Trans, Nonbinary, and Gender-Queer: Boudoir Sessions with Gra Intimates

If you follow other boudoir photographers, you might notice a theme with a lot of them. That theme is white, cis, femme, thin women. But, I’ve never claimed nor wanted to be like these other photographers. I photograph ALL humans, regardless of age (as long as they’re 21+!), size, or how they identify.

One of my passion projects these past few years has been doing gender affirmation and gender exploration boudoir sessions. It’s something that is close to my heart as a mom of two LGBTQ+ kids and it’s also an area that the boudoir community as a whole is lacking in. At Gra Intimates, we have photographed clients of all types under the LGBTQ+ umbrella including pre- and post-op trans (MTF and FTM), nonbinary, queer couples, and clients who want to explore both masc and femme looks all in one session.

My studio is a safe space for all clients. It’s where we let YOU explore a different, more intimate, stronger, sexier, maybe freer version of yourself. Without judgment. You choose the direction your session will go; we guide you down the path you prefer. Your comfort and consent are super important to us in any boudoir session, and even more so for gender affirmation/exploration sessions, since we know there can be some sensitivity around certain body parts, props, or vocabulary terms. This means we ask for consent before even simple things like a hair flip or wardrobe adjustment.

But enough from me. I think this is something best heard from the clients themselves.

Love and Rachel are world class at what they do. And what they do isn’t JUST take photos. They made my partner and I feel like stars. The helped us pick outfits for the shoot that not only fit well with our body types but also made us look and feel gorgeous. There was no awkwardness, or discomfort, only acceptance and love. They pumped us up and made us feel confident and beautiful. And, as a trans woman, that’s not necessarily an easy thing to do. And they gave us the unique opportunity to finally see ourselves the way that others see us. 

– Zoey

I can remind myself of the empowerment Love and Rachel made possible each morning by looking at the pictures mounted above my bed. I didn’t think I could look that way, or feel that way.

– Lizzy

I love the art of boudoir but I always felt it was more for feminine, cis women and I never felt comfortable pursuing it thinking I’d have to wear lingerie and work in submissive/soft poses. 

I wasn’t apprehensive at all going into the session but I was overwhelming happy to see the finished work. I felt incredibly affirmed in my trans-masculine, non-binary body. I absolutely felt a connection to my true self looking at the finished images. It was affirming to see how I was being viewed in the lens and it felt good to know others see the me that I see. 

– Jess

As a trans woman, I’ve had a difficult relationship with my body my entire life.  Letting someone take pictures of me traditionally has been nothing but anxiety-inducing.  I’ve broken into tears before with people taking my pictures in everyday life, so going into something like boudoir has always been a big lifelong ambition but a very scary and risky thing to attempt.

Love and her entire staff were incredible to work with.  They were very understanding about my own hang ups with my body, listened to any feedback and concerns I shared, and were incredibly patient with me.  I couldn’t even imagine a more supportive and accessible boudoir experience than what I experienced with Gra Photography.

– Jacqui

From the moment I got there, Love and Rachel actively helped calm my nerves and from that point on, all I could think about was how much fun I was having. It was great to really get to explore both the masc and femme side of things. Typically, I feel like my default is somewhere in between, so getting to go beyond my normal comfort zones really helped expand my horizons and was all around a very impactful experience.

I will never forget how much fun I had and how great and empowered I felt after my shoot. And once I got the photos, I just wanted to share them with everyone! I would definitely recommend anyone booking a session with you because I wholeheartedly believe it will be just as much of an invaluable experience for them as it was for me!

– AJ

Photos from Akron Pride 2022 and 2023: