By Scott Elpers - Photography by Aaron Patton
Christina Patton knows how difficult the business of boudoir can be.
It wasn’t long ago when she couldn’t place an ad in a magazine and had her fair share of discouraging looks at bridal expos.
“For a long time, people were very hush-hush about boudoir. Some thought it was dirty when it was really something beautiful that should be celebrated,” Patton said. “Boudoir is so much more than a lingerie photo. It’s feeling beautiful about being you.”
Patton has been a photographer for nearly a decade, but has shot boudoir exclusively for the past seven years. That’s when she started Boudoir by Wallflower, which she operates in a large studio on the fifth floor of the historic Kress Building in downtown Wichita.
“I designed this studio space exclusively for boudoir,” she said. “It’s a nice open space with lots of natural light and options for studio light. It’s a big, open and comfortable space that is perfect for boudoir. “
Patton studied dance at Wichita State University before she discovered her passion behind the camera. It’s that background in dance that helped her become one of the most sought after boudoir photographers in the area.
“Boudoir blends two of my favorite things – beautiful photography with a touch of chorography,” she said. “When you shoot with me, you’re going to get a lot of coaching. It’s very involved. I remember what it felt like a long time ago to not know what to do in front of the camera.”
Although the final product is the photos, it’s the full experience of the shoot that keeps clients coming back. The three hour shoot comes with a touch of pampering and includes hair and makeup done by an artist that works exclusively with Patton.
“This gives a client the opportunity to have everything completely focused on her, even if it’s just for a little bit. Life gets busy, and those moments are the first to get pushed to the side,” Patton said. “Even though it’s a gift that’s normally given to someone else, it’s really a gift for yourself.”
Patton still steps in front of the camera once a month to test new lighting techniques, poses and expressions. She also continues to study her craft with some of the top professionals all over the world.
Patton continues to push her all female brand when she launched her new endeavor “Venus & Vixen” in November, which she considers an experimental photography platform. She keeps clients up-to-date on both Venus & Vixen and Boudoir by Wallflower with regular online newsletters and on her Facebook pages and websites.
“Boudoir by Wallflower really took off. It started as a hobby while I was a paralegal. Now it’s a fulltime, one-woman show,” Patton said. “I recently announced Venus & Vixen and had an overwhelming response. It’s been very exciting.”