people are still not quite sure what it is or why women choose to book a boudoir shoot. In addition, it’s fair to say that even those women who would like to book will often have some misconceptions about the genre. This might mean that they feel unduly nervous and apprehensive at the prospect when really there’s no reason to.

So here’s my list of the top 7 myths about boudoir, which I hope will go a good way to reassuring any of you who might be contemplating a session that it really is a fabulous experience, and one which you most definitely will not regret.

Boudoir Myth 1

“You Have to Bare All for the Camera” – This couldn’t be further from the truth. Boudoir photography is a celebration of your body and your femininity. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to show a lot of skin, unless you actually choose to. For me, it’s all about my clients wearing beautiful lingerie, or even something as simple as a big slouchy jumper or a t-shirt. I also light my clients creatively, and will often use light to conceal rather than revealthis is a great way to add mystery and elegance to an image.

boudoir photography Surrey

Boudoir photography doesn’t have to be about baring a lot of skin.

Boudoir Myth 2

“Isn’t Boudoir Photography the Same as Porn?” – Let’s knock this one on the head immediately. Boudoir is not porn. Porn serves a purpose which is nothing to do with boudoir. First and foremost, boudoir is for the woman. It’s purpose is to help her reconnect with her body and to realise and celebrate it’s beauty. It’s about uplifting her spirits and making her feel incredible, not uncomfortable. And while the photographs may be given as a gift to a man (e.g. as a pre-wedding gift for the groom or for an anniversary celebration), it is most definitely something that a woman chooses to do for herself. It’s private and intimate and it’s up to her if she then wants to share the images with someone special.

Boudoir Myth 3

“You Have to Be Really Skinny” – Boudoir photography is not about your dress size; it’s not about dieting or feeling that you’re not the right shape. It’s for all women, and it’s about loving and respecting your body. I don’t want any woman to feel that she’s not good enough to have a boudoir shoot or that she needs to conform to a particular stereotype. Women have curves, and we should be proud of them.

Boudoir Myth 4

“Boudoir Photography is Only for Young Women – I’m too Old” – One of the most popular reasons for women to book a boudoir session is to celebrate a milestone birthday, such as a 40th or a 50th. So don’t think for one moment that there’s an age limit. What better way is there to reaffirm to yourself how beautiful you are?

boudoir photography Surrey

Women often book a boudoir session to celebrate a big birthday in style, such as a 40th or 50th.

Boudoir Myth 5

“You Need to Know How to Pose” – No, you don’t. None of the women I photograph are professional models and therefore, I wouldn’t expect them to know how to pose: it’s not your responsibility. It’s the photographer’s job to direct their clients into the right poses. So rest assured that this is not something that should be of any concern to you – you can leave that side of things to your photographer.

Boudoir Myth 6

“It Will Mean Exposing All the Bits of Me That I Hate” – I know exactly the bits you mean, and no, you won’t end up exposing them. Please understand that we all have them, and that professional boudoir photographers know how to flatter a woman’s body using a mixture of posing and lighting techniques. It just means that you have to trust your photographer.  And if at any stage during your session you feel uncomfortable, then you only have to say so.

boudoir photography surrey

Professional boudoir photography is all about knowing how to flatter a woman’s body.

Boudoir Myth 7

“I Won’t Look as Good as a Professional Model” – I can assure you that you will. The only difference between you and the women you see on the pages of the glossy magazines is that they have access to a whole raft of experts, from stylists to makeup artists and photographers. Well, on the day of your boudoir shoot so do you! Having photographs taken of yourself that you’ll be proud of is just a matter of enlisting the help of experts who can see those things about you which make you unique and beautiful.

If you’ve been contemplating a boudoir session, but may have thought “It’s not for me”, “I’ll do it later” or “I need to lose some weight first”, let me leave you with a couple of quotes from women I’ve photographed.

“I got complete nerves on the day about whether to go or not. I did, and it was the best choice I ever made. What Anna achieved that day was bringing a mum of 4 and a wife back to life and making her feel the way she deserved to feel. I would encourage all women to do this. It does change you, but only for the better. It makes you stronger as a woman through feeling so confident … you truly will love how you look.”

“Anna, there are no words. I have just literally cried with happiness. Thank you so, so much!!!!”

To book or just to have a chat, you can call me on 01483 571119 or e-mail

You can also download a free copy of my Guide to Boudoir here. Visit the boudoir gallery here to see more examples of my work.

How to Look Fabulous in Photos – My Free Guide!

Posted on June 20, 2017 by Anna under Business Headshots, Corporate Portraits, Women's Portraiture
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How to Look Fabulous in Photos

7 Tips on How to Be Camera Confident

So, here it is, my free guide to how to look fabulous in photos! Over the past 20 years that I’ve been a professional photographer, I’ve discovered so many things about portraiture. The most important thing I’ve learned though is that a great portrait doesn’t just happen; it involves a certain amount of preparation in order to get the best results.

So many of us assume that if we don’t look fabulous in photos, then it’s somehow our fault, and that we’re not photogenic. We judge ourselves far too harshly as a result. Well, I have news for you – you’re wrong!  The art of looking good in photos is simply a matter of learning a few tips and tricks; you certainly don’t need to be a professional model. And most of these tips will be useful even if you’re having a quick snap taken at an informal get-together!

So, if you’ve ever looked at a photo of yourself and been less than satisfied, then this guide is for you. You can get hold of your copy here.

How to Look Fabulous in Photos - My Free Guide!

Discover How I Help My Clients to Look and Feel Confident in Front of the Camera.

Can One be a Feminist and Enjoy Feeling Feminine?

Posted on March 29, 2017 by Anna under Boudoir, Women's Portraiture
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Can One be a Feminist and Enjoy Feeling Feminine?

How My Work Fits With Being a Feminist

How does my work photographing women sit with being a feminist? Some might say that encouraging women to have their hair and makeup done and get their photograph taken panders to an outdated notion that requires us to look or dress a certain way and conform to society’s idea of what is normal or acceptable. Others might argue that it’s frivolous and that there are bigger things out there that are more important (and of course there are, although not always).

Boosting Women’s Self-Esteem

I’m not for a moment suggesting that what I do is in some way essential or compulsory for every woman; of course it’s not. What I do believe though is that women’s self-esteem can take a bashing in many different ways – from comparing ourselves to others on social media; feeling that we need to lose weight; berating ourselves about our failure to measure up to self-imposed standards; or simply feeling that we’ve lost ourselves and our identities in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life, whether through work, family or other commitments. There’s no end to the ways in which we can undermine our own confidence, not to mention attempts by others to sabotage it.

Therefore, I don’t think that being feminists and wanting to celebrate our femininity are somehow irreconcilable; the two are not mutually exclusive and for me they don’t sit at opposite ends of a spectrum defining what it means to be a woman. Being a feminist shouldn’t be about having to renounce anything that makes us feel better about ourselves. If applying makeup and having our hair done help to boost our self-esteem, give us confidence to face the world or just help us appreciate our own beauty, then surely, these are all things to celebrate.

Can one be a feminist and enjoy feeling feminine? Portrait of beautiful older woman.

I love helping women to see their true beauty, reflected through my lens. Hair & makeup by Styling by

Things Women Say to Me

I’ve heard so many self-deprecatory comments from women over the years; things like “I hate seeing myself in photos”, “I feel invisible”, “I have low self-esteem”, “I hate my smile” or “I need to lose weight.”  And what I know is that when I take a portrait of a woman that shows her how beautiful she looks through my eyes, then I certainly don’t feel that I’ve compromised her intelligence or her abilities in any way or somehow diminished her stature.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – “We Shouldn’t Moralize Makeup.”

The writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie speaks about this very compellingly and with a great deal of clarity and commonsense: she says “At some point I started to realize that there was something very wrong with the idea that if you’re a woman and you’re interested in things that are traditionally feminine, then somehow it means that you can’t possibly be serious, or feminist, or intellectual…. And realizing that the basis of that idea comes from maleness as the norm [in our society], so then of course everything that’s traditionally feminine becomes suspect.” You can read the full interview on Why You Can Be a Feminist and Love Makeup here.

Writer & Speaker, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Credit – Ms Magazine.



Happy Mother’s Day

Posted on March 24, 2017 by Anna under Women's Portraiture
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Happy Mother’s Day

Wishing all mums a Happy Mother’s Day this Sunday!

What better way to celebrate Mother’s Day (or, indeed, any other special day) than by booking a mother and daughter photo shoot? This mum and her daughter actually had their session on mum’s birthday and so it was an extra special treat.

A Morning of Gorgeous Hair, Makeup and Photography for Two

My makeup artist, Marijelle Moreno created the perfect look for both ladies before they stepped in front of the camera. They’d brought along a huge selection of different outfits, jewellery and accessories in both formal and casual styles. It really was a fun way to spend a morning and they loved their images, some of which were a surprise birthday present for dad!

Celebrating Your Special Relationship

Special occasion or not though, a mother and daughter photo shoot is a lovely way in which to celebrate your relationship and capture some precious moments for posterity. It’s very relaxed and you don’t have to worry about how to pose or whether you should smile or not – it’s all taken care of.

Once you’ve made a booking, we’ll have a pre-session consultation so that we can find out a bit more about each other and you can tell me how you’d like to be photographed. I also send out a detailed tip sheet beforehand which contains lots of advice on preparing for your session, the type of outfits that work well in photographs etc.

Plus, because I use natural light only, there are no hot or intimidating studio lights or bright flashes going off; it’s important to me that you feel totally relaxed and comfortable throughout your session.

If you would like to book a session for yourself and your mother or daughter, then drop me a line at or pick up the phone for a chat on 01483 571119. I would love to photograph you both.

Happy Mother's Day. Natural light portrait of mother and grownup daughter smiling by Anna Saverimuttu Photography.

Happy Mother’s Day! From a beautiful mother and daughter shoot last summer. Hair & makeup by Marijelle Moreno.

Guest Speaker at the Guildford Spike WI

Posted on March 23, 2017 by Anna under Boudoir, Women's Portraiture
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Guest Speaker at the Guildford Spike WI

Anna Saverimuttu Photography - iPad showing presentation to Guildford Spike WI about my photographic journey.

The Title of My Recent Talk at the Guildford Spike WI.

Talking About My Photographic Journey

At the beginning of February I had the pleasure of being invited to speak at the Guildford Spike WI. They are a wonderful group of women who gave me such a warm welcome.

There was a great turnout on the evening, and any slight nerves I had were soon dispelled once I stood up and got started.

The subject of my talk was how I switched from a corporate career in financial PR and marketing and realised my ambition of becoming a professional photographer.  I started by speaking about my early days in corporate photography (nearly 20 years ago now!), my move into family portraiture, and my final destination, which is women’s portraiture – the thing that excites and inspires me the most. One of the quotes I used was this from Steve Jobs:

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe to be great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

And he was so right.  Choosing to retrain as a photographer and say goodbye to all the perks of working for a big financial company was an easy decision for me in one way because there was nothing about my old job that I loved or even liked. That’s not to say that it wasn’t one of the scariest things I’ve ever done – waving goodbye to the security of a regular pay cheque was very hard. And yet, had I stayed, I know that things would only have got worse – my work was, quite literally, making me ill.

Sometimes it can be difficult to let go of the familiar things when they act as a safety net. But I think that regrets about not having pursued a dream are harder to live with.

I now know that when I make women smile or even cry (yes, they do cry occasionally when they see their photos, but for all the right reasons I’m glad to say!) I’ve made a positive difference to someone’s life.

The response from the audience when I showed them my work was so encouraging, and at the end of my talk there were lots of questions from so many of them; it really was such an enjoyable evening and great to meet so many lovely women.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Guildford branch of the WI, then do take a look at their website. And if you’d like me to come along to your group or organisation as a guest speaker, then please get in touch at or on 01483 571119.

Happy International Women’s Day!

Posted on March 8, 2017 by Anna under Business Headshots, Women's Portraiture
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Happy International Women’s Day!

Wherever you are, here’s wishing you a happy International Women’s Day, and here’s to all the campaigning for women’s rights around the world. As someone who worked in the City during the 80’s and 90’s, I know there’s a long way to go. Having read this article in the Guardian about sexist dress codes, I can’t quite believe that these things are still going on and that women are continuing to have to fight against such offensive attitudes. I remember working in offices where women weren’t allowed to wear trousers, and were routinely patronised and belittled in the most awful way; and that was nearly 30 years ago!

Here are some of the wonderful, successful women I’ve had the pleasure of photographing in my job as a women’s portrait photographer.

Happy International Women's Day


Photography 1-1 Lesson Surrey – Hannah Berry Flowers

Posted on February 22, 2017 by Anna under Photography Workshops
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Photography 1-1 Lesson Surrey – Hannah Berry Flowers

Yesterday morning was spent in the company of the delightful floral designer, Hannah Berry. Hannah creates beautiful floral arrangements for weddings and events in and around Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire: she’s also a highly talented photographer.

Hannah had asked her partner for a photography 1-1 lesson as a Christmas present, as she wanted to explore more fully the potential of her camera. One of her main aims was to get more consistent results with her photography. As a naturally creative person, she loves to take photographs generally. More specifically however, she uses her camera to create eye-catching images for her website in order to demonstrate her skills to clients. She’d been shooting mainly on the auto setting on her camera but knew that it was capable of much more: as a result, after exploring all the different controls, she was up and running in full manual mode in no time at all.

It was great that she’d also brought along some flowers and other props to practice on! Because it was an overcast but dry day, the conditions were perfect for taking some photographs both indoors and outdoors to help her refine her skills. Here are some behind-the-scenes shots of Hannah at work, and this is what she said about her session:

“Thank you so much for the lesson today. I thoroughly enjoyed it and couldn’t wait to get back home to experiment with a few more shots. There was lots of information to put into practice. Super excited!”

Photography 1-1 Lesson Surrey - Hannah Berry Flowers

Hannah Berry, Floral Designer & Stylist

Photography 1-1 Lesson Surrey - Hannah Berry Flowers

Capturing one of her creations, after our session on how to use your camera in manual mode.

To see more of Hannah’s work and find out about her floral design service, visit Hannah Berry Flowers.

Makeup – Essential or a Frivolous Waste of Time?

Posted on February 15, 2017 by Anna under Boudoir, Business Headshots, Women's Portraiture
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Why We Shouldn’t Dismiss Makeup as Shallow, Vain or Frivolous.

Some women love makeup and some women are either indifferent to it or loathe having the stuff on their faces. Women wear makeup for a multitude of reasons and if you’re comfortable not wearing it, then that’s great.

Hair and makeup for business headshots guildford surrey

Makeup can have a transformational and uplifting effect.

I’ve always been fascinated by the way it can change or enhance our appearance, helping to disguise dark circles, emphasise eyes or just add a healthy pop of colour to lips and cheeks. However, experimenting with it in the 70’s and 80’s wasn’t always a success for me. Having dark skin, my options were severely restricted as the only available shades of foundation were more suited to the traditional English Rose complexion. Now, thankfully, things have changed.

As a women’s portrait photographer, I always work with a makeup artist who enhances my clients’ features to show them the best version of themselves possible. And this is where makeup can do such a fantastic job; it can have a transformational effect, not just on the outside but on the inside too, by helping us see ourselves in a different light.

A Man’s Viewpoint and Why I Disagree – Strongly!

I recently had a conversation with a man in his early twenties. When I told him about the photography service I offer women, he dismissed it as sounding “all rather shallow.” Here are 4 reasons why I would strongly disagree with him:


For some women, makeup, quite literally, helps them to face the day. For 22 years the cancer support charity, Look Good Feel Better has provided free makeup workshops to women experiencing the visible side-effects of cancer treatment. One of their advertising campaigns is called #Warpaint4life which sums up the role that makeup can have when your self-confidence hits rock-bottom. For these women it’s a big deal, and rightly so; if you’re going through chemo and your hair and eyebrows have fallen out or your skin isn’t looking its best, then something as simple as foundation, lipstick and blusher can help you feel ready to take on the world again.

The Menopause

When women reach the menopause, hormonal changes can have a very significant impact on their skin, from dryness and dullness to vanishing eyebrows and age spots. Look Fabulous Forever is a range of cosmetics specifically formulated for older skins. Founder, Tricia Cusden recognises that older women still love to wear makeup, but that they aren’t being well served by the cosmetics industry, whose products are aimed mainly at younger age groups. And so she’s created a special range to serve these women, and enhance the beauty of older faces.


Many women hate appearing in photographs and are convinced that they aren’t photogenic. However, I can see the transformation in my client when she’s having her hair and makeup done – not only in the way it helps to enhance her natural beauty (of which most women are blissfully unaware!), but in the improvement in her self-confidence.

We’re often so busy working and looking after others, that we haven’t any time left to spend on ourselves; so it can be a relief to hand the responsibility over to the experts and let them take charge. Here’s what one of my clients said after she saw her portraits – “I had such a fabulous time on the day – oxytocin supercharge. You were all so amazing – a pampering day with a difference, having my hair and makeup done beautifully, and dare I say it, I really enjoyed standing in front of the camera. Awesome feelgood factor experience with experts who really know their stuff in making you feel a million dollars, and photos to relive the experience again and again.”

Helping to See us Through the Bad Times

Sali Hughes is the Guardian’s resident beauty columnist and wrote this interesting and thought-provoking piece about how makeup can help us get through life’s ups and downs. As she says, “grooming is a form of self-care that allows us to feel like ourselves when our worlds become unrecognisable.” You can read the full article here.

And here are two ladies who’ve stepped in front of my camera after a pampering hair and makeup session!

Hair and makeup for professional headshots Guildford Surrey

A beautiful smile enhanced by hair and makeup by Sarah Stacey of

Hair and makeup fo professional headshots Guildford Surrey

Radiating confidence – hair and makeup by Sophia Wyatt – Styling by Kirstie Smillie –

Merry Christmas!

Posted on December 22, 2016 by Anna under Uncategorized
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Merry Christmas! Out of focus lights on Guildford High Street.

Wishing You All a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

Understated Makeup for a Subtle but Professional Business Headshot

Posted on November 30, 2016 by Anna under Business Headshots, Women's Portraiture
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How Makeup Can Help You to Project the Right Image for Your Business.

In my previous post, I talked about how to choose outfits that work well when being photographed. When you’re having your business headshot taken, the last thing you want is for your clothes to scream out for attention; the focus of the image should always be your face and personality; everything else just plays a supporting role.

Makeup for Your Business Headshot

That said, the addition of some subtle makeup does add the finishing touch to a portrait, creating a polished and professional look. I’ve been using a hair and makeup artist for all of my women’s portrait sessions since the very beginning and have come to really appreciate their expertise and skill in creating beautiful, flawless makeup that’s absolutely appropriate for a business headshot.

“Will I End up Looking Cakey?”

I think that one of the concerns which many women have is that they’ll end up looking cakey or fake, but that’s absolutely not the case and a professional makeup artist will always take the time to listen to a client’s concerns and requirements. I also make sure that you see what’s being applied at regular stages and I encourage all women to tell us immediately if they want something changed or aren’t happy about anything – after all, there’s nothing worse than just sitting there and feeling that you can’t say a word!

Understated Makeup for a Subtle but Professional Business Headshot. Hair, makeup and professional photography for businesswomen, by Anna Saverimuttu Photography, Guildford, Surrey

Marijelle Moreno prepares our client for her business headshot session in Guildford.

How Lighting Affects Makeup

However, it’s equally important that I let my clients know that they will be wearing more makeup than usual; that may sound contradictory given my previous comments, but both natural and artificial light have a knack of soaking up colour and if we don’t apply enough product, it just won’t show up in the photographs. It’s always surprising when I take that first test shot and we review it on the back of my camera; whilst it looks to us as if our client is wearing enough blusher/lipstick, the colour will often have washed out in the photos and so we need to apply a little more.

A Real Life Example

For this particular client who wanted a natural look, Marijelle Moreno first prepared and primed her skin, which is the most important stage; she then subtly enhanced her eyes, brows and lips, to add just a little definition and finished with a soft blush to give a healthy bloom of colour. The result is beautiful – she looks radiant, professional and confident – and every inch the business woman.

Understated Makeup for a Subtle but Professional Business Headshot. Hair, makeup and professional photography for businesswomen, by Anna Saverimuttu Photography, Guildford, Surrey

Looking relaxed, friendly and approachable, which is exactly how she wanted to appear in her business headshots.

Understated Makeup for a Subtle but Professional Business Headshot. Hair, makeup and professional photography for businesswomen, by Anna Saverimuttu Photography, Guildford, Surrey

A lovely shot using the abundant natural light in this room.

Understated Makeup for a Subtle but Professional Business Headshot. Hair, makeup and professional photography for businesswomen, by Anna Saverimuttu Photography, Guildford, Surrey

Being able to take some photographs outside was a real bonus. I love the way the autumnal colours work with her top and her hair.