A Vancouver Island man's boudoir photo shoot turned him into centrefold material on Facebook until the social network took the pictures down Wednesday.
Brendon Williams posed for the cheeky shoot in December and gave the pictures to his wife, Amanda, for her birthday on Tuesday.
After the surprise was over, photographer Masika May — who's done a proposal, wedding, and newborn shoot with the couple — posted the photos to her professional Facebook page.
(Photo: Masika May Photography)
May, who's based in Duncan, said things took off from there.
"I expected it to get attention within our friend circle, because he's done funny stuff before and he's hilarious," the photographer told The Huffington Post B.C. "I couldn't believe it was a half-naked, hairy man that made [my work] go viral."
But on Wednesday, people started flagging the Facebook photos for nudity. May received a message saying she'd broken the site's community standards, and that the pictures had been deleted.
The photographer said her boudoir work has never been removed before, in three years of business.
"It's just frustrating, because I have women in the exact same poses wearing the same thing and that's OK. What if it was Brad Pitt? It wouldn't matter," May said. "But because it's a normal, everyday man, for some reason it's a problem."
(Photo: Masika May Photography)
She added: "There a lot [of photos] where people are wearing less than he is.
"It's one thing for it to be reported, but it's another for Facebook to agree with the fact that it's nudity when it's not."
Facebook's community standards page acknowledges that content with nudity is often shared for "artistic projects," but adds the site still exercises the right to restrict photos that some users could be "sensitive" to.
Click to enlarge.
May has since reuploaded Williams' pictures and said she doesn't plan to take them down.
"He has underwear on in every single one," she said. "If Facebook decides to take them down again, there's really a problem."
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The best way to find a reputable boudoir photographer is to ask friends for recommendations and then search the web for photographers in your area. Make sure to review their work and choose a photographer whose images resonate with you. Christa Meola of Christa Meola Pictures in New York City, advises women to do their homework on any potential photographers. After reviewing a portfolio, she suggests you ask yourself the following questions: How do the photos make you feel? What can you tell about the women in the pictures? And, do you love the photographer’s work? Once you’ve found the photographer you want to work with, review the contract and make sure all of the necessary details are included: date, time, price, cancellation policies, copyright, non-disclosure agreement, etc. Photo Credit: Christa Meola of Christa Meola Pictures
If the photographer’s studio isn’t the setting you were thinking of, book a hotel suggests Colleen Katana of Katana Photography in Brooklyn, New York. “It’s a pretty backdrop and lends itself to a boudoir setting. Plus, it’s guaranteed to be clean and have a bathroom to prepare in.” One note of caution: A hotel room may not offer great natural light so request a high floor with views. Photo Credit: Valerie Schooling Photography
Before heading to Victoria’s Secret, decide what look you’re going for: sexy, playful, pinup, glamour. The “theme” of your shoot will dictate both your wardrobe and props or accessories. (We’ll get to prop specifics next.) "What to wear is really an opportunity for the client’s personality to come out,” says Valerie Schooling of Valerie Schooling Photography based in Charleston, South Carolina. “It can be as modest as jeans and a tank top or nightgown to fancy lingerie and even a few topless shots!” “If you’re doing the shoot for your fiancé, bring something that belongs to him,” says international photographer Critsey Rowe of Couture Boudoir Photography. “Like his favorite shirt, tie or baseball cap.” Photo Credit: Valerie Schooling Photography
Victoria's Secret offers a great selection of lingerie that's both sexy and playful. Remember that you don't have to stick with bridal white or all black, but can choose colors that best flatter your skin tone. Shown left to right: Angels Unlined Demi Bra and Matching Hipkini, Body by Victoria Demi Bra and Matching Hiphugger, and VS Designer Collection Unlined Bra and Cheekini.
There's no reason to limit your shoot to just one look. The photographer you hire should be open to costume changes, allowing you to have a variety of looks in the final images. "It is definitely recommended that you bring with you many wardrobe options to allow for versatility," says Cherie Steinberg of The Boudoir Café. Photo Credit: Cherie Steinberg of The Boudoir Café.
For something more sexy than sweet try one of these sets from Frederick's of Hollywood. The Eyelet Corset in white takes a more bridal approach with its ruffled trim and ribbon tie, while the Hollywood Dream Halter Corset in black brings out your inner vixen with light boning and lace appliques.
"Props are great and often make the photo session more personal," says Hedley Jones of The Boudoir Café. "Bring items that define who you are and the sex symbol you want to portray." So what makes a good prop? The photographers we interviewed for this story recommended a wide range from playful (teddy bears) to romantic (engagement ring) to fashionable (extremely high-heeled shoes) and to X-rated (whips). Photo Credit: Christa Meola of Christa Meola Pictures
When it comes to smiling or pouting for the camera, trust your photographer to coach you into the perfect poses. "I tell my clients all they have to do is show up, and their job is done," says Valerie Schooling from Valerie Schooling Photography in Charleston, South Carolina. With a team of professionals including your photographer and hair and makeup stylists, trust that you're in good hands and they'll help bring out the sexy, sultry, glam side. Photo Credit: Valerie Schooling Photography
Getting a mani and pedi, makeup and hair styled are a given, but the experts at BoudoirNY Photography advise clients to get a good night’s sleep before your scheduled shoot, drink a lot of water and have something light to eat. They also suggest you wear a loose fitting outfit to the shoot to avoid your clothes from forming lines on your body. Photo Credit: Katana Photography
If you’re a little nervous on the day of the shoot it’s okay. The photographer you hired should be someone that makes you comfortable, and can help you relax and ease into your sexier side. And if that doesn’t work, Critsey Rowe of Couture Boudoir Photography suggests having a glass of wine or champagne on hand to help ease you into it. Photo Credit: Christa Meola of Christa Meola Pictures
So now that you’ve taken your boudoir photos, what will you do with them? Your photos can be compiled into an album that you can gift your fiancé on your wedding day, or you can frame your favorites and hang them in your home. Don't be afraid to ask your photographer for some creative ideas -- he or she is sure to have some! Photo Credit: Valerie Schooling Photography